ShredQuick Blog

What Is a Landfill, and How Bad Is It for the Environment? Things Naples Businesses Should Know

Four garbage trucks lined up on a landfill. This image represents the environmental impacts of landfills.

Unfortunately, modern consumers create a lot of waste, and any garbage that is not reused or recycled must go somewhere. Most often, this waste finds itself in a landfill to simply sit and decay. 

As helpful as landfills are for keeping our cities cleaner (or at least free of trash and debris), these sites of mass waste are toxic to the environment. Therefore, every socially conscious business and person should consider landfills and the planet when deciding what to do with their trash and scrap. 

Landfill 101 

As most businesses know, a landfill is a site designated for the disposal and storage of waste. It typically contains both household and commercial waste, such as food, paper, wood, soil, concrete, and brick rubble. 

How Bad Are Landfills for the Environment? 

Landfills are one of the planet’s most significant sources of pollution. The waste buried in these sites breaks down at a very slow rate, forcing larger quantities of waste to remain longer than necessary or desired. 

The three most hazardous issues in landfills that impact the environment include the following:  


Many materials such as electronic waste that end up in a landfill contain toxic substances. For example, TVs, computers, and other electronics often have mercury, arsenic, solvents, acids, and even lead. As these devices break down over time, the toxins seep into the ground, infecting the soil and groundwater.  


Leachate is the liquid formed when waste breaks down in a landfill site, and water runs through it. The water inevitably picks up and carries the toxins from the site, enabling the toxins to spread into other areas of land or waterways. Leachate can also dissolve in a landfill, moving a percentage of the toxins from the landfill into the air. 

Greenhouse Gases 

When organic waste, such as food, is covered and compacted in a landfill, it does not decay properly. Without oxygen, organic waste breaks down in an anaerobic process and releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The average landfill produces enough methane to service a power station, but the only thing that methane is fueling is climate change. 

Recycling with ShredQuick Can Help the Planet

Today, many businesses work to take ownership over the impact they have on our shared planet. If you strive to apply socially conscious business practices, you should aim to send as little waste to a landfill as possible. 

For companies in Naples, ShredQuick recycles all shredded documents and also offers computer and X-ray recycling. So give us a call if you want to take care of business and make a positive change. 

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