Recently the EPA announced new rules for landfill operation that will significantly increase landfill development and operating costs. Rural communities will be harder hit by these added costs because they exacerbate the challenges of density and resource availability inherent in MSW management. Lacking the large recycling programs and processing facilities of larger towns, these communities are also more reliant on land filling to dispose of their waste. The EPA expects the new rules to force the closure of over 200 landfills in the United States. Six counties in Colorado alone are in danger of losing their landfills and having to transport their waste longer distances to landfills that comply with the new rules.
This reality can be a problem or an opportunity. Transporting waste and or recycling out of town to a city with a compliant landfill and capable recycling facility can be expensive. Jobs lost locally are picked up by the receiving town.
Unfortunately, sorting systems are geared toward large towns where the high costs of design, equipment and construction can be spread over a large quantity of material and the costs of operation can be spread over a large population.