How to Avoid Landfill Fines by Doing the Right Thing

Corporations must ensure that their landfill waste complies with federal, state, and local regulations, as violations often result in heavy fines. But in addition to avoiding penalties, forward-looking corporations take their waste solutions a step further, positioning themselves for a zero-waste future. Here’s why.


When Do Landfills Fine Companies?

The Resource Recovery and Conservation Act (RCRA) prohibits certain waste from landfills. Both the federal government and the states have authority in this area. Commonly prohibited waste includes: 

  • Tires
  • Batteries
  • Motor oil
  • Mercury
  • Computers
  • TVs
  • Cathode ray tubes
  • Paint
  • Solvents
  • Cleaners
  • Untreated medical waste

Companies that dump banned items in landfills may face fines. After violating solid waste and air pollution control regulations, one company’s landfill violations led to a $20,000 forfeiture. On three occasions, inspectors had noted offsite odors when they visited the Fitchburg-Westminster Landfill. As part of a consent order, the company agreed to install a backup flare for landfill gas treatment for odor control and pay an outside consultant to operate a 24-hour hotline to field odor complaints.


Today, many companies go far beyond what the law requires, and leaders recognize that it is good business. There’s also the moral imperative to do the right thing. Many commit to Zero Waste to Landfill.


Zero Waste to Landfill

The broader concept of “Zero Waste” considers a product’s entire lifecycle from production to consumption. “Zero Waste to Landfill” is a bit more focused, with the goal being to reuse, recycle or compost almost all of a corporation’s waste. Recognize that various local jurisdictions define zero waste in different ways.


Many major U.S. corporations already pursue these prodigious goals. Walmart tracks 50 waste categories, including food waste. One year, Walmart reduced its waste-to-landfill totals by donating 571 million pounds of food. In 2020, Walmart reached 82% waste diversion from landfills.


Why Companies Should Strive for Zero Waste to Landfill

A Zero Waste to Landfill program is an excellent measure for organizations pursuing a more environmentally friendly future. Zero waste corporate initiatives not only help corporations reach their ESG goals, but they also enhance brands, engage employees, and create new revenue streams.


Tips For Setting Zero Waste to Landfill Goals

Advance your Zero Waste to Landfill program by:

  • Setting a baseline – identify current sources of waste generation
  • Promoting in-office best practices
  • Working with suppliers to improve their landfill diversion practices  
  • Partnering with a waste management expert


How to Implement a Zero Waste to Landfill Program

Waste generation and diversion are essential to corporate sustainability programs. However, organizations are not always clear on how to proceed.

When launching your Zero Waste to Landfill program, you must devote sufficient monetary and staff resources to the quest, including conducting real-time data and analysis. 


To make your program most effective, you should work with a third-party expert who can develop, execute, and monitor your waste management program. This will help assure your program is actionable and effective. 

Choose a waste and recycling partner that:

  • Offers data-driven solutions
  • Provides access to all vendors for waste streams in your market
  • Provides equipment and roll-out programs with minimal upfront costs
  • Can readily scale as you grow


Advance Your Recycling and Waste Efforts with Keter Environmental Services

With a combination of advanced technology, actionable data, and sustainability expertise, Keter Environmental Services ensures that your recycling and waste program performance aligns with the ESG goals and objectives of your organization.


Our client portal, eTrac,  transforms real-time recycling and waste data into actionable insights available at your fingertips. With unlimited access for corporate, regional, and property users, eTrac provides transparency into program performance and serves as the foundation for your ESG reporting, and provides insights into the key performance indicators that determine the success of your recycling and waste program.  


Ready to track your environmental footprint with greater precision and enjoy the benefits of a true client-first culture? Learn more about Keter’s turnkey sustainability program. 


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