“Where’s the trash?” That’s the question we’re often asked when someone tours the Central Landfill for the very first time. Contrary to the trash “dumps” of the past, the Central Landfill is a sanitary landfill, meaning it is designed, engineered, and operated to keep trash out of the surrounding environment. With a protective baseliner, daily cover on trash, capture and treatment of leachate (wastewater), conversion of gas into energy, and a final capping system, the landfill is a feat of environmental engineering. Check out the virtual tour!
The Central Landfill accepts only RI-generated waste and currently provides disposal services to about 97 percent of the state's residents. Currently about 3,800 tons of trash are buried in the landfill each day. At current loading rates the Central Landfill will reach capacity in 2040. When the landfill closes, we can: (1) find another city/town to build a landfill (no city/town is jumping at this!), (2) attempt to expand the current facility (this would be expensive and require land acquisitions and wetlands relocations), (3) ship it out of state (expensive) and (4) incinerate (we are currently prohibited from this by RI law). We ask Rhode Islanders to reduce, reuse, recycle and “rot” (compost) as much as they can, in order to extend the life of the Central Landfill for the next generation.
By the way… the Central Landfill is not the highest point in RI!
Tour Resource Recovery's Operations
In addition to the virtual tour, the Central Landfill is one of the stops on our facility tour. You can also download “A Guide to Resource Recovery” here, containing more information about all of our operations.