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Description

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) maintains a database of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills across the United States (EREF, 2017). This database was used to draw a sample of active facilities for analysis of MSW landfill (MSWLF) tipping fees. Landfill owners were contacted and asked to provide gate rate information for MSW disposal, supplemented by current website information on fees. For the purpose of this report, the terms gate rate, tip fee, and tipping fee are used interchangeably to refer to the per- ton fee for hauled MSW loads. 

In the 2021 study, MSW tip fee information was obtained from 378 landfills. EREF has calculated a national average tip fee using two methodologies since 2018 (Figure 1). One method estimates an unweighted national average by averaging fees of all observations, or the number of reporting landfills for each year. In this method each landfill is equally weighted regardless of its size or the quantity of tonnage received annually. The other method is calculated by weighting fees based on the relative amount of MSW disposed via landfilling and the tip fee at each facility to create a ton-weighted average. The ton-weighted average is calculated to account for differences in the amount of MSW landfilled in each state varies due to factors such as total waste generation, fraction recovered for recycling and/or composting, and interstate transport (i.e. import and export of MSW). 

Published February 2022

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