Officials estimate some 240,000 bags of trash arrive at the landfill daily, each weighing around 20 pounds and that rate continues to climb.
The city, which is the 16th largest in the U.S. is considered the fastest growing large city in the country with a population of 854,000 at last count. It has experienced a 50 percent increase in population in the last 20 years and is on track to become the 12th largest city by 2020.
Officials also say a lack of recycling is to blame for the huge amount of material being landfilled. Though the city offers curbside recycling, they say, many people continue to place recyclables into the garbage containers. Also, no ordinance requiring businesses to participate in recycling is currently in place.
A new 20-year comprehensive solid waste management plan has been adopted by the city. One of the goals in the plan is to increase recycling participation. The current residential recycling rate is 21 percent and the goal of the plan is to increase that to 30 percent by 2021.