In fact, trash volume has dropped so much in the Loudoun county landfill in Virginia that instead of running out of space in 2012 as had been projected, the landfill will gain a year and a half of use. And in Prince William County, the amount of discarded refrigerators, washers, dryers and other appliances has fallen by 20 percent since the recession started.
Ben Boxer, spokesman for Fairfax County's solid waste management program said that the economy is forcing people to preserve, reuse and repair their stuff. Since the fall, Freecycle.org has seen as many as 70,000 people a week register to swap stuff. The same goes with clothes; at Goodwill's nine Washington area thrift stores, sales went up 52 percent in January while donations have fallen.
While the recession hopefully ends quickly, the new trend toward wasting less hopefully won't!