EUGENE, Ore. - On any given day, people stop by the Glenwood waste transfer station in Eugene to dump their garbage.
But the dump is less busy these days.
"Back in 2008 and 2009 we saw a drop in garbage and recycling," said waste reduction specialist Sarah Grimm.
But it actually started after a peak year in 2006. In that year total waste tonnage at Short Mountain Landfill was around 291,300 tons.
By 2010 it had gone down to just over 212,300 tons.
Grimm said as the recession hit, people started dumping less.
"You can see that when people are buying less, it means they have less to throw away," she said. "We saw that the major downturn was in cardboard which is used to package consumer goods. Also wood waste was down dramatically."
Grimm said the total tonnage of waste at the landfill is down 27 percent.
"Primarily it's going to extend the life of the landfill and that can only be good for our community," she said. "if this trend continues, our estimated landfill closure date is up from 80 more years to more than 100 years."
Waste tonnage may be down, but recycling is up in Lane County. The county operates 16 recycling stations and all are busy.
"We're very happy to see that, we believe it has a lot to do with people's choices and the lessons of waste prevention," said Grimm.
She said since the recession more people are conscious of recycling and reusing.
They also see value in recycled goods.
"Now that things are ticking back up again, the value of our commodities are going back up, cardboard is valuable, newspapers valuable."
And Grimm said that's good for the environment.