Landfill Toxins Reduction Program

The Landfill Toxins Reduction Program works with state and local governments and manufacturers to identify consumer products and sources of waste that cause harmful pollution when dumped in landfills.

California communities living near landfills can be exposed to a myriad of harmful air and water pollution sources. In addition to thousands of toxic products that are illegally, and perhaps unknowingly, dumped into landfills, there are many legal materials that are a source of this pollution, including rotting food waste.

The Landfill Toxins Reduction Program works to create awareness of how these problem materials harm communities and supports the creation of programs that can safely recycle them. 

Current Work

CAWF is currently focused on reducing toxic landfill threats posed by tires and motor oil.

Tire fires in landfills can burn for months, spewing toxic smoke into neighboring communities. CAWF is currently researching how California's system of recycling tires can provide better incentives for businesses to recycle tires instead of sending them to landfills.

Motor oil is often changed every 3000 miles in California, a wasteful and environmentally harmful practice that is unnecessary when high quality, synthetic motor oils that only cost twice and much can last more than 10,000 miles. But despite the type of motor oil used, most automobile service technicians recommend an oil change after just 3000 miles, and many individuals who change their own oil dispose of it in their trash bins, or worse, down the drain.

CAWF is conducting an education campaign aimed at the public and policymakers to build awareness of the fact that cheap motor oil creates a toxic threat when it is illegally disposed of in the trash and ends up in landfills.


CAWF led a successful awareness campaign that helped create the PaintCare program in California, which brought together hundreds of retailers throughout the state to provide drop off locations for unused paint in almost every California community.


Consumer electronics contain a variety of toxic materials, and presented significant environmental and public health challenges as more and more of them began ending up in landfills in the 1990s.

The Report Poison PCs and Toxic TVs was produced by Californians Against Waste Foundation and a coalition of organizations focused on promoting sustainable electronics in 2004.  It provided the public and many policymakers with much needed understanding of this new and growing source of pollution, and helped guide the creation of important safeguards. (Correction: page six of this reports incorrectly acknowledges CAW as the source of much of the research for this report.  In fact, the Californians Against Waste Foundation is the source of the research.)