The sentence:

“It costs more to recycle plastic than to bury it in landfill.”

sounds wrong to me because it is missing an article before “Landfill” (it should be noted, however, that I am not a native speaker and the sentence comes from a popular English textbook).

  • 4
    Please try to use more specific question titles.
    – user230
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


"Bury it in a landfill" would be correct too. 'Landfill' can refer to both the site (requiring an article) as well as the waste material used in landfill sites. Your example uses the latter. Think of the sentences "submerge x in water" or "bury x in dirt".

  • 1
    Very much to the point, with the water and dirt analogy.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 18:27

Even if we do not consider "landfill" as the substance that fills "landfills", it is possible to have a prepositional phrase in landfill similar to in hospital or Our products can be found in store and online.

The reference then is not to a particular landfill site, but to the mode of disposal of waste:

Now that much of the market for recycled plastics has dropped off sharply, a great deal of plastic in the waste stream ends up in landfill or (in) incinerator.

a landfill could also be used to mean the generic disposal site, to no site in particular.

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