By Creede Newton, Al Jazeera.
Denton, Texas - On an unseasonably cool summer morning in the north Texas town of Denton, Tyler Hurd, the planning and public outreach manager for the city's landfill, spoke proudly of the rubbish beneath his feet.
"Doesn't smell so bad, does it?" Hurd asked with a smile.
Denton's landfill is special: It is the first in the world to employ a new technique for dealing with city waste that will combine established eco-friendly measures with "mining". This involves going through a long-established tip to find metals, plastics and other goods that can be re-sold, to create a sustainable waste disposal system.
Pointing towards a large, sealed-off hill, Hurd explained that this would be the first to be mined. "We recently drilled down into the mound and found a newspaper from the 1980s, and it was readable. It's a 'dry tomb'," he explained. "Should be good for mining."