Land Pollution

Land pollution occurs when harmful substances contaminate soil, degrading its quality. Caused by human activities like littering and industrial waste, this pollution impacts both kids and adults, emphasizing the need for environmental awareness to ensure a cleaner, healthier planet.


Land pollution happens naturally or is human-made. It can occur by farming, factories, mining, and littering. When land pollution happens, it can causes problems with the food chain and plants to die. If land pollution involves chemicals or gas such as greenhouse gas or methane, it can even cause the ozone layer to get smaller, which can lead to global warming.

Anything that causes damage to the land or that makes the land contaminated is land pollution.

Land Pollution Facts for Kids:

  • 139.6 million tons of waste is sent to landfill in the U.S. every year
  • We lose 24 billion tonnes of topsoil every year because of land pollution
  • Since 1990 1.3 million square kilometers of forests have been lost
  • Every American produces about 1,500 pounds of trash a year
  • $11.4 billion worth of recyclable trash is sent to landfill every year in the U.S.
  • By recycling trash it helps the environment
  • You can reduce trash by recycling items like plastic bottles
  • Over 30% of the landfills are filled with things that could have been put in other places.

What Causes Land Pollution?

Land pollution is caused by the garbage that we throw away.  Chemicals that are used to break down trash are oftentimes found in our soil and the water that we drink.

This is dangerous to people because we have to use groundwater in order to be able to get the water that we need to drink.

Causes of Land Pollution

  • Deforestation and soil erosion
  • Agricultural activities
  • Industrialization
  • Overcrowded landfills
  • Mining activities
  • Construction activities
  • Sewage treatment

What are Some Types of Land Pollution?

There are different things that cause land pollution such as trash, factories, mining, and farming.


Everyone helps to make trash.  It is estimated that most people in the United States use more than 4 pounds of trash each day.

Even though some of this trash is recycled, most of it is found on the ground or it is put into landfills.


Factories make waste and garbage.  Most factories use chemicals that flow into the air or they end up on the ground or in the water.

Many of the factories have regulations that make them handle the chemicals a certain way, but many of these chemicals are still released into the atmosphere.


Mining can cause there to be chemicals that go into the air or into the water or soil.  When people mine, it causes there to be holes that are put into the ground.

These holes can release gases and toxic waste that goes into the environment.


Even though farming is super important, it can also cause a lot of pollution.  When people farm, they have to use chemicals to keep their plants safe.

These chemicals are called pesticides and herbicides.  These chemicals are released into the ground and they can end up in our water sources.

Animal waste is another thing that releases chemicals into the air.  Some of the chemicals released from animal waste can cause there to be air pollution.

How Does Land Pollution Hurt the Environment?

Land pollution is one of the pollutions that you can actually see with your eyes.  You can look around and see trash laying in the streets, on the sides of the roads, and more.  Land pollution can be dangerous for people and animals.

Other pollution from farming and mining releases chemicals into the air and the water and it can harm people and animals.  Methane is released from landfills and this causes problems with the environment.

What are Landfills?

Landfills are a place that areas put garbage to try to make sure that chemicals are not released into the air and water.  Even when they try to prevent it, some chemicals always escape.

There are many laws about using landfills.

How Does Land Pollution Hurt our Health?

Land pollution can hurt our health because of the chemicals that are released into the air and water.

When chemicals get into the water and air it can cause people to be sick and can cause them to have things like breathing problems, skin problems, and even cancer.


Biodegradable Trash

Trash that is biodegradable can help the environment because it can decay and become part of the environment.  When it becomes part of the environment, it uses different cycles to be reused.

Some items take a very long time to decompose.  Decompose means to decay.  Items like glass and Styrofoam can take years and years to decay.

How Can People Help with Land Pollution?

People can help to have less land pollution by recycling.  You can recycle trash that is paper and that can decay and go back into the environment.

Some items such as computers and batteries cannot be recycled, and they have to be put in other places.

Picking up the trash can be helpful to keep our water sources from getting dirty.

Composting is when you take waste from like food and you put it in a container, and it breaks down faster and can be used to make things like fertilizers.  Composting can help the environment to not have so much trash.


What Did You Learn?

  • What is land pollution?  Land pollution is any type of damage that happens to the land.
  • What causes land pollution?  Land pollution is caused by throwing away garbage, by factories, farming, and mining.
  • How can we stop some land pollution?  Land pollution can lessen when people recycle and dispose of their trash properly.
  • What does decompose mean?  Decompose means when product decay.
  • What is composting? Composting is taking materials such as food and putting them in a container so they can break down and be used for fertilizers.
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