The aim of this paper is to show how Styrian landfills have changed during the past decades. These changes are illustrated clearly by three representative examples. In order to make the changes more comprehensible and to relate them to specific points in time, relevant laws, guidelines and regulations are described. The first part of the paper focuses on definitions. Then the geographical approach to waste management is explained. This approach includes considerations of economic geography and thoughts on aspects of sustainability. The main part of the first part is based on the analysis of the historical development of the Styrian waste management with regard to landfilling. In the second and most important part of the paper aspects of developmental history are categorised according to the phase model of Gelbmann/Klampf-Pernold. In two further chapters of the main part residual waste disposal and the landfilling of construction waste and ground excavation are discussed. In the last chapter of the main part some examples of landfill sites in Styria are presented in order to show which changes within the company have taken place at specific sites in course of time. Due to various changes regarding legal regulations, which have occurred over time, Styrian landfills constantly underwent changes. The result of these changes is a reduction in environmental pollution and consequently a reduction of the negative effects on human beings. As far as the relation between humans and the environment as well as sustainability are concerned, it can be said that Styrian landfills contributed to a positive development. Today waste disposal through mere deposition on landfills, including all its negative facets, does not provide the general basis for disposal any longer. In former times, one disposed waste just because of hygienic reasons. As opposed to this, waste management makes a contribution to sustainability in Styria by avoiding, recycling and processing waste.