Landfills, also known as dumps, are places where waste is deposited. Many cities and towns have landfills, at a central location where private and municipal rubbish disposal companies dump the trash they collect and recycle throughout the day. Sanitary landfills are a little different from standard landfills, in that these sites isolate certain harmful waste from the rest of the environment until it has been deemed safe.
So what is considered safe waste? This occurs when waste has successfully biodegraded to a biological, chemical, and physical level. Isolation of this waste is necessary to protect public health. Such landfills contain certain universal components, such as bins, compactors, and other machinery.
Landfills may contain anything from construction debris to electronics. Solid and chemical waste both need to be handled with care, as they can pose a hygiene and environmental hazard. Sanitary landfills generally only handle solid waste, which is allowed to decompose naturally in a controlled environment. The goal is to prevent spill over into land beyond the garbage dump site, and to contain it within defined boundaries. Ground water contamination is also avoided by the digging of monitoring wells outside the perimeter.
Workers spread the solid waste in layers and compact it to make the covered area as small as possible, which helps reduce the possibility of pests being attracted to the garbage disposal. How well and often people in the area recycle, along with the surrounding landscape, both help to determine the lifecycle of a particular landfill, which is usually about 20 years. Sanitary landfills need to be properly managed and maintained in order to operate efficiently.