Landfills – Is There a Solution for Landfill Problems


Ever wonder where your trash goes after it’s picked up at your front door? More than likely, it is taken to landfills, where it is packed down and stored underground. Hopefully, the majority of the trash will decompose, but there are some materials that will be buried in the landfills forever. Here are some tips on how you can help make trash disposal safer in your area.

What is a Landfill

A landfill is really a depression in the ground that is used for depositing wastes. In some cases, it is built above the ground. When the fill becomes full, it will start to ‘leak’, and this is when it becomes especially hazardous to the environment. It is important to make sure that the landfills in a city or state do not burst or leak, since the wastes will find their way back into the groundwater supply.

There are four main components of the landfill;

  • The hydrogeologic setting, which keeps the wastes from escaping
  • The bottom-liner, which separates the waste from the groundwater
  • The leachate collection system, which is where the extremely contaminated water is collected and hopefully kept from the city’s water supply
  • The cover, which keeps the landfill from spilling over.

All of these components are used in order to make sure that the trash in the landfills is kept away from the city’s water supply, and that the waste does not contaminate the lakes or rivers.

However, so much trash is being deposited into these areas these days, it is difficult for sanitation workers to find new places in the landfill for more solid wastes.

Recycling Instead of Landfills

This is one major reason why recycling is so important. Instead of having to take the trash to landfills, sanitation workers can take the items that can be recycled to another factory or plant, so that the items can be used again to create more products.

If you want to start a recycling program in your neighborhood, you can ask the department of health in your area or the sanitation department to deliver recycle bins to your home or school. This way, you can separate the items into the respective bins before ‘trash day’, and can do your part to make your environment safer and cleaner.

It is also a great idea to have recycle bins in your home if you are raising small children, so that they will get used to caring for the earth at a young age.