A Brief Explanation About Landfills

What is the difference between a landfill and a dump?

There are some significant distinctions. Initially, dumps were frequently open without anyone there to check on loads—individuals could bring whatever they wanted and leave anything wherever they wished. Second, dumps were not built to safeguard the purity of ground and surface water. Dumps enabled the open burning of trash, a major source of air pollution.

As mentioned, dumps were frequently left uncovered for extended periods of time, resulting in problems with rats, mice, birds, and other pests, especially when food waste was left unburied. Dumps were typically placed in the most convenient locations to conceal the materials, such as gullies, arroyos, canyons, or other similar regions. Nothing was done to prevent difficulties when dumps were filled. Is the garbage still covered? Was there any chemical contamination? Was there a fire risk? Americans decided several decades ago that landfills were no longer an acceptable way to dispose of garbage. Dumps have passed us by.

Landfills are built and operated to provide a public health service; to handle the community’s garbage while also addressing environmental concerns. To that end, a modern landfill has controlled access, construction inspections of incoming trash loads, is operated to reduce air pollution from open burning, keeps trash covered to limit animal and bird attractions, monitors for gas and water quality around the site, and is managed to ensure financial security to cover and then maintain a closed landfill for at least 30 years. Furthermore, many landfills offer to recycle, composting, and a resource for talking trash or offering children a field trip experience to learn about groundwater and air monitoring programs.

Related: 10 Ways To Reduce Waste

What happens when landfills are full?

Landfill space is quickly running out. Americans generate approximately 4.4 pounds of trash per day, and while some of it is recyclable, the vast majority is discarded. Many municipal landfills are now closing due to a lack of space. There were 6,326 active landfills in the United States in 1990. In 2018, that figure had dropped to 1,269. If you’re wondering what happened to all the ones that closed, you might be surprised by the answer. After a landfill has been capped, there are numerous possible uses depending on the sort of waste collected. There could even be an ancient dump in your community that has been camouflaged as something else.

For Hazardous Waste

The exposed hazardous garbage is covered with synthetic material. Two feet of compacted clay cover the substance. Then, when the trash decomposes, a drainage layer properly removes any tainted liquids, and a layer of dirt or topsoil completes the cap system.

For General Trash

At the bottom of the landfill is a liner system. The entire site is covered in layers of compacted clay and synthetic material. Topsoil is then added over the clay.

What happens to rubbish in landfill?

Garbage buried in landfill degrades slowly and poses a concern for future generations. Toxins, leachate, and greenhouse gases are the three main issues of landfills. Bacteria that break down organic waste are produced. Garbage is separated into municipal solid waste, building and demolition waste, and white goods in modern landfills.

These sorts of waste are separated, and some recyclable waste is diverted to recycling centers. With the assistance of heavy and massive equipment, garbage at landfills is rolled over and compacted into a compact pile. After the pile reaches a certain height, a layer of earth is added, followed by the addition of a second pile. To prevent groundwater contamination, the bottom of the garbage mound is lined with rubber. A network of pipes collects and processes this groundwater as well. Gas wells are also drilled into the waste pile to capture methane from landfills. This methane is put to good use in generators or for heating.

In principle, the landfill system works fairly well. However, it is not always possible to prevent groundwater contamination or 100% methane collection. Furthermore, these systems must be paid for in order to function properly.

Read more: Where Do All Of Our Waste Go?

Junk Removal in Central Ohio

The Pink Dumpster is ready to help if you require junk disposal services in and around Columbus. We’re delighted to be Central Ohio’s go-to source for simple rubbish removal choices thanks to our years of combined experience and dedication to our communities. 

If you have specific questions about the services we provide, or what neighborhoods we serve in the Columbus area, don’t hesitate to call, text, or book online.