a look at how landfills work

A Look At How Landfills Work

Do you ever think about what happens to your trash after your dumpster is hauled away? If you’ve ever wondered what happens to the approximately 4.6 pounds of trash you generate each day, the answer is simple: while some may be reclaimed, recycled, or burned, most waste will go into a landfill. Landfills are one of the most efficient methods for disposing of waste, so keep reading to discover how these solutions work to safely contain your trash.

How Is a Landfill Different?

You might have heard the words “dump” and “landfill” used interchangeably. However, these two terms refer to very different methods of waste disposal. Dumps are simply open holes in the ground, into which waste is directly deposited. Landfills are structures that are specifically planned, designed and built to manage waste safely. A landfill contains protective features that isolate trash from the surrounding area, preventing contaminants from leaking into soil and water. Furthermore, landfills are designed to store trash in a dry, airtight manner—unlike a compost pile, which encourages decomposition of wastes.

How Does a Landfill Work?

A landfill begins as a hole in the ground, which is excavated using construction equipment. Before any waste is deposited into the landfill, it is lined with either a clay or plastic liner. This liner isolates the trash in the landfill so it cannot contaminate the surrounding environment. Next, a layer of trash is deposited into the landfill. As it is put into the landfill, trash is compacted to create “cells.” These cells increase the storage capacity of the landfill, making it more efficient. Subsequent cells are stacked atop each other as the landfill is filled, often separated by layers of dirt or liner. Once the landfill has reached capacity, it is covered over with a layer of soil.

Santa Rita Waste Systems offers rolloff dumpster and portable toilet rentals in Tucson, Oro Valley, Patagonia, Tubac, Benson, and beyond. Call us today at (520) 624-0550 or fill out our online contact form to get more information about your waste disposal options from our experienced and supportive staff.