A sanitary landfill is where waste gets separated from a surrounding area by using a layering system that is designed to facilitate the decomposing of waste in a safe environment as is portrayed in the City of San Diego video, “What Happens at the Landfill.” Even though decomposition facilitates the production of methane, which contributes to climate change, most landfills collect methane to generate electricity and keep the gas out of the atmospheric space.
How Landfills Work
Landfills mainly consist of layered waste put in a large pot. These pits can be as deep as 500 feet down the ground. When the waste gets decomposed, a gas expert does regular checks of the groundwater to ensure there is no leakage from it.
When a landfill gets filled, it gets capped with a liner made out of synthetic plastic. The landfill site is then checked regularly by landfill maintenance for a period of 30 years. This is done to ensure that the landfill remains environmentally safe and does not contaminate any ecosystem or inhabitants of the area it’s located in.
Landfills today have undergone a progression from being just a hole dug in the ground to systems that are engineered meticulously with the intention of protecting the general health of all living things. Landfills work to eliminate risks of contamination and keep the environment of our cities clean.