What Are The Four Types Of Landfills?

Municipal solid waste, commercial trash, and hazardous garbage are the three types of landfills now in use. Each accepts different forms of garbage and employs different environmental policies. In addition, a new landfill type called green trash is emerging that allows for the controlled removal of organic wastes.

Landfills For Municipal Solid Waste

If you throw it away in a rubbish can, it’s likely to wind up in  municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill. When you think of a landfill, these are usually the first things that come to mind. However, just because they’re the most prevalent doesn’t mean they’re accessible to the general population.

MSW landfills have among of the tightest safety and monitoring rules since they handle a wide range of household waste, from used tissues to a roll-off dumpster full of boxes from a basement cleanout. Location limits, landfill lining, operational practices, groundwater monitoring, and closing techniques are all common examples of these requirements.

So, how exactly do MSW landfills function? It’s all about the layers. The liner, sewerage system, gas collecting system, and the waste itself make up a four-layered system in modern landfills. Each of these levels is continuously monitored to ensure that the landfill is secure for both the environment and the workers.

Landfills For Industrial Waste

If it appears that this landfill was self-explanatory, you are correct. Industrial garbage is disposed of in an industrial waste landfill. While these landfills can accept any form of solid industrial waste, they are most typically utilized for building debris disposal, that is why they are known as C&D landfills. The following items are frequently dumped in industrial landfills:

  • Concrete
  • Lumber
  • Asphalt
  • Gypsum
  • Metal
  • Bricks
  • Components of construction 

Rather than simply storing construction waste in a pit, C&D landfills frequently serve as material recovery stations (also known as MRFs). To do this, the goods brought in are thrown into  pile, then processed by landfill personnel to determine which materials are recyclable and which should be discarded. Local resale stores and firms that specialize in building with salvaged materials accept the reusable items as donations or purchases. In addition, the material recovery facilities may be able to recycle the materials on-site, for as by chipping lumber into mulch.

Landfills For Hazardous Waste 

Hazardous waste landfills were the most tightly controlled and constructed landfills for a variety of reasons. They’re made to contain hazardous waste in a method that essentially precludes the possibility of it being released into the environment. The following are some of the] design requirement  for toxic waste landfills:

  • Liner with two compartments
  • Two-stage system for collecting & eliminating leachate
  • Systems for detecting leaks
  • Controls for run-on, run-off, and wind dispersal
  • Programs to ensure the quality of construction

Toxic waste landfills are frequently audited numerous times a year, in additional to these design criteria, to ensure which the facility is up to code & that the standards are high.

If you’re worried that you’re trying to get rid of a restricted item, rest assured that you’ll have a hard time doing so. Toxic material is not collected curbside &  is only permitted in dumpsters with advance notice – and even then, only on rare occasions.

Landfills For Green Waste

Many communities are beginning to give a place for organic debris to organically degrade, even if these are never officially approved landfills by the EPA. Most traditional landfills & transfer stations are not like welcoming of organic products like fruits, vegetables, and, in particular, yard trash disposal, hence these composting sites are also on the rise. “Some will charge a premium rate for yard waste,” Morris said. This is entirely depending on your local government.”

The Following Are Examples Of Common Kind Of Green Waste:

  • Mulch
  • Weeds
  • Leaves
  • Branches of trees
  • Food waste that is biodegradable
  • Trimmings of grass and flowers

Green trash dumps serve a straightforward purpose: they preserve room in another MSW landfills by keeping a substance out that is supposed to decay organically. Composting landfills, according to a recent EPA study, are reaching that goal. In 2017, 24,420 tones of yard trimming were composted, with 8,650 tones being sent to the landfill, compared to 4,200 tones composted and 25,560 tones sent to the garbage in 1990.

What Are Landfills?

When A Landfill Hits Capacity, What Happens Next?

while a landfill reaches capacity, it is restricted and restored so that it can be converted into green places like parks & community grounds. After capping, these will last for up to 30 years.

Landfills might take several years to achieve full capacity, depending on the type and volume of garbage. The final section of cover material, clay, and vegetation is then applied to the landfill. This cap layer acts as a barrier, allowing scents to pass through while keeping precipitation out. When the site is recovered for recreation and light cultivation, it will be planted to fit its future usage.

What Are The Negative Effects Of Landfills On The Environment?

Landfills are unsightly. And the problem isn’t simply the eyesore of growing rubbish piles; landfills are also bad for wildlife, environment, the environment, and global warming. They’re a big source of pollution, & they come with a slew of other drawbacks. Waste dumped in landfills takes a long time to disintegrate, posing a threat to future generations.

Toxins, leachate, and greenhouse gases are the three main issues of landfills Organic trash produces bacteria that decompose organic waste. Decomposition of garbage produces weak acidic compounds, which interact with waste liquids to form leachate & landfill gas.

There are also some secondary impacts, such as disagreeable odors, unappealing views, and rat and bird infestations, which produce their own garbage.


Toxic chemicals can be found in many waste materials. One example is electronic garbage. Mercury, arsenic,  PVC, solvents, cadmium, acids, and lead are among the toxic compounds found in waste including such televisions, computers, and other electronic gadgets. These pollutants permeate into our soil &  groundwater over time, posing long-term environmental risks.


Leachate is a liquid that forms when garbage decomposes in a landfill & water filters through it. This highly poisonous liquid has the potential to damage land, groundwater, and waterways.

The environment is harmed by the huge quantities of pollutants found in landfills. When plastics, such as PVC, and other materials degrade, they release harmful compounds.

In the developed world, e-waste is the quickest increasing trash segment. Despite the fact that it is the most harmful everyday liquid waste of all, the majority of it is disposed of in landfills. Heavy metals, solvents, & acids abound in electronic trash.

Each landfill cell takes a year or more to fill, during which time the materials are naturally exposed to rainfall. Rainwater seeping the landfill dissolves & flushes 5-7 % of the poisons, resulting in leachate, a foul-smelling liquor containing ammonia and various harmful ions.

A single landfill site could easily produce several Olympic-sized pools of leachate each year, depending on rainfall. To avoid contamination of land, groundwater, and waterways, leachate is carefully collected & recirculated into landfill cells. When leachate is returned to the landfill, some of it is reabsorbed, but the rest filters via again, taking up more pollutants each time.

Landfills Are Possibly The Most Significant Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Organic waste, including such food scraps & green trash, is typically compacted and covered when disposed of in landfills. This depletes the oxygen supply, resulting in  anaerobic process. Methane, a green house gases 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, is eventually released. 35-55 percent methane and 30-44 percent carbon dioxide make up landfill gas.

Methane is also a combustible gas that, if allowed to build up in concentration, can be harmful. The consequences of global warming &  climate change were huge. Many of these issues can be avoided by composting your food scraps & green waste in  compost bin.

Methane’s greenhouse effect is significantly harsher than carbon dioxide’s within the first 20 years of emission—between 84 and 100 times more strong. And, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, what matters most is what occurs in the next 10 to 20 years.

So, how much methane does a normal landfill produce? Quite a bit. Enough to power a power plant, in fact.

A landfill which serves a half-million people, for example, produces almost 1.7 million cubic meter of methane each month. Typically, 85 percent of this gas is caught and used to power a generator that serves around 10,000 houses.

While landfill gas power is frequently referred to as renewable energy generation by plant operators and governments, it is neither sustainable nor environmentally benign. Methane, like oil and coal, produces carbon dioxide when burned.