The average American generates about 4.4 pounds of trash per day, or about 1,600 pounds per year. A nationwide landfill capacity study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1995 estimated that at the current disposal rate of nearly 1.5 pounds per person per day, landfills will reach capacity between 2010 and 2015. We need to change our behavior to avoid this. One way to do this is to reduce the garbage we produce.

What exactly is a landfill? A landfill is a place where trash is dumped and buried. This site must be carefully selected because it’s very harmful for the environment. Not only does it pollute the surrounding area, but it can even cause a smell. It’s a good thing that the government has stepped in and started taking the proper measures to make sure that our environment is not affected by the landfills. When I was in high school, my class visited a landfill. I remember thinking that it was just trash. However, I didn’t realize that it was filled with our drinking water. I am glad that my class took the time out of our busy schedule to be sure that we understood this concept.


Landfills are a great way to eliminate the waste from our lives, and recycle it in a very organic way. This is a good way to clean up the environment, while still getting one more use out of a resource that would otherwise be tossed out. For example, plastic bottles are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. But when they are thrown away, they can be shredded, melted and reformed into plastic bags. Plastics are a great way to improve the environment, because they don’t biodegrade and they usually don’t break down, they just break up into smaller pieces.

Although the environmental impact of landfills is undeniable, there are ways to make it better for the environment. Recycling is still a must, because it is required to keep the landfills from reaching capacity. Garbage trucks and their drivers also need to be trained on effective driving techniques in a controlled area. Waste processing and waste recovery should be improved by using vehicles, machines and technologies that improve waste handling efficiency. Incineration, another waste disposal method, can be improved by using it as a way to generate energy. Landfills can also be used for growing renewable energy sources like trees, grasses, and crops.

Landfills are a place where waste is stored. There are several types of landfills, for example, sanitary landfills, hazardous waste landfills, nuclear waste landfills, etc. Landfills are developed by first clearing the land over the site and then by laying a small drainage system to collect water. The waste is then piled as high as possible and compacted as often as possible for several months, after which the site is covered with dirt and vegetation is planted. In another method of landfilling, the garbage is left un-compacted (as done in a sanitary landfill) and is covered with a plastic liner (like a giant trash bag) and then covered with dirt. The layer of plastic prevents the ground water from being contaminated by the leachate (liquid material) which is produced when garbage breaks down. The landfill site is typically fenced off to keep out people as well as animals.