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Landfills

  • By: Mark D. Bjelland
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Landfills represent an engineered approach to the land disposal of wastes. In many countries, landfills are the primary means for managing municipal solid wastes and other wastes such as construction and demolition debris. Specially designed landfills are used for the disposal of hazardous and even radioactive wastes. Landfills represent an improvement over the open dumps they replaced and yet create serious problems of their own, including finding suitable sites, controlling leachate and gas emissions, and long-term care and monitoring.

Waste Management History

Humans have always faced waste disposal challenges, and our understanding of past societies owes much to the refuse piles they left behind. Historically, open dumps were the preferred means of refuse disposal and were simple in operation, if inelegant in practice. Dumps fostered problems with ...

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