A landfill is a designated place where solid waste and other ordinary trash may be dumped. Landfills offer a way for households and businesses to dispose of waste and rubbish. Landfills help maintain public health and safety by finalizing the sanitation process. Depending on the facility, you may dispose of household, industrial and organic waste as well as coal ash and construction debris. Sanitation departments minimize landfill use by offering recycling programs. These departments oversee landfill operations and schedule waste collection services. Some sanitation services use waste transfer and dumping stations for temporary trash storage before taking waste to a landfill for burial. Most landfills refuse to accept sewage waste, hazardous waste, dead animals, petroleum products, batteries, toxic chemicals or other industrial waste without prior treatment. U.S. landfills are filled with an estimated 250 million tons of trash and garbage per year.
There are several types of landfills, each representing an individual category of waste or garbage. Municipal solid waste landfills are built and operated with the intention of receiving non-hazardous household waste. Bioreactor landfills also deal primarily with household waste but specifically work with organic waste. Industrial waste landfills collect waste from commercial projects. There are also construction-material landfills and coal ash landfills. Finally, hazardous waste landfills are used to dispose of harmful chemicals and other toxic substances such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).