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Advantages and Disadvantages of Landfills

Landfills are site for waste disposal by the method of burying which is one of the oldest from of waste management. Landfills are the most common methods of waste disposal and are the same in most of the place around the world. Landfills are also used for waste management purposes like for temporary storage, consolidation, transfer and processing of waste material.

Landfills are engineered waste disposal systems that have large rubbish tips or dumps. The modern landfills are made to prevent the loss of leachate and gases to the surrounding environment. A landfill may also be the ground at are filled with rocks instead of waste materials so that is can be used for a purpose like for construction.

In order to meet certain specifications in non hazardous waste landfills the techniques that are applied by which wastes are restricted to small area, the wastes are compressed to reduce their volume and they are covered with soil daily.

In the landfill operations the vehicles which collect wastes are weighed and their load is screened for wastes that do not fulfill the criteria of the landfills. After deposition of the waste bulldozers or compactors spread and compress the waste on the working face. This compacted waste is covered with soil or any other alternative material every day. The alternative material that is used to cover the compressed waste is chipped wood or other green waste. The space that is filled with the compacted waste and the cover material is known as daily cell. The compression of waste to make it compact is important to extend the life of the landfill.

Landfills have both Advantages and Disadvantages.

Advantages of landfills:
  • There are many advantages of landfills. The main advantage is that burying can produce energy and can be obtained by the conversion of landfill gas.
  • The waste products of landfills can be used as direct fuel for combustion or indirectly they can be processed into another fuel.
  • Landfill is a specific location for waste deposition that can be monitored.
  • On completion of the landfill it can be reclaimed and it can be used as parks or farming land.
  • In properly designed landfills the waste can be processed and all recyclable materials can be used before closing.
  • Organic material can also be separated from a properly designed landfill which can be used for compost or production of natural gas.
  • The landfills that are properly managed can capture the natural gas or methane that is produced by the underground decomposing material.
Disadvantages of landfills:
  • Landfills that are poorly designed or operated share more problems that are faced at the uncontrolled dumping areas.
  • The areas surrounding the landfills become heavily polluted.
  • Landfill can pollute air, water and also the soil.
  • In a poorly developed landfill it is difficult to keep the dangerous chemicals from leaching out into the surrounding area.
  • Dangerous chemicals can seep into the ground water system.
  • Many insects and rodents are attracted to landfills and can result in dangerous diseases.
  • It can cause diseases and illness in the communities living around the landfill.