The use of landfills to dispose of garbage.
After finding some information on landfills. I was amazed that not only is a landfill more complex than I thought; it also can be hazardous to people miles away. I thought that a landfill was just basically a large open area of land where garbage was placed left to decompose (by either means of burning or compression). But what I found out was that a landfill is actually a scientific foundation. The landfill can be either a very large hole in the ground or a structure above the ground that has a liner and a pumping system. The Liner and pumping system are the most important aspects of the landfill because these two items prevent contained water known as leachate from entering the earth's soil. One would think that both the liner and the pump system would prevent all contamination to the soil, but with today's huge masses of garbage, it has become difficult to make a liner that would prevent leaks and a pump system that is fail safe. The problem has become so large that officials are claiming that standard municipal waste dumps are just as threatening as a hazardous waste facility. .
The leachate waste produced by landfills today is so high and so contaminated that it will actually eat through the protective liners and the pipes of the pump system. Even the most scientifically advanced liners and pump systems are known to fail under the strength of the leachate waste. If the leachate waste does make its way into the earth's soil, it can cause drastic effects on the environment. Leachate can make its way into groundwater systems, causing all waters to become contaminated. Treatments can be made to remove the leachate from the water, but it is expensive and there is still the risk of leachate remaining in the soil.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Landfills also produce toxic and explosive gasses. Many gasses are produced from landfills, but the most hazardous is methane gas.