Landfills are usually full of garbage. How, then, can they be considered sanitary? List four recommendations for reducing the amount of garbage taken to landfills.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A sanitary landfill is not about the contents of the landfill but more about how the waste is managed.  A liner protects the groundwater and the soil from leaching substances until the components have degraded enough to be safe to the surrounding environment.  The design and construction of a landfill is quite extensive and involves more than dumping trash in a hole in the ground.  Preparation of the area is extensive to prevent short term damage ot the environment as well as long term damage due to the leachate.  A sanitary landfill will have a pump system in place to remove the leachate so that is is not released into the surrounding soil or groundwater. 

A sanitary wrapper on a sandwich protects the sandwich inside.  The sanitary landfill liner protects the surroundings from the waste.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team