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

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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.

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