A landfill in Poland

A landfill site (also known as a tip, dump, rubbish dump, garbage dump or dumping ground and historically as a midden[1]) is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial. It is the oldest form of waste treatment (although the burial part is modern; historically, refuse was just left in piles or thrown into pits). Historically, landfills have been the most common method of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world.

Some landfills are also used for waste management purposes, such as the temporary storage, consolidation and transfer, or processing of waste material (sorting, treatment, or recycling). Unless they are stabilized, these areas may experience severe shaking or soil liquefaction of the ground during a large earthquake.


One of several landfills used by Dryden, Ontario, Canada.

Typically, operators of well-run landfills for non-hazardous waste meet predefined specifications by applying techniques to:[citation needed]

  1. confine waste to as small an area as possible
  2. compact waste to reduce volume

They can also cover waste (usually daily) with layers of soil or other types of material such as woodchips and fine particles.

During landfill operations, a scale or weighbridge may weigh waste collection vehicles on arrival and personnel may inspect loads for wastes that do not accord with the landfill's waste-acceptance criteria. Afterward, the waste collection vehicles use the existing road network on their way to the tipping face or working front, where they unload their contents. After loads are deposited, compactors or bulldozers can spread and compact the waste on the working face. Before leaving the landfill boundaries, the waste collection vehicles may pass through a wheel-cleaning facility. If necessary, they return to the weighbridge for re-weighing without their load. The weighing process can assemble statistics on the daily incoming waste tonnage, which databases can retain for record keeping. In addition to trucks, some landfills may have equipment to handle railroad containers. The use of "rail-haul" permits landfills to be located at more remote sites, without the problems associated with many truck trips.

Typically, in the working face, the compacted waste is covered with soil or alternative materials daily. Alternative waste-cover materials include chipped wood or other "green waste",[2] several sprayed-on foam products, chemically "fixed" bio-solids, and temporary blankets. Blankets can be lifted into place at night and then removed the following day prior to waste placement. The space that is occupied daily by the compacted waste and the cover material is called a daily cell. Waste compaction is critical to extending the life of the landfill. Factors such as waste compressibility, waste-layer thickness and the number of passes of the compactor over the waste affect the waste densities.

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Deponie
العربية: دفن النفايات
Aymar aru: T'una uchaña
български: Сметище
bosanski: Deponija
català: Abocador
čeština: Skládka
dansk: Losseplads
Deutsch: Deponie
eesti: Prügila
Esperanto: Rubodeponejo
euskara: Zabortegi
հայերեն: Աղբավայր
Bahasa Indonesia: Tempat pembuangan akhir
íslenska: Urðun
italiano: Discarica
עברית: מטמנה
latviešu: Izgāztuve
lietuvių: Sąvartynas
Bahasa Melayu: Tapak pelupusan
Nederlands: Vuilnishoop
日本語: 最終処分場
norsk: Deponi
occitan: Descarga
português: Aterro sanitário
русский: Свалка
Simple English: Landfill
slovenščina: Smetišče
српски / srpski: Депонија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Deponija
svenska: Soptipp
Türkçe: Çöplük
українська: Звалище
Tiếng Việt: Bãi thải
吴语: 堆填
中文: 堆填