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Historically, landfills have been the most common method of waste disposal around the world. Landfills are typically isolated from the environment via geomembranes to minimise contamination of groundwater and soil. They also have cover systems to prevent the emissions of methane and carbon dioxide generated by decaying organic matter.
Landfills are typically confined to as small an area as possible. Waste is compacted onsite to reduce volume and should be covered on a daily basis to control odour and minimise the harbouring of disease carrying vectors.
The concept of landfilling waste is by no means stationary. This paper presents trends and developments in regard to design, construction and operations of landfills. It will highlight results from exhuming geomembranes from several facilities. Some recommendations will be made in an effort to improve the state-of-the-practice of the containment industry.