Modern landfills work to turn methane into power using gas extraction wells that pipe it to treatment areas and then to plants that will turn it into electricity or other forms of energy. In the main area of the landfill, trash is delivered and then compacted to take up less room.
Each day, trash is compacted a cell in order to make the most of the space available in the landfill. The day’s work cell is also known as the daily workface. Here, trash is organized in layers or lifts then compacted accordingly. Heavy machinery like bulldozers and compaction equipment are used to compress the trash and place it in the landfill.
California introduced the first semblance of a modern landfill – a giant hole in the ground where trash was sporadically covered with dirt. The first guidelines for a “sanitary landfill” were introduced, advocating for trash to be compacted and covered with a layer of soil daily.