One problem has to do with converting dumps to sanitary landfills. (See first citation.) The new technique caused existing toxins to drain (leach) out of the soil where it had been more-or-less stable. That drained material can reach aquifers, and therefore water supplies. (A comment from someone in a Bulgarian consultancy group call this a “MASSIVE issue”.)
Following the second reference, landfills are not all created alike. While older ones are being closed, new, better ones are not opening fast enough. That site lists problems as:
The site blathers on in rather predictable way in “The Problem” page.
The Army Corp of Engineers mentions smell as a problem.
There seem to be a lot of groups going different directions on this. Some are concerned with technical practices, others with hypothetical or more or less risky chances of leaks.
The truth is probably that some landfills pose problems because of their contents, construction, or proximity to water, while others do to a lesser extent, or not at all. This itself seems to be a meta-problem, which is that there is no universal answer, and that each dump may have its own set of problems. Have a look at this document to see what a ball of wax even a well-planned site can be:
The above response is right about the smaller and old landfill sights having their own problems. The website I found stated that there are four basic principles to follow when converting a regular landfill into a sanitary one. The first of these is to have a full leachate filter lining of the site to ensure contamination of the surrounding soil and water sources does not happen. If the sight does not have a natural barrier for this, then additional lining material must be put in place prior to opening the site. The second requirement is that a formal plan for disposition and restoration should be put in place before opening the site to waste. Another thing to consider is having certified staff at the site at all times to supervise the development and implementation of waste disposal to minimize risks. Lastly, the manner in which the waste is placed at the site is important, in that it should be consolidated and compacted to maximize space and keep pests away. Theoretically, a sanitary landfill should be just that: sanitary.
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