hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:34:33 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Top Left of Navigation Bar The Nature of Alberta Logo
Species at Risk in AlbertaView our site layout to navigate to specific areasSearch our site for informationObtain help for navigating our sitePlease emails us your questions and comments!View our partners that helped us in this project

Ecosystems OverviewEnvironmental IssuesGeological History of AlbertaAlberta's Natural RegionsAdditional Resources
Visit Alberta Source!
Visit the Heritage Community Foundation
Visit Canada's Digital Collections

Waste Disposal Sites 

Waste Disposal clipartIn the past, household wastes were often left to rot in the open, whether in a centralized dump or on the landowner's property.  Today, garbage is disposed of in regional or municipal sanitary landfills.  These landfills are lined with clay or a strong polyethylene liner to prevent any materials from leaching into the groundwater.  Leachates create the potential for soil and groundwater contamination.  At the end of each day new compacted garbage  is covered with a layer of soil.  When the landfill is full, it is capped with clay to make it air and water-tight.  Materials do not decompose very quickly in the absence of air and water.  This process minimizes the amount of material that could decompose and perhaps contaminate groundwater or the surrounding land.  The clay is covered with fill (poor grade soil) and topsoil to provide a medium for the growth of vegetation or other uses.  Contouring the site creates proper drainage and prepares it for seeding.  Today, sites for sanitary landfills are chosen after soil and water studies are carried out and impacts on the environment, including people, have been considered.

Reprinted from Focus On Land Reclamation  (1999) with permission of Alberta Environment.

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on the natural history of Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved