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Broward County’s Waste and Recycling Services kids corner recycling page. Everything you need to know about recycling. It’s the wonderful world of waste where Broward County makes garbage go away in the most Earth-friendly way!


What Happens at a Landfill?

Once garbage that cannot be burned or recycled is collected in garbage trucks, it is hauled to the sanitary landfill. Every day the trash dumped that day is crushed and covered by a layer of soil. Landfills are needed since not all waste can be recycled or burned.

When a landfill is full, it is sealed and covered with a final cap of clay and dirt. The landfill is monitored for years after it is closed to track the quality of groundwater on and around the site.

Old landfills can be turned into anything from parks to parking lots, from golf courses to ski slopes. In Broward County, an old landfill was made into Vista View Park.

About Landfilling

What is Landfilling?
Landfilling is the process of burying garbage in an environmentally sound manner. Be careful not to confuse a “landfill” with a “dump” because they are not the same thing. A dump is just a large hole in the ground, or open pit where trash is “dumped.” The Broward County-owned landfill is used to get rid of waste that cannot be recycled, reused or burned, such as concrete, metal furniture and appliances, and items too big to fit in a furnace, like couches and beds.

In a landfill, like the ones that Broward County oversees, the ground is lined with layers of special plastic before any waste is brought in. Landfills often have built-in water and gas treatment systems. The gas treatment system collects the methane gas that is produced by the garbage as it decays, and routes it above ground where it is safely burned. Rainwater that passes through the layers of the landfill is called “leachate.” To prevent contamination of groundwater, leachate is collected in pipes beneath the landfill, and is then sent back to the surface where it is cleaned.

Sanitary landfills are designed to keep hazardous waste from getting into the underground water. Landfilling is the best way to dispose of some types of waste, and sometimes it's also the safest way.

Make your own landfill!

Edible Landfill Trifle Recipe

You will need:

  • A trifle bowl (or container)
  • One pint of rockyroad ice cream (represents soil underneath landfill)
  • One bottle of hard chocolate ice cream coating, such as Smucker's Magic Shell, (represents plastic liner)
  • ½ box of graham crackers (crumbled)
  • Two 1” pieces of chocolate-flavored licorice whips (represents leachate collection pipes)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter-flavored cereal (represents construction debris)
  • ¼ cup rice cereal (represents concrete)
  • Handful of chocolate chips (represents furniture)
  • Handful of mini marshmallows (represents appliances and metal furniture)
  • Handful of small chocolate candies (such as M&Ms) to represent everything else.
  • Jar of caramel ice cream topping (represents leachate)
  • Two cups of vanilla pudding (represents daily cover)
  • ½ package of chocolate sandwich cookies crushed (represents dirt on top of daily cover)
  • Green sprinkles (represent grass)
  • Two drinking straws (represent gas extraction wells)

Soften the ice cream by letting the container sit out on the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes. Spread the softened ice cream (soil) evenly on the bottom of the container. Spread the hard chocolate coating (plastic liner) on top of the ice cream. Once the coating hardens, layer half of the crushed graham crackers (sand/gravel) on top. Place the two licorice whips (leachate pipes) on top of the crushed graham crackers and layer on the rest of the crushed graham crackers. In a separate bowl, mix together the cereals, chocolate chips, marshmallows and candies (garbage). Layer the mixture on top of the graham crackers. Drizzle caramel topping over cereal-chocolate chip- marshmallow-candy-mix. Spoon vanilla pudding over the mix and spread it carefully (trying not to disturb the mixture underneath). Layer the crushed chocolate sandwich cookies on top of the pudding. Scatter green sprinkles on top. Carefully push two drinking straws into the mixture (leaving about an inch showing out of the mixture).

Let the trifle set in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Spoon onto serving plate and enjoy.

Here are some fun places you can go to learn about Landfilling!