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Different Types of Landfills

One type of landfill, called a bioreactor landfill, uses a speeded up microbiological process to transform waste into decomposing organic matter. This type of landfill takes about 5 to 10 years to break down the material in the landfill, instead of 30 to 100 years in a traditional "dry" landfill. This speeding up of the decomposing process helps decrease the long-term environmental impacts of the landfill.

Other landfills use a gasification process to break down the waste. The waste is broken down by heating it to high temperatures in the absence of gases normally found in air, such as oxygen. This process produces a mixture of combustible gases (mainly methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide), liquids and solid residues. The gases are collected and used in boilers or combustion engines to generate electricity.

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