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  • Use this interactive to identify the components of a modern landfill system. Drag and drop the text labels onto the diagram.

    Rights: University of Waikato Published 19 June 2018 Referencing Hub media

    Use this interactive to identify some of the components in a landfill, many of which are designed for environmental monitoring and protection.

    Drag and drop the text labels onto the landfill diagram. If you want to redo an answer, click on the box and the answer will go back to the top so you can move it to another box. If you want to check your answers, use the reset incorrect button. This will reset incorrect answers only. When you are happy with your selection, use the check answers button to check them. Use reset all to practise again from the start.

    For optimal viewing of this interactive, view at your screen’s default zoom setting (100%) and with your browser window view maximised.

    Use this interactive with these activities below:

    Parts of a modern landfill system




    A combination of heavy HDPE and geotextile mats line the landfill walls and/or cells.

    Open cells

    Larger landfills have cells that are filled progressively. When a cell is full, a new cell is opened.

    Soil layer

    In large landfills, soil is used as a daily cover. The volume is between 4:1 and 5:1 waste to soil cover.

    Old cells

    When a cell is filled to capacity, it is capped and restoration begins.

    Compacted clay

    Clay forms an impermeable layer, much like a plastic liner. Some practices see 600 mm of clay compacted to a 150 mm layer.


    Pea-sized gravel is placed over the linings on the bottom and slopes of the landfill and/or each cell.

    Leachate pipes

    Perforated PVC pipes collect leachate – liquid that filters through the waste. Leachate is pumped out and treated.


    Ideally, the landfill system is above the saturated zone. Otherwise, special systems drain the groundwater.

    Groundwater monitoring

    Groundwater around the landfill is regularly tested to ensure the system is functioning as designed.

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