Landfills are areas specifically designated to control and contain trash within a geographic area. The areas are beneficial to humans, and the environment, as they keep contaminants contained in the trash from polluting the surrounding area and from polluting ground water. These areas are just “holding tanks” for trash, as they are not designed to deal with the trash; only hold it.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes sure that all landfills are carefully monitored and maintained according to strict regulations. Many landfills are still governed by and overseen by the EPA for more than 30 years after their closing. The purpose is to make sure that no pollution to surrounding areas is occurring.
Many people think that a dump and a landfill are interchangeable terms. Quite the contrary: a landfill is monitored and actively maintained, whereas a dump is simply a place where trash is buried.