Since the 1960s the amount of trash in landfills has tripled. So what happens with all of this trash? Well, in the U.S. most of it is carefully maintained and contained in a landfill.

Generally some of the recyclables are sorted out of the trash (either by you at home or sometimes on site via landfill mining), then the rest of the solid waste is dumped and, at the end of the day, covered with six inches of soil.

The trash is isolated from our groundwater by a synthetic bottom liner and covered daily with a layer of fresh soil. Don't be mistaken: The soil is not used to create a veritable compost pile.

It serves to keep the trash in its place and limit contact with the air we breathe and the rain that falls. In fact, not much decomposes in a landfill. At least not quickly.