General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Where do they get the "land" for landfills?

Asked by 2davidc8 (10142points) March 15th, 2018

For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area, the city of Foster City (population 34,175 in 2016) is said to be totally on “landfill”. Where did they get this much land to allow for such a city, and how did they prepare all that land so that buildings, roads, etc. could be built on it?
Just wondering.

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12 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Landfill is rubbish, waste garbage. All the stuff you’re not going to recycle. You dig a big hole in the ground and put rubish in it, then you put the top soil back.

2davidc8's avatar

But that would be too soft to build on, no?

imrainmaker's avatar

It can be reclaimed land also from sea / any large waterbody if it’s shallow.

zenvelo's avatar

Foster City was built on tidal marshes. As part of the construction, sloughs were widened and dredged, and the soil that was dredged up was put on top of the marshland.

Dirt was also recovered from construction sites. A lot of dirt for Foster City was available from the creation of lots for the Mills Estate subdivision in nearby Burlingame, and also in the San Mateo Highlands neighborhood.

kritiper's avatar

Much of the “landfill” was building debris from the 1906 earthquake.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I have vague memories of the 60s when all the land between 101 and the bay was full of citrus groves, fruit orchards and other crops.

2davidc8's avatar

@zenvelo But how did they compact the debris, dredged soil, garbage, marshland, etc., enough to build tall buildings on the resulting “land”?

zenvelo's avatar

@2davidc8 Dump the dirt, then run a bulldozer over it to spread it out, repeat over and over again. The office buildings were built on piles that were driven pretty deeply.

Foster City wasn’t built on debris from 1906; but much of the Marina District and Crissy Field in San Francisco were.

There was a report out just this week that in addition to preparing for rising sea levels, much of the Bay Area landfill areas are also sinking.

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2davidc8's avatar

I heard that in Hong Kong they keep building out to the sea, such that what was once oceanfront property will have a tall building in front of it a few years later!

johnpowell's avatar

In the Willamette Valley we have banging soil from the Lake Missoula floods. In some places you have to go down about 100 feet to hit bedrock. In Eugene it isn’t that bad but We have limits to about 65’ per building. There are taller buildings but they would never be approved now. Sadly.. Our tallest building is actually a retirement home. The hardest people to evacuate in the event of a emergency.

kritiper's avatar

In our area, they take some useless hilly land and, starting at the bottom, they dump refuse, then cover it, mix it with dirt, compact it. They may get this dirt from another hill and truck it in to mix, and they use the dirt that is at hand by digging it up to make the valley (hole) bigger. They just keep this process up until the valley where they started becomes a high, rather flat area, Sometimes they form the top of the filled area to look like the area surrounding the site. Actually, here the “dirt” is more like muddy sand when wet. The first area they filled this way took about 35 years to fill.

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