When I was growing up "the dump" was nothing more than an area that was out of town a mile and EVERYTHING went in there. In fact in a few years it was leveled and subdivisions were built over top of it.
Now landfills are carefully managed and have layers of covering put over the soil, then the waste, depending on the type is put in there. Hazard type materials are place in separate places and managed as well. In fact I believe that some are used to generate heat to run generators.
Here in the US those things are pretty heavily regulated, yes. The troubles are in the countries we export trash to. More than half of the trash we generate as a people end up in landfills in other countries, and they are not protected by the same laws.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh