A process for improving degradation, stabilization, detoxification and volume reduction of refuse within an unsecured landfill. The process comprises the control of ground water and extracting the ground water for use as a liquid medium to facilitate creation and recirculation of leachate. The present process requires that landfill leachate be collected and recycled back into the landfill. The process additionally includes the injection of selected wastes and additives into the leachate, leachate enroute to be recirculated through the landfill. The materials which can be added to the leachate alter the mix of physical and chemical conditions within the landfill so as to accelerate the rate of leachate stabilization, accelerate the rate of conversion and stabilization of organic and inorganic refuse within the landfill, reduce the volume of landfill refuse, and reduce the potential toxicity of refuse. The landfill thus becomes an anaerobic biological reactor with physical-chemical treatment capabilities.