I wasn't familiar with the urban legend, and I'm not much interested in it, but what really struck me was how dramatic of a testament this is to the ineffectuality of the older landfills like this one.
I find it remarkable (and concerning) how little the game manuals and boxes have broken down:
If you're interested in the difference between old "dry tomb" landfills like this one and the newer types of landfills being used, check out these articles:
@rider, if this entire project was undergone in order to check and see if there were Atari cartridges inside, yes, I agree that it was a waste. However, given the timeline, I'm inclined to believe that this discovery may have been a byproduct of the landfill's 30+ year maintenance and monitoring requirements. Since that was 1982, and this is 2014, maintenance and monitoring are likely still required.