A Tour of a Garbage Dump    2007-06-11


The Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island was at one time the largest garbage dump in the world until its closure in 2001.   Currently a long term project is underway by the NYC Department of Parks to convert it into a park.   Rangers from the NYC Department of Parks have started offering tours of the facility and the process of making the site environmentally friendly for recreational purposes.


Below: Park Ranger discussing the burial and compaction of garbage, and the sealing and capping of the trash with several engineering layers of plastic, soil and sand.   The pipes coming out are gas wells drilled into the mountains to extract and use the methane produced by the decaying garbage.



Some of the equipment used during the landfill days has been saved to be used for a 'landfill museum' to be part of the park facility.



Gas Methane processing plant to purify the extracted gas from the decaying garbage, so it can be pumped into the KeySpan system for commercial use.


Left: Gas well.

Right: One of the remaining garbage mountains in the process of its final 'capping'.




New rail facility operated by the Department of Sanitation to 'export' NYC trash by rail to Pennsylvania and Virginia.



An indication of the 'bucolic' setting that can be created, on a mountain of trash already capped and planted.   In the background is the westernmost mount that was reopened briefly in late 2001/2002 to bury World Trade Center debris.    A memorial on that mountain is planned.



Another bucolic setting; lower Manhattan in the background.



Another view ...


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