Fresh Kills – Transforming a notorious landfill from awfulness to awesomeness

At 2200 acres, the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island in New York City was once the largest landfill in the world. Begun in 1947 it was the first landfill in operation in the United States. It operated for decades, adding layers and layers of New York City garbage, like historical strata. At its peak 20 barges of city garbage arrived daily, depositing 30,000 tons of trash collected from all five city boroughs.

The landfill was officially closed in March 2001, although it reopened temporarily in the fall of 2001 after the 9/11 attacks as a sorting location for a portion of the World Trade Center debris.

Transformation from wasteland to dynamic ecosystem

Big plans are under way for transforming Fresh Kills from landfill to park. When completed, Fresh Kills park will be three times the size of Central Park. Will it ever get back to the way it was before the landfill? Unfortunately, no. But it will be green, and wild, and full of activity, both animal and human.

Read more about this transition in an article by Laura Bliss in CityLab by The Atlantic:
The Wild Comeback Of New York’s Legendary Landfill

Learn more about the plans for the park at the official website:


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