From Landfill to Landscape

Staten Island’s “Freshkills Landfill” was once considered the largest municipal dump in the world, spanning 3,000 acres and taking in 29,000 tons of garbage every day.

2001 began its transformation into one of the most ambitious public works projects in New York’s history — turning a huge nasty landfill into a green oasis.

They started by sealing the 3.4 square miles of trash under an elaborate six-layer capping system. Then it was seeded, changing the huge mounds into rolling hills of native grasses and trees.

Now, “Freshkills Park” includes nature preserves, animal habitats, bike paths, horseback riding, picnic areas, festival areas, and waterways for light boating.

Wildlife has returned to the area in droves, from fish in the creeks to over 200 bird species.

New Yorkers have also come in droves, to enjoy their new play space.

This smart design also brings millions in revenue to the city through capturing and selling the underground methane gas and selling it
to heat Staten Island homes.

Rolling out phases through 2036, Freshkills Park is meant to grow and evolve over time, providing a living example of innovation and environmental stewardship to other cities around the world,
for generations to come.