6 Landfills Transformed into Green Spaces

These former waste sites are now clean, green and open to the community.

Jun 22, 2015
Special Collections: REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE

Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley, California was an active landfill till 1991.  

If you've ever passed by a landfill, the sight of overflowing garbage and the arresting smell is quite alarming. Dumping waste into a large tract of land is one of the oldest and cheapest ways to deal with garbage disposal, yet it poses a number of serious social and environmental repercussions.
With awareness on the rise, governments and citizens around the world have come together to transform these areas of waste into thriving green spaces for the whole community to enjoy. Here are six examples of incredible transformations of former landfills that have gone from dirty and unfriendly to green and beautiful. 

1. MOUNT HIRIYA, ISRAEL

Known as the largest landfill in the Middle East, Hiriya has been transformed into a green park dedicated to recycling and conservation. Hiriya is part of one of the largest environmental rehabilitation projects in the world - the future Ariel Sharon Park, which will be completed in 2020.

Image from Facebook

Image from Facebook

2. THURROCK THAMESIDE NATURE PARK, ENGLAND

Formerly known as Mucking Marshes Landfill – yes, even the name sounds dirty! – the Thurrock Thameside Nature Park is now a growing green area that is expected to reach 845 acres. The transformation was spearheaded by well-known naturalist Sir David Attenborough and members of the Essex Wildlife Trust, who have converted the former dump into a bird watching paradise filled with footpaths and cycling lanes.

Image from Geograph 

Image from Facebook

3. MOUNT TRASHMORE PARK, VIRGINA, USA

The name says it all - what was once one of the largest landfills in the US is now a beautiful park. Covered with clean soil, Mount Trashmore Park houses picnic areas, playgrounds, a basketball court and skating park. While it is not a nature reserve, Mount Trashmore Park gets a thumbs up for its green design and completely self-sustaining, low-water garden.

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

4. QIAOYUAN PARK, CHINA

Once a toxic industrial wasteland, Qiaoyuan Park is now a thriving, low-maintenance urban green space. The project was taken on by an architect company that used regenerative landscaping, to create multiple garden spaces. The park emphasizes native vegetation and biodiversity, and gives residents a green place to chill and relax. 

Screenshot from Turenscape

Screenshot from Turenscape

5. CHAMBERS GULLY, AUSTRALIA

This local landfill’s transformation was reclaimed and naturalized almost completely by volunteers – not government officials. The hard grassroots work has paid off, and Chambers Gully is now a wildlife haven that is home to scores of koala bears.

Image by Trevor Barre

Image from Wikipedia

6. SAI TSO WAN, HONG KONG

This former landfill held approximately 1.6 million tonnes of waste, stacking up to be 65 meters or 213 feet high! After being closed and sealed off with soil in 1981, a multi-purpose playground was created in 2004 powered by wind turbines, solar cells and energy derived from methane generated from the decomposed trash.

Image from EVP

Image from Wikipedia

ADD A COMMENT

Special Collection