3. Fresh Kills Was the Last Landfill in New York City

Fresh Kills Park
Image courtesy The City of New York and Freshkills Park 

By the second half of the 20th century, Fresh Kills was not just the principal landfill for New York City household garbage, but also the world’s largest landfill. The dumping grounds were allowed to remain open thanks to a Consent Order between the State and the City, while a number of other similar sites throughout the five boroughs were closed as new environmental regulations came into effect.

By 1991, Fresh Kills was the city’s only operating landfill receiving residential garbage. After it closed in 2001, New York City started exporting its waste to other states. NYC Parks tells us that Staten Island’s waste is sent to DSNY’s Staten Island Transfer Station where it is compacted, sealed into shipping containers and railed by a private contractor to a landfill in South Carolina.