Day 1272

Atop the landfill

June 24th, 2015

The Edgemere Landfill closed in 1991 and was capped by 1997 or so. It's now part of Rockaway Community Park but is still not open to the public. It's a surprisingly beautiful place and, with a peak elevation of about 70 feet, offers commanding views of Jamaica Bay and the surrounding low-lying areas. This shot is looking toward JFK Airport; you can see the air traffic control tower and a jet coming in to land (zoom in).


  1. Sandi says:

    Why is it not open to the public? It has been nearly 20 years. Do you know?

    • Matt Green says:

      I’m not sure exactly. It may have to do with the hazardous materials that were dumped there:

      “By the early 1980’s, it became clear some dumping had not been done right. The city discovered thousands of drums of hazardous waste like solvents and paint sludges illegally buried at the base of the landfill.”

      Nonetheless, I imagine it could be open to the public by now if the political will were there. But this isn’t a wealthy area — the people with the most to gain would be the residents of the adjacent Ocean Bay Apartments, a big public housing complex — and I doubt the local representatives feel much pressure to push for its opening. I also don’t think people know what they’re missing. If everyone could stand on top of the landfill and take in the sweeping views, there would probably be much more of an outcry for public access.

  2. Sandi says:

    Perhaps in your next incarnation, you can be an advocate…..

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