A City’s Accidental High Meadow, by David K. Leff

Jul 23rd, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Story, Recycling

Ensconced in the angle created by the junction of two interstate highways and less than a five-minute ride from the stone and glass towers of downtown, it’s the wildest open space in the city. Once a rough swale along the Connecticut River, after almost three-quarters of a century accepting trash the now closed Hartford landfill rises like a mesa about 130 feet above the surrounding landscape.

Opened in 1940 as a classic open-burning dump, between 1953 and 1977 it took ash from the city’s incinerator. Leased in 1982 to the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, a quasi governmental entity, the landfill stopped accepting raw garbage in 1988, remaining open for ash from a waste-to-energy plant and bulky and special wastes until the end of 2008. Now in the final stages of closure, the mountain of trash is being wrapped in a synthetic liner, covered with soil and seeded. Methane gas is recovered from 82 wells generating enough electricity to power 1,500 to 2,000 homes. Soon a six-acre array of solar panels will produce enough power for another 1,000 homes during peak sunshine.

For more on this story, visit: A City’s Accidental High Meadow – David K. Leff, Essayist, Poet, Lecturer.

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