Toxi City: Exploring Brooklyn's Industrial Legacy

Staten Island-Fresh Kills and the north shore

Posted in Fresh Kills,landfill,Staten Island by Robin on October 26, 2010
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On Saturday October 23rd, I went on one of the tours of Fresh Kills. It was given by Ranger Khalil and Doug Elliot. Leaving from the Eltington Transit Station, the bus took us first up to the top of the south mound. One thing the photos from the tops of the mounds do not capture is the size of the landfill. It was however quite impressive to get out of the bus and know that I was standing on 150 feet of garbage. It was also remarkable to see how close people live to the landfill.

There is a lot of ongoing work at Fresh kills. This is the East mound which is in the process of being capped.

This is one of three gas flare stations. Gas from the decomposing garbage that poses a problem to the gas regulation system gets burnt off here. Methane gas is captured and used to heat homes in the area.

It almost looks really beautiful until you see the pipes in the ground that are used to regulate the escaping gases. This is the view from the North mound.

This is the view towards the west mound. It was the newest of the areas to receive garbage and according to Doug Elliot could have taken all of New York City’s garbage for another 20 years beyond 2001 when Fresh Kills was closed. It has not yet been fully capped.

And then there is New Jersey.

It is hard standing on top of 150 feet of garbage which by the way has settled about 10 to 15 feet over the last 10 years or so and looking out over the petroleum storage in New Jersey to feel very hopeful.

Before the tour left Fresh Kills, the bus swung by the area where the barges would come to Fresh Kills with the garbage. These blue machines were used to take the garbage off the barges.

Then, I took the bus up to Port Richmond. At the base of Port Richmond Avenue, you will see this burned out tugboat.

While I was in Faber park a container ship went by. An older man I was talking to in the park classified it as of medium size.

Most of the ships coming into the harbor pass through here and under the Bayonne Bridge. Then with the help of several tugboats, they must make a 90 degree turn. In 2014, the Panama Canal will become wider allowing container ships to become even bigger. These bigger ships won’t fit under the Bayonne Bridge.

I met this young skateboarder in the park.

Then I walked along Richmond Terrace to the ferry. A lot of the waterfront is blocked off.

There is a large water treatment plant.

And old coal bins just like on the Gowanus Canal and also the Coney Island Creek.

This is what is across the street from the old coal bins and Caddell Dry Dock it looked pretty uninhabited.

At Bard Avenue, there is an access point where you can get right down to the water. There was obviously a railway there once when the wharves here were more active. kind of like Sunset Park.

The Coast guard went by.

Bayonne as seen from Staten Island.

Further up there is a large esplanade with a fantastic view.