Like Freshkills Park, but in Israel

The Hiriya Landfill and the master Plan for Ariel Sharon Park.

The Hiriya Landfill and the master plan for Ariel Sharon Park.

The Hiriya landfill in Tel Aviv, a 2,000-acre site adjacent to the city’s airport, has a lot in common with the Freshkills Park site.  From 1952 to 1999, the landfill was Israel’s largest garbage disposal site, at one point receiving one third of the country’s waste.  Its closure is taking a big strain off of the airport, whose skies were clouded by flocks of birds hovering around the dump.

Hiriya is currently undergoing a transformative re-design process to become Ariel Sharon Park—a productive landscape that will serve as a symbol of Israel’s growing environmental awareness.  Energy will be harvested from landfill gas and leachate outflow will be curbed.  The park is scheduled to start welcoming visitors to enjoy its wildlife and walking and biking paths in 2011. There’s already an education center at the bottom of the mound that’s decked out in recycled furnishings and artwork.  Even the lingering smell of nearby garbage (which is where the similarities to Freshkills Park end) can’t seem to keep curious minds away.  The project has attracted a lot of attention; here’s an article in the New York Times and another, more recent one in the Jewish Week.

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