Alliance Landfill: An Educational and Environmental AssetJanuary 28, 2009
Operating properties, such as landfills, mines and manufacturing plants are often seen as harming our environment by contributing to the problems of habitat loss and air and water pollution. These facilities are frequently opposed by local residents, despite providing valuable services and jobs. Could a landfill be such a good neighbor that it would be a welcomed member of a community? Waste Management's Alliance Landfill in Taylor, Pennsylvania, may be doing just that.
Community Landscaping Project
Years ago, Taylor-area residents complained of the engineered appearance of the landfill's completed slopes. This planted the seeds for Alliance Landfill's Community Landscape Project, a first-of-its-kind experiment designed by the landfill's neighbors. A series of test plots were formed to evaluate what vegetation could be planted without compromising the integrity of the landfill cap. Five test plots were created and planted with native trees, shrubs, grasses and meadow plants.
"Part of what we are trying to do is determine what vegetation is going to grow where," said John Hambrose, Community Relations Coordinator for Alliance Landfill. "This project is to see if anything other than grass can be grown on the landfill's cap."
Alliance began the planting for this project on Earth Day 2004 and has watched as the vegetation matured and attracted new wildlife. Landfill staff have identified more than 70 species of birds on the property, including eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, and a large flock of wild turkey. In addition, whitetail deer, red and gray fox, coyotes, rabbits and squirrels have been spotted by employees in and around the test plots.
Point of View
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