Easy, Eco-Friendly Finds for Everyone. Shop Brightly!

11 Landfills That Have Undergone Stunning Makeovers

Landfills are an environmental blight and an eyesore. The good news? Some of these trash heaps have been transformed into beautiful outdoor recreation spaces.

landfill makeovers
Written by
Diana Kurzeja
If you’ve ever driven past a landfill, you know how disheartening the sight of an overflowing arena of garbage can be.
The majority of our trash ends up in the landfill, with
146.1 million tons
of municipal solid waste being landfilled in 2018 alone. And in this case, out of sight does not mean out of the environment—the organic and inorganic detritus in landfills emit harmful
greenhouse gases
that enter the atmosphere and contribute to
global warming
The good news? As awareness around waste management improves, volunteers, local officials, and greater governments have worked together to transform now-unnecessary landfills into beautiful parks, nature reserves, and green spaces for communities to enjoy.
Here, formerly trash-filled landfills that have been transformed into eco-friendly spaces.

11 Landfills That Have Been Transformed Into Green Spaces

1. Mt. Trashmore Park: Virginia Beach, VA

Mount Trashmore Park—built atop mounds of compacted trash covered with a layer of soil—went from a daunting brownfield to one of Virginia’s most popular parks, attracting over one million visitors annually.
These days, the 24,000-square-foot park is known as a world-famous playground and skate park enjoyed by the likes of Tony Hawk.

2. Cesar Chavez Park: Berkeley, CA

A stunning hillside retreat in Berkeley, California, Cesar Chavez Park offers beautiful waterfront views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Angel Island.
Cesar Chavez Park was built atop what was once one of the largest landfills in the Bay area. The area is now a picturesque stretch of grassy fields threaded through with hiking trails as well as a wildlife sanctuary for visitors to enjoy. 

3. Freshkills Park: Staten Island, NY

Freshkills Park, once the largest landfill in the entire world, is now being transformed into a jaw-droppingly beautiful 2,200-acre park.
Estimated to be completed by 2035, there are now plans for Freshkills Park to offer educational, recreational, and athletic resources, as well as a 46-acre
array that could power up to 2,000 homes!

4. Pulau Semakau: Singapore

While Pulau Semakau still remains a functioning landfill, the unique land mass also offers selected recreational activities and is filled with green vegetation.
Pulau Semakau functions as a nature preserve that helps marine life and natural habitats, including
coral reefs
, thrive. Guests can visit the island and watch the beautiful reefs, flora and fauna, and

5. Port Sunlight River Park: United Kingdom

After 15 years as a landfill, Port Sunlight River Park now enjoys new life as a 70-acre recreational area featuring more than 12,000 trees. The sanctuary is home to a thriving area of wildlife, grasslands, woodlands, wildflower meadows, and wetlands. 

6. Millennium Park: Boston, MA

Millennium Park was transformed from a landfill into a beautiful outdoor area back in 1994 as part of an effort to clean up Boston.
The park features more than 100 acres with six miles of walking and
biking trails
, sports fields, river access, an outdoor classroom, playgrounds, and an amphitheater. Bonus: You can catch picturesque views of the city from this green space. 

7. Flushing Meadows: Long Island, NY

landfill makeovers
Flushing Meadows was once a giant brownfield and is now the second-largest park in the city of New York. You may recognize the space, as it hosts the 20th century World Fairs as well as the U.S. Open—a far cry from its humble origins.

8. Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground: Hong Kong

The Sai Tso Wan recreation ground, created in 2004, was once a landfill that held 1.6 million tons of waste.
Today, the park is filled with wind turbines, solar panels, a rainwater collection system, and a porous recycled rubber mat that lines the playground’s surface—the very picture of sustainable living. 

9. Ariel Sharon Park: Israel

Hiriya Park is a 2,000-acre park made all the more impressive by its remarkable transformation.
The park, which used to house 25 million tons of waste, now features biking and walking paths, athletic fields, an amphitheater, and ponds as well as wetlands that are protected by a bioplastic layer. 

10. Chambers Gully Reserve: Australia

Walking SA
Chambers Gully Reserve was transformed and naturalized from a landfill to a beautiful park by a group of volunteers.
The park features natural wildlife like koala bears, hiking trails, eucalyptus trees, and old ruins ready for discovery along the many trails.

11. Glass Beach: Fort Bragg, CA

Glass Beach is a truly unique coastal destination. The sea glass-covered shore was created over years of bottles dumped, and subsequently washed up, along the Mendocino coast.
With three beach sites, the discarded glass has been turned into a stunning natural site with the help of the waves. But don't get greedy! Tourists are discouraged from taking the glass with them in order to help preserve this unique landscape.