County recognized for making landfill into park
The United States EPA honored Broward County,
Florida, with the EPA Region 4 Excellence in Site Reuse award
for redeveloping the former Davie Landfill Superfund site, once
referred to by some as “Mount Trashmore,” into the Vista View
Park. This is only the second award of its type to be awarded
by the EPA.
Broward County saw the potential for the site of the former landfill
that operated between 1964 and 1987 to be used as a park early
on, even before EPA encouraged the reuse of Superfund sites.
While the county closed the landfill and cleaned up the site
under EPA oversight, it installed much of the infrastructure
(roads, stormwater drainage, landscaping, etc.) for the site
to eventually be used as a park. Five or more years passed after
the landfill was closed before the county obtained enough funding
to complete the park.
The Vista View Park opened in July 2003. The park’s popularity
led the county to purchase more land around it and expanded it
in November 2009.
The 210 acre Davie Landfill site originally housed a garbage
incinerator for the county. The incinerator closed in 1975, and
a sanitary landfill was constructed on the site for disposal
of municipal solid waste, construction debris, tires and other
waste materials. A sludge lagoon on the site was used to dispose
of grease trap pump-out material, septic tank sludge and treated
municipal sludge from 1971 until 1981. The lagoon was closed
in 1981 after the sludge contaminated ground water, and the sanitary
landfill was closed in 1987. In 1989, Broward County excavated,
dewatered, and stabilized the contaminated sludge from the lagoon,
placed it within a cell in the sanitary landfill, and constructed
a cap over the cell with a protective cover. Due to the low levels
of groundwater contamination detected, EPA and the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) determined that the contaminants
could be addressed by natural processes with regular monitoring
of the groundwater. Groundwater cleanup standards were achieved
by September 2003. The site was removed from the National Priorities
List in 2006 and, since then, the EPA and DEP have continued
to monitor the site to ensure its safety.