Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island was New York City’s primary landfill from 1948 to 2001. Thousands of tons of daily garbage composed the largest man-made structure on Earth.
In 2001 the landfill was finally closed, with a brief reopening to accommodate the World Trade Center wreckage.
Since then it’s been the site of Freshkills Park, a 30-year project to cover and slowly open parts of the former landfill.
While the trash of New York City ships to other states, the park’s decomposing refuse mounds generate methane gas that National Grid sells back to the island’s inhabitants.