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Title Landfills - Fact is more ominous than fiction It has long been believed that the largest entity brought upon the Earth by humankind is the Pyramid of the Sun constructed in Mexico around the start of the Christian era The mammoth structure commands nearly thirty million cubic feet of space In contrast however is the Durham Road Landfill outside San Francisco which occupies over seventy million cubic feet of the biosphere It is a sad monument indeed to the excesses of modern society Gore 151 One might assume such a monstrous mound of garbage is the largest thing ever produced by human hands Unhappily this is not the case The Fresh Kills Landfill located on Staten Island is the largest landfill in the world It sports an elevation of 155 feet an estimated mass of 100 million tons and a volume of 29 billion cubic feet In total acreage it is equal to 16000 baseball diamonds Miller 526 By the year 2005 when the landfill is projected to close its elevation will reach 505 feet above sea level making it the highest point along the Eastern Seaboard Florida to Maine At that height the mound will constitute a hazard to air traffic at Newark airport Rathje 3-4 Fresh Kills Kills is from the Dutch word for creek was originally a tidal marsh In 1948 New York City planner Robert Moses developed a highly praised project to deposit municipal garbage in the swamp until the level of the land was above sea level A study of the area predicted the marsh would be filled by the year 1968 He then planned to develop the area building houses and attracting light industry Mayor Impelliteri issued a report titled The Fresh Kills Landfill Project in 1951 The report stated in part that the enterprise cannot fail to affect constructively a wide area around it The report ended by stating It is at once practical and idealistic Rathje
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