Park over Chandler landfill now open - East Valley Tribune: News

Park over Chandler landfill now open

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Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 5:21 pm | Updated: 3:52 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The $10.6 million Paseo Vista Recreation Area, a 64-acre Chandler park built atop a mound that used to be a landfill, is now open to the public.

Chandler landfill goes from trash to treasure

The $10.6 million Paseo Vista Recreation Area, a 64-acre Chandler park built atop a mound that used to be a landfill, is now open to the public.

Chandler landfill goes from trash to treasure

Construction at the triangular site, northwest of McQueen and Ocotillo roads, began in August 2008. Craig Younger, a city spokesman, said officials are planning a dedication celebration for the community some time in April.

The park is expected to be the pre-eminent destination for archery and disc golf in the south East Valley. Those uses could bring some tourism, and the park could boost surrounding property values, city officials have said.

"Nearby residents who saw the dump as an eyesore and complained of the smell were strong advocates of the park and recreational use concept," according to Younger.

Other amenities at the park include a 5.5-acre grassy area, walking trails, a large playground with modern equipment such as a large spherical jungle gym made of cables, a dog park, picnic ramadas and a scenic overlook 1,280 feet in elevation at the park's high point.

The municipal landfill on which Paseo Vista sits was closed in October 2005 because it was full. The dump had been in operation since 1979. Trash collected from Chandler neighborhoods is now brought by garbage trucks to transfer stations in Mesa and Phoenix, where it is transferred into larger trucks and hauled to Butterfield Landfill near Mobile.

In May 2004, Chandler voters approved the sale of bonds to fund the design and construction of an open-space recreational area on top of the landfill, which became Paseo Vista.

A large pipe at the landfill's base along McQueen Road will continue to vent a torrent of hot air produced by an interior flame that burns off methane gas produced by the landfill's decomposing trash, officials have said.

Trash in the landfill was capped with two feet of dirt. The closure complies with federal guidelines, and the covered landfill doesn't present a health risk to visitors, officials have said.

"The (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) requires the city to maintain the site through 2035 and monitor methane gas production, liquid seepage and any impact on groundwater," Younger said.

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