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“At a distance, the yellow, granulated mounds rising 250 feet over Staten Island might be mistaken for sand dunes—if not for the stench,” Newsweek said when describing Fresh Kills, once the largest landfill in the world. Collecting 24,000 tons of garbage daily and spanning 2,200 acres, this was the only destinatio­n for New York City residents’ trash from 1991 until its closing in 2001. Efforts across the country to put a dent in overflowin­g landfills inspired New York City to transform Fresh Kills into a park, which has been dedicated to recreation, education and wildlife since its opening in 2012.

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