What happens to old landfills?

Weber County contains three prime examples of uses for former landfills.

The Roy city landfill closed in 1971. Located on the city's west side, just east of 4300 West and a block south of busy 5500 South, it sat dormant for more than 30 years. It opened in 1952 and was used for almost two decades.

Roy decided in 1997 to take a survey on uses for the old landfill. Residents voted 54 percent in favor of putting a new city park on the site. The Southwest Park is still being developed but now has some usable playgrounds and ball fields.

Likely, most residents in subdivisions to the east and north of the park have no idea a landfill was ever located there.

Joey Santarelli of Roy said he recalls going to the landfill as a child.

"There are homes close by the 'mound' where the last pit was dug," he said. "But there was an adjacent one just south of it. Both ran east-west for approximately one-half block. The things were always full of water — the water table there is near the surface."

Santarelli said everyone dumped there despite the high water levels, and he's certain there has to be some sort of pollution from the old landfill in water that flows west to Hooper.

One of the Ogden's old landfills closed in 1966, after a 16-year run. When I-15 came through the area, some of the on/off ramps for Hinckley Drive (state Route 79) were built directly over the landfill's main area. That landfill was just west of the Ogden River.

The only clue to a landfill having been in this area was that some of the roadway of the on/off ramps sank, making for a bumpy ride. That area of the freeway has been rebuilt, however, in the past several years.

Ogden's more recent landfill, located near 24th Street in West Ogden, closed in 1996. It is now a part of Ogden's Kayak Rodeo Park. This park was built as part of a landfill closure agreement between Weber County and Ogden. Besides boating, it affords other boating and fishing opportunities.

Ogden officials have also talked about putting ball fields on some of the other landfill ground, but so far nothing has been approved.

E-mail: lynn@desnews.com