The Fresh Kills landfill started to operate back in 1947. It is located along the banks of the Fresh Kills estuary in Western Staten Island and, even though it was initially built to be a temporaray landfill, eventually it became more permanent as New York's main landfill in the second half of the 20th century.
The landfill grew in such a way that it was once considered not only the biggest landfill in the world, but also the largest man-made structure in the planet. Out of curiosity let it be said that, after 9/11, about two million tons of debris from the Ground Zero were taken to the Fresh Kills landfill for sorting. The following picture shows what the landfill looked like back in 1973:
Ultimately, the landfill grew to an impressive 2,200 acres in area (8.9 square km), the area it has today. The "Freshkills Park", a project started in October 2008, aims to transform the landfill's area into a park, making it the largest park developed in New York in the past 100 years. It will be the second largest in New York City and, as a comparison, it will be 2.7 times larger than the Central Park.
According to what is planned, developed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the New York City Department of Sanitation, the new park is designed to have 5 major sections, which will make possible all sorts of activities: cultural, athletic, and so on. All the sections will be linked by different paths.
Following a recent "boom" around renewable energy sources in the US (99.3% of the newly installed energetic capacity in October in the US comes from such sources), the project for this new park also includes plans to create a solar plant, with a power of 10 MW - enough to power around 2,000 residences.
It may not seem that much, specially in a crowded area such New York City, but this new solar plant will represent an addition around 50% in the installed energetic capacity in the city. The solar plant will consist of as many as 35,000 solar panels, and its scheduled to break ground in 2015.
If you want to keep up with the news related to the Freshkills Park project, check the official blog and website.