POLK COUNTY, Iowa — From a distance, the Metro Park East Landfill may look like a mountain of trash. When you take a closer look, you’ll find gold within the garbage.
“As Metro Waste Authority and responsible for safe, smart disposal in the Metro, we want to make sure people understand where their garbage goes and how we’re responsibly managing it for them,” said Cassie Riley with the Metro Waste Authority, the agency overseeing the landfill.
The Metro Waste Authority hosted a free driving tour through the landfill Saturday afternoon. There was a lot for people to see.
“The expanse of our operation here is the largest landfill in Iowa so it’s pretty unique to see it in this manner,” Riley said.
Mat Noble took that trip through the trash. His two young boys are fascinated by garbage trucks, but he also found a lot to like about the landfill.
“Just the size of the mountains of trash and it’s kind of cool how it seems like we’re out on a prairie but we’re on tons and tons of garbage,” he said.
More importantly, there’s a lot that can be recycled. Items like shingles and yard waste fulfill the prophecy of turning trash into treasure.
For Noble, the vastness of the landfill’s operation really put things in perspective.
“You take for granted when your trash is just gone every week but you don’t realize how much it is,” he said.
The Metro Park East Landfill receives all trash from Polk County as well as some from communities in surrounding counties.