From Landfill to Environmental Haven
Although the York County Sanitary Landfill ceased operations in 1998, the York County Solid Waste Authority retains environmental responsibility for the 306-acre site and continues to maintain and monitor it. In 2007, approximately 200 acres of the site was converted into the Hopewell Area Recreation Complex (HARC), which is open to the public. It features multi-use sports fields, walking trails, a wildlife habitat area, playgrounds, a picnic pavilion, and two bird/wildlife viewing platforms.
The landfill continues to follow all regulations for protecting the health of the community and the environment. Methane gas venting is used throughout the site. Ground cover, swales, and sedimentation basins control stormwater runoff. Leachate (moisture that has percolated through the waste or ash) is collected in a lined pond, pretreated by mechanical aeration, and then treated at a permitted public wastewater treatment facility before being discharged.
The Authority also utilizes solar panel arrays to generate enough power to meet the needs of this closed landfill area. Click here for additional information on the solar panel project.
Timeline of the Sanitary Landfill
The York County Sanitary Landfill, owned by the York County Solid Waste Authority, was permitted to accept municipal solid waste.
Approximately 135 acres of the landfill were closed because of groundwater contamination by low-level volatile organic compounds. This portion of was placed on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Priorities List for cleanup, and the Authority implemented a groundwater recovery and treatment system to contain and treat the contaminated groundwater.
The active portions of the landfill, comprising approximately 40 acres, stopped accepting municipal solid waste. With the opening of the York County Resource Recovery Center (YCRRC) in 1989, the landfill began accepting resource recovery center process residue (ash) only.
The EPA issued a Record of Decision that confirmed the Authority’s remedial action taken to treat the contaminated groundwater was appropriate and effective in protecting the health of the community and the environment. They directed the Authority to continue the system of remedial action. The Authority continues to use this system and is still required to monitor it and report to the EPA and PA Department of Environmental Protection.
Landfill operations ceased.
The landfill was capped and closed.
The EPA removed the York County Sanitary Landfill from the National Priorities List, stating the groundwater contamination had been successfully addressed.
Approximately 200 acres of the landfill site was transformed into the Hopewell Area Recreation Complex (HARC).
Directions to the York County Sanitary Landfill
- Take I-83 to Exit 4.
- Turn west onto Route 851 and proceed approximately 3/10 of a mile to the first road on your right, Mount Airy Road.
- Turn right onto Mount Airy Road and proceed approximately 1 3/4 miles to the stop sign.
- Turn right onto Plank Road and proceed approximately 2 1/2 miles to the York County Sanitary Landfill.
- The landfill entrance is on the left side of the road. All visitors must register in the office with the site foreman.