Cedar Rapids Closed Landfill Master Site Plan

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The Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency retained Ayres to develop a Master Site Plan for beneficial reuse of Site 1’s closed landfill facilities and for improvement of the active recycling operation in the heart of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ayres incorporated plans to transform the closed landfill, also known as Mt. Trashmore, into a recreational destination.

The approximately 105-acre site provides composting, recycling, wood recovery, and other resource recovery operations and includes an approximately 75-acre landfill that closed in 2013 after accepting flood-damaged material and demolition debris from the major flooding in and around Cedar Rapids in 2008.

Ayres provided a focused list of feasible near-term and long-term end uses for the closed landfill. Our site design for the chosen alternative used sustainability principles and best management practices to address deficiencies in service and operations, tap into unclaimed resources and land space, and provide expanded public access to the closed landfill cap for recreation. Amenities were selected to strike a balance between providing additional services while not incurring cost-prohibitive capital investment or long-term operational costs.

Tasks included a site conditions report, a trends analysis report, a site design options report, a site design plan, and agency and stakeholder meetings.

Stakeholder consensus was reached to provide for recreational access to the closed landfill cap in the form of walking and biking trails and to establish overlook structures to make the summit a destination. Emphasis was placed on education opportunities, family gathering areas, and theme-based events that would provide easily accessible community activities at a community landmark.

Improvements to the resource recovery facility were designed to provide increased safety for users, efficient operations and decreased costs for the Agency, and intuitive use of the facility through improved circulation routes to clearly designated processing and drop-off areas.

Project Information

Client's Name

Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency


Cedar Rapids, IA

Primary Service



Local Government