Old landfill makeover getting closer to completion

The view through the pavilion area atop the old Cedar Rapids landfill usually called "Mt....
The view through the pavilion area atop the old Cedar Rapids landfill usually called "Mt. Trashmore." The Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency has worked this year on turning the top of the closed landfill into a recreation site. The facilities are nearly finished but work on the hiking and biking trails to get here won't start until next spring.(KCRG)
Published: Nov. 15, 2017 at 5:23 PM CST
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The old Cedar Rapids landfill, affectionately known as Mt. Trashmore, is getting closer to a final transformation into a recreation area.

The now closed landfill last took in trash back in 2012. This year, workers began the job of transforming the top of the old landfill into a scenic overlook with hiking and biking trails.

But while a lot of the work is done, the real fun, and public use, won’t start till next year.

Bike rider John Ferden is one of those who’ve looked up at the construction going on atop the highest spot in all of Linn County, elevation 948 feet. And he wondered just what was going on. When told it will be a public recreation area with scenic overlook, he got very interested.

“If you get up towards the top, you’ll be able to see everything of Cedar Rapids, the best view of everything,” he said.

Up on top, the almost completed pavilion, viewing deck, picnic areas and benches are evident. But hikers and bikers shouldn’t plan on visiting just yet.

The trail system that will allow people to hike or bike to the top won’t get started until next spring with an opening expected sometime in late spring.

Joe Horaney, communications director for the Cedar Rapids Linn County Solid Waste Agency, says once the top of Mt. Trashmore is open, he expects a considerable amount of traffic.

“Once you get the overlook done, have the seating in, it’s the most spectacular view in all of Linn County so people are going to be very excited,” Horaney said.

Horaney says the budget for the project, both facilities and trails, is now running almost $1-million dollars. The agency got a $75,000 grant from Wellmark to help with the trail construction.

But while the public will eventually be welcome, there will be a catch.

The area is still a working yard waste collection site with appliance recycling and other uses going on. So visitors wanting to hike or bike to the scenic overlook can only come with the site is open.

During the summer that will be 7:00 a.m. until 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday. The area remains closed on Sundays.

Visitors will also need to check in before they go to the top and take it all in.