RUMOR: The City doesn’t send its recyclables to be recycled, they just stuff it under Mount Trashmore

FALSE: Recyclables collected by the City's contractor are taken to a Tidewater Fibre Corporation center for processing.​

​​​​Mount Trashmore has the honor of being the highest point of land in Virginia Beach, the world's first park to be built on a landfill, and the victim of an April Fool's joke in 1992. It is not, however, an active landfill. In fact, no trash has been deposited on the site since 1971.                 

After the park was opened in 1973, the 640,000 tons of trash under the mountain was covered in compacted soil. The only openings are in the form of seven vents which allow the gas the decomposing trash generates to escape. 24153167554_498280fde6_b.jpg

As for our recycling, all collected items are taken to a material recovery facility by our contractor where they are sorted, baled and sold to companies that will turn them into new items. 

Some fun facts about our dump-turned-park:

  • The entire park is 165 acres and the mountain is 60 feet high and 800 feet long. 
  • The foundation of the mountain is made up of dirt and compacted trash. Everything was packed down so much that a cubic foot of dirt and trash weighs about 100 pounds. 
  • Mount Trashmore is actually a name residents gave the park during construction. When a vote was held to officially name it, Mount Trashmore won…. by a landslide. 
  • On April Fool's Day in 1992, a local radio announcer said that Mount Trashmore was going to blow up due to a methane gas buildup. It was a hoax, however many residents believed it to be true. 
  • The two lakes on the site are manmade. The dirt removed was used to cover the trash pile during construction. 
  • Mount Trashmore is the most popular park in the City, attracting about one million visitors each year. ​

For more information about Mount Trashmore, and the other 200+ parks in Virginia Beach, please visit For additional information about our recycling program, please visit or check out our previous episode.​

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