Dump site will soon open to the public

The town’s landfill, which cost $8.2 million to cap after another $41 million was spent on a failed attempt at removing it altogether, will soon make way for hiking and biking trails.

Looking for a scenic spot to take a hike or bike ride?

How about the dump?

The old Riverhead Town landfill on Youngs Avenue will soon be opened for the public to use as a hiking or bike trail, officials said.

The town had planned to make the landfill into a hiking park once the capping and closing of the facility were completed. Dave Cullen, an aide to Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, said all that needs to be done now is to put up a sign alerting the public the park is open.

Under state orders, Long Island towns stopped landfilling in the mid-1990s. Riverhead originally sought to reclaim the landfill, a process by which garbage and recyclables are excavated and the land returned to use.

That plan proved to be way more expensive than originally estimated, and the town instead capped the rest of the landfill, a process by which a large plastic cap was placed over the top to prevent rain from leaching through the buried garbage into groundwater.