Student’s Corner

On November 17th, I went to the High Acres Landfill in Pittsford, New York. Here are five things I learned:

  1. There is a fire training facility on site that is used by volunteer firemen in the area.
  2. There are two full-time falconers on staff who take care of 10 falcons on site! Falcons are the natural predator of seagulls, so they are able to drive them away from the landfill!
  3. Landfills are not the same as dumps! They are highly complex and engineered. They are also heavily regulated.
  4. There are twenty-seven landfills in New York State. The number of landfills has significantly decreased over the last couple of decades, there used to be over one hundred!
  5. High Acres has a composting initiative. They take in compost, bag it through a third-party, and give it back to the community as mulch.
  6. Bonus Fact!!! The University of Rochester bus we took to the landfill weighed 27,840 pounds!

Landfills are an integral part of our life, they are just mostly unseen and out of our mind. It was a great experience to understand the process of reducing waste, recycling, and composting through a visit to a landfill! To learn more information about High Acres, please visit their website!

Written by Emma Briggs, Class of 2018

Photo: Personal collection 

2 Replies to “Student’s Corner”

  1. It’s worth seeing if you ever get a chance! Good question. The seagulls are not detrimental to the landfills themselves. However, the neighboring businesses and homeowners are not happy with mass numbers of seagulls flocking in the area. Also, being at a landfill could be detrimental to the seagulls with heavy compaction machinery. Not to mention they create a nuisance to the operators.

  2. great article! I’ve always wanted to go on the tour of High Acres but due to deadlines, work demands, cannot. One question: why are seagulls detrimental to landfills? You mentioned that falcons are natural predators of seagulls. I would think seagulls would be helpful by eating things there and keeping the landfill under control.

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