How one Town fought for what they want: The Closing of the Keegan Landfill

By Angel Harewood

Keegan Landfill is in Kearny, New Jersey, and owned and operated by New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority. This is one of the last remaining landfills that is being operated in the Meadowlands District. This landfill was used for construction sites to dump their waste when they were doing different construction projects. This site is up against the Meadowland’s wetland and close to residents’ home in Kearny. The first time that residents started complaining about the smell that was coming from the dump in back in 2005, and they were ordered to investigate and see what was causing the order. When it was found out that the odor was coming from the debris specifically the Sheetrock breaking down, they were order by the courts to close and cap the dump, but the NJSEA told town officials that there was not enough waste to put clean soil on it and cap and they ask for a 5 year extension, which was granted. While they had this extension, they continue to dump waste their making the smell more toxic and harmful to the residents of the community. During this time the residents of Kearny had enough, and they took the fight again to the courts with the help of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club to get the Landfill shut down for good. In mid-2019 they won the case for the landfill to be closed and cap. Which the west half to be done in 2020 and the east half done in October in 2021.