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Solid Waste Agency Mount Trashmore Recreational Facility

Located in Cedar Rapids, IA

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Closed as an active landfill in 2013, the Mount Trashmore facility was reborn as a recreational destination in the fall of 2018, complete with hiking/biking trails and a scenic overlook. Due to the nature of the site, constant monitoring is necessary and visitors need to check-in and out with Linn County Solid Waste Agency staff, who currently work out of a tent. Due to this arrangement, the site can only be open a few days a week. The largest composting site in the Midwest operates near the site and utilizes the same entrance road. With many visitors biking to Mount Trashmore, this creates safety concerns. The Solid Waste Agency needed a way to separate pedestrians from the large truck traffic.

Shive-Hattery was tasked with improving safety at the entrance to Mount Trashmore and creating a permanent structure for Solid Waste Agency staff. Remodeling a vacant recycling center on the site will have twofold benefits – Shive-Hattery was able to give the agency 5,000 square feet of building space and also tie into their mission of sustainability. The remodeled building, which will be called the ‘948’ Building – named after the elevation of Mount Trashmore – will have an office for staff to handle check-ins and view Mount Trashmore; restrooms; and a meeting room with a kitchenette that can be used by other Cedar Rapids groups. Large garage doors will be kept open for visitors to walk bikes through to check-in when the site is open.

A new asphalt parking lot adjacent to the ‘948’ Building will have 26 spaces, much more than is currently available as people park on the side of the road. A scale currently on the site will be moved to the compost facility and the area converted to green space, creating a park-like atmosphere with a trail around the existing pond leading to the Mount Trashmore trails.

Safety for pedestrians coming to the recreational facility will be greatly improved, with a bike trail separated from the road by green space and protected by a split rail fence. Pedestrians will also have a crosswalk to the parking lot at a stop-controlled intersection.

This $1.8 million project will complete the Mount Trashmore Recreational Facility destination. The ‘948’ Building will satisfy many of the Solid Waste Agency’s needs: provide an organized check-in and check-out area; allow the site to be open for more hours and months of the year; and provide space for meetings. More parking spaces will allow more people to use the facility. Pedestrian safety will increase greatly with the separate entrances, and considerations were made for the trail to possibly be tied into the future Smokestack Bridge.

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