Recently, about 20 people, including members of the Virginia Recycling Association’s board of directors, took a firsthand look at the Sustainability Matters organization’s work to cover parts of the Shenandoah County landfill with native pollinator and wildlife habitat. Leading the group of guests was Sari Carp, executive director of Sustainability Matters, which has an office in Edinburg. Her nonprofit environmental organization has big hopes for its recent “Making Trash Bloom” projects at the landfill, as well as for future potential endeavors that might include a partnership with NASA.

Currently, the 214-acre county landfill next to Edinburg is anticipated to accept the county’s trash disposal up to about 2042 or 2052, the landfill’s Operations Manager Brad Dellinger said. A 20- to 25–acre portion of the landfill now is being used for trash disposal. About 38 acres of the overall site already is filled with refuse. The latter, filled-up land is an example of the type of sites where Sustainability Matters takes root and hopes to bloom for decades to come.

In 2019, the organization kicked off its “Making Trash Bloom” initiative by installing a 20-by-100-foot pilot-plot of butterfly friendly native plants on a part of the landfill not far from the main entrance. The plants included purple and yellow prairie coneflower, showy goldenrod, New England aster, common milkweed, evening primrose and lanceleaf coreopsis. The meadow began to grow in 2020, Carp said on Tuesday’s tour of the Making Trash Bloom sites. In addition to Virginia Recycling Association members, tour attendees included county Supervisor Dennis Morris, as well as several students from American University, in Washington, D.C., who filmed the excursion.

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