Eco Lips VP skis down landfill!

01.26.2008

Eco Lips VP skis down landfill!

Eco Lips VP of Sales, Mark Patterson recently had a great idea: Turn the old landfill(located 1 mile from Eco Lips) into a ski hill. Mark has had several meetings with local politicians to find out how to open the landfill, the biggest hill in the city of Cedar Rapids, to the public. Yesterday, Mark received permission to snowboard down it in an effort to create public awareness for this initiative.

Posted In the Cedar Rapids Gazette:
By Rick Smith
CEDAR RAPIDS - Twenty-five years ago it was easy to get then-Mayor Don Canney to point south out his third-floor City Hall window at the growing mound of trash still kiddingly called Mount Trashmore. Even then, the legendary Canney, mayor for 22 years, imagined a ski slope where there was a landfill.

Friday afternoon, City Council member Tom Podzimek looked back at City Hall from the landfill's 200-foot peak with skis on his feet and the same gleam in his eye that Canney had all those years ago.

"Look at that drop. That's potential," said Podzimek, with a stiff wind and bright sun in his face.

Podzimek and council colleague Pat Shey organized Friday afternoon's one-day demonstration and media event in hopes of getting the community thinking about the possibilities for the landfill downriver from downtown. "The idea today is to generate some ideas, some energy and some imagination," Podzimek said.

The landfill, operated by the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency, closed in July, and mandated work to cap the garbage with clay and dirt is 99 percent complete. Over many years the site will settle and methane will be extracted, so any recreational use there will need careful planning during those years, Podzimek said.

Shey said he, Podzimek and others might create a non-profit group to look at future uses for the site. In winter, he said it might start with "passive skiing" and other winter sports and build momentum and amenities from there.

"Although not Colorado-caliber, it would be a great place for kids to learn how to ski, and to get started in a lifetime of that," Shey said.
At other times, the site holds out other recreational and entertainment prospects, and Podzimek even suggested it might be a place to capture wind and solar energy.

On Friday, Mark Patterson, vice president of sales at Eco Lips in Cedar Rapids, was snowboarding with the group. Landfills in Wisconsin and Michigan have been turned into winter sports venues, so why not here? he asked.

Bundled-up council member Jerry McGrane said the hill gave a great view of his council district, with the Cedar River and the old Sinclair meatpacking plant front and center. "I've seen the possibilities for a long time," he said of the Mount Trashmore site and industrial brownfields that sprawl out beyond it.

The solid waste agency continues to work to find a new name for the hill. Podzimek said a caller of Czech descent on Friday suggested Krasna Hora — Beautiful Mountain.

"It is a beautiful view of the city and the river,'' he said.


For the complete story and video click here Eco Lips VP Mark Patterson snowboarding on local landfill
Eco Lips VP Mark Patterson snowboarding on local landfill