Landfill Outdoor Classroom

Each year the ACC Recycling Division conducts hundreds of tours of the ACC Solid Waste Facilities.  In 2013-2014, over 2,500 people toured the ACC Recycling Facility, Compost Facility and Landfill.

The ACC Recycling Division worked with the University of Georgia, Design Build Exploration (LAND 4911/6911) class through the College of Environment + Design in the fall of 2013 to design an outdoor classroom at the ACC Landfill site. Katherine Melcher and Chris McDowell, UGA instructors, used a class of fifteen (15) graduate students and two (2) undergraduate students to design and construct an outdoor space for tours at the landfill site. The designed space has unique art elements, as well as, functional space - covered picnic area and stadium seating to accommodate large tour groups. “The most exciting part of the project was the use of reclaimed materials,” stated Suki Janssen, Waste Reduction Administrator for the ACC Solid Waste Department. According to Chris McDowell, close to 100% of the material was locally sourced (within a 20 mile radius) and the majority of the material was reclaimed or recycled material. The total amount of waste diverted from the landfill due to this project was 34,510 pounds (reused) and 57,200 pounds (recycled).

The majority of the material came through the UGA Material Reuse Program. The purpose of the Material Reuse Program was to divert Construction and Demolition (C&D) material from sites on the UGA campus and within the Athens region and actively reuse these "waste" materials on community-based and student projects. Chris McDowell was the Program Coordinator and Founder of this program.

“The overall theme of this project was to embody the tenets of sustainability through the use of rainwater collection and infiltration, low impact/maintenance structures, earth construction, reclaimed materials and natural materials, all on a minimal budget,” said Chris McDowell.

For more information about the project, contact the ACC Recycling Division at 706-613-3512.