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The Remains of Fresh Kills

Families fight to get their loved ones' bodies out of the dump By Joe Pompeo Diane and Kurt Horning visit the Fresh Kills Landfill every few months. They describe it as a barren and desolate wasteland, strewn with debris and overgrown with weeds. Large tire tracks and gaping ruts where erosion has occurred splinter some portions of the landscape. The smell of methane gas leaking from rusty metal pipes overwhelms the senses. Photographs of the landfill reveal old sneakers, boots, carpeting, tires and other garbage lying among the rocks and pebbles that top its dry, brown soil. “I don’t go there for solace,” Diane explains of her trips to Fresh Kills, which, she says, contains the remains of her son, Matthew, a victim of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. “Usually after I go there, it takes me a whole day to recover because it’s so disturbing.”