Episode 17: The Avalanche of Garbage

Jason Harcus, holding a rubber garbage bin in his back alley.
Jason Harcus, taking out the trash.

Nicole and Jason Harcus ask whether the hill in Gallagher Park used to be a dump once upon a time.

Listen to the episode first, then read more below.

spoilers below

Nicole, Mae, Cleo, Jason, and Oliver Harcus (left to right) in Mill Creek Ravine.
Nicole, Mae, Cleo, Jason, and Oliver Harcus (left to right) in Mill Creek Ravine.

Jason volunteers at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and one of his friends mentioned that the main Folk Fest hill in Gallagher Park used to be a dump. He and his wife Nicole were curious whether that was true. So we took a trip down to the area together with their kids.

(Left to right): Oliver, Cleo, Nicole, Mae, Ken Tingley, Jason, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, and Russ Cobb at the Muttart Conservatory.
(Left to right): Oliver, Cleo, Nicole, Mae, Ken Tingley, Jason, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, and Russ Cobb at the Muttart Conservatory.

We met Ken Tingley (Edmonton’s first historian laureate) at the Muttart Conservatory, which was built in the Cloverdale just downhill from the hill in question. Ken wrote a book called Heart of the City exploring the history of Cloverdale.

Russ Cobb in front of the Muttart pyramids, with Oumar Salifou.
Russ Cobb in front of the Muttart pyramids, with Oumar Salifou.

We also met Russ Cobb, a University of Alberta-based professor and author who wrote a series of articles about the history of garbage in our city called Edmonton: A World Class Dump.

A black and white picture from The Gateway newspaper of the Mill Creek incinerator.
The Mill Creek Incinerator, as captured by The Gateway newspaper on February 6, 1970. The caption read “Mill Creek Incinerator… rests Saturdays.”

Further Reading:

Let’s Find Out is a proud member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.

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