Statement of Significance (as of designation - August 7, 2001):
The Fresno Sanitary Landfill, opened in 1937, is the oldest "true" sanitary landfill in the United States. It was the first to layer refuse and dirt in trenches, compact them, and cover the filled areas daily to minimize rodent and debris problems. According to the EPA, the landfill "was a substantial improvement over the accepted methods of sanitary waste disposal at the time and a model for other landfills around the country." It is also the oldest compartmentalized landfill in the western United States, and as of its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2001, it held the service record of more than 50 years in continuous operation.