The City of Greensboro recently promoted – as a tourist attraction – a cemetery where the first marketer of Vick’s Vapor Rub is buried. But, if you think that’s the highlight of city attractions, you would be mistaken because next week the city is focusing on the White Street Landfill with a series of guided tours.

City leaders are inviting all Greensboro residents to tour the landfill at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. or 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31.

Unlike Green Hill Cemetery tours, however, the landfill tours are being offered for a reason that has nothing to do with tourism: It’s to help keep citizens informed as city officials explore the option of using the White Street Landfill to dispose of contaminated soil from Bingham Park.

You can sign up on the city’s website to take the tour.

Those who would like to see the landfill close up and understand its operations better will meet at the Greensboro Sportsplex at 2400 Sixteenth St. 15 minutes prior to the tour departure time. From there, a shuttle will take participants to the landfill.

This isn’t a family friendly event: The tour is for adult members of the community 18 years of age and older, so leave the kids at home.

According to the public invitation from city leaders, the tours will help residents better understand the history of the landfill, its safety features and how waste at the site is managed.

“The tours will show where the waste material could be properly disposed if White Street is the selected disposal option,” stated Richard Lovett, the environmental compliance and support manager with the City’s Office of Sustainability and Resilience.

Problems at Bingham Park have been a recalcitrant issue this year. That park is now closed since it’s the site of “a pre-regulatory unlined landfill and household waste incinerator.”

 The City of Greensboro is currently working with the NC Department of Environmental Quality to clean up the park by removing the topsoil that contains heavy metals and other contaminants.

According to a Friday, May 24 press release from Greensboro officials, “The City has researched area landfills and identified three that could be used to dispose of the soil. The utilization of White Street Landfill would allow for the quickest cleanup. Its use also reduces the cost of the cleanup by approximately $10 million, bringing the project closer to fruition given available funds. Using this landfill would also shorten the useful life of the facility, which is consistent with the City’s intent to permanently close the landfill.”