lowry landfill


The approximately 507-acre Lowry Landfill Superfund Site is located northeast of the intersection of Quincy Avenue and Gun Club Road in unincorporated Arapahoe County, 15 miles southeast of the City and County of Denver and 2 miles east of Aurora, Colorado. The Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS), an operating municipal solid waste landfill northeast of the intersection of Gun Club Road and East Hampden Avenue, forms the northern boundary of the site. In 1964, the land was deeded to the City and County of Denver, which still owns the site. From the mid-1960s until 1980, the City and County of Denver operated a "co-disposal" landfill at the site, which means that both industrial waste (solid and liquid) and municipal solid waste were accepted for disposal there. The liquids were placed into 78 unlined trenches over approximately 200 acres, and then solids such as soil, old tires and household refuse were added to the trenches to absorb the liquids. The types of waste disposed at Lowry Landfill using this practice included industrial degreasers, paint, pesticides, hospital and veterinary waste, metal-plating waste, petroleum products, sewage sludge, tires and household waste. EPA estimates that approximately 138 million gallons of industrial wastes were disposed of at Lowry Landfill. Nearly all of these wastes were disposed in the southern half of the site within the 200-acre main landfill. A much smaller volume of waste was placed north of the main landfill in ponds and waste pits. Some liquids were sprayed directly onto the soil in large "leachate spraying" areas located in the northern part of the site. During the 1970s and 1980s, millions of tires had accumulated at the site. The tires were laid on top of other waste that had been placed in three separate pits, each approximately 20-30 feet deep. From 1989 through 1992, the City and County of Denver and its contractors removed, shredded and consolidated the tires and placed the tire shreds in a monofill (an area where only tires may be disposed), on the east side of the site for potential future reuse as fuel. The area and three waste pits that lay under the tires became known as the Former Tire Pile Area or FTPA. The waste disposed at Lowry Landfill contaminated the soils at the site and eventually contaminated shallow groundwater. Additionally, gases from the buried wastes contaminated the air spaces in subsurface soil. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List on September 21, 1984.

Hazardous Ranking Score

48 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 8
Phone: (303) 312-6312

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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