They’re mostly covered with brush, grass and trees now but, long-time New Jerseyans remember, there was a time when those large forested mounds along the NJ Turnpike were active garbage dumps. On warm, muggy days, when odors carry, nearby residents are still reminded of their earlier role. Cynics have referred to them as the “Jersey Alps.”

But Tampa, FL-based EnCap Golf is said to be deep in negotiations to turn one active and five abandoned landfills into four golf courses. The contiguous sites sit in the towns of North Arlington, Rutherford and Lyndhurst. The proposal entails the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission buying up whatever it doesn’t own among the 2,600 acres and leasing the tract to EnCap for $6.2 million a year.

EnCap would spend as much as $50 million to cap and seal the landfills and prepare them for 72 holes of golf. Encap also wants to develop a water park, hotel, equestrian center and marina, but golf would be the focus. To get the project done, the company still needs several environment-related permits.

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