Do you know about Albuquerque’s glass graveyard?


There’s a landfill near Albuquerque’s bosque that people may actually want to visit. It’s filled with acres of hidden history. It’s been coined the ‘glass graveyard.’ 

It’s part of the Rio Grande Valley State Park. Old bottles and pieces of glass from decades ago cover 20 acres. It’s a perfect spot for treasure hunters.

“We gotta find some good pieces,” said CABQ Environmental Health Manager Bart Faris.

It’s one of Albuquerque’s best-kept secrets, and you definitely know you’ve stumbled upon it when you hear the crunch of broken glass.

“As we call it the Old River Landfill, AKA the Glass Beach, as part of Albuquerque’s history,” said Faris.

The ‘glass graveyard’ is near the Barelas Little League Field and open to the public, but not everyone knows about it. 

“No I haven’t, this is my first time hearing about it,” said local Joel Martinez.

“I’ve never heard of it and it’s right over there,” said local Monique Salazar.

The 20-acre site used to be the city’s Old River Landfill from 1920 until 1948. It has since been filled with dirt, but a lot of old glass pieces remain.

“So what we have leftover here is a lot of glass, a lot of metal, bricks or pottery type things or jars,” said Faris—and the site sure does have a lot of them.

“So you’ll find old medicine type bottles,” said Faris. “Somebody’s old glass half teacup. So we got some broken china.”

It’s a scavenger’s paradise.

“Obviously somebody was doing some digging and they found some old glass,” said Faris.

The city said not many people come here, but if they find it, they hope people treat it like a treasure.

“It has value in a sense that this really is part of our history,” said Faris.

Although the site is a former landfill, the city said people are not allowed to dump their trash there. If you do find the place, the city does not allow you to take any of the pieces away from the site.

As far as environmental concerns, the city said the site is safe to visit. However, they caution people to be careful and wear proper clothing since they’re surrounded by glass.

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