The site at Harewood Whin, near Rufforth, opened in the 1980s and will now, over time, be transformed into a wildflower meadow, which hopes to encourage more fauna and flora to the area.
City of York Council and its operator Yorwaste will be marking this significant moment in York’s history this month.
Household waste collected in York and North Yorkshire is now being sent to Allerton Waste Recovery Park (AWRP) near Knaresborough.
The plant can process up to 320,000 tonnes of waste per year and is operated by Amey on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council. Diverting this waste away from landfill means AWRP can also use it to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 40,000 homes in the area.
Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “Diverting waste from landfill is a step in the right direction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental issues. Our new facilities maximise mechanical separation of waste for recycling, and digestion of food and other organic waste before using waste to generate energy.
“However, our priority is to cut waste at source, York currently has a 44 per cent recycling rate and we want to work with retailers and government to push this higher. We will work to cut waste being thrown into bins especially single use plastics and other packaging which can enter the environment in the UK or further afield if it is exported to the Far East”
Progress has already been made to transform part of the Harewood Whin site, and vegetation growth can be seen flourishing in areas which have been disused for over 10 years.
Harewood Whin will continue to be used as a transfer station for all waste streams, so refuse vehicles will still be travelling onto the site.