Located in Staten Island, New York, one of the world's largest landfills (or even THE largest landfill, depending on the source). The landfill closed permanently in late 2001.
Fresh Kills opened in 1948 in the western part of the borough, and was a large part of life on Staten Island until its closure. It's located on approximately 3000 acres, but despite common perception, does NOT take up most of Staten Island (a part of New York City with a population of approximately 500,000).
Some of the piles of trash were quite high. Various websites say parts of the dump were as high as a 20-story building, taller than The Statue of Liberty, or visible from outer space. Some of these claims might or might not be exaggerated, but regardless, there were some high mountains of trash.
The landfill has contributed to a loss of property value on the Island. And yes, it does smell. I've lived about two miles from the landfill most of my life and while on most days it's not on issue, on some hazy summer nights, the odor blows over and is rather unpleasant.
There's been studies in the last decade that shows those residents who live especially close to the landfill have a much higher rate of cancer and other health problems than the general population.
In the '90s, the landfill was a large part of an unsuccessful movement for Staten Island to secede from the rest of New York City (so that dumping would stop completely, or Staten Island would control any income from the landfill).
"Kill" is taken from the Dutch word for stream, so "Fresh Kills" means fresh streams (although I'm guessing it wasn't meant to be named for the fresh streams of garbage that have been dumped there for the last half-century).
For the "best view" (if there is such a thing) of the landfill, one should drive along the West Shore Expressway or Arthur Kill Road.