The activities of the Midway Landfill (and the Kent Highlands Landfill) were started during the 1960's by the City of Seattle and ended around 1985.
While testing the playground at Parkside Elementary didn't have any signs of methane or other materials from the landfill, these tests were conducted years after the landfill was shutdown.
McSorley Creek (also known as Smith Creek) runs on the north side of Parkside Elementary and into the Puget Sound (via Saltwater State Park) is suspected of carrying runoff from the landfill at the time.
Before the City of Seattle used the site for the landfill, the site was studied for hosting The Seattle World's Fair.
When the landfill was closed, tests for methane gas (generated from the landfill) were conducted throughout the area. Methane extraction stations were built on South 250th Street and Pacific Highway South to release methane gas found in the ground (outside of the landfill property) as well as few other locations in the Midway area.
After the landfill has been shut down, the site has been studied for a football stadium, for the Seattle Seahawks, and has been studied as a potential site for a Sound Transit Link light rail transit and maintenance center (trolley barn).
Demolition of Midway Drive-In (source: Tim Babcock)
The History of Midway
It is forgotten (after Interstate 5 was constructed) but for many years Midway was the place for people that lived in Seattle and Tacoma to go to for recreation since it was a short drive on Highway 99 and had many forms of entertainment from speakeasies (during prohibition), family diners, a racetrack, the first drive in movie theater in the Pacific Northwest, and dancing when the Spanish Castle was in existence.
According to historical society records form both Federal Way and Des Moines, The Spanish Castle was a very popular dance hall during World War 2 and was in operation 24 hours a day for wartime employees at Boeing as well as military personnel on leave or getting ready to serve.
After Interstate 5 was under construction and the 1960s changed a great much of society, many of the facilities were on the decline. The Spanish Castle changed into more of concert venue during the 1960's before it was torn down for a convenience store.
Jimmy Hendricks may have performed his first ever public concert at The Spanish Castle, after paying Pat O'Day, who was promoting a concert while working for KJR, to perform there.
The Midway Landfill didn't help the neighborhood as well. Everyday the smell of garbage was in the air from Midway, Des Moines, Redondo, and Federal Way as the traffic of semi trucks loaded with containers of garbage would fill the space (this includes the Kent Highlands site off of Military Road and Kent/Des Moines Way).