The Christmas season is over for many people.  That's a sad thing for those who truly enjoyed the holiday period.  However, there's is still a visible reminder of Christmas to help anyone who wants to stay in the holiday spirit.   It’s located at the Lake View Landfill in Summit Township in Erie County.  Just like the Three Wise Men, you can look up and find a Christmas star.

You won't find a baby in a manger under that star. Just a big, big pile of garbage.  But, the shining Christmas decoration has been bringing joy to people who pass by for almost 30 years. Bill Kuhn is the current operations manager at the landfill.  He remembers the first year the star was erected.

"Back in 1993, there was an operations manager here and she thought it would be nice to put something up for Christmas. So we put the star up,” he said.  

The illuminated star means a lot to a lot of people. There's just something about looking up in the night sky and seeing it off in the distance.  It's a symbol of Christmas.  A symbol of hope.  A symbol of warmth on cold winter nights.

"Come about mid-November, I'll be getting phone calls and texts asking me if we are going to be doing it again this year and stuff like that,” says Bill. “If something would happen, if the generator would quit, I would get phone calls from people saying, 'The star's out tonight.' and I would come in, check it all out and get it running again and fire it back up. So, there's a lot of people that recognize it and see it and appreciate what we do with it."

The star doesn't look big to drivers who see it from Route 97 or Interstate 90, but it measures 17 feet by 17 feet.  It sits on a mound of trash that's 1500 feet high.  The owner of the landfill, Waste Management, capped off the mound two years ago and is now piling refuse deliveries at another site on the property.  So now, the star doesn't have to be put up and taken down every year. It's permanently mounted to the landfill peak where it is safe and secure against the strong wind.  

"Every year we would have to bring it down to the garage because we kept filling that hill. Now, that hill is complete.  We can leave it right where it’s at and that's where it will stay."  

The Landfill Star.  A single basic decoration shining bright from high above, bringing joy to the Christmas season.

"And I hope that it continues on for many generations to come," says Bill.

The star is illuminated every year beginning on December 1.  Waste Management plans to keep the lights on throughout this weekend.  So there's one last chance to look up and see this well-known Christmas decoration at its brightest.