When she was growing up, Julie Bundy’s parents forbade her from playing on the "slate dumps." That was their shorthand for the hundred-foot-tall pile of loose rubble that sat right in the middle of Fredericktown, the southwestern Pennsylvania coal town where her grandparents lived.
“My grandparents lived in the yellow house on the corner with the slate dumps in the back yard. As long as I can remember, it was there,” Bundy says.
Bundy, 36, now lives across the street from the dumps, a coal-refuse pile left over from a defunct mining operation that ended decades ago.