What Fitzgerald calls "the valley of ashes" is located midway between West Egg and New York. It is the dumping ground for the trains that bring furnace ashes out of the city. A "small foul river" borders one side of the site. This is a place of gray, powdery dust that fills the air and blots out the sun. Fitzgerald describes it as "a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens," referring to the mountains of ash that have collected here after being dumped. He also describes the men who shovel the ashes out of the railroad cars:
Occasionally a line of grey [railroad] cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations from your sight.
This place of industrial dust and grime stands in sharp contrast to the bright beauty of the homes in West Egg, and by inference, in East Egg. George Wilson's gas station is located here, as well as the decaying billboard with the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg watching over all.