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Oil-soaked waste worries landfills’ neighbors

At a sprawling landfill some 50 miles from the oil-spotted coastline, trash bags brimming with tar balls, oil-soaked boom, sand and tangles of sea grass are dumped. Though workers in the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history wear protective gloves and coveralls as they labor across the Gulf Coast clearing beaches of oil, the mounds of debris they amass meet a pedestrian fate: burial in the same landfills that take in diapers, coffee grounds, burnt toast, yogurt containers, grass clippings and demolition debris. Since the first trucks began rolling in June, nearly 40,000 tons of “oily solids” and related debris have been sent to municipal landfills from Louisiana to Florida, sparking complaints – and in one case, enough consternation that BP decided to stop dumping in a landfill. “They tell us, ‘It’s not bad, it’s not hazardous,’” said Christopher Malloy, who borrowed a sign from his wife’s tanning salon to announce his opposition to using the Pecan Grove landfill in Mississippi’s Harrison County. “Oil in Gulf – Bad. Oil in landfill/wellwater not bad? What!” reads the sign in his front yard, less than half a mile from the landfill where 1,300 tons had been disposed before BP – facing community pressure – agreed to curtail dumping. More…

News selected by Covalence | Country: USA | Company: BP | Source: Sun Herald

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