Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gulf oil-spill debris heading to common landfills

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 seagrass are dumped.

Though workers in the largest environmental disaster in the U.S. 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 enough consternation that BP agreed late last week to stop dumping in one Mississippi landfill.

How can this not be bad for the soil and the ground water? That stuff does give you cancer.

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