Tag Archive: Landfill


By Paul Bedard | FEBRUARY 24, 2014 AT 10:55 AM

Nearly a third of the 430 billion pounds of food produced for Americans to eat is wasted, a potential catastrophe for landfills and a wake-up call to officials scrambling to feed the hungry, according to a stunning new report from the Department of Agriculture.

The just-issued report revealed that in 2010, 31 percent, or 133 billion pounds, of food produced for Americans to eat was wasted, either molded or improperly cooked, suffered “natural shrinkage” due to moisture loss, or because people became disinterested in what they purchased.

“In 2010, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food at the retail and consumer levels in the United States went uneaten, and this amount is valued at $161.6 billion using retail prices. This amount of food loss translates into 141 trillion calories in 2010. These estimates suggest that annual food loss in the United States is substantial,” said Ag.

The report comes as the administration is growing concerned about landfills running out of space and struggling to help the one-sixth of Americans who go hungry every day. The report noted that 14 percent of garbage dumped into landfills is food waste, and that 49 million people, mostly poor, need more food.

While waste isn’t new to America, the volume revealed in the report is shocking, and the reasons sometimes just as surprising.

The report provides estimates of waste for different foods, including the top food groups wasted. No. 1 in 2010, the sample year, was the group including meat, poultry and fish. The report said 30 percent, or $48 billion, was wasted.

The reasons for trashing food included dented cans, spills, mold, poor coloring and even religion. Below is USDA’s list of reasons consumers trashed their food:

• Spillages, abrasion, bruising, excessive trimming, excessive or insufficient heat, inadequate storage, technical malfunction.

• Sprouting of grains and tubers, biological aging in fruit.

• Consumers becoming confused over “use-by” and “best before” dates so that food is discarded while still safe to eat.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Hazmat

N.D. filter socks

 

Casper Star-Tribune Online

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February 22 2014 06:10 PM HAZMAT USA State of North Dakota, Watford City Damage level Details

 

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HAZMAT in USA on Saturday, 22 February, 2014 at 18:10 (06:10 PM) UTC.

Description
Federal and state health officials are investigating leaking trailers loaded with thousands of pounds of potentially radioactive filter socks and debris parked on rural property southwest of Watford City. A special agent with the Environmental Protection Agency criminal investigations unit is assigned to the case and a radiation control team from the state Health Department was on scene Friday. Brad Torgerson, with the state Health Department’s waste management division, said the team determined that radiation levels “do not appear to present any public health hazards.” He said the company, RP Services, of Riverton, Wyo., was told to put the waste in proper containers and submit a plan for cleanup. A formal enforcement action is possible, Torgerson said. EPA special agent Dan O’Malley contacted state health officials about the waste; when contacted by the Tribune, O’Malley said he could not confirm his agency’s investigation. The RP Services trailers are parked on property owned by Russ and Mary Williams, whose separate company was involved in an illegal filter sock disposal that led to a $27,000 fine at the McKenzie County landfill operation last summer.

The filter socks are a notorious source of radioactive material because they concentrate naturally occurring radiation from geology down the well hole. The Health Department says the filters should not be landfilled anywhere in North Dakota and instead, should be handled by certified companies for disposal at hazardous waste sites in other states. The trailers loaded with the leaking material and filter socks were reported Thursday to McKenzie County landfill director Rick Schreiber. Schreiber has adopted a tough policy and his is the first landfill in the country to install radiation detection pedestals that monitor every load coming into the landfill. The Health Department is awaiting results of a study on radioactive oil field and other waste before deciding whether to raise its allowable limit of radiation and how disposal sites would be constructed. Because landfills won’t take the socks and levy fines when haulers are caught bringing them in, they sometimes end up in community Dumpsters around towns and roadside ditches. Jerry Samuelson, McKenzie County’s emergency manager, said the JP Services incident illustrates how oil development stretches local governments.

 

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Riverton company’s trailers found leaking toxic material in N.D.

 

MCKENZIE COUNTY, N.D. — Federal and state health officials are investigating leaks from trailers loaded with thousands of pounds of potentially radioactive filter socks and debris parked on rural land in North Dakota.

The trailers are owned by a Wyoming company, RP Services. A North Dakota Health Department official said the Riverton company had been instructed to dispose of the waste in proper containers and submit a cleanup plan.

A special agent in the Environmental Protection Agency criminal investigations unit was assigned to the case, and on Friday, a radiation control team from the state Health Department showed up at the property, which is southwest of Watford City, N.D.

Brad Torgerson, of the state Health Department’s waste management division, said the team determined that radiation levels “do not appear to present any public health hazards.” Formal enforcement action is possible, Torgerson said.

 

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  • December 22, 2013

Animal control officials are searching for answers following the discovery of an injured puppy who was found on a conveyor belt at the city dump in San Francisco, Calif., reported Sunday’s San Francisco Gate.

The puppy, dubbed “Gem,” was discovered on Saturday.

Gem has multiple injuries on her neck which appear to be bite wounds and her rear legs appear to be “lame.”

On Sunday, Animal Care and Control of San Francisco turned to social media to help solve the mystery of Gem’s appearance on the dump’s conveyor belt; they stated on Facebook:

We’re trying to figure out how this young poodle pup ended up on the sorting conveyer belt at the SF dump. She’s injured, but doing well. If anyone has information about how she got there, call SFACC at 415-554-6364.

 

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LandfillHarmonic

Published on Nov 17, 2012

If you liked the teaser, will you consider a small pledge of $1 to help make this project a reality? For more info, please visit: http://kck.st/110W8j2 | If we all join together for small amounts, big things are possible…

 

 

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Sellafield beaches

Image Source

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Sellafield fined for sending radioactive waste to landfill

 

The error was attributed to failures in leadership and management at the site.

The bags, which contained waste such as plastic, tissues and clothing, should have been sent to a specialist facility that treats and stores low-level radioactive waste. But instead a number of mistakes led to them being sent to Lillyhall landfill site which deals with conventional waste in Workington, Cumbria.

This breached the conditions of Sellafield’s environmental permit and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations.

At Carlisle Crown Court the firm was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay an additional £72,635.34 costs.

Sellafield found the error was caused by the wrong configuration of a new monitor which passed the bags as “general” waste, making them exempt from strict disposal controls.

The Environment Agency and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) carried out an investigation and the bags were retrieved from the landfill and returned to Sellafield.

They were then disposed of correctly.

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St. Louis Is Burning

 

Rolling Stone
A bulldozer pushes trash in a landfill.
Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
May 10, 2013 10:00 AM ET

There’s a fire burning in Bridgeton, Missouri. It’s invisible to area residents, buried deep beneath the ground in a North St. Louis County landfill. But the smoldering waste is an unavoidable presence in town, giving off a putrid odor that clouds the air miles away – an overwhelming stench described by one area woman as “rotten eggs mixed with skunk and fertilizer.” Residents report smelling it at K-12 school buses, a TGI Fridays and even the operating room of a local hospital. “It smells like dead bodies,” observes another local.

On a Saturday morning in March, one mile south of the landfill, several Bridgeton residents have gathered at a small home in a blue-collar subdivision called Spanish Village. Concerned citizens Karen Nickel and Dawn Chapman are here to answer questions posed by four of their neighbors. “How will I ever sell my house?” “Am I going to end up with cancer 20 years down the road?” “Is there even a solution?”

In February, the landfill’s owner, Republic Services, sent glossy fliers to residents within stink radius claiming the noxious odor posed no safety risk. But official reports say otherwise. Temperature probes reveal the fire has already surpassed normal heat levels. Reports from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) indicate dangerously high levels of benzene and hydrogen sulfide in the air. In March, Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) – which has jurisdiction over Bridgeton Landfill – quietly posted an Internet notice cautioning citizens with chronic respiratory diseases to limit time outdoors. A month after Republic distributed its potentially misleading flier, the state attorney general sued the company on eight counts of environmental violations, including pollution and public nuisance. And this week, as part of a settlement set to be announced Tuesday, Republic sent another round of fliers offering to move local families to hotels during a period of increased odor related to remediation efforts.

Nickel and Chapman are stay-at-home moms; Chapman has three special-needs kids. Neither of them wants to spend her time worrying about a damn landfill fire. But until someone higher up the power chain intervenes, they have sworn to call municipal offices, file Sunshine requests and post notices to the community’s Facebook group, no matter how unsettling the facts they uncover. Scariest of all: The Bridgeton landfill fire is burning close to at least 8,700 tons of nuclear weapons wastes. 

“To have somebody call you at 11 P.M., and they’re in tears, concerned for their family, that’s heartbreaking,” Chapman tells Rolling Stone. “We’re doing this because we don’t have a choice. If we don’t come together as a community and fight, no one’s going to do it for us.”

America’s Nuclear Nightmare

West Lake Landfill is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site that’s home to some of the oldest radioactive wastes in the world. A six-foot chain-link fence surrounds the perimeter, plastered with bright yellow hazard signs that warn of the dangers within. On one corner stands a rusty gas pump. About 1,200 feet south of the radioactive EPA site, the fire at Bridgeton Landfill spreads out like hot barbeque coals. No one knows for sure what happens when an underground inferno meets a pool of atomic waste, but residents aren’t eager to find out.

At a March 15th press conference, Peter Anderson – an economist who has studied landfills for over 20 years – raised the worst-case scenario of a “dirty bomb,” meaning a non-detonated, mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis. “Now, to be clear, a dirty bomb is not nuclear fission, it’s not an atomic bomb, it’s not a weapon of mass destruction,” Anderson assured meeting attendants in Bridgeton’s Machinists Union Hall. “But the dispersal of that radioactive material in air that could reach – depending upon weather conditions – as far as 10 miles from the site could make it impossible to have economic activity continue.”

 

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Judge Ponders Plan to Put Out Bridgeton Landfill Fire

May 13, 2013 5:55 PM
Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, where underground fire has been smoldering since December 2010

Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill, where underground fire has been smoldering since December 2010

ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–A judge says he’ll decide by morning whether a plan to put out the fire and end the smell at the Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill is workable.

The plan — crafted by the Missouri Attorney General and the landfill owner, Republic Services Inc. — has not yet been made public. It’s now in the hands of Circuit Court Judge Michael Jamison, who met in his chambers with lawyers from both sides on a day he was scheduled to hold a hearing on the Attorney General’s lawsuit against the landfill.

“It’s not exactly a settlement,” Jamison told Bridgeton residents, reporters and environmentalists waiting in his courtroom, “But it’s something that would address the smoldering issue and what the sate may be able to do.”

The lawsuit filed by the state calls for an aggressive plan to put out the fire, which has been smoldering since December 2010 — and for fines upwards of tens-of-thousand a dollars a day for alleged violations of Missouri environmental laws. Koster’s suit claims the burning landfill is billowing benzene and other hazardous chemicals into the air, and leaking a black ooze into ground water.

Koster’s office declined to comment. The Attorney General has scheduled a news conference for 10:30 Tuesday morning in downtown St. Louis to reveal details of the proposed next step.

Already, complaints are rising that the apparent deal was made without input from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, from area businesses or from Bridgeton residents.

“The community needs to be at the table,” said the coalition’s Kat Logan Smith, “The property owners, the families and businesses here need to be at the table, because they need to decide what the bottom line is.”

 

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