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Gulf Coast Residents Angry Over Oil Dumped In Local Landfill

Gulf Coast Residents Angry Over Oil Dumped In Local Landfill

Waste Management, a national sanitation company that has tried to position itself as “green” through advertising, recycling initiatives, and sponsorship of the Greenopolis website, has angered Gulf Coast residents by dumping oil waste in Mississippi landfill.

As the BP oil spill spreads throughout the Gulf Coast, residents of Harrison County, Miss., have seen their beaches ruined by the floating sheen. After reports on Wednesday that Waste Management was dumping oil-coated materials from Mississippi coast beaches into the Pecan Grove landfill, their frustration turned to anger.

Double Whammy

“You’re dumping your debris in our front yard – on our beaches and marshes,” County Supervisor Kim Savant told the Bellingham Herald. “Then, you’re going to clean it up and put it in our backyard. BP ought to go out and buy some land and build its own landfill.”

Waste Management workers began collecting oily waste from the county’s beaches about two weeks ago. The waste containers were transported to holding areas after they were filled while Waste Management officials waited for toxicity test results from the Department of Environmental Quality.

Office Politics

DEQ officials are now saying that when their office reviewed the tests and  told Waste Management that it wasn’t hazardous on Friday afternoon, the company might have construed that as permission to start dumping.

Because the waste was deemed “non-hazardous” it’s techincally allowed in the landfill under Waste Management’s current municiple contract. County officials say that the DEQ and Governor’s office should have explicitly told the company not to dump in the Pecan Grove landfill.

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Image Credit: Flickr - usepaggov
US EPA photo by Eric Vance

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155 comments

+ add your own
7:49PM PDT on Oct 9, 2010

make me sick but BP will only do it if they think they will get away with it make a law fine them close them down what ever it takes just do it

10:03AM PDT on Jul 17, 2010

I want to hear more. Landfills are already full of petroleum products.
Modern landfills are usually isolated from the groundwater. In some places, the methane prduced in the landfill is collected and I know that WM is using the methane to power their trucks. It's a lot cleaner than conventional fuels.
It's possible the oil will be broken down by microbial action and turned into nat. gas. I'd like to know that.
I want to know more about the landfill they're dumping it in and whether it meets up-to-date standards.

3:11PM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

Well yes and where are they going to put it?

5:01PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

disgusting all of it.

1:49PM PDT on Jul 14, 2010

In the last month, we have begun to stockpile oily sand at Springhill and at Baldwin County LFs – not putting it in the landfill – looking at biotreatment, composting and land farming options to clean the sand so that it can be beneficially reused. Still in the experimental stage but we are committed to finding a green solution. We are also investigating options for cleaning and recycling booms. We have regulators’ permission on this.

7:20AM PDT on Jul 13, 2010

I ask this question the very first day I saw all them plastic bags where they were picking up sand on the beach where are they going to dump that crap? I knew they were going from one problem to making a new one in hopes no one was paying attention. Make them take all thet crap to a refinery and process it into clean sand and dirty oil. Make them build a new plant if they have to to do it right and get rid of all them plastic BAGS! this is insane they should be using some sort of recyclable containers to transport that stuff to the recycling place.

4:31AM PDT on Jul 13, 2010

As a non US citizen, I don't feel it's my place to comment on this problem, except to say this article, and so many like it recently, has whipped up a frenzy of indignation and ill feeling not only toward your President, but also toward all things foreign. No solutions have been offered and no possible balance has been struck. The people who populate Care2 are amazing people and the many articles I have read and whose comments I have scoured, have shown that people here are incredible at solving problems. Throw a problem at your bloggers and you will get a fantastic array of suggestions and solutions that can be forwarded and used by the right people to help solve the many problems the planet is facing. Care2's authors would serve their country, it's communities and residents across the globe far better by making use of the intelligent minds that are at work on this site and asking for ideas and resolutions to be found rather than keeping the fires of contention going.

3:44AM PDT on Jul 13, 2010

I am sorry Margaret but the blatant dumping of this oil cleanup in a Mississippi landfill is only going to comtaminate the entire area and this problem IS the fault of Mr. Obama. Maybe you would like to accept this toxic waste in a landfill sight very close to your area. Not only is it oil, but also the toxic dispersants. You are right on with your other comments but now Mr. Obama needs to address this problem of dumping!!!!!

5:33PM PDT on Jul 12, 2010

Is there any end in sight here? So many issues to deal with as a result of this disaster! True, where can this mess be put now safely? I know this is redundant, but this should have been prepared for in case of disaster- well planned out emergency to STOP the oil flow, period! History shows this has not EVER HAPPENED!~

5:20PM PDT on Jul 12, 2010

Hey I have an idea! Let's have it shipped overseas and dumped in the back yards of the BP execs! On their dime, of course!

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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