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.
“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.
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