Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

NYC Poop Train Stinking Up Alabama Town

NYC Poop Train Stinking Up Alabama Town

Hall told me that a trainload of it has been sitting in Parrish, a town of two-square miles and 982 residents, for two months.

Records at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management show Big Sky Environmental collects the "dewatered sludge" from at least six treatment plants across New York City.

Its unpleasant contents made the long journey south to avoid complex NY and New Jersey state regulations on the disposal of human waste - to the anger of Parrish's 1,000 residents.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection could not immediately confirm how many trainloads of sludge have been transported south, but it said it temporarily halted the shipments. Hall said after a public outcry, the Norfolk Southern railroad required Big Sky to hire more truck drivers so the sludge could be removed from the train cars more quickly. NY has discontinued shipments for now.

Residents of Parrish said the excrement-filled container wagon "smell like death" and complained they'd made life unbearable while parked on a nearby siding.

Southern states are frequently used for creating landfills where waste from all over the U.S. can be dumped, due to stricter legislation in the northern ones.

New York City has a goal of sending "zero waste" to landfills by 2030, according to its long-term strategy "One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City".

The mayor says she is looking into zoning laws to prevent what critics misleadingly call the "poop train" from parking in her town again. Parrish residents firmly agree.

But while the issue of poop in Parrish appears to be flushed out for now, the mayor said that other communities are in need of relief as well. She's been dabbing peppermint oil under her nose because the smell is so bad. The situation has especially worsened after NY imposed a ban on dumping waste water into the ocean.

In recent years, New York City contractors had dumped the waste at landfills relatively close to the city, but those landfills have significantly reduced the amount of waste they will accept, according to a city budget document.

The landfill has been accepting "biosolids" from NY since past year.

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