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Landfill Toxins Leaking Out Of Garbage Trucks

By James Donahue

We received an alarming e-mail this week from a reader that reminded us that those garbage trucks we see picking up trash are constantly leaking leachate from the stuff inside those dark plastic bags and it is getting all over our streets, our lawns and our lives.

While there are strick government controls on the way this stuff is contained once it reaches the landfills constructed all over America, very little attention is paid to the toxins that get dribbled out of the trucks as they pass our homes each week, says Bharbara Gudmundson, a Vancouver, British Columbia reader who maintains a website that directs attention to this single issue.

Gudmundson writes: "Compactor garbage truck(s) . . have been releasing garbage leachate on a regular basis (all over North America.) These trucks were not designed to contain the fluids that are separated from the solid waste in the truck as it compacts its load over and over similar to how the juice of an orange separates when it is squeezed."

Many of us might think of the garbage we tossed out this week . . . old watermelon skins, coffee grounds, emptied dog food cans and perhaps some empty plastic containers that once held toothpaste or hair shampoo, and we don't see anything dangerous in it. So why the alarm?

But take a trip to the Gudmundson website at http://bharbara.tripod.com and look more closely at some of the stuff that gets tossed into the trash in your neighborhood.

The site notes that when we prepare chicken or other meats we are careful these days to disinfect the area because of the potential of deadly food pathogens, and we throw the soiled paper towels in the garbage. We put the old food in the garbage where it rots until it is picked up, sometimes after a week in hot weather, sealed inside a plastic bag. By then it can be a toxic brew of extremely deadly bugs.

Also tossed in the mix are soiled baby diapers, cat litter, all the chemicals we use not only for washing our hair but cleaning the home, repairing and maintaining our lawn mower and other power equipment, unused prescription medicines, paints and even garden and lawn chemicals like insect repellant, fertilizer and old flashlight batteries.

"We then take the mixture of all of these things and press and compact over and over. The fluid we are left with is garbage leachate and unlike the garbage leachate in the municipal landfills, this leachate is being spread all over the streets and lanes of major cities," Gudmundson warns.

"Once the garbage leachate is spread all overit is sprayed and splashed all over us before being washed into the sewer system. What goes into the sewers flows directly into the waterways," the website states.

"If it is dry outside the garbage leachate dries and when driven over gets kicked up into the air where it becomes part of the fine particulate matter in the smoggy air we all breathe. We unknowingly walk our children through it, wheel strollers through it, ride bikes through it, drive our cars through it and walk our pets through it. Our children play on the same lanes and streets."

Gudmundson notes a parallel between a major increase heart disease and other illnesses like asthma since 1938 when the first compactor garbage trucks were put into service throughout the United States.

We sincerely wish to thank this astute writer for drawing our attention to an obvious blunder that has been occurring right under our noses now for years, and may, indeed, be having a major impact on the health and wellbeing of people throughout North America.

Visit the Gudmundson website and get more information: http://bharbara.tripod.com