"Trash, Toxic Emissions Up at Local Landfills"

"With more trash coming into Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore, dangerous air emissions are on the rise, a Sunday Times analysis of state records found. The review also found the state Department of Environmental Protection relies upon the landfills to monitor air quality and report problems.

Documents submitted by landfill officials to DEP in 2010 clearly show a steady upward trend in the release of toxic gases associated with short and long-term health problems from just 0.2 tons per year in 1972 to 37.8 tons per year - 186 times more - in 2011. By comparison, a coal-fired power plant emits about 50 tons of mercury into the atmosphere annually.

These so-called "volatile organic compounds" can come from cleaning supplies, copy paper, glues, pesticides, permanent markers, office equipment and an assortment of other materials deposited in the landfill."

Steve McConnell reports for the Scranton Times Tribune March 20, 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011