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Makeshift Katrina Landfill Raises Safety Concerns

In the last four months, trucks have dumped five million cubic yards of debris, including painted lumber, moldy sheet rock and mildewed mattresses.  The mound at the Gentilly landfill covers about 50 acres and is 40 to 50 feet tall.
Elizabeth Shogren, NPR
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In the last four months, trucks have dumped five million cubic yards of debris, including painted lumber, moldy sheet rock and mildewed mattresses. The mound at the Gentilly landfill covers about 50 acres and is 40 to 50 feet tall.

The debris from hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses swamped or demolished by Hurricane Katrina has to go somewhere. In New Orleans, most of it is going to Gentilly landfill, an old garbage dump the city and state reopened because of the disaster. But some toxic waste experts and environmentalists fear the landfill could become a huge problem. Critics are concerned the dump doesn't have enough environmental safeguards and lacks adequate protections against toxic waste.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elizabeth Shogren is an NPR News Science Desk correspondent focused on covering environment and energy issues and news.