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Saturday, December 10, 2022

‘Smell of death’: Health concerns mount as 80-acre High Desert waste pit burns | Daily Press

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The fire at the facility that handles America’s garbage has been raging since May 31, releasing toxic smoke and poisons into the atmosphere. 

Residents of the village of Hinkley in the Mojave Desert are disgusted by what they term as the stench of garbage and death. The website is managed by Synagro Technologies Inc., a Maryland-based company controlled by the private-equity arm of Goldman Sachs: The plant accepts 2,000 tons of sewage sludge and green waste each day from the five most prominent counties in California: Which is converted into fertilizer for American farmers. The air quality regulator in the Mojave Desert has cited the plant for a nuisance violation and warns that more action may be forthcoming. 

During the thirty-minute duration of the fire, at least six vehicles carrying disguised goods entered the complex. A worker who did not want to be named informed the Daily Press on-site that they were transporting only finished, market-ready compost. Since late May, an 80-acre solid waste landfill in the High Desert has been on fire. The AQMD collaborates with the fire and public health agencies of San Bernardino County to examine the situation. Kiva Butler states that her grandson suffers from various diseases, such as asthma and autism. 

She reports that he started feeling poorly on May 26 and had a severe asthma attack after that. California allows Synagro Technologies Inc. to dispose of up to 2,000 tons of sewage sludge and green waste each day. It transforms the waste into fertilizer for American fields. They are not attempting to put out the fire. They’re adding to it every day, a resident says. 

County air regulation officials say they recall previous fires of note at the site. “High sustained winds like those experienced on May 28 and 29 are a condition that can lead to the spontaneous combustion of compost, but it is a rare event,” an online post says. Synagro’s Hinkley composting facility has more air-quality permits than any other facility in the 92342 zip code. Mojave Desert AQMD spokesman Martial Haprov’s advice for residents seeking to stay safe from the smoke. “You can smell something that you think may be unhealthy or hazardous; reduce exposure,” he says. 

“This may include getting indoors, closing doors and window(s), and using air conditioning where possible.” Residents say the solid-waste fire began marring their daily lives as early as May 25. 

Source: https://www.vvdailypress.com/story/news/2022/06/03/health-concerns-arise-high-desert-waste-pit-burns/7485972001/ 



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