Regulators Close Tecumseh Landfill After Finding Fires, Leaks and Pools of Blood

  • Joe Wertz

State environmental regulators shuttered a landfill near Tecumseh in May “after years of ongoing problems” that included multiple fires, dead animals and pools of standing blood, The Oklahoman‘s Brianna Bailey reports.

The Absolute Waste Solutions landfill has caught on fire at least three times in recent years and inspectors have found problems with exposed, rotting animal carcasses, pools of blood, leaking leachate —a black, sludgy liquid stew of decomposing matter that seeps out of landfills — as well as blowing litter.

In May, the Department of Environmental Quality moved to suspend the permit of the owner. The Texas-based company has entered into a consent decree and agreed to clean up the problems, Bailey reports.

The City of Tecumseh used to have a disposal contract with the company, but hasn’t used the landfill in several years. The landfill hasn’t had a municipal disposal contract in years “and has only accepted one load of waste per month to keep its state permit current,” Bailey reports.

In 2011, a Department of Environmental Quality inspector visited the Absolute Waste Solutions site for a routine inspection and discovered the landfill was on fire. After further inquiry, the inspector discovered the landfill had in fact been on fire for the past three days.

In March 2014, inspectors from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality observed “multiple animal carcasses….along with several pools of standing blood” at the landfill. The inspectors also reported the leachate from the landfill was leaking out into unlined areas of the landfill, as well as exposed trash.