As sludge hauls out, dust and material flies into residential properties

Published: Updated:

Annie Freeman has watched this process unfold for months, right from the front yard of her home of 45-years.

“I know some peoples who went to the hospital for all that since they’ve been digging,” Freeman said. “It’s not right.”

Truck leaving the site with sludge on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Photo via WINK News.
Truck leaving the site with sludge on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Photo via WINK News.

The sludge dumped in the 1960s — unknowingly to her and other neighbors — is finally being hauled out.

One truck at a time is heading to a Polk County recycling facility where it will be blended with sawdust and cement before ending up in a landfill. The third destination, after two others could not take it.

“We never knew it was going to be a problem like is,” Anthony Moore said, a neighbor. “Now we’re actually learning what it is.”

The latest groundwater tests still show arsenic levels, which are higher than the standard drinking levels. Years ago, it was a wooded sight where kids could being seen playing.

“It was like quick sand on this right hand here,” Moore said.

Now, the concern turns to the dust and material, which has been flying onto the properties of residents during the removal process.

“You get up the mornings, your car is loaded with dust,” Freeman said. “You sit out. You’re sneezing.”

“It’s a problem,” Moore said, “and it’s gonna be a problem until they get it straightened out.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.