Sweet-hot garbage and the hyper-commercialized, trash-for-cash, mega-landfill jamboree

That’s no mountain.

Do you like garbage? More specifically, do you like other people’s garbage? Do you like being burdened with all the dangers associated with asbestos, dirty diapers and cumrags and very little of the benefit? Would you allow your kids to breathe in any number of unknown materials on a daily basis? Would you allow them to attend a school that about one mile from numerous mountains made up of millions of tonnes of garbage?

Haha, of course not.

That is, not if you have a shred of self-respect, and actually care about your kids.

The Seneca Meadows privately-owned, for-profit, toxic-waste landfill is the largest landfill in New York State. It imports an average of 6,000 tonnes of stinking filth daily (sometimes as much as 12,000) from other northeastern states, and even Canada, and dumps it between the two little villages of Seneca Falls and Waterloo, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

But it creates jobs!

And for some reason, many people allow this. They allow their homes and neighborhoods to reek of garbage (go ahead and close the windows…it won’t save you). They allow their children to go to school in the shadow of the toxic beast (six schools are within three miles of the landfill — the Waterloo High School is only about one mile away).


Well, apathy. Misinformation. Intimidation. Progressive Waste Solutions, the partly Canadian, partly Texan company that owns the tumorous landfill, sent out glossy mailers in force this past autumn, sometimes twice or even three times a week. Mailers portraying elderly women in tears, realizing they are going to lose their homes when their taxes DOUBLE!, all under the blood red police siren displaying the header TAXPAYER ALERT! These mailers were purely political, in support of the company’s bought and paid for yes men, against candidates seeking to put an end date on the predatory dump.

A week or two later those mailers were still coming, yet this time they were warning that taxes would TRIPLE!


So the landfill won. They got their shills into seats on the little local board, and the mailers stopped. A law passed this previous winter gave the Seneca Meadows landfill nine years to begin winding down, before their closure date of 2025. A date they themselves agreed to. A couple months ago that law was rescinded. All it did was seek to hold them to their word, and it was rescinded. Yet dump reps still try to claim they plan on closing in 2025.

I wonder if I should believe them.

Did I mention the smell? I don’t think I did. Imagine your kitchen trash bin when you forget to take it out for a week. Or two. Or three.

Or six months.

Imagine it overloaded with meat and plant matter and shit, and heavy metals and sewage leachate. Now imagine you try to spray it with some sweet perfume to mask the smell. This is quite literally what this landfill smells like.

Times about several million.

What many people don’t realize is that if you’re smelling it, you’re breathing it. You’re breathing in millions upon millions of tonnes of rotting garbage, of which no one knows for certain exactly what is contained therein. And if you’re breathing it, you’re taking it into your lungs. If you’re taking it into your lungs, you’re taking it into your blood. And if you’re…well, you get the idea. At least you should. I don’t know. Quite a few people apparently don’t.

And the trucks don’t end. Trucks for days. They come in, dump loads of leaking, liquidy garbage, and then head off again on another run. Day in and day out, night in and night out, one can see these big rigs, lined up at the entrance to the dump, all waiting to blow their (pay)loads.

Think of it as a Christmas present. And by Christmas present, I mean the exact opposite of a Christmas present.

And then there is the issue of jobs. Jobs! Jobs are great, huh? Always need more of those. Except this entire operation creates about 80–90 of them, total. That’s maybe, barely, the #10 spot on the top employers in the entire county. Yet the “jobs” talking-point sure does get thrown around quite a bit. Never mind that the employees of this landfill are directly exposed to…well, take your pick. And on a daily basis.

It’s a messy ordeal. Figuratively, and quite literally. Those whole thing is a messy, rotten, putrid, reeking, disgusting ordeal, with no end in sight. Not until people scrounge up an ounce of respect. Respect for themselves, their families, their surroundings, their own children. That is a huge piece of the puzzle that seems to be missing. Until people get this, and demand better for themselves, I fear nothing is going to change.

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