Post-Sandy clean-up nets 69k barrels of toxic household waste in Nassau county
Hurricane Sandy washed thousands of gallons of toxic household waste out of Nassau County homes during the devastating storm on Oct. 29.
An EPA team working with private contractors, based in Lido Beach, NY, has been collecting these toxic materials since mid-November, and is now moving into the final stages of clean-up.
On-scene coordinator Gezahegne Bushra says his team has collected about 69,000 barrels worth of waste from the coastal area south of Sunrise Highway and Long Beach.
Bushra’s team has had to sweep every street under its jurisdiction multiple times to ensure that all the potentially dangerous substances were collected.
The final stage of cleanup consists of dividing the hazardous materials up into separate categories and shipping them to their respective disposal facilities. Some will be burned and some will be buried, among other disposal techniques.
The hazardous materials collected by the EPA include: household cleaners, paints and related products, automotive fluids, batteries, lawn and garden-care products beauty products and medicines, fuel and oil tanks, misc – fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, photographic chemicals, lighter fluids, shoe polish, fiberglass epoxy, swimming pool chemicals, moth balls, glue and mercury batteries.
There are 105 of these short-term waste removal sites in New Jersey and New York. Bushra expects that the Lido Beach site will be cleared out by the third week of December.