Neighbors near Dunbar sludge site worry toxins will affect their health

Many in Dunbar, like Rickey Rogers, now worry the wind is blowing dirt from these huge mounds at the sludge site as it spreads toxins throughout the community.

“They need to get it right,” Rogers said. “We need to clean this up and start on the right foot. I need to get done to the community and take care of the residents.”

The city hit a bump in the road when an Alabama facility said it can not transport the material fast enough and withdrew from consideration. Nicole Dillon, a former mayoral candidate who also resides in Dunbar, wonders what is in the air now that some of the sludge is above ground.

“We’re exposed to it,” Dillon said. “What type of bacteria has grown since it was in the ground? Now that it’s up what other contamination does it have? And how will it affect the community?”

Rickey Rogers, resident in Dubar, is worried about his health being affected by the sludge. Photo via WINK News.
Rickey Rogers, a resident in Dunbar, is worried about his health being affected by the sludge. Photo via WINK News.

The city had an air quality test done on Nov. 29, the same day it sent test loads to Alabama. Results indicate extremely low toxin levels. Nothing strong enough to hurt anyone. But Rogers feels they need new testing immediately done at the Dunbar sludge site.

“Gives us a peace of mine at least but they need to do something about it because that stuff is blowing,” Rogers said. “I sit out on my porch out here and it’s blowing out all over my face the first day was doing it.”

City officials said, they do test on a monthly basis with another expected in the coming weeks. One council member suggests putting tarps down on top of the sludge, which is a short term solution Rogers can get on board with.

“If you put tarp on it it won’t be floating everywhere,” Rogers said. “If you don’t put a tarp on it, it’s going to float. You can look across the street. It’s going to float and do what it wants to do the wind bring it anywhere it wants to go.”

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