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Concerns Over Houston Landfills Rise as Floodwaters Recede

Aug. 31, 2017, 6:50 PM

Tens of thousands of hurricane-ravaged houses will be gutted or bulldozed when the floodwaters in Texas eventually recede and cleanup begins. Where all of that garbage ends up is a looming question, with potential long-term environmental consequences.

While state officials say it is still too early to determine how much debris will remain, they know that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city of New Orleans—which is one-sixth the size of Houston—had to dispose of 55 million cubic yards of waste, enough to fill the Superdome 40 times over. Simple math indicates that the size and scope ...