As It Happens

Train full of New Yorkers' poo finally departs Alabama town

The last train car full of New York City sewage that has stunk up a small Alabama community for more than two months has finally been emptied.

More than 100 tractor-trailer sized containers of sludge was left to rot in Parrish, Ala., for 2 months

This April 12 photo shows containers that were loaded with tons of sewage sludge in Parrish, Ala. (Jay Reeves/Associated Press)

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A small Alabama town is finally free of the stench of New Yorkers' poop. 

The last train car full of New York City sewage that has stunk Parrish, Ala., for more than two months has finally been emptied, Mayor Heather Hall announced on Facebook

"I know this situation took longer than anyone, especially myself, had hoped it would take to come to an end," Hall wrote.

Hall had been trying for months to rid her tiny town of the more than 100 tractor-trailer sized containers of human feces that were shipped from New York and New Jersey and left to rot in her local train yard.

"We're a very rural community. We're a very poor community," Hall told As It Happens in early April.

"Honestly, we're beginning to feel that it's a bit of a David and Goliath situation."

The waste was originally en route to Big Sky Environmental, a private landfill in Adamsville, Ala.

But in January, the nearby town of West Jefferson filed an injunction against Big Sky to stop them storing the waste in a rail yard near them.

Hall said after a public outcry, the Norfolk Southern railroad required Big Sky to hire more truck drivers so the sludge could be removed from the train cars more quickly.

Some of the containers are still at the site, awaiting shipment back to the northeast U.S., she said.

Parrish Mayor Heather Hall says the train cars full of sludge from New York made her community smell like rotting corpses. (Jay Reeves/Associated Press)

Hall called Parrish's victory "wonderful news," but said the issue continues to affect other small southern communities, where big cities often send their waste due to low landfill fees and lax zoning laws. 

"Other towns and cities have been fighting this material in their towns for years," Hall wrote on Facebook.

"While what happened in Parrish was, to our understanding, an unprecedented event, there are still small towns like Parrish fighting this situation on a smaller scale."

 New York has discontinued shipments of waste to Alabama for now.

Written by Sheena Goodyear with files from Associated Press.


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