Landfills across England could be leaking harmful toxic ooze, warn experts

By Rachel Salvidge and Leana Hosea | The Guardian | June 28, 2024

Read the full article by Rachel Salvidge and Leana Hosea (The Guardian)

“Thousands of polluted landfills across England could be leaking toxic chemicals into the environment and harming people who live nearby, experts have warned.

A few decades ago, the method for getting rid of industrial and domestic waste was to stick it in a hole in the ground, cover it up and hope for the best. It was known as ‘dilute and disperse’ and it assumed toxic substances would seep into the surrounding soils, air and water and become harmless.

There are more than 21,000 of these ‘historic’ landfills across England, with contents that are largely unknown. A report in the British Medical Journal found that 80% of the British population lives within 2km of a functioning or closed landfill site. The location of historic landfills and current waste sites can be viewed on a new pollution map published by Watershed Investigations, along with thousands of other potentially polluting sites.”

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