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Springfield Questions New Waste Management Contract

Springfield commissioner David Estrop speaking at the City Commission meeting.
Kristin Stratman
Screen Capture
Springfield commissioner David Estrop speaking at the City Commission meeting.

Community members and city commissioners are questioning if the city should sign a new contract with Waste Management in light of water pollution concerns at the company's Tremont City Barrel landfill.

Some Springfield city commissioners and community members are speaking out against the city’s plans to enter into a three year contract with the company Waste Management for trash collection services.

Waste Management is a majority owner of the Tremont City Barrel Fill just north of Springfield. The landfill is a Superfund site, containing over a million gallons of hazardous waste, and has been flagged as a potential threat to a nearby aquifer that supplies drinking water to some Springfield residents.

At a commission meeting last week, Springfield resident Larry Ricketts said Waste Management has continually ignored orders to clean the site up.

“I think that the city should take a long, hard look at doing business with a company that we’ve asked time and again to move this thing forward and they refuse to do it,” said Ricketts.

Commissioner Rob Rue said the company’s inaction is a potential threat to public health.

“If Waste Management is indeed holding this whole thing up they are jeopardizing the safety of our water system,” said Rue.

Springfield city commissioner David Eshop said he hopes that the federal government will take action to protect drinking water.

“Now you would think, given what’s happening out west in the nation with the extended drought and the need for water, that they would understand how precious water is. Particularly good, clean water,” said Eshop.

The commission will decide whether or not to enter into the contract with Waste Management next week.