Trail of Trash How New Jersey’s Trash Is Winding Up in Pennsylvania

An NBC 10 investigation discovered tens of millions of tons of medical waste, asbestos and municipal trash shipped to Pennsylvania for disposal from out of state.

Records from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection show since 2010, the state collected $289 million in fees by allowing 46.2 million tons of waste into state borders.

“If waste is being imported for profit, we need to ask the question who is it really profiting,” Bucks County resident Tom Smith said.

Smith lives less than one mile from the most prolific waste importer. The G.R.O.W.S. North landfill, operated by waste management, disposed of 8.7 million tons of imported waste since 2010 according to the Pennsylvania DEP.

“We cover the waste every night to prevent odors and prevent litter,” Waste Management spokesman John Hambrose said.

State records show landfills expanding in Pennsylvania. Since 1996 the state has added a landfill every other year while regulators have approved thousands of expansion and modification requests.

The state’s newest landfill is a 196-acre facility in Bucks County. Operator Waste Management projects it will be full in 13 years.

The NBC10 Investigators found waste shipped to Pennsylvania from as far as Puerto Rico, California and Canada.

According to state records, no state sends the Commonwealth more waste than New Jersey.

See Mitch Blacher’s full report tonight at 5.

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