PARRISH, Ala. — A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet — the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground for other states’ waste.
In Parrish, Ala., population 982, the sludge-hauling train cars have sat idle near the baseball fields for more than two months, Mayor Heather Hall said. The smell is unbearable, she said.
All kinds of waste have been dumped in Georgia, Alabama, and other Southern states in recent years, including toxic coal ash from power plants around the nation. In South Carolina, a plan to store radioactive nuclear waste in a rural area prompted complaints that the state was being turned into a nuclear dump.
Alabama’s inexpensive land and permissive zoning laws and a federal ban on dumping New Yorkers’ excrement in the ocean got the train chugging, specialists say.