[GHS Biology Pollution Cleanup Options Menu]

Excavation & Storage

Excavation & storage is a successfully used method for cleaning up toxic waste. This method involves digging up an removing the poison from the aquifer, and hauling this to an area where the materials can be safely stored for posterity. The storage part would be similar to what they do with nuclear waste. Essentially the waste is placed into special 55 gallon drums, and then stored (preferably in desert areas) on dry surfaces which have plastic tarp or concrete under them to collect any toxic materials that leak out. If nothing is done to treat the toxic wastes so they are made harmless, then they must be stored and guarded for eternity to prevent their leaking out again!

Cost: about $14 million/ or about $240 extra on the tax bill over 10 years.


1. This method ensures that most or all of the pollutants are removed from the ground.

2. Any water that flows through this ground in the future will be cleaner.

3. If the polluted area is small and not too deep, then the area can be cleaned up in a short time.



1. Buildings, streets, lakes, etc. may have to be dug up and destroyed in order to find the pollution.

2. Because of the digging and need for large equipment, there will be a lot of noise & dust in the neighborhood. Some of the dust could contain toxic chemicals.

3. Accidents may happen to workers (cave ins may occur).

4. Possibility of vehicular accidents while transporting wastes to storage sites.

5. Stored wastes may leak over time if not properly cared for.

6. Toxic waste problem becomes someone elses problem.


Control over hazardous waste into new year uncertain, officials worried

Truck carrying contaminated dirt sinks in Diablo Lake

Truck containing contaminated soil rescued from Diablo Lake

Timetable set for Hanford waste-treatment plants

Links about using stored toxic wastes to make fertilizer!:

Toxic waste in food chain' decried

Fear in the fields: Part 1 How hazardous wastes become fertilizer

Fear in the fields: Part 2 How hazardous wastes become fertilizer

Here's what's known, and not known, about toxics, plants and soil

From factories to fields

Experts: How to reduce risk

GHS Biology Pollution Cleanup Options Menu

Paul Slichter