May 12, 2023 - News

More than 70 barrels of waste were dumped around Richmond

Nasty, but probably not dangerous, per officials. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

Authorities are investigating the illegal dumping of dozens of drums filled with some extremely gross looking waste.

What's happening: The oozing 55-gallon barrels appeared at seven locations in Richmond and Henrico, including behind a flea market in Montrose, an alley in Highland Park and outside the entrance to Texas Beach on the edge of the James River Park System.

Why it matters: We cannot emphasize enough how disgusting these barrels look.

Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

What they're saying: "The preliminary investigation suggests the substances present at the sites are not hazardous to human health, but members of the public are advised to avoid the sites as they are still active investigation sites," DEQ spokesman Aaron Proct0r said in an email.

  • While the waste has not been formally identified, a preliminary report on DEQ's website describes the material as "pharmaceutical/cosmetology products," including a common surfactant and hair relaxer.

💭 Ned's thought bubble: I swung by Texas Beach yesterday morning after seeing pictures on Reddit.

  • It looks like death in a barrel, but there was no smell or flies or anything else repugnant you might expect given the visual.

What's next: DEQ says it's working with Henrico and Richmond fire departments to investigate and "initiate the clean-up process."

  • Officials are asking anyone with information about the dumping to contact [email protected]

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