Source: Kelly Greene, 785-532-5856, klp@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Greg Tammen, 785-532-4486, gtammen@k-state.edu

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012

Removal of former chemical waste landfill begins Wednesday

MANHATTAN -- Starting Wednesday, Feb. 1, Kansas State University will begin to remove the contents of the Old Chemical Waste Landfill.

The landfill, located north of Bill Snyder Family Stadium near Kimball Avenue, is where the university chemical waste was disposed of in the 1960s and 1970s, as was the standard practice for universities throughout the U.S.

Removal and disposal is expected to last 45 days, said Kelly Greene, the university's environmental manager. During that period, workers will also continuously monitor the air in the area.

Contents of the landfill will be placed into containers and samples will be taken to ensure accurate identification for proper disposal. Low-level radioactive materials will be shipped by rail to Utah for disposal, while intact chemical containers will be handled through the university's hazardous waste contractor.

Once the contents have been removed, restoration to the landfill will begin following approval from the state. This will include filling in the hole made to excavate the landfill's contents as well as restoring the surrounding land to its original condition.

"Removing the contents of the landfill will go pretty quickly, but the whole process for getting everything back in place may be close to a year," Greene said. "We'll have to wait for sampling results to come back and for the state to approve everything before we begin restoration."

For safety, Greene and university officials ask that the public stay outside of the fenced area.