Officials: New Mexico Waste Site Took in Asbestos

February 20, 2012

Albuquerque, N.M., sanitation officials say a city garbage collection center inadvertently accepted materials containing asbestos in violation of department policy.

KRQE reported Saturday that a worker at the Eagle Rock Convenience Center saw colleagues accepting residential waste laden with the hazardous material and reported it to managers, who ignored his claims.

The worker took his allegations to the Office of the Inspector General, which confirmed the claim after an investigation.

Acting City Solid Waste Director Jill Holbert says the agency overlooked the possibility that residential waste could be contaminated. She says the main source of the asbestos appeared to be tiles from homes.

The inspector general found the site had no procedures to screen for hazardous materials.

Holbert says workers have since been trained to identify and screen for asbestos.

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