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Teamsters Issue Human Rights Complaint To UN Over Radioactive Landfill

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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The Teamsters issued a human rights compliant with the United Nations against a decommissioned Missouri landfill that illegally disposed of radioactive materials, the union announced Wednesday.

West Lake Landfill is undergoing a cleanup effort after allegedly dumping hazardous materials, and now an underground fire is also reportedly threatening the area. The Teamsters allege the fire is moving closer to the nuclear waste, which was illegally dumped at the Republic Services-owned landfill. The union lodged a formal human rights complaint Tuesday with the United Nations in the hopes of addressing the ongoing situation.

“Republic Services need to step up to the plate and put real resources to resolving this untenable situation, instead of evading accountability,” Chuck Stiles, assistant director for the Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Division, said in a statement. “Workplaces should not be a threat to workers, nor the workers and families living around them.”

Stiles also called on business magnate Bill Gates to intervene and help resolve the situation. Gates and fellow billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett are both investors in Republic Services. The Teamsters were joined by several local businesses and environmentalist groups. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently overseeing the landfill and its ongoing cleanup effort.

Reviews of the site found the hazardous materials and the underground fire could pose a huge problem for nearby residents. Water sources and trees were found to have trace amounts of radiation, and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against the landfill for the environmental contamination.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission and Republic Services did not respond to requests for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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