Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "landfill" ...

  • Better Government Association: Recycling in Chicago

    Chicago, long notorious for mismanaging its recycling programs, allows a private city recycling hauler to divert tons of residential plastics and paper into landfills the company owns. The situation creates an unfair system that treats residents differently depending solely on where they live, costing taxpayers twice to handle the same materials and making Chicago the worst city in the nation in terms of its recycling rate.
  • Environmental Justice, Denied

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights has one mission: to ensure entities that receive EPA funding do not discriminate against communities straddling industry fencelines. Yet time and again, communities of color living in the shadows of sewage plants, incinerators and landfills have found their claims of harm denied or ignored by the EPA’s civil-rights office, a first-ever analysis by the Center for Public Integrity shows. In its 22-year history, the office has never made a formal finding of a civil-rights violation by regulatory agencies or companies operating in U.S. communities. Since our publication, the agency has worked to revamp this program and promised to track progress.
  • Hydrogen Energy: Pollution or Solution

    This is the result of a two-month investigation into a proposed, federally-funded "green-energy" power plant in the middle of California's Central Valley. This plant planned to gasify coal and use new technology to diminish the amount of CO2 released into the air. This would be done by using carbon sequestration in nearby oil fields, creating jobs and energy for the valley. However this report shows that while this power plant reduces CO2 emissions and creates dozens of temporary jobs, the additional environmental impacts are substantial. The plant plans to truck in coal dust past schools and neighborhoods, use millions of gallons of water a day in drought-stricken farming country, pollute the air with particulate pollution in the most polluted air region in the country, store hazardous chemicals near schools and homes, fill landfills at an alarming rate, AND at the end of it all the plant will produce at times NO electricity.
  • Trashed Trailers

    Contaminated flood waters roared through Northern Colorado mobile home parks in September 2013. When the waters receded, some of the homes were soaked to the rooflines and were knocked from their foundations. Hundreds of the homes were condemned and left to rot and mold for months. Government officials presumed the homes would end up in landfills. However, a six-month 9Wants to Know investigation spanning five counties discovered profiteers were sneaking these mobile homes into new communities, fixing them up without proper building permits and safety inspections, and marketing them to unsuspecting families. 9Wants to Know found government regulators were blindsided by the flood trailer problem due to a tremendous lack of oversight in the mobile home industry. As a result of their investigation, government officials scrambled to identify the flooded homes and bar unsafe housing from their communities.
  • The Fenimore Fumes

    A series of reports, aired over a period of months, exposed serious problems related to a redevelopment project at the Fenimore Landfill, resulting in a state takeover and a new law changing how remediation projects are handled in the future. The investigation found that dangerous fumes were being released, putting thousands of residents at risk; that the project may not have been necessary; that new homes were built adjacent to a leaking toxic site without proper disclosures to buyers; that the project was entrusted to a convicted felon (contrary to state law) who had bribed public officials in a project; and that the entire project was based on illegal contracts as the man who signed them claiming to be the developer owned neither the property not the development company.
  • Trashing Your Tax Dollars

    The NBC2 Investigators uncovered wasteful spending in a multi-million dollar federal program mean to re-stabilize neighborhoods hard hit by foreclosures. The program - called NSP (Neighborhood Stabilization Program) - utilized stimulus money approved during the George W. Bush administration to buy foreclosed homes, refurbish them and then sell them to families who would live in them, thus stabilizing a neighborhood. In our area, the program was administered by our county (Lee) and another program was administered by our city (Fort Myers). Our investigation of the county-run program found they were throwing away perfectly good appliances and replacing them with more expensive products. Not only could they have kept those appliances in the home - leaving them more money to refurbish others - but the appliances they did throw away could have gone to people in need in our community. Ultimately, our story forced the county to change policies in the program. They now coordinate with a local non-profit to donate all appliances and equipment once meant for the landfill.
  • MBI Heavy Trucks

    WSMV-TV examined MBI trucking, “the nation's largest garbage hauler,” which hauls ordinary household trash across Tennessee. Their analysis of "a single trucker's daily weigh tickets for a period of more than 3 years" showed that he only "followed the federal weight law just 21 times." As a result of the investigation the company's safety and compliance record has caught the interest of the federal government.
  • Radioactive Dumping

    "Tennessee, for nearly 20 years, had been allowing low level radioactive waste to be disposed of in 5 ordinary trash landfills, strategically located throughout the state without public knowledge, with out a public hearing and in violation of NRC regulations."
  • Money Dump: The Miramar Landfill

    After investigations at the Miramar Landfill, San Diego's city dump, KGTV-TV found millions of dollars in waste on contract at a time when the city is on the brink of bankruptcy.
  • What's buried at Hercules?

    This investigation of a Hercules Inc. chemical plant showed a history of questionable environmental practices extending back decades, including the burial of drums of chemicals in the company's landfill, an EPA report noting more than 37 acres of contaminated soil, and a host of complaints from residents who feared their health had been compromised from the smoke and chemicals. Company officials say there is no evidence toxic chemicals pose a health threat and any contamination is confined to the plant's site.