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 "trash" ...

  • 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.
  • Trashed

    Fatal accidents; brutal work conditions; suspicious unions; lax oversight; mob ties and racketeers. Every night in New York, trucks from scores of private trash collection companies hit the city’s streets — often creating havoc and too rarely being reined in by regulators.
  • Criminalizing Kids

    With disturbing national data findings, our multiplatform “Criminalizing Kids” report revealed that Virginia leads the nation in sending students into the criminal justice system for misbehavior as insignificant as kicking a trash can—and as trumped up as a 12-year-old accused of obstruction of justice. Our multiple follow stories revealed more examples of how disabled and black students are arrested in disproportionate numbers, and how Virginia’s governor and local cities reacted to our findings by instituting reforms. Our second in-depth investigation, “An Epidemic of Questionable Arrests,” took us in partnership with KQED public radio to San Bernardino, Calif., where harsh policies have led to deputies hogtying and arresting a Down syndrome student; an officer beating a student who hugged his girlfriend; and school police in one medium-sized district arresting more kids annually than municipal cops arrest in some of California’s biggest cities. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/04/10/17074/state-state-look-students-referred-law-enforcement
  • Graves of Shame

    In the summer of 2014, a team of forensic anthropologists gathered in Brooks County, Texas, to unearth mass graves containing the remains of hundreds of migrants who had died on their journey north. Reports emerged of bodies buried in kitchen trash bags and skulls wedged between coffins. Within days, the Texas Rangers were asked to investigate. But the probe found no wrongdoing. Investigative Fund reporting fellow John Carlos Frey finds that the Rangers investigator spent all of two days compiling the report and missed massive criminal wrongdoing. In a story for the Texas Observer, Frey uncovers an illegal failure to collect DNA samples and properly label remains. He finds bodies buried less than a foot underground, in violation of Texas law, and other graves containing commingled remains. These violations have made it nearly impossible for families to identify and properly bury their missing loved ones. As a result of the piece the cursory investigation performed by Texas Rangers was nullified, organizations protested, and state representatives vowed to strengthen existing law.
  • Cell of squalor, weeks of despair

    A Harris County jail inmate, jailed on a marijuana charge while on probation and in need of mental health care, was left in his cell for weeks without being let out, living amid heaps of trash, swarms of bugs, and piles of his own feces. When inspectors with a jail compliance team entered the cell of inmate Terry Goodwin on October 10, 2013, he was wearing a filthy, shredded jail uniform in the fetid cell. Shards of his orange uniform were hanging from the ceiling light. His sink, toilet and shower drain were clogged, not just with feces, but with toilet paper in an apparent attempt by Goodwin to cover his own waste and with orange rinds, perhaps in futile effort to mask the smell. That’s when the cover-up began.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Story of Stuff

    The book examines and reports on the often invisible impact of all the stuff in our daily lives: where it comes from, how it is made, how gets to us, and where it goes when we no longer want it.
  • "A License To Lose"

    This investigative report reveals weaknesses in security in the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, as well as in the BMVs of two nearby states. WBNS-TV found that hundreds of social security and registration papers were being discarded in unsecured trash receptacles. The report also reveals that the BMV was aware of the security breach two years prior to the occurrence, but failed to do anything about the issue.
  • Meadowlands for Sale

    "The stories examined how a $1-billion plan to clean up and reclaim a large swath of the Meadowlands -- New Jersey's infamous toxic swamps and trash dumps -- lead to an environmental disaster underwritten by the state's taxpayers." The reporters found that the plan was plagued with corruption. For example, the developers who were supposed to be cleaning the area made $30 million by opening it up to dumpers. The Meadowlands site is now more polluted than when the project began.