Landfill sees increase in oilfield waste
By Betsy Ryan
Farmer Staff Writer
An increase of oil field waste is causing headaches for employees at the McKenzie County Landfill and costs for the county. Filter socks, oil-soaked pads, pipeline instrumentation gauges (PIGS) and buckets and barrels filled with chemical slop make their way into the landfill through the city garbage pickups and are often hidden in commercial waste loads.
“This battle is not new,” said Rick Schreiber, McKenzie County Landfill solid waste director.
According to Schreiber, prohibited dumping was at its highest in 2013 and 2014, correlating with the peak of the oil boom. Through education and strict enforcement, the landfill did see a decrease in oilfield waste coming into the facility. However, as drilling and fracking picks up again, the amount of filter socks and radioactive waste showing up in the landfill is picking up as well.
A residential waste facility, the McKenzie County Landfill is not permitted to accept any kind of radioactive waste. They can accept liquid in household quantities or a small amount of oil field garbage such as dirty coveralls or cleaned out buckets.
“We are willing to work with people,” said Schreiber. “The problem is when people or companies start taking advantage of any leeway and try to dump huge volumes of oilfield waste.”
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