How Deep Did It Go Down?

Is the EPA under-estimating the depth of the problem at its West Lake Superfund Site?

In 1979-1980 Gary Schneider worked for Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI), a nationwide trash company that hauled waste to the West Lake Landfill, which was then locally owned. Subsequently, however, BFI was bought out by Allied Waste, which then acquired West Lake, circa 1997. Ultimately, Allied Waste was purchased by Republic Services in 2008, and Republic became he owner of West Lake. Schneider describes the geography and working conditions of the quarry and landfill as it existed circa 1980, seven years after B&K Construction illegally dumped radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill.

Schneider, who hauled Bridgeton municipal refuse to West Lake Landfill for BFI, says the quarry pit was 75-feet deep when he drove down into it back 1980, seven years after B&K Construction illegally dumped tons of radioactive waste at the same site. Last week, the EPA recommended excavating and cleaning up the same site to a maximum of 16-feet.

The Absentee Trash Lord

For the last 20 years, Republic Services CEO Don Slager’s name has been associated with the West Lake Superfund Site, the resting place of nuke waste from the Manhattan Project. He virutally owns the smoldering mess in Bridgeton, but nobody has seen him out on the Rock Road lately. So where’s Don hiding out these days?

Donald Slager

Republic Services CEO Donald Slager oversees a waste empire that includes the smoldering Bridgeton Landfill and its evil twin, the radioactively-contaminated West Lake Landfill.

In 2014, Republic Services CEO Donald Slager and his wife Kimberlee sold their mansion in Paradise Valley, Ariz. to a shadowy investment company for $5.4 million. Their whereabouts nowadays is uncertain. If the couple purchased another tony residence in the Phoenix metro area, they didn’t put their new digs in their name. Maricopa County property records indicate the only real estate the Slagers own are two pricey storage lockers. A third storage unit is in the name of the 2000 Slager Revocable Trust. All three are part of a Phoenix storage facility known as the Toy Barn and advertised as “garage condominiums.”