[NEWS] Radioactive Waste Sent to Massachusetts Trash Incinerator
– by Peter Goonan, June 30, 2016, Springfield Republican
Trash picked up in Sixteen Acres apparently included a small amount of “short-lived radioactive” waste of medical origin, triggering alarms at the Covanta trash incinerator at Bondi’s Island in Agawam on Wednesday, according to the city.
Marian Sullivan, communications director of the mayor’s office, said Thursday in a prepared statement that the waste was apparently brought in by a city trash truck from the curbside collection in Sixteen Acres.
This is not the first time radioactive materials have triggered alarms at the waste-to-energy plant. Each time there is an alarm activation, it costs the city an additional $2,000 in regulatory fees, Sullivan said. She urged residents to be careful in their disposal of waste.
Sullivan attributed some of the alarms to people “who receive radiation treatments and return home from hospitals sooner and continue to excrete the byproducts of those treatments into diapers, or to an increase in diaper use by such patients.”
The radioisotopes present in those treatment byproducts have a half-life of 65 days, as was the case on this past Wednesday, Sullivan said.