katrina refrigerator
new orleans.la : 10 nov 05

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Katrina Refrigerator
 

During Hurricane Katrina hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated when flood waters submerged entire neighborhoods. Lacking utilities and the infrastructure necessary for the rebuilding process, these neighborhoods continue to languish, rotting in the damp heat long after the water has subsided. A joint priority for FEMA and the EPA is the recovery of a city's worth of refrigerators, now derelict vaults of decay. The process for this recovery requires small teams of workers to drag the things to the curbside for eventual pick up by flatbed trucks, most owned and operated by out-of-state contractors. A landfill designated for this effort will be populated by such trucks "for a couple of years, continuously," said a representative from the EPA. At the landfill the rotten food is gathered and buried, while the appliances are crushed and recycled where possible. The odor is indescribable.

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