Fact vs. Fiction: Bridgeton Landfill fears aren't keeping people - KMOV.com

Fact vs. Fiction: Bridgeton Landfill fears aren't keeping people away

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It’s the close of the season, and the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex is pretty quiet now, save for the sounds of airplanes passing overhead.

But John Bell with the Complex says that certainly wasn't the case in the peak of summer, this park packed with people. 

“It's been much better this year than last year,” he said.

The West Lake Landfill is less than a mile away from there. Last year, news reports about the contamination caused one tournament to pull out after parents expressed concern.

Bell told us last year that at one point, he was even considering dramatic measures, including cutting staff.

But this year: “Our numbers are steady, which is encouraging to us that our fields are safe here,” Bell said.

Bell says he thinks people have more information now, than before. Aside from a few rainy weekends, 2015 was their best year yet.

“This year, I haven't even had any questions asked about it,” Bell said. 

Here on the field, one of the things players don't like to catch is a whiff of that noxious odor that sometimes comes from the direction of the landfills, but even that, Bell says, has been better this year.

There were only a couple days this year where participants said you can really smell it and then the next day, they say, you can't smell it at all.

There have been a couple of occasions when workers asked to go home with a headache from the smell.

Mostly, he and his staff have no problem coming to work every day, pleased to offer a little break from it all.

Already ninety percent booked for next year, Bell says any landfill fears aren't keeping people away.

Bell says he's gotten reassurances there's no contamination at the ball fields. But should the worst-case scenario happen, they have an evacuation plan. Do you know a business impacted by the landfill situation? Email us at investigates@kmov.com.

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