Landfills play part in bird flu outbreak - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Landfills play part in bird flu outbreak

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The bird flu continues to spawn concern across Iowa, as one of the biggest hurdles is what to do with the millions of birds dying.

"Disposal is one of the key challenges here, that we're having to overcome with our partners, the USDA, in this influenza response," Mike Naig said, Deputy Secretary for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

One answer: landfills.

Three in the state are confirmed disposal sites, but getting infected birds from farms to a landfill is a delicate process.

The USDA says a lot of disinfecting is involved. Dump trucks are lined with a sheeting, and decontaminates are sprayed to prevent the virus from  spreading.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is also involved in the transportation.

"Of course we are looking at routing the loads away from any uninfected sites as well as safety issues like avoiding embargoed bridges and road construction areas," Andrea Henry said with the Iowa DOT.

After waste is dumped at the landfill, the truck, tires and any containers are disinfected.

The USDA has other precautions in place, too.

"We also have a follow car so that we can watch for any, if any concerns were to develop during the transport we could respond with a ready, clean up response," Carol Bannerman said with the USDA.

A landfill in Sheldon, Cherokee and in Mills County have been approved as disposal sites. The Dept. of Agriculture says it's urging landfills, if they have the space, to help out during the outbreak.




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