Over trashing of a community


This picture shows Bethlehem Landfill area. The landfill has become a very popular topic in Hellertown and the surrounding communities.

Liam Williams, Writer

The possibility of being kicked out of your home is something many people don’t think about, especially as a kid. However, this possibility could become reality for some residents of Bethlehem due to the landfill expansion.  This is particularly a problem for homes and hospitals. Both health hazards and political views are now plaguing those who will be affected if the landfill continues to grow.

“I think it’s a possibility that we could be moved or that there could be a suggestion to move, but I feel like some council members are personally concerned with how they will be affected rather than the people they are representing,” said junior Anthony Sipos.

This chart shows where trash ends up.

The landfill reportedly brings in $2 million in revenue from the dump that could be granted to Bethlehem in a 10 year deal that would allow the dump to remain open until the agreement expires. Some council members argued against closing the landfill because it was a source of revenue for the township. 

Joel Rodriguez is a student in the Lehigh Valley who has lived in Bethlehem for less than two years, but he had this to say about the landfill revenue and claims made about it: “I don’t know too much about this, but I see that $2 million a year will become useless if the landfill gets too big, because there will be no county left to earn that money. Besides, we generate $817 million a year from tourism which is more than enough for the landfill to be forced to close.”

St. Luke’s hospital is close to the landfill and a lawsuit could be on hand if the landfill expansion goes through with the potential health hazards, deforestation, and forced removal of families from their houses due to the potential environmental damage. 

“I believe that for me and for other people it is a huge issue, and as I’ve had asthma and many things trigger it strongly and unexpectedly. And as the landfill moves in, I believe that it could affect people with asthma and people who don’t have diseases could get diseases from the toxic and dangerous garbage being pushed down from the landfill and being pushed closer and closer to us,” said sixth grader Samuel Walters.

Due to the possibility of air quality drastically decreasing, athletes could also be affected both physically and mentally from the landfill expansion.

“If the landfill expands I would be upset, because I’ve lived my whole life in Bethlehem and it is the only place I know. As a soccer athlete, I don’t want to be breathing in poisonous chemicals in the air,” said eighth grader Jacob Weikert.

As seen with the people who live in the county, it is very difficult for them to move somewhere else suddenly or live in a chemical damaged environment because of a landfill expansion. The people within the community are fighting back against the landfill expansion to make sure that they live where they have known.