Our School Kids' Toxic Future

Nadeem Lobner
January 31, 2021

Schools. A place of education, the foundation of our nation's young people. No one can understate the importance of these institutions. We rely on them to teach and care.

Toxic waste. Industrial liquid sludge. These are not words we want to associate with schools. However, the stark reality is, there are schools where there is toxic waste, hazardous materials, and unknown waste lying underneath their very floors. A report has found that some schools are built upon old landfill sites, the contents of which are unknown to even the Environmental Agency.

This issue stems from old landfill sites, with not even the Environmental Agency (EA) knowing the content of these ticking time bombs or which landfills are hazardous. Councils are not legally responsible for them, begging the question, "Who is responsible?" Currently, the council relies on developers to remediate the land; however, this often does not happen. It depends on the developer seeing it as a worthwhile investment, and the waste continues to pollute. Doctors urge action on this matter, as the older the landfill, the more likely it is not lined, meaning the chemicals can contaminate our groundwater, plants, wildlife, and most concerningly, our rivers. Every river in England failed to meet health standards, due to chemicals, often from these landfills. We must act now.

Insofar as to what we can do, we must pressure the government to further fund councils to clean and set up adequate protection, so a situation like this does not occur again.

So I ask, how can schools care for their students when they are placed upon toxic waste that could be poisoning their very students?