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Article Questions City's Practice of Burying Confidential Trash

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There is an article by Daniel Muniz posted on the website for the National Summary that calls into question the practice of a San Antonio suburb that routinely buries its confidential trash instead of properly destroying it.

The comments come on the heels of the resent revelation by the San Antonio TV station that Converse, TX disposes huge batches of confidential personal records by burying them in a public park. The records included personal data, such as social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, phone numbers, photographs, and other identifying details. Some of the buried police files even included tickets for littering.

While the practice is technically in violation of the state’s destruction requirements, the city’s position is that it is exempt because the records themselves predate the new law.

The author of the article points out that solid waste experts have already discovered that landfills are not necessarily bio-degradable, and points out that numerous in-depth studies about antiquated landfills, a century or older, revealed that much of the trash that was excavated for their research happened to be in pristine condition. (Note: Arizona State University did a study that showed landfilling actually preserves discarded paper.)

The TV station was tipped off to the practice when workers unearthed the records while doing flood control work at the park where they were buried.

But, according to the report, the city of Converse simply dug a new whole in another city park and moved the records there.

In the end, the article says that Texas took action to stop the practice, which was determined to violate the destruction requirement.

Click here to read the entire account.