Alabaster identifies substance at illegal dump site

Alabaster leaders have identified a substance at a suspected illegal dumping site near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Old Highway 31. (Contributed)

Alabaster leaders have identified a substance at a suspected illegal dumping site near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Old Highway 31. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

State and local agencies have identified a substance at an illegal dump site off U.S. 31 in Alabaster as chicken fecal matter used to manufacture fertilizer, according to Alabaster City Manager George Henry.

Henry originally said agencies were unsure if the material was fertilizer byproduct or pieces of dead chickens.

As of March 24, the Alabama Department of Transportation had cleaned the dump site, and Henry said the site did not present a danger to the public.

The Alabaster Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit responded to the intersection of U.S. 31 and Old Highway 31 on March 19 after city crews discovered the source of a “horrible smell” reported by area residents and drivers, Henry said previously.

In addition to Alabaster crews, ALDOT, the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management also worked to clean the site and ensure the materials presented no danger to the public. On March 20, Henry said state agencies took soil samples and sent them off for testing to determine what type of material was dumped in the storm drain.

On March 20, Henry said a truck likely had been dumping the organic solids into a storm drain near the U.S. 31-Old Highway 31 intersection on multiple occasions. The materials had clogged a storm drain in the area, which has since been cleared.

On March 24, Henry said authorities had not yet located the party responsible for the illegal dumping, but said Alabaster police officers continue to patrol the area. Anyone who sees a truck parked near the intersection is encouraged to call the Alabaster Police Department at 663-7401.