Cleanup at Defense Depot reveals tons of metal drums, other waste

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Crews excavated 4,400 tons of crushed metal drums and other waste at the former Defense Depot as part of a yearlong cleanup of the site that ended this spring.

The material dug up at a 68-acre tract at the Memphis facility also included 3,000 bottles of a compound used to test water for the presence of chlorine.

The site had been used for decades to dispose of industrial chemicals and chemical weapons materials for the depot, which is now closed. It has been undergoing cleanup work so it can be converted to other uses.

Absent from the recovered wastes at the site were some potentially dangerous substances listed in military records as having been buried at the site.

They included 1,700 bottles of fuming nitric acid, thousands of gallons of insecticide and dozens of drums of oil, grease and thinner. Less than 10% of the excavated waste was classified as hazardous.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)