Houston company faces litigation for illegal dumping

Wright Containers is accused of dumping hazardous waste into the city’s sewer system.

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January 11, 2018
Edited by Hilary Crisan
Legislation and regulations Special and Hazardous Waste

The Houston City Council has recently decided to participate in an ongoing litigation against a local container company accused of dumping hazardous waste into the city’s sewer system, a report by Houston Public Media says.

Rather than filing a separate lawsuit, Mayor Sylvester Turner says in the report the city will join the county’s legal action against Wright Containers LLC of Houston.

The lawsuit came after the Houston police department received complaints about Wright accepting and improperly disposing of hazardous material, a separate report by Houston Public Media says. The department obtained a search warrant and, during an inspection, found “characteristic hazardous waste and evidence of unknown discharges of a sludge-like, gelatinous material into the storm sewer system and sewer drain,” the background information included in Houston City Council’s agenda says.

Wright Containers is an industrial packaging company that supplies totes and steel drums. The second report says each tote can handle 300 gallons of waste. A news release from the Harris County Attorney’s Office says between 300 and 500 totes that may contain hazardous waste remain at the facility and are in various states of disrepair. Some totes are leaking waste into the ground, the release says.

The second report says a Harris County District Judge recently granted a restraining order against Wright, forbidding it from accepting any hazardous waste at its Houston site. The restraining order also forbids Wright to dispose of any waste into the storm sewer system and to dispose of any existing stock waste.

Ron Wright, owner of Wright Containers, has agreed to work with the county and city to put the business back into compliance, the second report says. A hearing for the case is scheduled for Jan. 19.