Dumping On The Poor

America's dispossessed have lived for decades with toxic wastes and garbage. Now they're fighting back.

The name Altgeld Gardens evokes images of brilliant flowers rampant in golden sunlight. But if you follow your nose into the black ghetto on the Far South Side of Chicago, it will lead you to a dilapidated housing project built atop a former landfill whose fetid odors still rise from the basements after more than 60 years. The plight of nearly 2,000 families is made worse by tons of pollutants from a nearby sludge plant, a steel mill, a paint company, a huge incinerator and an 80-ft.-high landfill. Only a few miles away is a lot that should be a playground....

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