WAAY
By Sydney Martin

A Huntsville man contacted WAAY 31 after he said Styrofoam pieces were covering the ground near his workplace, and he believed it was coming from a nearby construction site.

It’s happening right off I-565 near Wynn Drive where the Drury Inn and Suites is being built.

“It really did look like it’s snowing. It’s 80 degrees outside and it’s snowing,” said Ben Payment who works near the construction site.

He told us for the past 6 weeks they’ve seen Styrofoam cover the area around where the new hotel is being built.

Payment told us when he realized it was Styrofoam falling from the sky he knew something needed to be done.

“Throughout the weeks we had huge rain showers as we do in the springs. And all that Styrofoam is washing down in the streams,” he said.

WAAY 31 learned it can take decades for it to bio-degrade.

“One of the big problems with Styrofoam once it gets into our landfills or unfortunately our river systems is it’s not going away anytime soon,” said David Whiteside the founder of Tennessee Riverkeeper.

one of Whiteside’s major concerns is that there is a stream nearby, and if it gets in the river the foam can be deadly to the fish, he shared with WAAY 31.

“It looks like fish eggs, so the fish will eat the Styrofoam. It can get in there stomachs and suffocate the fish and kill the fish,” he said.

Payment told us he’s concerned it might be too hard to clean up the mess.

“What are they going to do scrape the topsoil here that has been contaminated with Styrofoam? I think unfortunately the damage has been done,” he said.

WAAY 31 reached out to the contractor on the project Thursday, but no one has gotten back to us yet.

The City confirmed this afternoon they were aware of the construction material floating around the area.

The City spokesperson told us the owner of the Drury Inn and Suites along with the construction company has told them they plan on doing a thorough clean up after the project is complete.

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