To: Bill & Melinda Gates, majority shareholders of Republic Services

Tell Bill Gates to Protect St. Louis Families from Pollution

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Bill Gates is the dominant shareholder of Republic Services. He has the power of the vote and financial holdings to convince Republic Services to evacuate families living next to a burning landfill.

Families in this community cannot open their windows – not Gates’ software program – but their actual windows because of the odors and toxic air pollution.

Why is this important?

Why are we asking for Bill and Melinda Gates to act?

Because they have the power to make Republic take action and protect the children. No other child should be made sick and die.

State health investigators found a high rate of brain and nervous system cancers among children 17 and younger in the area near the landfill, in a report just released (9-23-14). There were seven such cancers in that age group compared to an expected 2.5 cases..

Parents of children at Rose Acres Elementary school believe the number of cancers among students and staff members has recently increased, and have asked the health department for a separate study at the school.

A fire is moving toward from one Republic Services dumpsite to an adjacent dumpsite which contains radioactive wastes. No one knows what will happen when the fire reaches the radioactive wastes and no one knows how to put the fire out.

12 years old child died of brain cancer and now her sisters are sick.Republic Services earned $8.4 billion in revenues and $589 million in profits and is the second largest trash collection and disposal company in North America. They can afford to move families and fully clean up the burning, polluting dumpsites. But they refuse.

Bill and Melinda Gates can use their influence to protect the children who live in surrounding communities, like Spanish Village which is closest to the burning dump. Gates’ owns 27% of the company’s share through his investment company, Cascade Investment (worth about $3.7 billion). Additionally, Michael Larson, chief investment officer at Cascade Investment, sits on Republic Services Board of Directors since 2009.

Bill and Melinda have the power, we are asking them to use it. Yes, the stock value may temporarily go down but Gates’ doesn’t live from pay check to pay check, his net worth is about $72 billion, he can take the loss.

Not far from the burning dumpsite and radioactive wastes is a family with four little girls. The youngest is in first grade today and the oldest is no longer with us. She was her mama’s little angel, her first born child and they so many dreams about her future, dancing at her wedding holding their first grandchild someday. But that was not meant to be. She was not feeling well and behaving strangely. Her mother took her to the doctors to see what was wrong. She was eight years old and cute as a button. After a series of test her parents were told that their little girl had a rare type of brain cancer—a tumor. Horrified that they were likely to lose their daughter, they search for answers. Why our baby? It’s not fair . . . we did everything right. What could possibly have cause this tumor to grow? Angel’s parents did everything medically possible to save their child but in the end, four years after she was diagnosed, she died.

Her parents never stopped looking for the cause of the cancer and realized one day when mom opened the window to let in the fresh air that the air reeked with odors so offensive that she immediately slammed the window closed. It was Republic Services’ burning dumpsite that cause the nasty smelling air. As she investigated what was in the air, she believed she found reason for her daughter’s cancer and death. Not only was the air smelly but it contain cancer causing chemicals like benzene and likely radioactive dust.

Today, she’s very frightened for the health of her other three girls. Not only from living in the area but the grade school the girls attend is even closer to the burning landfill than their home. How can she protect her other children? Her three girls frequently suffer unexplained nose bleeds, sore throats, nausea, and other symptoms. She’s trapped in the home she can’t sell and the girls trapped in a school that is likely not safe.

Bill and Melinda can help protect this family and others living in the community by getting Republic to evacuate the families that need to move and clean up the dumpsites. The death of a little girl should not have been for nothing – she was the canary in the mine—she made the ultimate sacrifice, sounded the warning to move the other neighborhood children. The hope is that Bill and Melinda Gates, parents themselves, can hear the warning from one brave little girl and help move Republic Services to move families and fully clean up the dumps. The Gates’ Foundation website says:

“To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, find a solution and deliver impact.”

The problem is clear, the solution simply move the families and clean up the dumps, so families are asking the Gates’ family to deliver – impact Republic Services to act today. Protect the children.

St. Louis, MO, United States

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2015-05-05 11:06:23 -0700

Just Moms STL will be delivering the petitions to Bill Gates Foundation in Washington, DC on Thursday. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition. If you want more on the story you can read the recent series here..

2015-04-06 13:54:41 -0700

The Gates Foundation isn't apparently lovin' McDonald's. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has liquidated its stock in two fast-food companies. They sold 10.9 million shares in McDonald's valued at $1 billion at the end of September, while also selling $914.2 million in Coca-Cola stock. We applaud this action BUT what about the innocent families in St. Louis, MO? Parents in this community are trying to raise healthy children but can't because of a burning landfill that is polluting their air daily. The MO Attorney General just filed two more notices of violation on Republic Service for violating the clean air standards, but this does nothing to help families who have no choice but to breathe the air. The community already has a cluster of children with brain cancers. Families need to be relocated because no one can put out the fire and it will at some point reach the radioactive dumpsite.

2015-01-14 14:37:36 -0800

MO Department of Natural Resources employee Dan Norris resigned stating,
"Although the degree to which this event has had an impact on the community is unprecedented, there exists an overall cozy relationship between owner and DNR. For a while in 2012-2013, the landfill owner referred to themselves and DNR staff involved with the landfill as “Team Bridgeton”.
"Public agencies have engaged in a game of bureaucratic finger-pointing, while none have assumed the lead and taken a strong position as a public regulator of the landfill. What is needed in a situation such as this is pure science, unimpeded by money, politics, or mindsets. That is what I believed our role at the DNR was supposed to be and it is what the people of Bridgeton deserve. Read more: "

2014-12-30 09:30:57 -0800

Radiation in groundwater exceeds federal safe drinking water limits. The USGS analysis confirms that some groundwater samples taken from wells at the landfill have more than 5 picocuries per liter of radium ― the federal safe drinking water limit. You can read more here:

2014-10-27 15:12:10 -0700

Last week Just Moms SLt and CHEJ begged the Environmental Protection Agency staff to relocate families near the burning landfill which is moving toward the adjacent radioactive waste site. Karl Brooks (EPA Region 7) assured families there was no cause for alarm, no reason for relocations in that meeting..

Yesterday, three days later, Missouri health and environmental agencies said, “Sulfur dioxide concentration readings recorded above levels of public health concern on October 1 & 2 in a residential location southeast of the landfill. Exposure to the elevated levels of sulfur dioxide may cause respiratory irritation or other short-term symptoms.” It took 25 days after the exposure to notify families.

Please sign the petition to ask Bill Gates to use his majority vote with Republic Services to move families living in harm’s way. He is not responsible but Gates does have the power to protect innocent children and families from further harms.

2014-10-05 14:52:15 -0700

178 people came out on Saturday to learn about West Lake radioactive waste site and the burning underground fire moving toward the radioactive wastes. Mom and dads stood up at the meeting and told heart breaking stories about their children who are sick from brain cancers, women with breast cancer and other so many other diseases. Republic Services paid for men to protest in front of the meeting hall. One mom said to Lois Gibbs, "Why do they pay for these men to be here and protest us and not pay to move my family somewhere safe . . . what's wrong with them?" See the news clip on event here

2014-09-30 07:58:57 -0700

1,000 signatures reached

2014-09-24 07:35:57 -0700

State health investigators found a high rate of brain and nervous system cancers among children 17 and younger in the area near the landfill. In report released yesterday they found seven such cancers in that age group from 1996 to 2011, compared to an expected 2.5 cases based on rates across the state.
Parents of children at Rose Acres Elementary school believe the number of cancers among students and staff members has recently increased, and have asked the state health department for a separate study at the school.

2014-09-08 10:16:47 -0700

500 signatures reached

2014-09-04 05:03:44 -0700

100 signatures reached

2014-08-30 11:02:20 -0700

50 signatures reached

2014-08-29 16:33:33 -0700

25 signatures reached

2014-08-29 13:47:42 -0700

10 signatures reached