Nat Geo doc features Tallassee
By Michael Butler
It's not the feel-good piece you would want to see about your hometown on a television documentary. Last year when Chelsea Handler feautured Tallassee and other cities in a Netflix program on racism.
Now, National Geographic is digging up more dirt, no pun intended. A promotional video on landfills has been posted on the Nat Geo website with the headline, "Death By Zip Code."
The TV channel labels the town, Ashurst Bar, Alabama (population 591) in an investigative report on a "hazardous waste dump low-income families live by". The film references Advanced Disposal's Stone's Throw Landfill located just outside of Tallassee's city limits.
Tim Samuels hosts the program that focuses on how "where you live can have an impact on how long you live."
"As soon as I got here, I got a blast of some metallic odor," Samuels stated. "Each day the landfill receives on average more than a thousand tons of trash including; asbestos, sewage, industrial waste and sludge."
Samuels also points out that Stone's Throw received Alabama's "Landfill of the Year" award last year. The award is given by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management for aesthetics, compliance and community involvement.
Ashurst Bar Road resident Phyllis Gosa was interviewed by Samuels. Gosa lives on land she inherited from her family.
"This is my heritage," she said during the taping of the show. "My memories are working that land to survive. Now, it's a concern."
In the comments section of Nat Geo's website Andrea Smith wrote,"Death By Zip Code shows a snippet of what's happening to my people in Tallassee. It stinks - literally."
National Geographic Documentary Promo