Hawaii's landfill space is in such short supply, the state decided to transport thousands of tons of trash 2,600 miles to Washington. Making the journey even more bizarre: The waste would travel over the Yakama Indians' sacred hunting grounds to get to its destination, and the tribe is none too happy about that. "This whole dispute leads us to believe the federal government doesn't want to honor its commitments" to Native Americans, says the tribal chairman.
He and more than a dozen tribal heads are attending a $500-a-plate fundraiser tonight, just for a chance to discuss their concerns with fellow attendee President Obama, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Yakama are concerned about invasive plants, insects, pests, and microbes that could contaminate their lands. For now, the USDA has withdrawn permission for Hawaii to ship the garbage—meaning those 20,000 tons of waste are still sitting in a Honolulu industrial park.