In a bizarre set of factors, including what farmers said was too much bounty, but too many labor disputes leaving cargo sitting on Pacific Northwest docks for weeks, millions of pounds of apples are being trashed all across Washington State in what state officials call "an historic dump." Landfills are now covered with Red Delicious apples with trucks pulling up several times a day, unloading thousands more. And officials insist that the apples were unusable, even for processing.
Seattle's KING-TV reports
that fruit flies have invaded one particular hillside in the north central Washington community of Pateros, ironically near a fruit stand, where owners say, "It smells like rancid fruit."
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association estimates $95 million in lost sales due to apples that couldn't ship due to labor disputes at the ports of Portland and Seattle.