MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Mounds of dirt filled with lead bullet casings were found illegally dumped behind the Bergen County safety training center.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, environmentalists are furious over the discovery.

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The Bergen County Law and Public Safety Training Center is required every few years to clean up the huge amount of bullet casings that build up at the center’s gun range. It was recently discovered that instead of a proper cleanup, the thousands and thousands of lead shells were scooped up, put together in a big pile, and left open in the elements.

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The situation potentially let lead bleed out into the water system, environmental advocate said.

Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club in New Jersey, said it is unacceptable that the county – or a contractor for the county – could have put the public at risk by what is essentially laziness.

“Lead is one of those things that are so terrible, whether it’s in drinking water, soil, air,” Tittel said. “It can have pretty harmful effects, especially on children.”

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There is a well nearby the dumping ground, but so far, it does not appear that it has been poisoned by the lead.