CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Taxpayers could soon be socked with a $5 million bill to clean up a massive illegal dump. It is on the site of the former National Acme machine tool factory in Collinwood.
Councilman Mike Polensek calls what happened at the site 'environmental homicide', this area in the western part of Polensek's ward and was once an industrial dynamo with many large companies now gone.
"Sold it to a shell company, who then in turn sold it to some other characters allegedly, who then turned it into an actual dump. Just dumping raw garbage on the site," Polensek said.
Three men were arrested and pleaded guilty in Federal Court for the dumping. Mastermind Christopher Gattarello, along with Robert Shaw Sr. and
William Jackson Junior. The trio had claimed they were a recycling company.
"What they were is gangsters that's what they were," Polensek said.
Initially the EPA refused to help with the clean up. The City of Cleveland convinced it to remove 4,000 tons of trash and construction
Problem is it goes on for acres. There are between 30 and 40 thousand tons that have to be removed. It will take $5 million to remove it.
"You can plead guilty all you want, who's gonna clean this mess up. Maybe their gonna do some time but the neighborhood is stuck with this
environmental disaster with no money to clean up," Polensek said.
Federal prosecutors have not been able to locate any assets of the men convicted that they might seize to pay for a clean up.