Cleanup of a dump site will cost taxpayers $6 million after owner disappears

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The cleanup has begun at a waste dump in East Cleveland, it has been a headache for people living nearby since it began to operate. Debris is piled just yards from their backyards and in places is four or five stories high.

When Arco Recycling was operating, they were only recycling a small percentage of the materials they took in. Eventually the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered them to close, so the stuff sat.

People nearby were skeptical. Phase one of the cleanup began this week.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health Supervisor Barry Grisez said 9,500 cubic yards of debris has been removed.

"It's mostly concrete, bricks, asphalt, dire you know those types of materials." Grisez said.

About 11 percent of phase one is done and can be recycled, but that's only four percent of the total.

Phase two consists of:

  • Wood
  • Aluminum siding
  • Vinyl siding
  • Plaster board
  • Dry wall.

"Because it's been sitting out there for you know anywhere from the past year to three years it's to the point where it's not much benefit to it," Grisez said.

In just about every way the cleanup job seems to be proceeding exactly the opposite of the way Arco operated.

First debris is actually being removed and air quality is being monitored. In the past neighbors had complained about the air.

The road is being sprayed to keep dust down. Grisez said when the debris is gone no remediation will have to be done to soil beneath the debris

"The one good thing about that site is it's all on hard surface, so it's on concrete, it's on asphalt so it's on those non permeable surfaces," Grisez said.

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