East Cleveland dump owner's business raided by deputies

Arco Recycling, East Cleveland (WOIO)
Arco Recycling, East Cleveland (WOIO)

EAST CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Investigators from the Ohio Attorney General's Office are raiding an East Cleveland business owned by the man who owns the dump that caught fire last weekend.

The business is on Elderwood Avenue.

George Michael Riley owns the Acro dump.

The East Cleveland Fire Department was on the scene earlier this week of a smoldering blaze at the old Arco dump location on Noble Road.

The fire was first spotted around 9:30 a.m. Saturday and was brought under control later in the day.

Investigators say an air pocket in the debris at the dump possibly sparked the fire.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has been monitoring the situation.

The EPA was cleaning up the site after they sued the dump owners, Arco Recycling, to recoup the cost of the $6 million dollar clean up.

The dump site was run by Arco for years and the company paid $125,000 for the vacant lot, once part of GE's Nela Park Plant.

When Arco opened the business, it took in millions of pounds of trash and charged tipping fees to haulers but left without recycling the stuff.

East Cleveland neighbors who live near the dump have been concerned about air quality and the sheer size of it which stands about four stories high in places.

The EPA monitors the air quality at the site during the cleanup.

The City of Cleveland Saturday released a statement regarding the fire at the Arco facility in East Cleveland:

"The City of Cleveland was alerted to an active fire today at the recently closed Arco facility in East Cleveland. The East Cleveland Fire Department and the Ohio EPA are the lead agencies on this matter.

We have been working with our partners at the EPA, the City of East Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health to oversee the mitigation of cleanup and removal of the material from this site. The Ohio EPA has allocated more than $6 million to assist in this effort.

Out of an abundance of caution, the City of Cleveland today sent staff to install air quality monitoring equipment onsite and in the surrounding community. The City of Cleveland is in agreement with the Ohio EPA's findings that none of the air quality results collected so far show any health concerns for residents near the site.

The East Cleveland fire department remains onsite, and the fire is under control. The safety of all residents is our primary concern and we stand ready to assist the City of East Cleveland. “

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