CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Attorney General David Yost is calling a massive pile of debris at a local recycling center hazardous, a year after a fire on that same property.
“The mountain of debris could at any second become the fuel for a raging inferno,” Yost said in a press release.
The recycling center and its owner were just held in contempt of court for not cutting down the pile, and possibly putting people in harm's way.
But an attorney with Baumann’s Recycling Center told 19 News they’ve been working on cleaning things up.
Pictures from the attorney general show a mountain of debris in Garfield Heights-- more than 30,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris.
Baumann’s Recycling Center is near Broadway Avenue and I-480.
It’s an industrial area, but neighborhoods are not too far away.
The facility faces fines of $5,000 a day if the owner, Bill Baumann, doesn't completely remove this pile by March 20.
19 News found a document from the Ohio EPA that showed a year ago, the city of Garfield Heights issued a “stop work order” to the facility.
Just days later, the Ohio EPA observed “illegal disposing of debris” and “open dumping of solid waste.”
They notified the owner of those violations, and at least one of the three piles was supposed to be cleaned up by the end of January 2019.
The Recycling Center’s Response
An attorney with Baumann's Recycling Center, known as BRC, sent 19 News two photographs, saying they've gotten "the pile down significantly."
TJ Weyls said the cause of the fire on BRC’s property a year ago was electrical, from a piece of their equipment.
Here is the statement he sent 19 News:
Baumann’s Recycling Center (BRC) believes it was complying with the EPA requirements and will continue to work to do so. BRC’s mission has always been to recycle materials for beneficial reuse and keep as much construction and demolition debris out of landfills as possible. BRC recycles materials with state of the art equipment and a workforce of 30. BRC is disappointed in the Court’s recent decision but BRC will comply with the Court’s order. Currently, Ohio has no regulations for the construction and demolition debris recycling industry which, in part, is the basis of the current court case. BRC looks forward to the establishment of regulations that will provide much needed clarity for this industry.