- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a recycling company to remove acres of construction and demolition debris from a residential neighborhood in suburban Cleveland.

Agency spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer told The Plain Dealer (https://bit.ly/2iInUgT ) that the Ohio EPA followed up on residents’ complaints and determined the Arco Recycling site in East Cleveland was an open dump rather than the recycling facility it claimed to be. On Tuesday, the agency ordered the company to remove the waste.

The phone at Arco’s headquarters rang unanswered and its owner, Christina Beynon, couldn’t be reached for comment, the newspaper said.

Much of the debris came from abandoned homes that were demolished. Workers were supposed to sort the materials for sale and disposal at licensed landfills.

The dump is behind the home of Harry Drummond, 66, a retiree who has fought to have it removed.

“Man, it’s a blessing to have this cleaned up, and I know all my neighbors will be happy, too,” Drummond said. “It will be nice to be able to open our windows this summer and to smell some fresh air for a change.”

The EPA previously told Arco to shrink the mountains of debris but instead found they had grown. The agency had sought legislation that would have allowed it to provide regulatory oversight of construction and demolition debris at recycling facilities. The legislation was defeated last year, Griesmer said.

Griesmer said EPA officials hope to reintroduce the legislation this year.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, https://www.cleveland.com

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