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Community News: Southeast

HUNTINGTON PARK : Complaints Prompt Review of Recycler

October 02, 1994|SIMON ROMERO

The Planning Commission has decided to review the operations of a recycling facility that nearby residents say is the source of excessive noise and pollution.

The review could lead to a commission decision on whether to revoke the conditional use permit of Aggregate Recycling Systems, Inc., 6208 S. Alameda St., which specializes in storing and recycling concrete debris. The permit, granted by the City Council in November, requires the owners to maintain conditions that will not adversely affect the surrounding community.

The Planning Commission also required the company to conduct all loading and unloading activities from its Alameda Street dock so as not to disturb any residences. A commission report dated Nov. 18, 1993, said violation of conditions could result in a citation or revocation of the conditional use permit.

Since then the Community Development Department has received several complaints from neighboring residents about excessive noise and dust coming from the facility.

"It's been a problem since November of last year," said Petra Ramirez, 62, who lives on Cottage Street, virtually in front of the recycling facility. "We have problems sleeping and breathing, and nothing is done about it."

Ramirez and about 20 other residents attended the Sept. 21 Planning Commission meeting to complain about the recycling facility and present a petition with the names of 75 other residents who have also complained about noise and dust.

Aggregate's owner, Sam Chew, did not return phone calls from The Times. However, city records indicate that the firm did take several steps to address the complaints.

According to city records, the initial complaint about excessive dirt and debris was received on May 26. Aggregate's management responded shortly thereafter by sending crews to clean the street every Sunday, but subsequent city inspections found that dirt and debris accumulation was such that more frequent cleanups may be necessary.

An inspection by the South Coast Air Quality Management District also found that Aggregate was attempting to mitigate excessive dust by frequently compacting and watering the large piles of debris on its property. In addition, trucks carrying debris pass under sprinklers to further minimize dust.

But Ramirez said those efforts are not enough. "There is still dirt on the street and dust in the air."

In a report to the Planning Commission, Director of Community Development Jack Wong recommended that Aggregate Recycling should be required to install a 12-foot dust screen and 17 trees on the street, water its stored and piled materials more frequently, and prohibit use of earth-moving machinery within 100 feet of its east property line along Cottage Street from 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the matter further at its meeting Wednesday.

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