Cleanup on the horizon for rat-infested Hazelwood recycling center
A company vowed on Monday to clean up the rat-infested site of bankrupt Pittsburgh Recycling Services soon after it closes on its purchase of the Hazelwood facility.
A federal judge approved the sale to GGMJS LLC, a Pittsburgh-based holding company, which said it intends to close this week on the $1.35 million purchase of the property at 50 Vespucius St. It will begin cleanup within five days of the sale, said its attorney, Kirk Burkley.
“I think it's a good resolution for everybody,” Burkley said after a three-hour hearing.
Residents and public officials complained last week that mountains of garbage Pittsburgh Recycling left behind when it went bankrupt in January presented a public health risk. The company, which owes more than $4.4 million, was forced by creditors into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Neighbors said they noticed an influx of rats around their properties after the center closed.
Hazel Blackman of Hazelwood, president of Action United's Hazelwood chapter, which advocates for low-income Pennsylvanians, said a cleanup won't happen soon enough. Action United organized a protest outside the shuttered company on Friday to draw attention.
“We wanted it done yesterday,” Blackman said. “I guess we'll have to wait, but something has to be done.”
Pittsburgh Recycling owes more than 100 creditors, including 29 employees owed a total of $60,630 in pay, according to online court documents. Its largest debt is $2.9 million to Cole Taylor Bank of Rosemont, Ill. Pennsylvania Department of State corporation records list Paul Lombardi as Pittsburgh Recycling's president and Michael Calandrillo as its treasurer.
The center owes Pittsburgh about $100,000 for recyclable materials the company bought in 2013. The company, under a contract with the city, paid for aluminum, glass, plastics and newspaper the city collected from residents. Since the bankrupty, Pittsburgh has paid Waste Management of Neville Island $77,000 to take the material.
GGMJS agreed to evaluate 1,700 one-ton bales of recyclable material that Pittsburgh Recycling stored in a warehouse at 97 49th St. in Lawrenceville to see whether they have sale value. The company will sell the stuff if it can, Burkley said in court.
He said the company would like to resume recycling operations in Hazelwood at some point. However, Waste Management likely will object, according to its attorneys.
Greenstar Recycling, a subsidiary of Waste Management, claims it has an agreement with Greenstar's former owner that prohibits him from operating a competing recycling center in the area. Gabe Hudock, the former owner, is a principal in GGMJS, Burkley said.
Hazelwood residents, who complained of dirt and noise from the operation, said they would be happy if it stays closed.
“If they do go back into business, I hope the city or the county puts something in place so they maintain it in a fashion that we don't have this same problem,” said Stanley Benovitch, 71, whose home borders the center.
Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Woman shot outside Kennywood Park in West Mifflin
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Biertempfel: Loss of All-Star paper ballots a blow to nostalgia
- Pirates trust eye test when voting for all-stars
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Indians, July 5, 2015
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents