Owner Says Shingle Mountain Clean Up May Take A Year

City Council Member wants taxpayers to foot the bill, recover from company later

With the court ordered deadline to remove the Southern Dallas 'Shingle Mountain' fast approaching, the owner of Blue Star recycling said Wednesday the job may take another year.

Carl Orrell appeared in court for a status hearing before State District Judge Gena Slaughter, who ordered on April 10 that the pile of roofing material be gone within 90 days. The deadline is July 10.

Orrell said the firm does not have money to pay for the removal of what is on the company's South Central Expressway site, but has made arrangements with other recycling firms to transfer the material.

He said trucks started moving the material June 12.

"Right now I'm currently trying to expand the model that I had to have it removed. I'm trying to expand that to speed up the process," Orrell said.

The owner said the other firms will accept material already ground up and transfer other shingles to their own locations for grinding to make road paving material. That's what Blue Star intended to do with the mountain of shingles before things got so backed up.

"What it is now, is a bad thing. Had it been handled properly it would have been an amazing thing," Orrell said.

Also appearing on court Wednesday, Neighbor Marsha Jackson was not impressed. She said the mountain beside her home started growing over a year ago and black dust still rises from the site, keeping her family indoors.

"If they was really working that hard, those piles would have been gone faster," Jackson said. "Our health is involved. Please take us seriously when you have humans involved? And that's my plea. I just can't continue saying wait, wait, wait, another year."

The City of Dallas has filed a motion to hold Orrell in contempt with jail time possible for doing too little to remove the mountain.

Dallas City Council Member Tennell Atkins who represents the neighborhood, said he is asking the Dallas City Manager to find a way to move the mountain and recover the cost of the job from the company later.

"We the city of Dallas got to step in and resolve this issue," Atkins said. "We talk about environmental injustice. We talk about what's going on in Southern Dallas. If this was in North Dallas, would it make a difference? Probably so."

Meanwhile, Judge Slaughter said she will visit the site in person on July 2, then hold another hearing that day to decide what comes next.

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