‘Shingle Mountain' Remains, Despite Court Order to Remove It

Activists stage fundraiser and celebration of court order to close recycling firm

The so-called 'Shingle Mountain' in Southern Dallas was unchanged Thursday despite the April 3 court order to remove it within 90 days.

Nearly 2/3rds of the way through that time, neighbor Marsha Jackson said there has been no start on removing it by the company, Blue Star Recycling.

The attorney representing the company in court in April has withdrawn from the case according to court records. The former company president said Thursday he is no longer with the company. The man the former president identified as the new executive did not return a message Thursday.

Jackson said the pile of shingles for recycling began to grow beside her home in January of 2018.

She said the expanding mountain compromised a creek behind her home so that rain run off causes flooding problems on her land.

Jackson said dust from the shingle grinding operation seeped into her home when the company was operating.

"Some of my neighbors started complaining about it and I didn't know why I was going to the doctor every other month getting steroid shots, and that was the reason why," Jackson said.

Activists joined the crusade to get the City of Dallas to take action against the company.

Jim Schermbeck, with the group Downwinders at Risk, was one of the activists.

"They were illegal from the moment they opened up operations here. There was nothing legal about what they did from day one," Schermbeck said. "It didn't have to be this way if the city had done its job way back in the beginning."

Schermbeck was in the neighborhood off South Central Expressway Thursday for a 7 p.m. fundraiser and celebration of the court order closing Blue Star Recycling.

"It's 70,000 tons. It would have been 170,000 tons by now if the people had not done what they did," Schermbeck said. "But it's not just this battle we're concerned about now. It's zoning all throughout Southern Dallas and along the Trinity River to prevent this thing from happening again."

Odor from the shingle mountain was still evident Thursday, even though grinding has stopped.

Schermbeck said the city's solution may be to haul the shingles across the road to the City's McCommas Bluff Landfill.

"We'll all pay the price for it now," he said.

Marsha Jackson said she was happy to participate in Thursday's event but will be happier if the mountain is removed.

"This stuff is hazardous. It's affecting us down here. Yes, thankful it's closed. But we can't be happy and over until it's gone. Just look at the mountain. It's taller than the trees," Jackson said.

Blue Star Recycling is due back in court on June 10 for an update on the removal progress. As of Thursday, there was no evidence of progress.

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