Archive for Friday, April 6, 2012

Recycling center loses 1st appeal

April 6, 2012


In a Thursday night meeting, the Lawrence Board of Zoning Appeals upheld a notice of violation ordering the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center to get rid of its outside storage of scrap metal and other materials.

Site manager Bo Killough appealed the letter when it was issued in January after neighbors complained of noise and smell coming from the center.

The letter can still be appealed through the Douglas County District Court.


cheapskate 6 years ago

Sooo do you opposing people understand the service Bo provides? Shut him down and where do the people that pick up trash/cans get their money? ... They steal, rob and beg. Way to support recycling liberal Lawrence!. Maybe when the city buys Bo out your tax dollars will help the garbage trucks smell better when they are parked next to your shack. Maybe let him restructure his business to better fit your needs rather than trying to force him out. Unlike most... Bo is willing to work with the community!! Just frustrating how Lawrence people preach green/recycle/tree hugging but won't support the very same place that provides those things.

windjammer 6 years ago

The neighbors have no problem with recycling. The neighbors just want the toxic industrial salvage yard moved to the proper location. The neighbors are sorry the crackheads and drunks will need to take their stolen items to another location. Might I suggest in your neighborhood or yet within 100 feet of your shack. Bo is only willing to work with the community only if forced to do so.

guess_again 6 years ago

@ none2: Do you think people on the West side would tolerate an industrial grade salvage operation next to their residences for a single minute? har har to you.

guess_again 6 years ago

@ none2: Do you think people on the West side would tolerate an industrial grade salvage operation next to their residences for a single minute? har har to you.

windjammer 6 years ago

Go ahead trash east Lawrence but one day you will be more than likely buried in our soil. You should have more respect for the caretakers of your past family members.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

There is a recycling operation opening in North Lawrence at a former salvage yard. Aluminum cans are easy to sell. Aluminum is a popular recycling material.

12th Street Recycling applied for a retail storefront in 2003 and was granted an OK to run a retail storefront. The business then decided to become a different type of business without seeking approval from city hall. 12th Street recycling ignored EPA regulations and city code requirements.

For at least 7 years 12th Street Recycling chose to operate in violation of city codes. 12th Street Recycling set the standards by which they would operate. The business had plenty of warnings.

What we have here is a combo of code violations and lack of enforcement. City Hall decided to enforce the codes that were on the books. There is no logic in allowing an operation to remain open that is in violation of city codes and has been for some time.

Isn’t it odd that previous owners did not encounter the same concerns that 12th Street Recycling has brought on itself?

Code violations and lack of enforcement placed the City Commission in quite a curious position. Speculation tells me the City Commission would have been well within their authority to issue a cease and desist order months ago based on an extraordinary power point presentation by members of the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association.

Stephanie Hull 6 years ago

+1 -- "Code violations and LACK OF ENFORCEMENT placed the City Commission in quite a curious position. Speculation tells me the City Commission would have been well within their authority to issue a cease and desist order months ago"

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Officials with the city’s planning office have delivered a new letter of violation that orders the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center to eliminate by Monday much of its outdoor storage of old cars, scrap metal and other materials.

But McCullough said the amount will have to be significantly less than a previously submitted site plan that showed the back half of the property being cleared of exterior storage but allowing metal, vehicle and other scrap storage on the front half of the property.

Ultimately, Scott McCullough said the business will need to operate more in line with a description that was given to the department in 2003, when Killough was confirming that his new business would be legal. That description characterized the business as “purchasing returned or rejected housewares and outdoor appliances and furniture from distributors, and salvaging such items to reassemble and sell.”

That is different than what the city is seeing now, McCullough said.

“The current operations have a salvage yard element to it,” he said.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

he Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued an emergency order, forcing the 12th and Haskell Bargain Center to make immediate changes, after seven fires at the salvage yard since 2004.

The KDHE order states that owner Bo Killough must immediately “cease and desist activities that create a hazard and immediate danger to surrounding property and to public health and safety.”

Last week, residents in the Brook Creek Neighborhood, which is across the street from the recycling center and salvage yard, spoke out following a Jan. 27 fire that ignited six cars. They also complained to KDHE. The agency then sent investigators to the site.

KDHE found the operators of the salvage yard were not properly removing gasoline and other flammable liquids from vehicles before they were being crushed.

According to the emergency order, investigators found more than 200 salvage vehicles on the property at 1146 Haskell Ave. All of the 25 vehicles KDHE inspected still had intact fuel tanks. Sixty-five of 75 vehicles contained flammable automotive fluids.

Killough told KDHE inspectors that he was unaware that fluids needed to be removed from salvage vehicles prior to crushing.

The order states: “By failing to remove the gasoline and other automotive fluids prior to crushing, respondents have created an immediate danger and hazard to the surrounding properties and property owners from fires started at the facility.”

Investigators also found a pile of air conditioning units dumped at the salvage yard that still contained refrigerants. According to KDHE, refrigerants can create toxic gasses when exposed to fire.

Charlie Sabotage 6 years ago

This establishment provides not only a service for recycling but the local people who are down on their luck as well. You know what East Lawrence? If it wasn't for people walking the neighborhood, let alone the town, the community would be littered with trash and recyclables. There are people that that are disabled that take things there that they have cleaned up, for extra money. Families that are not making ends meet that legally obtain scrap and go there just to get by. People who buy scrap back at lower prices to redo worn down things.
They do, in fact take old appliances and such and refurbish them and resell them. They DO now comply to the draining of all fluid sand last I knew a car could not enter the yard for scrap with a battery still under the hood. They have offered incentives (monetary, a higher purchase price) for cars that have NO fluids in them. And since that saves on the work the people employed there have to do, by draining the car when it gets there, the people bringing the cars in are not always disposing of the fluids in a "nature friendly" way. Would you rather someone drain their hazardous fluids on your street or country road or let the people at this establishment remove it, put it in the necessary container, wrap and ship it? The neighbors can be mad about the smell, yes, it smells. Old recyclables smell and 95% of the things taken there are NOT cleaned before scrapped or recycled.
They are doing the community a service. They have done multiple things to change the way they operate. Now, i have not stopped through in awhile but I do not think this is an oppurtunity to bash a service provided to the community. Yes, maybe relocation is a better idea, but people in that community without constant transportation can get there to take in what they have cleaned up.
Cans for the Community, used to be, might still be a huge customer of theirs. Anyone know what that is? Look it up. All of the cans they recycle through 12th street recycling bring the cause money. Know where that money goes? back into the community. And has helped many people. There is more to this than just smell and noise there are people,people that are helping the community be clean, getting a little extra cash, and the people who work there that are maintaining families while doing a dirty job that not many others want to do. So shut them down, push them out, then clean up your own messes

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"Yes, maybe relocation is a better idea, "

Sounds like you agree with the neighborhood critics.

windjammer 6 years ago

Glad to read you have the solution to all the problems at the toxic industrial salvage yard. Can collectors are just part of the major problems the neighbors dislike. All types of junk is being sold at the industrial salvage yard. Junk from not just Douglas county is finding it's way to the east Lawrence site. Johnson, Franklin, Osage, Shawnee, Jefferson, Leavenworth counties transport their junk to the east Lawrence neighborhood. Let's move the toxic induastrial salvage yard to west Lawrence and see how long it survives.

Catalano 6 years ago

What's interesting (and sad) about all the negative comments is that they reflect a clear lack of knowledge of how city codes work and why we have codes to begin with. I don't think anyone has said they want to put Mr. Killough out of business...they just want his business to follow the same rules as everyone else. Why should he get special treatment? Is it fair to, say, Lonnie's Recycling, which is located in a properly zoned area to have to compete with 12th and Haskell Recycle Center, which is not located in a properly zoned area?

Charlie Sabotage 6 years ago

I say maybe relocation because it is not a large space but it is a good service. And guess what? Junk from Douglas county is being hauled to other counties also. If people want to pay the gas to get their stuff to Lawrence then so what? the recycling center hauls in to Kansas City on a daily basis. I'm sure they would haul more if they could. by the looks of it you all will have your way soon. And they were not solutions most were facts and statements. Things that are in place at this time. Not solutions but if you take my "relocation" statement as me agreeing to shut them down or that they are doing a complete disservice to the community you must be diluted. As far as the people picking up junk in the neighborhood, are you going to do it? Are the property owners going to? And are they planning to recycle it when they do pick it up? or is the landfill still a perfect place to help the environment?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

It's a false choice to assert that if this establishment is shut down or moved that recycling can no longer be accomplished, or that those who depend on scavenging neighborhoods for their livelihood will have no place to take their collections.

somedude20 6 years ago

Same kind of BS scare tactics that are used by sneaky and weaselly politicians who know they are trying to sell a bill of goods to the public. Out of luck, Chuck!

sourpuss 6 years ago

What is with the vitriol spewed out here about East Lawrence? I grew up in East Lawrence and loved it. If you want to live in a "community organized" area where people care if you park in your own driveway and restrict what sorts of plants you can have, fine. Live there. Why do you care what East Lawrence is like anyway? What did these people do to make you hate them? Not conform to your way of life? East Lawrence is a vibrant, safe (we look out for each other), diverse community. Just because we don't care about a broken car and just because we don't spray poisons to kill weeds doesn't mean you have to hate us. And as far as the recycling center, the problem ISN'T the recycling, it is the hazardous conditions from spilled gasoline and oils and the improper disposal of chemicals. As well, the loud noises disturb residents and the heavy trucks tear up our roads. Besides, if you live on the West Side and hate East Lawrence so much - I assume you're doing your classy recycling at Wal-Mart or paying someone to do it for you - why do you care what happens over here anyway? Stop calling us names and just go back to ignoring us. We're not trashy. Thank you.

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years ago

I have to say I was sorely disappointed by one Mr. Don "Red Dog" Gardner last night. Talk about spewing vitriol. Here's a supposed "pillar of our community" (who I thought promoted healthy living) basically telling the BZA that Brook Creek is a trashy neighborhood and deserved to be treated unfairly. I guess breathing toxic fumes and having our senses assaulted on a regular basis is okay with him. He must just want certain people in town (those who worship him, perhaps) to be able to live in a healthy environment. What a teeny tiny man he really is.

Catalano 6 years ago

Ah, yes. Red Dog. Just another crony in the good ol' good ol' boy network (most of whom seem straight out of central casting for "Deliverance" via Walmart).

Damn. Now I just sunk to his level. I hate when that happens.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

You certainly seem to have lots of attitude for someone complaining about others' attitude.

windjammer 6 years ago

You have sure spent much time and energy for one who doesn't hate. Thirty two years? My, my it has taken you a long time to complete school.

sourpuss 6 years ago

Sorry, none2, but if you really have been around for 32 years (not as long as me, but we won't split hairs) and you think the people in North Lawrence don't complain, then you're either a lair, or you're out to lunch. Do you have something invested in this business? If you don't want anything to do with East Lawrence, why do you care who runs what sorts of businesses over here?

I smell a troll.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"When you live around the area for 32 over years, you learn to know which neighborhoods are toxic. No I'm not referring to any chemicals, but the people.

Wow. Talk about a toxic attitude.

J Good Good 6 years ago

Don't be offended, Sourpuss. Most of the people bagging on E Lawrence have never done more than drive through on the main streets and make wild leaps of judgement based on ancient stereotypes. They likely live in neighborhoods that are zoned so they will never have to worry about industrial salvage fires across the street from homes, so it is easy for them to say we complain a lot. W Lawrence folks find plenty to bitch about whenever someone wants to build a Wal Mart or apartment complex but they don't get piled on for that. Many of us love E Lawrence, and some people just like to put people down.

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