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City needs $11 million to clean burned-out recycling site

KLBK News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The City of Lubbock asked for $11 million from the State of Texas to help clean up a recycling facility that has been abandoned for more than 15 years. The area near the airport along Interstate 27 covers more than a 100 acres.  It is covered with three feet of trash.

“I am urging the legislature to recognize this problem, and as an opportunity to clean up our front doorstep,” said Dan Pope, Mayor of Lubbock. 

The property was set on fire twice in the past 15 years, once in 2002, and again in 2009. The fires both lasted a week, and caused the airport to close due to smoke.

“The gentleman who once owned this property has died, and now it us up to us as a community to figure out its next steps and a plan for the future,” Pope said. “We are closer than ever before to cleaning this up.”

The City Council is requesting the “Fund 5000” from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality be used to move materials from the site to a specialized landfill for hazardous materials.  Among the material that has been found is asbestos.

“Not only is this an eyesore, but a potentially bad situation for our citizens,” Pope said. “We are going to continue to take care of this issue and we urge the legislative session to get this finalized.”

If the Fund 5000 money is approved, Mayor Pope said the cleanup would begin immediately afterwards. 

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