Oregon scrap recycler fined for illegal dumping

Cascade Metal Recycling fined for burying waste near a waterway.

July 21, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has fined Cascade Metal Recycling, Grants Pass, Oregon, more than $23,000 for burying waste generated through the dismantling of automobiles at a location that may have led to contaminating a nearby creek.

The DEQ says the company buried the waste on property owned by Rendata Industrial Park in Grants Pass, about 150 feet from Louse Creek.

DEQ inspectors say they learned that in July 2010 the company was burying automotive parts and fluids as well as parts from appliances and textiles, electronics, rubber, metal, yard and shop sweepings and other types of waste (potentially including asbestos-containing materials) at the site.

The DEQ says the buried waste is under about 1 foot of loose granite soil and is about 2 feet thick. According to the department, the dumpsite area measures more than 6,000 square feet. Test pits dug by the company at DEQ’s request revealed petroleum and solvent smells. Lab tests showed measurable levels of asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), according to the DEQ.

Along with the penalty, Cascade Metal Recycling has been ordered to submit a work plan that must provide details on how the company will excavate and properly dispose of the waste and must meet DEQ approval. The company has until Sept. 15, 2014, to complete the work. If the company meets the deadlines, DEQ says it will consider reducing the penalty.