Fire extinguished, recycling plant now faces legal trouble

<font size="3">The fire that erupted at the Stickney Recycling Plant in north Toledo Friday morning was finally extinguished Monday.</font>

TOLEDO -- Stickney Recycling in north Toledo faces more heat Tuesday morning, following allegations of violations from previous plant inspections.

Eric Zgodzinski, director of environmental health at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, said his agency is responsible for inspecting the plant. He said the plant has tallied up a number of violations in the past. However, Zgodzinski would not provide any specific violations at a news conference Monday, citing an active legal case involving the recycling plant.

The fire that erupted at the Stickney Recycling Plant in north Toledo Friday morning was extinguished Monday. The Toledo Fire Department said it took 6,000 man hours to put out the fire.

A court order banned the recycling plant Friday from accepting any new materials. Another hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Lucas County Common Pleas Court, with the Ohio Attorney Generalâ??s Office taking the lead in the case.

While nearby residents could still notice an odor, officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say there is no threat to public health. According to Betsy Nightingale of the EPA, air samples taken at two separate sites nearby the construction recycling plant showed only small amounts of asbestos, but were still well below federal air quality standards. Now that the fire has been extinguished, the EPA believes nearby homes and businesses are in the clear.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but itâ??s not the first incident at the plant. Zgodzinski did say the plant has had â??severalâ?? other fires in the past 20 years.

The four defendants tied to the recycling plant are Hemisphere LTD, Stickney West C and DD, Stansley Mineral Resources and Stickney Holdings. Officials offered few details on what punishment or charges the recycling plant and its owners may face.

Meanwhile, the City of Toledo also plans to go after the recycling plant to cover the costs of the firefighters and water used to battle the blaze.