Dust is in the air in Camden

August 18, 2008 4:05:15 PM PDT
Neighbors in the Kramer Hill section of Camden are worried about what they're breathing in - dust.It is a rare day that Evelyn Estremera and her granddaughter sit outside their Kramer Hill home in Camden to enjoy fresh air.

She contends dust particles from the nearby riverside recycling company often pollute the air and make breathing difficult for asthmatics like her.

"The dust, sometimes you can't come out here and it looks like it's snowing. I don't know if that's when messing with dirt. It looks nasty outside," Evelyn said.

Riverside recycling in Camden processes 1 and 1/2 tons of wood, concrete, bricks and dirt each day. Since 2003, it's been cited for a number of stockpiling violations by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

These are violations that Riverside addressed.

On May 21, the city cited the recycling company for public health violations surrounding air quality.

Nothing was being recycled while Action News was on the scene Monday, but the Action Cam spotted a Riverside truck continuously rinsing streets and watering down materials on the site. Still residents complain of a constant battle against dust building.

The Pagans, who live a half block away, stay behind closed windows and doors to reduce exposure to heavy dust.

"If you were to open them, inside the house here, this will also get film and when you're sitting here you actually start having like a grindy tast in your tongue," Rick Pagan said.

A Riverside manager allowed Action News cameras on the property to see the operations saying the company is doing nothing wrong and that reports of dust in the air are exaggerated. However, the company will have to go to municipal court in September to address a code enforcement ticket that was issued for air quality problems.

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