Glass dust bothering Manatee Co. mobile home park - WFLA News Channel 8

Glass dust bothering Manatee Co. mobile home park

Posted: Updated:
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Manatee county neighborhood has a big problem with dust. But it's not your everyday dirt, it's actually glass.

The pulverized glass is blowing in from a nearby glass recycling plant, Strategic Materials, and locals say little is being done to stop this problem.

Mark Freedman's black car was just washed two days ago. He has the receipt to prove it, but you can't tell. It's now coated with a thin film.

"This is glass dust. Its glass!" exclaimed Freedman.

Resident Christopher Tarpley said, "It settles on everything. It settles on the road, cars. It even infiltrates the inside of my house; I have to change my air filter about twice a month."

“When that facility is in full swing, it's a literal snow that you can see. If you stand outside and look at the sun, you can see particles glittering, shining,” explained Tarpley.

8 On Your Side tried to speak with a plant manager several times, but no one would come out.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is well aware of the issue. State and county officials have addressed this problem, that's lasted for two decades.

8 On Your Side did some checking and found documents showing that Strategic Materials spent at least $400,000 to suppress the dust. The company has installed sprinklers and even a dust barrier.

But the dust still fills the air, and these residents are worried it could bring health problems. They claim over the years, some residents have gotten sick.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said it has been working hard to help the residents. Documents showed a DEP official toured the recycling plant just two months ago.

The documents also showed that Strategic Materials doesn't know how the dust is continuing to spread. There's a lot of science involved with dust and wind direction.

Strategic Materials told the Department of Environmental Protection they are doing further research to get to the root of the problem.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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