The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office filed a lawsuit this week seeking an injunction against a Boyle Heights recycling center that was the site of a smoldering, six-week fire this fall, alleging that the business posed “a serious health and safety risk” to the public.
Officials allege that the fire ignited in a pile of trash that weighed 22 million pounds and was 25 feet high, 252 feet long and 250 feet wide at the site located between two food processing plants in an industrial zone south of East Olympic Boulevard.
“The conditions at this facility pose a serious danger to this neighborhood and a health and safety risk to the food processing facilities nearby,” City Atty. Mike Feuer said in a statement. “We will fight to protect the public and ensure important environmental, health and safety rules are followed.”
The civil complaint names Clean Up America Inc, the operator of a construction debris recycling center at 2900 East Lugo Street.
According to the lawsuit, the trash pile left no room for access lanes required by law, which made it difficult for the Los Angeles Fire Department to put out the Sept. 18 fire. An LAFD spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times it took firefighters a day to put out the fire and a month to fully extinguish the smoldering pile. He said a team of four firefighters had to monitor the fire until Nov. 16.
The suit seeks to make the company pay for the costs of putting out the fire and come into compliance with state and city regulations.