DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — People living in Windsor Downs and Miller Woods in Dekalb County say they’ve been fighting against plans for the construction of a Metro Green Recycling Center in their neighborhoods since they found out about it in May.
They protested on Monday evening, and again on Tuesday, saying Stonecrest Mayor Jason Lary and Metro Green officials have not addressed their concerns about recycling concrete near their mostly minority communities.
“When I researched it and found out that silica is the main compound that will be released, it’s a known carcinogen which causes lung disease and lung cancer,” said Pyper Bunch, the protest organizer. “The only solution is they have to go. Metro Green has got to go.”
“Our concerns are lower property value, health concerns, a lot of our children have asthma, my son has asthma, he needs a nebulizer with me, we have an older population within the community,” said Kamala Gonzales, who lives in Miller Woods.
An aerial view of the property where construction is taking place. pic.twitter.com/PN0Pv6lRej
— Valencia E. Jones (@vjreports3) August 25, 2020
Lary responded to some of their accusations during a July council meeting.
“I want to dispel the idiotic notion that the City of Stonecrest was created as a dumping ground. You’ve got to be a complete ass to think that,” Lary said.
He denied several of their allegations.
“For some people to haphazardly say that we are intentionally here on purpose to hurt us a Black people, go to hell,” he said.
However, in Monday night’s council meeting, he changed his tone. “No elected official, no staff person wants to you and your family in harm’s way,” said Lary.
On Tuesday, Lary said he opposes any development, including Metro Green Recycling, if it’s harmful to residents.
His office declined any further comment, saying the case is in litigation. DeKalb County officials also declined to comment. CW69 also reached out to Metro Green, and there was no immediate response.
Protestors say the fight will continue.
“We’re hoping DeKalb County will place the temporary restraining order on there.”
A hearing on a potential restraining order against the construction is scheduled for Wednesday.