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Recycling center set at site ol old tire pile fire

May 07, 2001

Recycling center set at site ol old tire pile fire



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va - Berkeley County officials want to turn the site of a former tire fire in Inwood, W.Va., into a center for recycling.

"It's kind of a nice recycling from what was one of the worst environmental hazards in the county into one of its environmental assets," said Clint Hogbin, president of the Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority.

The state Division of Environmental Protection has agreed to transfer the 10-acre site at the end of Pilgrim Road to the authority. The state and county are negotiating the terms of the transfer, but the state insists the site be used for a recycling center.

Tires burned on part of the site in the 1990s. County Commission President Howard Strauss said it took six years to put out the fire and clean up the site. The site is now ready for new development.

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"Apparently it's in pretty good shape," Hogbin said. It has been thoroughly tested for different levels of pollutants and, while it may not be suitable for residential development, it can be developed for a commercial or industrial use like a recycling center, he said.

Area resident Colin McClung told commissioners Thursday he wants to develop the land around the proposed recycling center into an "upscale residential and commercial development" which he believes could become the center of Inwood.

McClung expressed concerns about the aesthetics of a recycling center, and potential problems such as noise and vermin running through the center.

Hogbin said he is aware of McClung's concerns, and said the authority will work with him. The center will be fenced, will not generate much noise and will be safe and clean.

"We want to replicate the Grapevine Road center" at the site, Hogbin said. The county's major recycling center is on Grapevine Road. The county also has smaller operations in Marlow, Hedgesville and next to the Food Lion in Inwood.

Hogbin told the commissioners the demand for recycling services in the county is taxing the resources the Solid Waste Authority can provide.

The Grapevine Road facility had 81 customers on its third day open, and the number of customers using it each day shows no signs of decreasing. One day recently, the center accepted appliances with freon - and took in 200 such appliances, far more than expected. They have even had to turn people away from the recycling center.

Hogbin said he hopes the Pilgrim Road site will be ready to operate by the end of the year.

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