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Recycling Rules Might Tighten After City Review

Posted February 19, 2008

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— A week after military munitions were discovered at a Raleigh recycling plant, the City Council voted Tuesday to have a committee study possible limits on what such plants can accept.

Two workers were injured last Tuesday when ordnance in a load of scrap metal exploded at at Raleigh Metals Recycling, a scrap processing plant on Garner Road.

A team of munitions experts from Fort Bragg spent the following four days locating and detonating more than 30 explosive devices at the plant. Garner Road had to be shut down and nearby residents were forced from their homes during the operation.

Plant owner Greg Brown said someone sold a load of scrap metal to the plant and his workers didn't recognize the shells as live ammunition. Over the weekend, he said the plant would no longer accept spent military shells.

Mayor Charles Meeker said rules could be adopted to ensure a similar incident could never occur.

“City Council will be looking at whether there need to be rules on recyclers as to how they inspect what comes in,” Meeker said.

The council referred the matter to the Law and Public Safety Committee for review.

Federal authorities are holding two brothers in connection with the case. Javier Gomez-Urieta and Salvador Gomez-Urieta were arrested on immigration violations last week and were being held for questioning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Members of the Sanford Police Department's Special Enforcement Unit searched a mobile home at 2725 Carver Drive in Sanford and found artillery shells in the yard similar to the ones that were dropped off at the recycling plant.

Most of the shells were spent, but at least two were live rounds, officials said.

The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also investigating the case.

8 Comments

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  • meh2 Feb 19, 2008

    Or, as they were just saying "DUCK!!!"

  • justjean Feb 19, 2008

    “City Council will be looking at whether there need to be rules on recyclers as to how they inspect what comes in,” Meeker said.

    Yep, if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck.... duh!

  • bushretard Feb 19, 2008

    Typical knee-jerk reaction by the lawyers. Do you think recyclers make a point of taking in LIVE munitions?

  • Joe Blow Feb 19, 2008

    Watching the clip this morning on the news about this was absolutely ridiculous. I am SO glad I was not at the meeting with the local homeowners. They were trying to have the whole plant shut down! There was nothing but pathetic money hungry fools there. Way out of line!

  • WHEEL Feb 19, 2008

    Meekers answer to everything is typical lawyer. Pass a new law or regulation. Don't you think that there may already be a law about civilians hauling live military rounds in the great city of Raleigh. DUH !!!

  • discowhale Feb 19, 2008

    I am amazed at the reactions of both the citizens of our fair city and the media in the Triangle. As usual the blame is and was aimed in the wrong direction. Lets look at the facts.

    There was an explosion.

    It was caused by two, maybe more, illegal aliens, who most probably, violated the property lines at Ft Bragg, stole live munitions, transported and stored those items, and sold those items in violation of more laws.

    Sounds like plenty of laws broken to me.

    Two legal aliens were injured by the explosion, there was damage to the business, plus loss of revenue while the business was "de-bombed". Plus the loss of revenue to other businesses in that area.

    The city emergency services, the military and the Red Cross all responded to solve the problem and protect the citizens in the nearby area. All of whom spent time, energy, and funds to ensure the safety of those citiens. Then the city held hands, dried eyes and listened to complaints from those same citizens.

    The recycler has

  • CCT Feb 19, 2008

    The city needs to be careful about the restrictions. Would it be any better if the spent shells just sit in the trash and not be recycled? We are already putting too much into our trash piles. The recycling center has been there for over 40 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened.

  • Adelinthe Feb 19, 2008

    Geez, ya think!!!

    Am so blessed that no one was seriously hurt in this fiasco which could have gone VERY wrong at every link in the process.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB