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Freetown Residents Say Scrap Metal Facility Is Polluting Air, Water

FREETOWNN (CBS) - People living near Excel Recycling say the scrap facility puts out toxic waste, noxious fumes and damaging vibrations into their neighborhood. Those neighbors hope they can shut the plant down.

Erika Ferreira holds up a plastic bag with what appears to be gray dust or fine sand. "It makes me nervous," Ferreira said. "I don't know what it is but it wasn't there before Excel."

Excel Recyling
Erika Ferreira says this dust blew into her yard from Excel Recycling (WBZ-TV)

Ellen Lima also collected some debris she said blew into her yard from the plant. But what worries her most is that the plant is built on top of an aquifer. "The toxic materials that are being shredded and left outside with the rain water coming through, I am so concerned about that," said Lima.

About two years ago, Excel Recycling got state permission to build the plant at an industrial park off of Route 79. The owners say they put in every mitigating technology they were asked to.

"The permitting process was very, very extensive," says Jonathan Costa, who owns the Freetown facility. "The engineering that went into the permitting, and the amount of due diligence that happened on the front side and we know we built a good state of the art plant."

Excel Recycling
Excel Recycling in Assonet (WBZ-TV)

Some residents say the plant is polluting the air and water without any concern for the neighbors.

"The biggest thing is the health issue," says Leia Adey. "We don't know what is coming out of this and from my research, it's not good."

Selectmen will have a public hearing Monday night concerning the plant and even though the state issued Excel's permits, the town has the potential power to halt operations.

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