Watch CBS News

Doral residents say rebuilding trash incinerator is a health risk

Residents demanding clean air after trash incinerator goes up in flames
Residents demanding clean air after trash incinerator goes up in flames 01:58

MIAMI — Maria Claudia grew up in Doral. 

"My entire family still resides there," she said. 

"I remember getting up to go to school in the morning and smelling the chemical odors every day. The fire last year served as a wake up call," said Claudia, "and for the first time I started hearing many more of my neighbors start to ask questions about the toxins we are exposed to all throughout those years."

So did Patricia Villar. 

"My two kids were born there, and we have been breathing the air around the incinerator, in my case, half my life. And in my kids case, their entire life," she said. 

In response, they joined nonprofit organizations like Florida Rising.  Families like these spoke to elected officials Thursday morning to urge Miami Dade County not to rebuild the trash incinerator in Doral that went up in flames a year ago. 

Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo said humans can come up with something better. 

"Since people have walked the earth, the two most preferred ways of getting rid of the garbage has been to burn it or to bury it. And here we are hundreds of thousands of years later," Castillo said, "we continue to do the very same thing. The difference today is, we know better."

Doral fire CBS News Miami

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam said, while in Broward, his city is directly impacted by the incinerator as well. 

"Less than an eighth of a mile from the city of Miramar," Messam said,  "our residents deserve the opportunity to continue to breathe the fresh air that we breathe right now."

Local environmental non-profits came out with a 18-page report highlighting what they think the county should do immediately instead:

"First thing is to create a timeline for developing the Doral site cleanup and reclamation plan," Mackenzie Marcelin with Florida Rising said. "We want to make sure that there's restitution sought. ... We don't want to create a similar situation."

Other points include creating a zero waste public education plan. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.