Sarasota residents, business owners fed up with the dusty air

Sarasota residents, business owners fed up with the dusty air

For resident Lori Sykora the noise coming from U.S. Recycling is also a constant frustration. “Several attempts have been made with the owners and the operators in an effort to rectify the situation, some kind of a sprinkling system or some kind of a way to abate the dust, but it has been an ongoing challenge,” said nearby business owner Harry Owen.

“Tell me what other neighborhood that you can think of where you are subjected to listening to the ‘beep beep beeps’ of industrial equipment all day long. I can’t think of one,” said Sykora. “Yes, we all know there’s construction going on over there for the roundabout work, but there is an end to that. There has been no end to this,” she explained. Harry Owen has owned a boat repair business next to the recycling facility for years. He first noticed the dust and debris coming over a concrete wall starting about six years ago.

8 On Your Side emailed and left a voice message for the owner of the recycling company to get his response to these residents’ and business owners’ concerns. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, we have not received a response. “If a boat sits here for 2 to 3 weeks, it gets gray matter all over it and it requires a lot of cleaning,” said Owen.

“It is a fugitive dust from concrete from who knows where that has been broken up. We don’t know what is in that concrete or where it is from,” she said. Sykora and other residents are also worried about possible long-term health impacts.

“I am no chemist, but I know what concrete looks like and it is gray dust and I am sure it is not good on our lungs. I probably wouldn’t want to know how bad it is for us long term. I see what it does to hard objects and of course, we are in it every day. I work six days a week 60 hours a week, so we are in it,” said the small business owner. The cost of that extra cleaning comes out of his bottom line. In addition to the dusty mess, Owen admits he’s concerned about the health of himself and his employees.

8 On Your Side contacted city officials who say they’re aware of residents’ concerns. “We need the city commission to open their eyes and say hey, what is going on over there. There’s obviously a lot of people that are being affected by it. Somebody needs to put their eyes on it and make something happen,” said Owen. Owen wants to see some consideration from his neighboring business and some action from city leaders.

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