By Steve Patterson
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - A massive pile of post-market roofing shingles is dwarfing homeowners in one north St. Louis County neighborhood.
After trucks packed with the shingles swarmed the area for months, dropping nails, puncturing tires and creating a mountain of waste, fed up residents called NewsChannel 5 looking for help.
Nearly eight months ago, an Oklahoma-based LLC called Genex Recycling became licensed with St. Louis County in a lot zoned N1 for commercial use. The purpose was to import post-market shingles from contractors and export them to have the waste safely recycled.
That never happened.
Since late July, the pile of waste has been growing larger. It now towers above local homes in the area.
"No one told us anything about what was going on. They we're coming in here almost 24-7," said resident Kenneth Pitts about the number of trucks that would drive through the neighborhood delivering shingles. "I didn't move here to be across from a landfill. That's what we have over here."
The trucks were loud and dropped roofing nails all over the local roads. Neighbors and commuters reported dozens of flat tires. An employee at a local Firestone Tire said he saw upwards of five people a day with flats during the summer.
Both the St. Louis County Health Department and Department of Public Works are involved. In January, the County filed a $500 citation against Genex Managing Partner Scott Yelton. Yelton, based in Oklahoma, failed to respond. Weeks later, the Public Works Department followed up by pushing for prosecution with the County Counsel.
In late February, a few days after NewsChannel 5 started investigating county supervisors revoked Yelton and Genex's right to operate.
"They didn't have a permit to create a mountain of dead shingles," said St. Louis County Public Works Spokesman David Wrone. "He has been shut down, his occupancy permit has been revoked by us and the health department has revoked his recycling license. He can't do any business there."
Neighbors say they haven't seen any new trucks coming in lately and investigators with St. Louis County police and their Problem Properties unit say they're monitoring the lot.
But the mountain of shingles still casts a shadow on area residents who want the eyesore cleaned up. County executives have yet to take action against lot owner Stanely Gardoki but said that could be a route they take. Wrone says they're exploring options.
"We're still pursuing a particular remedy for that problem," said Wrone. "We understand that that's an issue. Nobody wants to look at that."