PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Cecelia Jedlicka lives in her family home in Hazelwood across the street from a huge facility where bags of city trash were supposed to be recycled but now sit abandoned.
“Deplorable, bad, not good, rats coming from the river,” says Jedlicka.
Her neighbor, Hazel Blackman, calls it a safety hazard.
“Huge rats, bigger than cats, are walking up and down Second Avenue at night. They’re in our neighbors’ homes,” adds Blackman.
The garbage is hard to miss — and neighbors worry about a growing smell.
“The stench with that sitting there is very bad,” says Jedlicka.
So who is responsible for this disgusting eyesore?
Well, the company is Pittsburgh Recycling Services but here’s the problem. They filed for bankruptcy over the winter, and government officials say they have to wait for those proceedings to conclude before they can go after a responsible party.
A group called Action United is organizing a rally Friday morning at 10 a.m. in Hazelwood with a 12-foot inflatable rat to call attention to the problem.
“This has just been a really bad actor that came and tried to do business in our town and left, and left a big mess behind,” notes Bill Bartlett, regional director for Action United.
City Councilman Corey O’Connor represents Hazelwood.
Delano: “Why hasn’t the city done something about it?”
O’Connor: “Because it’s not our property and that’s where we come into an issue, and it’s more a bankruptcy court, which we hope will be defined on Monday.”
O’Connor hopes the bankruptcy court will move quickly to approve a new owner who will clean up the site, something both the state Environmental Protection Department and the Allegheny County Health Department want, too.