The owner of an Adams County recycling business says he’s been wrongly accused of illegally burning garbage and having leaking drums of hazardous materials on the site. Iowa’s Attorney General has filed lawsuits against the Environmental Recycling Company in Adams County and businesses in Dickinson, Dubuque and Pottawattamie counties for alleged environmental violations.
Dwight Oglesbee of Brooks, owns the Adams County business, but disputes claims he did anything wrong. Oglesbee says the lawsuit alleges they had an open dump and were illegally burning plastics, but he says they have never done that. Oglesbee says they’ve turned away businesses that wanted him to recycle pesticide jugs because of the potential for contamination.
Bob Brammer, a spokesman for the Attorney General, says the complaint alleges there were 55 gallon drums leaking hazardous materials including oil, benzene, and other products at Oglesbee’s business. Oglesbee says he’s not sure where those charges come from. "There’s no reason for me to hide anything, or have done any of this with chemicals…having an open dump, that’s not what we’re all about," Oglesbee says, "I just really didn’t appreciate being condemned for something I hadn’t done, wasn’t doing and still don’t condone."
Brammer says the lawsuits ask the court to order cleanup and to assess penalties of up to $5,000 a day and order no more violations.