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Signs of progress at Earth Recycling are encouraging

Many in Minot, and even outside of town, likely remember the massive plume of smoke that rose from the city on May 18, 2017, the day Earth Recycling caught fire.

Led by Minot’s rural fire department and with the assistance of other departments did an admirable job of containing the fire, preventing it from spreading dramatically and keeping people in the surrounding area and passers-by from being hurt.

In the aftermath there were lingering concerns about the operations at Earth Recycling and there was never a determination of what initially started the blaze.

Also in the aftermath came legal action with the City of Minot claiming that Earth Recycling did not have the proper permits and instructing the company to stop taking in recyclable materials. Earth Recycling countered that they needed to continue to operate in order to pay for cleaning up the site.

The city won in court and the company moved its operations out of town.

However, the site has not been neglected or abandoned to pose potential risk to the community.

In fact, as Minot Daily News reported on Saturday, there is actually good news from the site, even if most people might not ever see the work underway or otherwise be aware of it.

One, the manager of waste management with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality told Minot Daily News that there has been progress in cleaning up the site – “a lot of progress” – over the past two years. In fact, part of the cleanup process includes some materials from the site being sent to be recycled.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly to some concerned residents, is that the Department of Environmental Quality also states that there are no lingering environmental concerns with the property.

Both of these assertions are good news for the entire community and reflects well on business operators investing the time and resources in cleaning up the site and on the Department of Environmental Quality for continuing to follow up on the effort.

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