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Judge orders recycling company to pay $30 million restitution for dangerous dumpsite in East Cleveland

Four years after the fact, local families are still waiting to receive money from another settlement with Arco Recycling.

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — The owner of Arco Recycling has been ordered to pay more than $30 million after being caught violating the law and putting at risk the health of dozens of East Cleveland families.

"One of the worst toxic dumpsites in Ohio was dumped on the back of the people on Noble Road,” community activist Art McKoy told 3News. "It took a long time for justice; it took a long time for the fight."

Debris that were meant to be recycled between 2014 and 2017 kept accumulating just steps away from Willie Morrow's home. Now, Arco head George Michael Riley will have to pay.

"They messed up this whole street here," Morrow said. "Even the homes across the street, in their backyards. You couldn't even walk back there [without] smelling that stuff."

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The EPA shut down the Noble Road site in 2017 due to health concerns, and crews pulled 202 tons of garbage from it, enough to fill FirstEnergy Stadium 10 times. Morrow says the situation took a toll on his health.

"I still can feel that stuff in my chest," he says.

At the time of the dump's closure, Riley was ordered to pay $72,000 to almost 30 families in the area. Today, four years later, they wonder if they’ll ever see any of it

"Not a darn penny," McKoy lamented. "That's the shame of this whole thing, and you know what? There's a good chance [others] won't see a penny of it."

Although residents are happy some sort of justice has been served, they hope some sort of the necessary repairment are paid for as well. 3News tried reaching out to Riley's attorney to get his client's side of the story, but did not hear back.

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