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Fire Breaks Out (Again) At South Valley Recycling Yard

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A large fire broke out at a metal recycling plant in Albuquerque early Saturday morning. Bernalillo County issued a warning to neighbors during the fire, saying to stay inside and not breathe the potentially toxic smoke.

People living near Albuquerque Metals Recycling’s facility near Southwest Albuquerque have long complained about fires and air pollution, from this and other industrial businesses in the area. The Bernalillo County Fire Department says fires at the recycling plant have happened frequently. 

“At least ten times over the last decade. So we average about one a year, going out to this for fire activities,” says Scott Aragon, Deputy Chief of Fire Operations. He says crews were able to put the fire out in about four hours. The business has had code violations in the past, Aragon says, but the cause of this fire is still under investigation.

The fire comes as Albuquerque Metals Recycling is applying for a permit with the county to expand its operations in the south valley.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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