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Dallas Approves Contract To Remove 'Shingle Mountain'

shingle mountain.jpg
Keren Carrión
Shingle Mountain is a huge pile of shingles and roof materials in southeastern Dallas.

The city of Dallas approved a $450,000 contract with Roberts Trucking, Inc. to remove Shingle Mountain, a massive mound of shingles and roofing materials that's piled up in southeast Dallas.

It has been sitting next to residential property for more than two years.

"We've been talking about Shingle Mountain for over two years. We still have some work to get done, but I really appreciate and the community do appreciate the council and what they done. This was not an easy task," said Council member Tennell Atkins, who represents the area where Shingle Mountain is located, after the vote.

Marsha Jackson, is one of many residents who's lives have been impacted by living next to Shingle Mountain. When near the debris, Jackson wears long sleeves, wears a masks and worries about people who get too close to the toxic waste dump.

In early September, she said the city had waited too long to do something.

"We can't get excited yet," Jackson, who's also the co-founder of the environmental group Southern Sector Rising, said in a text message in early September. "We've been told this over and over and it's still here."

Nine bids came in for Shingle Mountain's removal, ranging from less than half a million dollars to more than $3 million. The city said it chose the lowest responsible bidder.

10122020-Shingle Mountain Littering-KC-10.jpg
Keren Carrión
Environmental activists hold signs to demand the relocation of Shingle Mountain, at the action event at Dallas City Hall.

Environmental and social justice activists have long called for the removal of Shingle Mountain. On Monday they gathered at Dallas City Hall Plaza and piled bags of the illegally dumped waste to symbolize that they were bringing the problem to the city for them to finally take action.

One of the people in attendance was Rev. Stacey Brown. She yelled from the top of her lungs the huge pile of shingles located in a predominantly Black and brown neighborhood of the city was a horrible act of racism.

"These are your constituents, but yet you stifle their health. You don’t care about their well-being," Brown said. "But yet, you sit there and you want us to reelect you. You sit there and you want us to think you give a damn about what has happened to us.”

According to the city, Shingle Mountain will be removed, but there is no set start date for the removal process yet.

In the city council's resolution it states the removal contract is a year long and can be extended by an additional 6 months, if needed. Shingle Mountain's debris will be moved to a city landfill.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the economic impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @_martinez_ale.

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