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'Shingle Mountain' Removal Begins In Southeast Dallas

Shingle Mountain is seen from Floral Farms, on Choate Rd., on Aug. 5.
Shingle Mountain is seen from Floral Farms, on Choate Rd., on Aug. 5.

After a years-long fight to remove Shingle Mountain, trucks on Thursday morning began to haul away the six-story pile of roofing shingles in southeast Dallas. City officials say the teardown is expected to be completed by March.

Starting at 8 a.m., several large trucks from Roberts Trucking began to haul shingles away. The work is expected to continue until sunset, and crews expect to remove 400 truckloads of waste by the end of the first day. The company estimates there are about 100,000 tons of shingles.

City Council Member Tennell Atkins said in a statement that the removal of Shingle Mountain “marks a new era in Southern Dallas.”

He said the shingles will be sent to McCommas Bluff Landfill, where the material will be recycled.

The removal process will also be monitored by Modern Geosciences, an environmental advisory group that works in Texas and across the U.S.

“Air monitoring will occur on and off site to ensure air quality meets appropriate standards to protect human health,” Atkins said in a press release.

“We are nearly at the end of a two year journey, involving the tireless work of the City’s legal team and various City departments," Atkins said. "We are hopeful this process will alleviate concerns from surrounding community members and emphasizes the City’s commitment to a clean environment.”

In 2018, the company Blue Star Recycling bought the property in southeast Dallas and started dumping hundreds of tons of roofing materials. This continued for almost three years, creating an illegal dump so large it’s visible from South Central Expressway.

Activists call it “a poster child for what environmental racism looks like.”

As removal of Shingle Mountain began, local advocate Marsha Jackson — the founder of the environmental justice group Southern Sector Rising — said she's careful not to get too excited. Instead, she's focused on the city and making sure they allow Roberts Trucking to complete the teardown.

"I just can't get excited — we can't get excited until it's all gone," she said. "Because just think about the almost three years when we've been excited before that this is going to happen before and it hasn't happened at all."

Previously, Jackson told KERA she's worried about people getting too close to the dump site. She said she’s gotten headaches and has slowly lost her voice because of the shingle material blowing into the wind.

The long-time Floral Farms resident is suing the city of Dallas and blames them for zoning the land next to her home for industrial development.

Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit .

Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 and its associated economic fallout on marginalized communities.