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Second landlord comes forward about problems with former Abilene shingle recycling business

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 07 2012 09:09:46 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 07 2012 10:39:04 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

A landlord in San Antonio claims Alamo Recycle Centers, which is being investigated by state agencies for illegal dumping and has previously operated in Abilene, left 12,000 tons of shingles on their property after being evicted.

As KTXS previously reported, the company's former Abilene landlord, Jerry Colyer, said they had a similar problem with the business when it was located on Colyer's property on Grape Street. Colyer said he evicted the business approximately 14 months ago and the business was only in operation a couple of months before they started having problems.

King claimed Colyer failed to accept his rent checks, unlawfully kicked the company off the property and is essentially holding the shingles for "ransom."

"He's either demanding that we pay an exorbitant one time fee for us to get on the property and remove our material, or he's demanding that we buy the property from him for $75,000," King said.

Colyer's lawyer, Jacob Blizzard, told a different story. He said the recycling company failed to pay rent, was evicted and has yet to claim the shingles.

"This one piece of land is just dominated by these tens of thousands of pounds of shingles," Blizzard said. "So he [Colyer] would like to have the company either take possession of the property or he would like to be able to get rid if it. There are people who have expressed interest in taking the shingles."

Colyer estimated there are 10,000 tons of shingles on his five-acre property and it would cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean them up and send them to a landfill. It costs about $25 per ton to dispose of waste at a landfill.

King claimed there are only 1,800 tons of shingles on the property.

A San Antonio landlord with Eisenberg Holdings Inc. contacted KTXS, claiming the Alamo Recycle Centers abandoned 12,000 tons of shingles on their property after being evicted in July 2011.

Robbie King, owner of San Antonio-based Alamo Recycle Centers, said he is afraid the two landlords are working together, either to get his property or to get money out of him.

"Mr. Colyer and that landlord, that property owner, have kind of, been bouncing ideas off each other and are kind of in cahoots and I don't know which one is the ringleader but they're feeding off of each other and they realize--they believe I should say--that there's an opportunity to get something for nothing," King said.

King's lawyer, Mark McPherson, said the shingles are valuable and therefore the reason for the conflict. The shingles can be recycled and are mainly used for asphalt.

"Alamo believes the efforts of both Mr. Colyer and Ms. Eisenberg are an attempt to confiscate Alamo’s property for themselves in order to profit from the shingles," McPherson said. "Used shingles have an estimated market value of around $45 per ton.  So if Mr. Colyer is correct that there are 10,000 tons at the Abilene site, they would represent $450,000.  Alamo estimates there are less than 1,800 tons of shingles at the Abilene site ($81,000)."

The landlords deny any ulterior motives or withholding the shingles for their own profit.

McPherson said the following about the property owners: "Under state law the landowner is ultimately responsible for the environmental condition of their property."

Alamo Recycle Centers is being investigated by the Travis County District Attorney's Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for multiple counts of third degree felony illegal dumping. The agencies form an environmental task force and the investigation is expected to take at least another two months.

No criminal charges have been filed as of Friday. The DA's office could not disclose who within the recycling company would face criminal charges.