A company that won City of Chicago contracts and was told it would receive state grants to recycle fluorescent light bulbs instead left thousands of the mercury-laden lamps inside a Riverdale warehouse, and officials there contend that the building has now become a hazardous-waste site, The Chicago Tribune reports.
Last week, Riverdale began notifying federal and state environmental officials that it will seek to file a federal lawsuit over the alleged illegal storage. Inspectors discovered significant levels of poisonous mercury from the light bulbs and other hazardous waste.
The company responded to the allegations Friday by filing a suit that alleges violation of its civil rights and seeks $4 million in damages.
According to the Riverdale filing, the warehouse has been used since 2005 as “an unlicensed universal waste storage facility owned and operated by Laurence C. Kelly … doing business as River Shannon Recycling.”