Noise Complaints Continue Over Business Closed By Judge

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WEST WYOMING – According to borough officials, noise complaints are being lodged about a scrap metal recycling business that was ordered to be shut down by a Luzerne County judge last month.

Back in July, a judge ordered the owner of Russell’s Hauling on Apollo Drive in West Wyoming to shut the business down, following an emergency injunction hearing, where neighbors offered a petition of complaints and testified about excessive noise being heard on nearby Ferritti Drive.

A borough council person told Newswatch 16 that 911 dispatchers have received more than 70 noise complaints about Russell’s Towing in the past year, as recently as on Wednesday afternoon.

Joseph Russell said he didn’t break any rules or court orders, he’s getting out of the scrap metal recycling business, but that he plans on operating V.P. Salvage, just a few hundred feet down the street.

“I had five employees and every one of them, I had to let go. There`s a lot of stuff here, a lot of scrap laying here piled up. We got to get out of here, that`s what we`re doing, we`re hauling stuff out,” said Russell. “I’m trying to make a living, trying to work, that’s all. It’s a salvage yard, its scrap, it’s recycling, what’s so bad about recycling?”

Charles Umphred told Newswatch 16 that excessive noise can still be heard from Russell’s Hauling, despite the judge’s order to shut down.

"The smashing and crashing of metal, nothing changed. It`s been the same thing every day,” said Umphred. “If he gets to stay I have to leave. There`s no way I can live in that neighborhood with this type stress levels is horrible."

West Wyoming Borough officials said that they have no records of any permit to operate a salvage yard at V.P. Salvage.

The borough has given the property owners until September 25 to submit proof that they were given permission to operate scrap or salvage yards in that part of Luzerne County.