State asks judge to order North Fort Myers recycling center to close

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:
MW Horticulture North Yard site. Photo via WINK News.
MW Horticulture North Yard site. Photo via WINK News.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is asking a judge to shut down a recycling facility in North Fort Myers.

Crews from the Bayshore Fire Rescue have responded to fires at MW Horticulture 25 times so far this year.

Bayshore Fire Chief Larry Nisbet said it’s a drain on resources. “We’re there all the time; this has gone on way too long.

The facility, at 17610 East Street in North Fort Myers, has been operating without a permit ever since the state denied their request for one last year. The owner of the facility declined to comment to WINK News.

The state has asked a judge to order the owners to shut down the North Fort Myers location in addition to one in south Fort Myers off US-41 and Michael G. Rippe Parkway.

“We have limited resources so if our trucks are tied up there with these hot spots and this material that shouldn’t even be there in the first place, now we are dealing with that when we should be responding to emergencies for our taxpayers,” Nisbet said. 

The chief said he is glad the state is stepping up to shut down the facility.

“We are the only ones who have been responding to the fires; we are the only ones enforcing the codes, and we are the only ones continually being affected by the lack of oversight on the site,” he said. 

But until MW Horticulture is out of business and the solid waste and debris is gone, Nisbet said his crews will continue to respond to every fire call out there.

“We want to see businesses flourish,” Nisbet said. “We want to see businesses do well and leaving smoldering material out on a site is the wrong way of doing things.”

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