April 14, 2011 – Asbestos has been found at the site of the recently demolished former Zurbrugg Memorial Hospital in Riverside, New Jersey. The state Division of Criminal Justice has been investigating allegations of improper handling and disposal of asbestos in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection. The state has also hired Atlantic Response, a New Brunswick contractor experienced in handling asbestos. No charges have been filed.
Industrial building materials containing asbestos were found in bags, including some buried in the ground. Other bags of toxic materials had been stored in a closed container on the site, and loose asbestos was discovered in a former boiler room that is still standing.
Concerned neighbors approached the Township Committee in September to address concerns over the demolition process being carried out by South Street Recycling of Riverside. At the time, they said dust was obvious in the air and was coating their backyards adjacent to the site. They have repeatedly voiced concerns over the piles of rubble and packed trash bins left behind by the demolition crew that sat untouched for months.
The site owner and developer, the Teicher Organization of New Brunswick, plans to construct 24 homes on the property and adjacent land. Redevelopment is scheduled to begin this summer.
Residents who have concerns about their health can call the State’s Consumer Environmental and Occupational Health Line at 609-826-4920.