Neighbors meet with Southwest Side scrap yard, state leaders to discuss solutions about safety concerns

Monterrey Iron & Metal has one week left to appeal before city revokes its license to recycle

SAN ANTONIO – Dozens of neighborhood association presidents across the South and West sides met with family and staff of Monterrey Iron & Metal Friday night to find common ground on ongoing concerns.

The meeting comes as the recycling and scrap yard has just one week left to appeal before the city revokes its license to recycle.

Monterrey said it has made changes to its facility to become compliant with city code, and it is open to the community to have regular discussions about its recycling process.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done to meet these standards that have been a bit vague for us. And now, they’re clear and we believe we’ve met them,” said Jordan Vexler, the chief operating officer of Monterrey Iron.

Neighbors set up the meeting on Friday night, inviting the Monterrey Iron team, State Sen. Jose Menendez and State Rep. Josey Garcia.

“I would hope that, tonight, a lot of the air can be cleared,” Menendez said. “I hope that they can take steps moving forward.”

The meeting started with a video from the Sept. 21 fire at Monterrey. Neighbors, like Tricia Fayadh, then shared their experiences and safety concerns living near the scrap yard.

“Born and raised, living on that South Side. I don’t want this in my backyard,” Fayadh said. “I have to fight for my health. I want answers. I want a solution.”

To what extent neighbors felt heard by Monterrey was mixed. Some people, like Susan Powers, said they saw the effort Monterrey was putting in.

“They’re proactive, and they are willing to work with the people,” Powers said.

Others, like Angelita Olvera, said they’re weary.

“They’re fixing things, but they should have been done a long time ago,” Olvera said.

Vexler said they’re trying to be open with the community about their recycling process. She said they invited some neighbors to take a tour of the facility on Thursday.

Vexler said they’re also working with the city to show the changes the company has made to become code compliant.

“We are involved in this community, and we are part of this community,” Vexler said. “We want to answer the questions and demystify what it is that we’re doing.”

During the meeting on Friday night, Vexler told KSAT that the city confirmed it would come to Monterrey Iron on Monday to evaluate the modifications made to meet code standards. Remember, the last day for Monterrey Iron to appeal to the city would be next Friday, Feb. 23.

“I think we’re making progress, but we’re not going to give up until there is a very clear understanding that there won’t be this type of -- these types of incidents will not be tolerated in the future,” Menendez said.

Menendez has scheduled a public meeting for Feb. 29 at the Arizona Cafe at 6 p.m. to hear from the community directly.

About the Author

Avery Everett is a news reporter and multimedia journalist at KSAT 12 News. Avery is a Philadelphia native. If she’s not at the station, she’s either on a hiking or biking trail. A lover of charcuterie boards and chocolate chip cookies, Avery’s also looking forward to eating her way through San Antonio, one taco shop at a time!

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