By DeJanay Booth

DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) — The city of Detroit’s long-despised incinerator will soon be demolished in the next few weeks, Mayor Mike Duggan announced Tuesday.

City officials say the incinerator, which opened in 1989, has been a source of air pollution and health concerns for 30 years in surrounding neighborhoods.

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In 2018, the Duggan administration pressured Detroit thermal energy to make upgrades to the facility; however, Detroit thermal closed it down in 2019 when faced with the additional cost of operating.

Officials say during the last five years it was running, the facility exceeded pollution emission standards more than 750 times.

“The presence of this incinerator has been a real pain point for this community because it was another example of a health hazard being placed in a lower-income community of color,” said Mayor Duggan. “ We worked hard behind the scenes to get the incinerator shut down, and now residents of this neighborhood will finally be able to say goodbye to it forever.”

The Detroit Building Authority selected Homrich as the company to demolish the incinerator. As part of the company’s proposal, the demolition will generate about $1.3 million in revenue for the Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority from salvaging metals and other materials.

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According to a news release, the demolition process is expected to be complete within six months from the time it begins, starting with tearing down the lower trash processing portion.

DTE Energy is expected to cut off the power by the end of the week

The city says it is exploring potential future uses of the property.

“Although the incinerator has not operated over the last three years, the symbol of what has caused so much pain and suffering in the community has remained and I’m sure it has continued to traumatize those impacted the most. Today’s announcement and subsequent demolition of the incinerator means further relief and hopefully a source of healing for impacted residents,” said City Council President Mary Sheffield.

“It is my sincere hope that the dubious history of the incinerator informs future policy decisions and works to help us prioritize health and wellness and fight environmental injustice in all its forms.”

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