The Point Pleasant Borough recycling center, just off Route 88 and Bridge Avenue, behind the Stop & Shop strip mall, is off limits for now as local and Ocean County officials investigate a load of pesticides and household chemicals dumped into household trash.
The mixture of pesticides and household chemicals was dumped into trash at a home at the corner of Curtis Avenue and Cedar Street, which led to two Roselli sanitation workers becoming sickened, said Ocean County Fire Marshal and Borough Fire Chief Daniel Mulligan at the scene early Thursday afternoon.
"It looks like someone was cleaning out household chemicals," Mulligan said.
The Roselli workers were treated by Point Borough First Aid Squad and released and did not need to be transported to a hospital, Mulligan said.
When the workers became ill from picking up the trash containing the chemicals, they notified Borough Public Works, which alerted the police and fire departments at about 10 a.m., Mulligan said.
The truck was driven to the recycling center where its contaminated load is being examined now by the Berkeley Township's HAZMAT unit, which was called to the scene by the Borough Fire Department, Mulligan said.
HAZMAT workers, wearing protective gear including air masks, are sorting through the chemicals to determine exactly what type of chemicals are in the load, how much, to what extent they may be dangerous and how they can be safely disposed of, Mulligan said.
There have been no other injuries and none of the fire, first aid or police who responded to the scene have become sickened, Mulligan said.
Police have the roadway leading from Route 88 to the recycling center blocked off as first responders continue the investigation.
UPDATE: Officials cleared the scene, but the recycling center is closed until Fri. morning. Please see new story with updated information.