Several trailers have sat in the backyard of a Long Island home Andy Sirico has been renting since May. It wasn't until he opened the doors that he realized how much potential danger was lurking inside.
"The gray container had black bags that said asbestos all over it," Sirico said. He hired an environmental testing company to check out the discovery, and what they found confirmed his worst fears: One trailer was full of asbestos.
Documents left inside the trailer indicate that the dangerous mineral was taken from MTA sites back in 2016, and has been sitting on the Islip Terrace property ever since. Hundreds of bags of the potentially cancer-causing material were supposed to be disposed of in places like Ohio.
Instead, it sat in the trailer alongside a garage where Sirico's three boys often work. The newly divorced father is now expressing dire concerns about the health and safety of his family.
"I could have been breathing it in right there and then, (it's) not an air tight trailer," said Sirico. "On a windy day, anything more than a 10 mile an hour wind could be blowing through that trailer, right into my back door."
The documents he found indicate the company responsible for the asbestos is called Coastal Environmental, which was paid close to $2 million by the transit agency between 2010 and 2016 to remove the substance.
Sirico said that company was operated by the same family that owns and rented him the house he's been living in since the spring. He said that there were trailers and other assorted junk strewn about the property when he started renting the home, but said it was hard to find a place for his sons to work on their cars.
"Do I feel safe? I prefer they get it out of here immediately," he said. "This is a nightmare that this could be gotten away with."
After calling state agencies and begging for help, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation told Sirico it was investigating. Meanwhile, the asbestos remains in the backyard, yet to be moved.
"I told the DEC about this six weeks ago and nothing has been done by anybody since then," Sirico said, adding that he can't afford to leave after paying rent through December. "I'm worried about my family right now, this week. I thought something would happen right away."
The MTA released a statement that said the situation "appears to be an appalling breach of contract."