FULL OF SCRAP Wait it out or walk away? Is winning hearts worth the war?

Dec 01, 2007 | 12:23 PM |

For some scrap processors looking to expand their operations in the glowing scrap metal markets of the past few years, it must seem like hard times when they are dealing with recalcitrant local officials and hysterical neighbors.

Michael Marley
Michael Marley
Scrap metal prices are at all-time highs, and demand for ferrous scrap by domestic steelmakers as well as those overseas has been strong for the past few years. In such a healthy economic environment, it's normal for industries to expand their operations, regardless of whether they are making computers or scrapping them.

Unfortunately for scrap metal recyclers, such hopes and plans often face insurmountable hurdles. The nimby (not-in-my-back-yard) mentality often is so overwhelming and so hostile that some have decided it's better to walk away and not endure the slings and arrows of outraged neighbors. Others have found it somewhat less so.

In Hattiesburg, Miss., a small town about 60 miles north of the Gulf Coast, the town planning commission in September approved Southern Scrap Metal Recycling Co.'s plans to locate a small feeder yard there, but told the company it would need to put in a fence and landscaping around the yard and use only designated trucking routes. A month later, the commission did an about-face and rejected the project.....

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