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NJ recycler facing closure in city that bans 'junkyards'

Dec 19, 2013 | 01:57 PM | Lisa Gordon

Tags  metal recycler, United Scrap Iron & Metal, permit violation, zoning board, Passaic, N.J., zoning hearing, Frank Nemeth Damian Gil

PITTSBURGH — United Scrap Iron & Metal Co. in Passaic, N.J., may be forced to close for allegedly operating outside the purview of its permit.

The metal recycler will go before the zoning board on Jan. 14 for a public hearing on the matter.

The company was granted a certificate of occupancy in 2012 for what the city believed would be a storage facility for vehicles and materials, zoning officer Damian Gil told AMM.

The business is operating what the city considers a junkyard, which is a prohibited use in any part of Passaic. Any material that is collected commercially constitutes a junkyard, according to the city’s definition, Gil said. United Scrap buys material and stores it at the site.

United Scrap owner Frank Nemeth did not return calls seeking comment.

Earlier this year, former Passaic mayor Margie Semler took the matter to a local court and successfully argued that the business violated city zoning laws. As a result, United Scrap has now applied for a variance to keep its 20,352-square-foot business open. At the upcoming hearing, the zoning board will decide whether to issue a variance or ask the company to close operations.

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