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New Dowagiac, Mich., feeder yard opens

Keywords: Tags  Electronic Computer & Light Metal Recycling, Robert Wallace, metals recycling, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — Southwest Michigan has a new scrap player as Electronic Computer & Light Metal Recycling started accepting customers Tuesday.

The Dowagiac City Council earlier this month granted a special land use permit to allow Robert Wallace to establish a light metal recycling facility at space previously occupied by the former National Copper Products Inc.

From 2003 to 2008, Wallace was yard manager at a Lou Padnos Iron & Metal Co. facility, and from 2008 through the start of this year was a buyer for Eau Claire-based Randy’s Recycling Inc.

"My son-in-law encouraged me to go out on my own and I thought it was time to give it a try," Wallace said.

The Dowagiac feeder yard accepts nonferrous and ferrous material, and a fluorocarbon recovery system allows the company to purchase appliances and drain the fluids.

Wallace decided to open the Dowagiac facility, a process that took about two months, while he continues to pursue the start up of another facility in a neighboring area in Cassopolis.

Wallace has been working for more than nine months to open the five-acre Cassopolis site, located about 10 minutes away from the Dowagiac site. The process has been held up by a Cassopolis junkyard ordinance that requires a wall to be erected around the entire facility rather than a fence. A fence would cost $46,000 while erecting a wall is estimated to cost $160,000.

"We have a budget to work with, and after submitting our site plans and expecting approval (we) were blindsided with the request for a wall," Wallace said.

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