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Philly recycler plans to install auto shredder

Keywords: Tags  auto shredder, S.D. Richman Sons Inc, Camden Iron & Metal, European Metal Recycling, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — A Philadelphia recycler has been quietly making plans to install an auto shredder.

S.D. Richman Sons Inc. has been granted a permit from the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections to construct two new structures for shredding and separation units, according to documents. The "over the counter" permit was officially approved in December and required no public hearing, according to a department spokeswoman.

Vice president of operations Bruce Richman told the Richmond Corridor Association in November 2011 that plans were in the works to install a 50-ton-per-hour metal shredder, according to association meeting minutes.

Sources indicate that a 3,000-horsepower shredder, which could process 80 tons per hour, has already been purchased, but construction has not begun.

The recycler also has filed a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) application for a metal recycling expansion with the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to documents. The application acknowledges that a shredder will be built to expand the current recycling operations.

The NPDES permit appears to be the only remaining approval needed, according to a state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman.

Sources suggest that S.D. Richman hopes to capitalize on the possibility that Camden Iron & Metal Inc. could stop shredding operations in Philadelphia once it completes the installation of a larger shredder in Camden, N.J. While the Camden-based subsidiary of European Metal Recycling Ltd. (EMR) did not respond to a request for comment, customers told AMM that the company might close the Philadelphia shredder but had no plans to stop buying metal at the location.

If Camden Iron & Metal relocates its shredding activities to Camden, some Philadelphia scrap suppliers could opt to use a local shredder to avoid the toll bridge costs into Camden, which range from $5 to $20, depending on the size of the truck, according to a local player.

The possibility of a new player in the area is raising eyebrows with some competitors, who contend obtaining shredder feed is already fiercely competitive.

The demise of bankrupt RG Steel LLC’s steel mill in Sparrows Point, Md., has reduced demand for shred, said an area source with shredding capabilities.

S.D. Richman did not respond to requests for comment.

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