The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Southside Recycling operates responsibly

Steve Joseph, chief executive of Reserve Management Group, in Chicago on July 28.
Steve Joseph, chief executive of Reserve Management Group, in Chicago on July 28. (Jamie Kelter Davis/For The Washington Post)
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I was dismayed that the Oct. 23 front-page article “Scrap yard fuels long fight for Latino community” unfairly juxtaposed my use of a phrase about changing the rules of the game regarding my company’s operating permit with protesters’ concerns about air quality.

The article tarred us with the environmental record of surrounding industries but refused to mention that we have responsibly operated recycling businesses for more than 20 years on property that we own. We have constructed the nation’s most advanced metal recycling facility on the well-buffered, properly zoned 175-acre site, which is ideally suited, given its utility infrastructure and access to multiple modes of transportation. We built a water treatment system and installed 24/7 air monitoring that provides real-time reporting to regulators. Our auto shredder residue is tested by an independent laboratory and meets requirements to be used as daily landfill cover, yet the article baselessly referenced “toxic fiberglass fluff.”

An objective examination of the science reveals that we are part of the solution when it comes to promoting sustainable manufacturing and protecting public health on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

Our new facility should be a national model for progress in environmentally responsible metal recycling, but it sits idle because the city and the Environmental Protection Agency have chosen to cave to factually unsupported opposition rather than follow their own established rules and issue our well-earned operating permit.

Steve Joseph, Stow, Ohio

The writer is chief executive of the
Reserve Management Group, the parent company of Southside Recycling.