CHICAGO (CBS) — Residents of the city’s Southeast Side sent a message to Mayor Lori Lightfoot near her home on Saturday – stop letting companies pollute neighborhoods.
The group said the mayor has allowed the General Iron shredding plant to pollute their neighborhoods with few consequences.
They are angry in particular that the mayor is allowing General Iron to relocate facilities from the Clybourn Corridor to the Southeast Side — though Reserve Management Group, which has acquired General Iron’s assets, characterized the move as being different from a relocation.
“The Southeast Side is earning another pollutant in their community,” said Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th). “That is not acceptable. It is immoral and it is wrong.”
General Iron has drawn controversy and has found itself in trouble with the city in recent months at its current location at 1909 N. Clifton Ave.
Back in May, the shredding plant was shut down for a period of time following two explosions.
Just last Tuesday, a large garbage fire also broke out at the plant, though the Fire Department said it was not hazardous.
The new site planned for General Iron is at 11600 S. Burley Ave.
CBS 2 reached out to the Mayor’s office and General Iron for comment on Saturday. There was no word from the Mayor’s office, but RMG released the following statement:
“RMG expects a rigorous vetting process will show the new recycling facility will meet or exceed the city and state’s strict permit conditions and regulations. General Iron is not moving. RMG is replacing General Iron and the essential service it provides with a cleaner, modern facility that will set the highest standard anywhere in the country. The alternative to this project is discarding metal in landfills or shredding metal at facilities that don’t have any pollution controls. From the ground up, we are building a new shredding facility that will continue the environmentally responsible recycling we have conducted at our Southeast Side home, which has been properly zoned for metal recycling, for decades.”
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