Ship repair company Promet Marine Services Corporation Ltd., located at Allens Avenue in Providence, was acquired by a metal recycling company.
Promet’s deep sea facility, with nine acres of land, a rail serviced 600-foot pier and two deep water berths will be the main export terminal for the newly formed New England subsidiary of Sims Metal Management Ltd.
Among the recipients [of a S.F. Green Business Program award] was the local subsidiary of Sims Metal Management, a global company that shreds automobiles and appliances for recycling. The corporation also happens to be a big generator and dumper of hazardous waste.
As reported in this space previously, earlier this year the automobile shredding industry successfully lobbied to block rules that would have halted the dumping of treated waste from automobile recycling plants into municipal landfills.
While recycling may seem like an environmentally friendly idea, grinding up cars and separating only recyclable metal actually leaves behind hundreds of tons of toxin-containing residue in the form of ground-up cushions, wiring, and other material. Scientists say the stuff is unsafe, even when treated with silica-based coating, unless buried in specially sealed hazardous waste landfills.
Regulators with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control hoped to require just that. But the industry backs a pending bill to stop a rule that would have officially designated its byproducts as hazardous waste. Sims Metal can now plausibly claim in its financial filings that the million metric tons of waste per year it dumps in North America is “nonhazardous.” The attempt at changing this designation was a big deal. In a worst-case scenario, the material could leach lead, PCBs, mercury, and other toxins into groundwater.
Notwithstanding, attending the Veterans Building party to pick up a plaque last month was a vice president for Sims Metal Management. State records show that last year, 41,300 tons of waste went to landfills from Sims’ auto shredder facility in Redwood City.
City employees apparently were too occupied sniffing out nonbiodegradable window cleaners to conduct a Web search that might have revealed SF Weekly’s report noting Sims’ status as a major dumper of toxic garbage.
One has to wonder if this is what Mayor Taveras meant by bringing “green” jobs to Providence. Ever feel you’ve been cheated?