Scrap metal facility prompts noise concerns
Expanded American Iron and Metal shredder goes into production on Monday
A newly-expanded scrap metal operation goes into production at the Port of Saint John on Monday despite ongoing noise concerns from local residents.
American Iron and Metal is running tests this week on the machinery it has been installing over the last several months.
The $30-million expansion generated concern over how the project would receive its electricity.
But residents, such as Peter Rice, are still worried about the noise of the metal shredding facility.
From Rice's front porch, he can hear a steady hum of heavy machinery.
"When you're outside you can hear more things going on down there. The more equipment being moved around and moving stuff around," he said.
Rice said he hears nothing while indoors and notes the operation shuts down on weekends.
But he said he’s worried it will get a lot louder with a giant blue structure the company has just installed.
The large blue structure is the new shredder.
Herb Black, the company’s president, said he hopes that new shredder will be in full production this Monday.
But he said the company was cognizant of the noise concerns by local residents.
Black said he has positioned the shredder machine to have a much reduced noise impact on neighbours. The real test of whether the position will cut down on noise should come on Monday.
"This week is the week, testing all the equipment and getting ready to produce shredded scrap," he said.
The company announced in 2010 that it was going to proceed with a $30-million scrap metal shredder.
American Iron and Metal has a 40-year lease on the port property.
The expanded facility would increase output of the existing shredder by roughly 500 per cent. The company estimated the project could create 23 direct jobs and 20 spinoff jobs.
But the project ran into local opposition last year over power lines that would connect it.
Saint John councillors voted in July to block NB Power from building the high-voltage power lines to the metal shredder after several homeowners signed a petition against the project.
That decision caused the company to talk about moving its $30-million project to a different location. Communities, such as Dalhousie, actively tried to recruit the company to move the project.