E-Scrap News

Oregon processor moves some operations south

An Oregon-based e-scrap processor says government regulation practices and tough commodity markets have led the company to relocate shredding operations to Texas.

Export Global Metals (EG Metals) has battled with state environmental regulators over compliance with stormwater regulations at its Portland, Ore.-area facility.

The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in January fined the company, alleging it exposed e-scrap to the elements. EG Metals disputed the allegation and appealed the fine.

As of Aug. 1, the company is no longer shredding e-scrap at the facility, Peter Van Houten, company general manager and vice president of operations, told E-Scrap News. It is currently in the process of moving the shredder to a new 90,000-square-foot location in Carrollton, Texas, a Dallas suburb.

Meanwhile, in an Aug. 13 letter, DEQ confirmed EG Metals was in compliance with a June agreement and order regarding the storage of materials.

In the future, the 15,000-square-foot building in Oregon formerly housing the shredder will only accept e-scrap, sort it into gaylords and ship it out, and all e-scrap to be shipped out will be stored indoors, according to Van Houten.

“I can’t point and say ‘We’re moving this because of DEQ,’ but that was the catalyst,” he said. “Doing business in Oregon has not been as great as we expected it could be.”

“Oregon is becoming over-regulated on recycling facilities,” he added.

DEQ officials could not be reached for comment by press time.

Low commodity prices are also a reason EG Metals, which has already laid off workers, is moving the shredder, Van Houten said. Ferrous metal prices EG Metals can fetch are less than one-quarter what they were a year and a half ago, he said.

“Look at the pricing,” he said. “We’re at the lowest price (since) before 2001 on literally every market.”

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