- Chicago-based Sims Recycling Solutions is closing its Elkridge, MD electronics recycling plant in March. The decision was made because the 93,400-square-feet plant lost a federal government contract — a "large volume" of what kept the plant up and running, according to Sims President Steve Skurnac.
- Sims is retaining local customers, but will send their materials to its Chicago and Nashville plants for processing.
- There will be 86 lost jobs; workers are being offered support to relocate to the Nashville or Chicago locations, which are among their 10 recycling plants across the country and the 35 they operate worldwide.
"Financially, unfortunately it doesn’t make any sense to keep up the size and scale [of the Elkridge plant]," said Skurnac. The company had found a lucrative business in recycling military equipment and IT waste and is still holding its own with a fairly strong national and overseas presence.
But volatile recycling markets affect companies, large and small, driving other plant shut downs and rocky times in general within the industry for about three years. The larger companies like Sims are holding their own, largely because of other well-established assets hoping, along with other recyclers, for a turnaround to take hold across geographical and commodities markets.
E-cycling has also taken a hit in areas like York, PA, where recycling laws have become an obstacle for e-cyclers to handle volumes of waste. Many companies and municipalities are finding hard-to-recycle electronics as retaining very little value.