• 55°

Recycling firm on way

Living up to its name, Empire Metal Recycling Inc. plans to put an old Ironton building to new use.

A 20-year-old company expanding from its Huntington, W.Va. headquarters, Empire has begun moving into the former Advanced Cast Products Inc., buildings at 2502 S. Third St. If all goes well, the company will create at least 24 jobs in the next three years, said Mike Smith, co-owner with Michael VanSteenberg.

Calling Ironton "absolutely" business friendly, Smith said he looks forward to introducing the company to the community and showing its new neighbors what the business does when it opens its doors Saturday.

"We buy all types of scrap metals - old cars, appliances, copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel - then we process it, pack it and ship it around the world," Smith said.

Smith emphasized the company plans to be a good neighbor and will not create an eyesore for visitors to Ironton.

"There will be nothing visible from the street. From the street, it will look exactly as it does now," he said. "Anything unsightly will be behind our buildings. If you see our other facilities, we are very conscious of that."

All materials will be processed as quickly as possible and will be shipped out quickly so that the property will never reflect negatively on the community, Smith said.

The company will lease the two existing buildings that total 25,000-square feet and the accompanying lot space for the first year but Smith said he hopes to purchase the property after that. If his initial contact is any indication, doing business in Ironton will be a positive for many years to come.

"An awful lot of our customer base comes from that area. A lot of people in the area scrap and we wanted to take advantage of that," he said. "Š Everyone there from Lawrence County and the EPA have been great to work with. All these people are bending over backwards to get us over there."

The company has already hired four people from the Ironton area and will transfer four from Huntington. Smith said the company will likely hire four or five more by the end of the year and hopes to have easily created 24 above-minimum wage jobs within three years.

Empire Metal Recycling Inc. will have a grand opening from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the site. Activities will include a live remote by WKEE radio, hot dogs and live music courtesy of The Love Coats from 3 to 5 p.m.

Starting Monday the company will move to its regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.