Waelz Sustainable Products’ (WSP) plans to begin operating its zinc recycling plant in Q1 2021 could be shelved after officials in Cass County, Indiana, postponed a vote on the facility’s construction.
WSP, which is investing $110mn in the plant, said that once operational the facility could create around 90 new jobs in the county. The company already bought the land and started construction, but the postponement of the vote for construction permits could delay the project.
The county shelved the vote after some Cass County residents protested, citing environmental pollution. According to media reports, the residents are concerned about exposure to the plant’s lead and mercury emissions once operational.
WSP, which is a joint venture between Mexico’s Zinc Nacional and Indianapolis-headquartered Heritage Environmental Services, intends to make zinc oxide from the EAF metallurgical dust that’s produced as a steelmaking by-product.
The company didn’t respond to Davis Index’s queries, but its fact sheet states WSP’s ability to purchase steel dust will also benefit the area’s steel mills, which typically look to discard EAF waste in secure, environmentally-friendly manners.