LIMA — An Atlanta-based recycling company chose a Lima warehouse as the site of a new appliance de-manufacturing plant, which will create 150 jobs.
Recleim, a recycling and resource recovery business for household and commercial appliances, made the announcement Friday along with economic development officials, local politicians and business partners. It is located in the former Otis Wright warehouse at 1601 E. Fourth St.
“We are pleased to be part of the community,” said Recleim President Doug Huffer. “This isn’t about Recleim today, it’s about all the work that teams up here have done to get us to where we are today. We’re very fortunate to be here today.”
The company invested $15 million in machinery and equipment for the 94,000 square-foot facility. Recleim is currently hiring employees through OhioMeansJobs and expects to staff the new facility by Sept. 1.
Recleim’s proprietary recycling processes allow the company to recover approximately 95 percent of commodity components in the end-of-life appliances it recycles, while disposing of hazardous chemicals and minimizing waste, according to company officials.
“Most recyclers only recover probably 65 to 70 percent of a product,” Huffer said.
Recleim CEO Steve Bush described the company as a “next generation recycler,” but he was quick to distinguish it between traditional recyclers.
“We call ourselves a de-manufacturer, not a recycler,” Bush said. “We do that because we truly believe that our processes and our equipment we utilize allow us to recover more resources than traditional recycling processes.”
Using a “closed-loop process,” Recleim is able to capture and destroy the CFCs and HFCs commonly found in older appliances, which can be damaging to the environment.
“I think it’s critical to the environment for us to take these old units off the grid and to properly de-manufacture them,” Bush said.
While traditional manufacturers take small commodities and turn them into big commodities such as refrigerators and HVAC systems, Recleim takes large items and turns them into smaller items. The company then sells the commodities it creates through the de-manufacturing process.
Recleim’s primary customers include appliance manufacturers, big box retailers and utility services such as AEP Ohio. In fact, the site selection process was determined in conjunction with the partnership Recleim has with AEP, according to a press release. Recleim will work closely with Ohio utilities such as AEP to offer their customers removal services and rebates to get ride of and properly recycle their old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers.
“Lima and Allen County has been critical to the history of AEP Ohio and will continue to be crucial to our success in the future,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “We are proud to have the fortune of presenting Lima and Allen County as competitive locations for businesses like Recleim, and look forward to helping them and our customers throughout the area continue to grow.”
Lima Mayor David Berger was also pleased with Recleim’s decision to pick Lima as its newest de-manufacturing site.
“As an environmental industry with its own proprietary technology, Recleim will be making a real difference in recycling, creating a significant number of jobs and becoming a long term corporate citizen for Lima and Allen County,” Berger said.
Those interested in applying for a job at Recleim may visit ohiomeansjobs-allen-county.com, or call 419-999-0360.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.