Weitsman says company will comply with EPA’s plan to reduce carbon footprint

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT
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OWEGO (WBNG) -- This past July, Upstate Shredding and Weitsman Recycling received a $400,000 fine from the Environmental Protection Agency that said control technology had not been installed to reduce the emissions of potentially harmful compounds into the air.

CEO Adam Weitsman said the company tried to get ahead of possible changes to EPA regulations and credits that work for what he refers to as a reduced fine.

“We knew the regulations were going to change but you didn’t know what they are because you have a different political climate than you did four years ago,” said Weitsman. “With the regulations changing we just didn’t know what the regulations were going to change to but we knew it was coming and we started to prepare for it. I think because we started to prepare for it, the fine was somewhat reduced.”

Weitsman said he’ll be fully compliant with regulations set by agencies like the Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA and his $15 million investment into improving his facilities looks not just to meet regulations but to reach a higher standard.

”You have to be fully transparent. You have to show constant growth,” said Weitsman. “I don’t think any of them are out to put you out of business, but if you don’t do what they say it’s not going to be pretty and it could be the end.”

Day-to-day operations at Upstate Shredding and Weitsman Recycling will have to change as part of the new regulations.

The biggest change will be less land due to the need for stormwater retention infrastructure.

“These things change a lot so we are going to have to morph the setup and how we operate is going to change,” said Weitsman. “We’re going through that process now. We’re trying to design how the process would be because you’re going to have a lot less land at your facilities because you’re putting retention ponds and you’re putting in grassed areas.”

While some of the work is underway at scrap yards and facilities, upgrades to shredders will take a bit longer

“The Binghamton yard on the Brandywine Highway that pavement is being done now,” said Weitsman. “Stormwater retention things are being built here now. The lead time on the equipment for the shredder I think the EPA granted us two years to get it done.”

Weitsman described this new equipment for the shredders as cutting edge and some of the first of its kind.

It will be installed at facilities in Owego and New Castle, Penn.