PILSEN — A meeting Wednesday will offer Pilsen residents their first chance to question officials with a Bridgeport company that wants to open a massive metal shredding factory in their neighborhood.
Scrap metal company Acme Refining has proposed opening the factory, Pure Metal Recycling, on 15 acres of land south of Cermak Road and east of Loomis Street near the Chicago River.
The site is virtually across the street from Benito Juarez Academy, 1510 W. Cermak Road.
The community hearing will take place at Benito from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. Acme Refining Co. representatives will be on hand to answer resident concerns and questions, officials said.
Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization President Jerry Mead-Lucero questioned whether another scrap metal factory was needed in the neighborhood.
Pilsen already has a metal recycling facility, Sims Metal Management, at 2500 S. Paulina St. He said that factory has had issues with cleanliness.
“One of our biggest concerns is how will this be different than that,” he said of Acme’s proposed factory.
Mead-Lucero also pointed to the high volume of truck traffic where Acme plans to open shop. More traffic in that area could be a potential danger for Benito Juarez students, he said.
His group is also worried about potential noise and dust coming from the site, and wants specifics on how many jobs will be filled by Pilsen residents.
Officials with Acme did not respond Monday to requests for comment.
Started more than 40 years ago, Acme has seven Midwest locations, with 200 trucks and more than 400 employees, according to the company’s website.
Ald. Danny Solis (25th) did not respond Monday to requests for comment about the proposal.
The company has given $200,000 to Illinois politicians since 1991 and nearly $33,000 to Solis, the Sun-Times reported in August after agents with the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division raided the 3357 S. Justine St. offices of Acme. No details of the investigation were announced and no charges were filed at the time.
Officials with the U.S. Attorney's office could not immediately be reached.