Report: Facility in the clear

Published 8:45am Thursday, August 14, 2014

While the odor may be off putting to some of the residents living around the plant, the emissions from Fryman’s Recycling pose no threat to the health of the community, a new report commissioned by the plant found.

A copy of results of the study, conducted by Network Environmental, was given to the City of Dowagiac last week. City Manager Kevin Anderson read off some the findings to members of city council during their meeting on Monday, after having it reviewed by an outside air quality study.

“The first part of it basically says that the baghouse is working as anticipated, that it is catching, and that all of that seems to be in order,” Anderson said.

According to the study, a simulation ran by the environmental group showed that the current byproduct from the plant would only become dangerous if the plant expanded 10 times its current rate of operation, Anderson said.

“I think this is good news from the standpoint of health and safety for the residents who are there,” he said. “We have some information we can share with them, and it was reviewed by an independent source.”

The city has been inquiring about the emissions from the production work done at the plant, located on Railroad Street, for several weeks, after receiving stench complaints from a few people living nearby the plant. The owner, Jerry Fryman, recently invited the council and other city officials to personally tour the plant, which recycles PVC products such as industrial plastics and vinyl siding.

In addition, Fryman commissioned the stack test to demonstrate the quality of the emissions.

“We just wanted to make sure everybody around us felt comfortable with our operation,” he said. “We were not required to do so by the city nor the state.”

Fryman has owned the recycling business for the past 10 years. The current plant, which is staffed by 45 employees, opened in 2012. The recent round of complaints is the first the company has received in a while, Fryman said.

“We had a couple when we first moved in, but we’ve done everything we can to get it all corrected,” Fryman said.

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