COLUMBIA — New life is springing out of the formerly toxic earth in Graniteville.
Gov. Nikki Haley and representatives of startups recycler Recleim (pronounced Reclaim) announced that the company will establish its first recycling plant in Graniteville. The plant will be housed in the former Hickman Mill plant in Graniteville.
Recleim, a recycler of appliances and e-waste materials, committed to a $40.6 million investment that is expected to generate 200 new jobs. Recleim plans to open the facility in the summer of 2014.
“A great day for Graniteville. A great day for Aiken County. You know, $40 million, 200 jobs in that area, and, to make it better, they are revitalizing one of the old mills,” said Sen. Shane Massey. “It's a great win for that area which has been, quite frankly, devastated by the train wreck and the mill closure.”
The wreck refers to the Jan. 6, 2005, collision of train cars which led to the release of chlorine, killing nine and injuring 200. The chlorine spill significantly damaged property and equipment of many businesses.
The plant will be installed at 118 Hard Street and the 110,000-square-foot building will be renovated to accommodate three production lines.
“We are pleased to move forward with plans to open our new facility in Aiken County. This is a big step for our company. South Carolina provides us with an excellent business environment and the skilled workforce we need for our operations. We appreciate all the support we've received from state and local officials,” said Ben Hirokawa, CEO of Recleim.
Local government and legislators were on hand for the announcement, which took place during RecyclonomicsSC legislative day at the State House.
RecyclonomicsSC is a nonprofit organization formed to increase recycling in South Carolina.
“Today's announcement is a significant milestone for Aiken County, but more importantly the Graniteville community,” said Ronnie Young, chairman of Aiken County Council. “Since 2006, we have been working to attract jobs back into this area. We are very appreciative of this ... investment and 200 new jobs by Recleim and we are looking forward to partnering with them.”
The company specializes in resource recovery from appliances, white goods and electronic waste, and in environmentally-sound disposal of hazardous components.
“When a company decides to locate its first plant here in South Carolina, it says a lot about the strength of our state's business-friendly climate and skilled workforce,” said Haley. “It shows that companies see our state as a place where they will find success. We celebrate Recleim's decision to invest.”
According to Haley's office, the Department of Commerce has recruited more than $790 million in capital investment and more than 1,500 new jobs in the recycling-related sector since January 2011.
Recleim's Aiken facility will employ state-of-the-art, proprietary technology that, they say, contains the harmful substances found in discarded appliances, while reducing the typical landfill waste from these appliances by 95 percent. The new facility is expected to be one of the most efficient and environmentally-sound facilities of its kind in North America, according to company officials.
The company is currently hiring for the plant management team, and will begin hiring production line workers in the fourth quarter of this year. As of publication, one job was listed on the site, that of a Quality Systems Manager.
Anyone interested in job opportunities with Recleim should visit the company's careers web page at www.recleim.com/career/.