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Published Sat, Jan 26, 2013 08:00 PM
Modified Tue, Jan 29, 2013 02:42 PM

Recycling companies battle for territory

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CLAYTON -- After months of battling to protect its business, a Clayton recycling company will have to face the fact that its foe is not going anywhere.

Last month, the town’s Board of Adjustment denied Wise Recyling’s request to repeal the temporary use permit it gave to Source Recycling, the newest recycling center in town, and the biggest competition for Wise. Source started operations in June, and was opened by three former Wise employees.

Both recycling centers procure metal from customers, and work with scrap yard dealers to procure commercial and industrial materials that they then sort, organize and ship off to their customers.

Even though the temporary use permit for Source to operate in Clayton ends in April, according to town planning director David DeYoung, Source officials say the company isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“We plan on staying in Clayton forever,” said one of the co-owners of Source, Gary Taylor. He said he is unsure if the company will have to extend the temporary use permit past April because they are planning to be “well underway in construction” at the permanent location by then. Depending on how the construction goes, the company may be ready to move into the permanent space by April.

In October, Wise Recycling requested that the town revoke the temporary use permit that it had granted to Source Recycling, so it would no longer be allowed to operate the business in town. In order for the town to rescind thepermit, there would need to be evidence that there is a “person aggrieved,” according to Town Attorney Katherine Ross. At the board of adjustment meeting in December, Ross explained that a “person aggrieved” in this case has to show an interest in the property. She stated that Wise has not shown an interest in the property impacted by the temporary use.

There has also been dispute over the location of Wise Recycling and its proximity to Source. The headquarters of Wise Recycling is located at 555 Wise Road, which is not in the town limits. Source Recycling is located at 440 South Tech Park Lane, about 5.9 miles from Wise’s headquarters. Andrew Logsdon, president of Wise Recycling, addressed the board of adjustment in December and said that Wise does, in fact, have a separate facility in the town limits, and therefore could be affected by the temporary use permit. He said the company has a facility on U.S. 70, about 1.8 miles from Source.

Logsdon also stated that the value of his company’s business has been reduced by at least $1 million since Source started operations.

Separate legal proceedings

Wise Recycling filed a lawsuit in June accusing the three former employees of using their positions within the company to orchestrate a mass departure of other employees.

The lawsuit also accuses the men of taking advantage of their access to proprietary information to create a competitive advantage for their new company, Source Recycling.

The case is scheduled to go before a court in October, according to Logsdon, Wise’s president.

Now that the town has decided to not repeal the temporary use permit, both Wise and Source will operate in Clayton. According to Taylor, co-owner of Source, "There's no tension on our side.”

James: 919-553-7234

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