City of Muncie, developer agree to scrap plans for steel recycling facility


Waelz Sustainable Products sign at Borg Warner site in Muncie

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MUNCIE, Ind. – The City of Muncie and a developer have scrapped plans for a controversial steel-dust recycling facility that was set to be built at the former Borg Warner site on Kilgore Ave.

Instead, the Muncie Redevelopment Commission says it will purchase the 85-acre site with the hopes of finding a buyer for “proper remediation and re-development.”

The developer, Waelz Sustainable Products (WSP) LLP, says it planned to invest $75 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art facility to produce zinc oxide from steel mill byproducts. It would have created 90 jobs and further redevelopment would have provided up to 210 new jobs, according to WSP.

The decision to cancel the plans comes after many in the community voiced their concerns over the plant possibly bringing hazardous emissions into the area, like lead and mercury.

WSP claims a campaign of misinformation tainted the process and made it impossible for the city council to continue supporting the project.

A statement from WSP said in part:

“In agreement with Muncie city and redevelopment officials, we have collectively decided to move on from Muncie. We met or exceeded all environmental regulations, were evaluating enhanced emissions control technologies to implement that would further address stakeholder concerns and believed in the merits of the investment, but the project was never judged fairly nor given the time and unclouded consideration it deserved.”

WSP says officials from several other communities have reached out to them, interested in becoming the future site of the proposed project. Discussions with them are reportedly underway.

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