Scrap metal processor shuts Watertown plant

Adam S. Weitsman, owner and CEO of Upstate Shredding- Weitsman Recycling, pictured at the company's facility on Pearl Street in 2016.

WATERTOWN — A regional scrap metal processor closed its Watertown plant, Ben Weitsman of Watertown, at the end of last week.

Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling decided not to renew its lease for the facility at 511 Pearl St. because it required significant investment for renovations. A spokesman, Stephen J. Donnelly of Stephen of Donnelly and Associates, said the company did not want to invest in a building it did not own.

Officials from the scrap metal processor also worried about how repairs to the Pearl Street Bridge could affect its operations, Mr. Donnelly said.

“We felt like that project would hurt our traffic flow,” he said.

The seven workers at the plant were offered positions at the company’s plant in Syracuse, where its local industrial-scale customers’ scrap metal will be transported to by workers. Mr. Donnelly said he believed most, if not all workers, accepted positions at the Syracuse location.

Mr. Donnelly said local retail customers will send their metal to Northstar Auto And Salvage, Evans Mills, for transport.

Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling, Owego, is the largest privately-owned scrap metal processor on the East Coast with 17 locations in New York and Pennsylvania.

It moved into the former Empire Recycling facility, which once operated as the old Black Clawson plant on Pearl Street, in 2016. Company officials had planned to invest $2 million in new equipment and renovations, and hoped to almost double the volume of business.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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