Concrete recycling facility requested

The Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals is considering allowing a local resident to remove a scrap metal and junk yard from nearly 7 acres to operate a concrete-recycling facility.

Resident Chris Rice is seeking a conditional use for the property at 2561 N. Indianapolis Road to take in concrete from demolition sites that will be stockpiled on the site. The case, which went before the BZA last week, was continued until Sept. 26 after neighboring property owners said they wanted to learn more about the proposal, city-county planning director Jeff Bergman said.

Bergman also said the planning department intends to gather more details about the noise that would be generated from the facility.

Under Rice’s proposal, a crusher would reduce the size of concrete material that will be stored on the property. The application also indicates metal rebar in the concrete will be removed and sent to a scrap metal facility for recycling before the finished product is sold to contractors.

Rice’s facility will allow material to be reused and save material that otherwise would find its way to a landfill, said Columbus attorney Jeff Rocker, representing the applicant.

“There’s a big push through recycle, repurpose, reuse,” Rocker said. “Stone doesn’t contaminate the soil. It doesn’t leak. It doesn’t smell bad.”

The facility would be located about 1,200 feet away from the nearest creek and 2,000 feet away from homes that are located on Riverside Drive, Rocker said.

Dust generated from the site will be restricted since water will be sprayed on crushed concrete as it comes out of a machine, Rocker said.

Even though the city’s planning department refers to the site as a waste-disposal facility, Rocker contends that isn’t accurate while noting that the existing ordinance lacks references to recycling.

Rocker said his client is open to having a neighborhood meeting for individuals who might have concerns about the project.

“I think if people were aware of the details, it would create less anxiety,” Rocker said.

While the city’s planning staff recommended the business be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Rocker noted his client hasn’t determined what hours the business will operate.

If the application is approved, Rocker said Rice hopes to be in operation in about six months.

What's next

The Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals will consider an application for aconcrete-recycling facility on Indianapolis Road during its 6:30 p.m. meeting Sept. 26 at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com