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A fire at American Iron and Metal's scrapyard facility in Saint John on Sept. 14, 2023. Image: Submitted/Jennifer Mai

Saint John group calls for permanent closure of AIM Recycling

By Brad Perry Sep 22, 2023 | 1:49 PM

A Saint John community group is standing behind city council in their calls to close the American Iron and Metal (AIM) recycling facility once and for all.

Liveable Saint John has added its voice to the conversation in the days following a large industrial fire last week.

“For over 10 years, American Iron and Metal has benefited from minimal oversight and regulation from the province of New Brunswick, while their employees and the general public have borne significant risks to their safety, security, and enjoyment of property,” the group said in a news release.

“During this time, AIM have consistently demonstrated a dangerous disregard for the well-being of the community and the environment.”

The group said the fire that broke out last Thursday in a pile of crushed cars caused widespread impacts on residents, businesses, and regular port operations.

It went on to say that the fire was a “direct result” of a lack of oversight and enforcement from the province.

“In the interest of public safety and [the] well-being of the community, we are calling on the provincial government to take immediate action,” said the group.

In addition to permanently revoking AIM’s approval to operate, it said the province should engage with all stakeholders to find a “more appropriate location, with stringent operating conditions that ensure the long-term sustainability of the surrounding environment and communities.”

Liveable Saint John also wants the province to conduct a “comprehensive review of the environmental, health, and economic costs the impacts of AIM has had on the surrounding community since shredder operations commenced in 2011.”

It said the review should include “a full report [on] the environmental, health, or workplace safety violations on record for the AIM facility, and provide a clear mitigation plan to ensure the community and the environment will recover from these impacts.”