April 24, 2024

Emily Garcia, The Post and Courier

3 massive fires. Thousands in fines. Is a Greenville metal-melting business also making people sick?

In West Greenville sits a 40-acre swath of land where dead cars are cremated in a metal furnace. It's home to a recycling business, once hailed by state leaders as an economic driver for the area, now mired in controversy, lawsuits and countersuits.

Adams Scrap Recycling’s metal-melting operation is the only one of its kind in South Carolina. The business buys scrap metal, then, in a sweat furnace that runs as hot as molten lava, reclaims aluminum to sell in bulk.

It touts itself as a bastion of sustainability — turning one man's trash into another man's treasure. But documents authenticated by The Post and Courier show that Adams Scrap has a furnace capable of sending hazardous pollutants into the air and a history of flouting emissions regulations.

Despite these issues, massive fires at the scrapyard and $15,000 in health department fines, the business continues to operate within a few hundred feet of a neighborhood. It's been a source of frustration for nearby residents, who fear that living near a metal-melting operation is hurting their health.

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