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Columbus Industrial Site Might Become Recycling Center

The piece of property just northeast of downtown has been abandoned for a decade.

Columbus trash bin

Photo: Christopher Ayers/Indiana Public Media News

The site will become the city’s recycling center if the project is met with approval from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

An industrial site in Columbus could become the city’s recycling center if the project is met with approval from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. The piece of property just northeast of downtown has been abandoned for a decade.

After its union rejected cuts in wages and benefits in 2003, Columbus’ Golden Casting Corporation foundry closed. The buildings located at 10th and Cottage have slowly come down and what’s left is a barren site still zoned for heavy industrial use.

A company called KLM National now owns the site and wants to build a new recycling center there. The materials accepted would range from scrap metal to plastics to disused vehicles.

To get permission to build, Columbus Planning Director Jeff Bergman says there are several tests the company must pass.

“The board is required to judge his request based on four criteria that are mandated on Indiana Law,” Bergman says. “The criteria all address the relationship between what’s being proposed, in this case the recycling center, and the character and condition of surrounding properties as well as City’s adopted long term plans for the community.”

Rick Scalf an employee at Advocates for Children, whose property adjoins the bare lot, says he is just glad to see thought given to making progress to the site regardless of its future use.

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