Recycling closer to home: aluminum recycling plant under construction in Cassopolis

NOW: Recycling closer to home: aluminum recycling plant under construction in Cassopolis

CASSOPOLIS, Ind. – A new aluminum recycling plant is being built in rural Michigan, and Friday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer went to see the progress for herself.

“It just shows that we are really serious about economic development in every region of our state,” she said. “And, this is about good-paying jobs but also recycling aluminum. It is something our economy depends on doing it in this way, creating good jobs, it’s really exciting.”

Construction is underway for Hydro Aluminum Metals USA, LLC, and it is set to be completed in late 2023.

Now, scrap metal from the automotive and construction industries can find new life domestically.

“Aluminum is infinitely recyclable. So you can take the same metal and you can re-melt it and you can produce again,” said Trond Gjellesvik, president of Hydro Aluminum Metals, USA.

The new Cassopolis plant will be the second largest of its kind in the United States.

“It’s true in every part of the state, but I think that this is a unique place where this kind of a business can pull scrap from Chicago and from Detroit,” Whitmer said.

The $150 million plant will produce 265 million pounds of aluminum bars annually. It is the world’s lowest-carbon-footprint aluminum product, with a footprint of 2.3 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of processed aluminum, according to Duncan Pitchford, the head of strategy and business development..

“Sustainability is at our core at Hydro,” Pitchford said, “it’s the guiding principal for all business decisions we are making today.”

The aluminum product will be compiled of a minimum of 75% post-consumer scrap. Pitchford said this supports sustainability and a circular economy.

“Keep that metal out of a landfill, get it back into a new product,” he said.

The new plant will create roughly 70 new long-term jobs.

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