Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023–11:53 p.m.
-Adam Carey, Rome News-Tribune-
Nearly a dozen residents near a newly established metal recycling operation in Lindale expressed frustration to Floyd County commissioners during this week’s meeting.
Multiple people complained of the crashing sound as massive piles of metal are chopped and sorted for recycling, often starting as early as 7 a.m., according to residents.
Other residents complained that they are unable to use their backyards, or even let their dogs play outside, due to the thunderous noise. A few people complained of mysterious illnesses, including migraines, from the debris.
The site is owned by Bordeau Metals, a company that specializes in metal recycling. It is working as a subcontractor to a company that is taking the metal from Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond, a coal-fired power plant that operated outside Rome from 1954 until it was retired in 2019.
However, according to County Manager Jamie McCord, it appears that Bordeau is well within its rights to operate this kind of operation in that location.
“The county’s hands are tied,” McCord stated during an exchange with several upset residents. “The county is bound by the same laws that Bordeau is.”
Bordeau purchased the 18-acre property for $25,000 an acre. When the project is finished, and Bordeau moves from the area, the Rome-Floyd Development Authority has the first right to purchase the property. That means the authority will have the option to buy the land, which will be cleared, graded, and pad-ready for any future industrial application.
The estimated length of the Georgia Power recycling project, the one project that Bordeau is allowed to conduct on the property, is between three and five years.
Special provisions in the purchase agreement call for Bordeau to use the property as a “lay down” yard, “for the purposes of gathering, collecting, cutting, and resizing for a limited time period certain metals which have been obtained from the demolition and scrapping of Plant Hammond.”
They are required to maintain a buffer zone between the residential neighborhood, and they are not allowed to store hazardous materials on site.
However, residents who live near the site say they want them to stop now.
“I work as a real estate appraiser,” resident Keith Holmes said. “And there’s no way I could sell my home now, not with the amount of noise right behind my property.”
Resident Deborah Proctor has been emailing county commissioners for months, sending them pictures and videos of the trucks and noise.
“I was told to wear an N95 mask by an environmental specialist, due to all the stuff in the air,” Proctor told the commissioners Tuesday night. “It’s making us sick.”
Several members asked why the recycling couldn’t be done at Plant Hammond, which covers over 11,000 acres. Representatives of Bordeau declined to comment when contacted Wednesday.
This story is possible because of a news-sharing agreement with the Rome News-Tribune. More information can be found at northwestgeorgianews.com.