Cohen Recycling is investing $7 million in a new electronic waste recycling facility in Middletown that could create 40 jobs, company officials said.
The company is building a 50,000-square-foot addition, doubling the size of the facility at 3120 S. Verity Parkway that will house a processing system that increases production capacity by eight times, said Adam Dumes, vice president of Cohen Electronics.
“This puts us on the map,” he said of the technology.
He said the $7 million investment is the largest capital improvement in the company’s 91-year history. That cost includes the equipment and the building, said Dumes, who didn’t want to disclose the cost of the recycling equipment.
Dumes said there was talk about building the facility outside of Middletown, but that was “a very short conversation.” He said his family’s roots are in Middletown.
“We’re always a big supporter of Middletown,” he said.
An official groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday and the equipment should be operational by February 2016, he said.
Rick Pearce, president of the Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton, said the investment shows the city’s economy “is moving forward and picking up steam.” He also pointed toward the other positive economic signs in the city: the $36 million AK Steel Research and Innovation Center near Atrium Medical Center and the $500 million NTE Energy plant.
Middletown Mayor Larry Mulligan praised Cohen, a nearly century old business, for reinvesting in the city. He said the investment is a “good sign” that the economy in the city is making “a slow, but steady” recovery.
Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream, according to Michelle Balz, assistant program manager for the Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District.
Cohen’s expansion strengthens the electronics recycling infrastructure in Southwest Ohio to reduce the amount of materials in landfills, she said.
Processing more than 20,000 pounds of electronic waste per hour, the advanced technology will also more effectively reclaim raw materials for market consumption, Dumes said. He called it “a great victory and celebration” for the region.
He said operating the machinery takes about 12 to 15 employees, and based on the demand, a second shift could be added. He said the equipment may also create other jobs at Cohen.
Cohen was founded in 1924 and is one the largest privately owned scrap metal, electronics, and automobile recycler in the region. It operates 18 facilities across three states and employs more than 500 people.