Demolition of General Iron’s metal shredding facility in Lincoln Park to start soon


CHICAGO — The demolition of General Iron’s Lincoln Park metal shredding facility could start by the end of the month, according to 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins.

It’s the final step after the facility closed in 2021 following complaints from neighbors about emissions from the site.

Hopkins wants to reassure residents this demolition will be much different from the disaster in Little Village two years ago.

In April 2020, an implosion of the 400-foot smokestack at the Crawford Power Plant left the Little Village neighborhood in a could of dust.

“There was a huge cloud just covering the entire neighborhood, it was dark,” Maria Quinones, a Little Village resident, told WGN in April 2021. “Until this day, my parents still find a layer of dust in their furniture, the windowsills, everywhere.”

Parent company Hilco Redevelopment Partners was recent fined $70,000 and had to pay another $370,000 to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office after the botched implosion.

Hopkins said there will be no explosives or detonation of any kind used in the demolition at General Iron. Instead, there will be a methodical piece-by-piece disassembly of the site.

“There might be a little dust, but it will be controlled,” Hopkins said. “We’ll have hoses soaking everything down. The trucks won’t even be allowed to drive off this site until their tires are sprayed down and cleaned.”

A large metal shredder has already been taken apart and moved off site. It should take about four to six weeks to remove the remaining structures on the property.

“It’s clear now that this type of metal shredding operation cannot peacefully coexist in a residential neighborhood. It doesn’t matter who the residents are. Any residents of any community should not have to endure the toxic dust and emissions from a metal shredding operation,” Hopkins said.

A community meeting is scheduled for 6p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the DePaul Student Center on North Sheffield Avenue.

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