Multiple random daily inspections of Sims Metal Management confirm the recycling plant is following a list of stipulations imposed by Redwood City officials while agencies investigate a pair of fires only weeks apart.
Meanwhile, Sims is holding a town hall meeting tonight to let individuals air their concerns about the fires.
“Our main goal is to provide a forum where our community can come and learn more about our operations, the recent fires and have the opportunity to ask questions,” wrote Jill Rodby, the public relations and government affairs manager for Sims’ northern California region, in an email to the Daily Journal.
Sims West President Steve Shinn will speak at the town hall meeting which is expected to include an overview of the company’s operations at the Port of Redwood City location and the overall Bay Area and an update on its post-fire activity.
Heading into the meetings, Sims officials reiterated much of what they said last month — they are committed to the facility, the environment, the employees and the community. A handout prepared for Wednesday night’s meeting apologizes again for the Nov. 10 and Dec. 17 fires and spells out new prevention measures imposed both internally and by the city. For instance, delivery times have been pushed up to avoid stockpiles of unprocessed scrap metal and three qualified operators will be present 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At the time of the after-hours fire, Sims had only a security guard at the facility because it was not operating. The company is to halt operations if staffing levels fall short.
The new conditions run through at least Feb. 21 which ends a 60-day period imposed Dec. 23 to give governmental agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Substance Control time to investigate causes of the two blazes and possibly identify changes. The agencies will meet with Redwood City officials Wednesday for the first of several ongoing formal meetings gauging progress.
So far, Sims has complied with all stipulations and Fire Chief Jim Skinner told the City Council Monday night that inspectors make several unannounced visits daily, said city spokeswoman Sheri Costa-Batis.
“Basically, so far they’re making good on what they said they’d do,” Costa-Batis said.
Along with spelling out its safety plan, Sims is also trying to reassure the public of its place in Redwood City and providing service to the greater community.
“Without the ability to recycle scrap metal, these materials would mount up rapidly, filling up landfills, wasting resources and blighting the landscape,” said Rodby in a statement to be distributed at Wednesday’s meting.
The Sims town hall meeting is 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the Fair Oaks Community Center, multipurpose room, 2600 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102