Company formerly known as General Iron claims city violated contract, sues for $100M

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CHICAGO – Southside Recycling, formerly known as General Iron, is suing the City of Chicago for $100 million.

The company claims the city violated a contract by not issuing final permit to operate at its new site on the Southeast Side.

One of the groups opposing General Iron is based on the Southeast side and said the lawsuit is expected.

Only days removed from Mayor Lightfoot pumping the brakes on the permit, which would allow it to begin recycling at its new Southeast facility at 116th and the Calumet River, the company is suing the city for more than $100 million.

Southside Recycling claims the city reneged on a 2019 agreement in which it agreed to buy then shuttered Lincoln Park plant and move the recycling to the Southeast Side where it already had another operation.

“The city’s failure to issue the permit to Southside Recycling has caused significant and potentially permanent damage to Southside Recycling’s business,” the company said in its lawsuit.

Yesenia Chavez is part of a Latino organization from the neighborhood that has opposed the opening of Southside Recycling from the beginning. While the recycling represents jobs, it’s negatives they believe far outweigh the positives; especially in an area that has experienced environmental and air quality issues for decades

“To read today that this company wants $100 million and understand it’s coming out of all of our pockets as taxpayers, because now at this point it’s not just the Southeast Side issue, it’s an issue for the entire city,” Chavez said. “And then on top of that this is in the midst of a respiratory crisis and a pandemic where we have seen economic collapse so it’s baffling.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court and is asking in addition to monetary damages in excess of $100 million, it also asks the judge to disregard the stop order and allow it to proceed with its recycling operations.

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