Former Agrium fertilizer building could be home to SMC Recycling

A scrap-metal recycling business is eyeing a high-profile site in Tupelo near U.S. Highway 45.

James Daniel, the owner of SMC Recycling, confirmed he submitted plans to the city of Tupelo to build a facility on the site of the old Agrium distribution plant.

The site, just south of the McCullough Boulevard off-ramp and east of Highway 45 north, also is near the Park Hill neighborhood.

“It won’t be an eyesore,” Daniel assured.

He said SMC plans to invest about $500,000 on the site and will build a 10,000-square-foot facility that will serve mainly as a collection and distribution point.

Pat Faulkner, city planner for Tupelo, said the building permit application was a “minor site plan” that would not go before the planning committee or the City Council for review.

He said the city is currently reviewing plans for the facility but nothing has been signed.

Daniel said his company has cleaned up the 20-plus acre property and will build the new facility on the footprint of the former factory building.

Faulkner said the area is zoned for industrial use and will be close to other industrial facilities.

Faulkner said notice had been sent to nearby residents and no concerns has been expressed about the project

Daniel has owned and operated SMC Recycling for 16 years.

The company has facilities in Corinth and Booneville, and in Selmer, Tenn.

Although the Tupelo facility will be used primarily for transit, Faulkner said some scrap metal will probably stored on the site.

Daniel said any piles that accumulate will be stored behind a nearby tree line or the building to keep it out of sight from the highway.

The company will be required to include landscaping in its building plans, in keeping with city policy, but SMC will not be obligated to build a screening fence, according to Faulkner.

The chief building inspector, city engineer, city zoning department, fire marshal, Tupelo public works department and Tupelo Water and Light still have to sign off on the plans before Daniel can begin construction.

Daniel said he’ll start construction as soon as his permit is approved.

He did not give a timeline for when that might happen.

When the recycling center opens, it will accept scrap metal and aluminum cans from the public and will pay market price for those materials.

Daniel said the materials will be shipped out daily by truck to SMC’s processing plant in Corinth and then to the Severstal steel mill in Columbus.

The Tupelo facility will initially hire five or six employees, but Daniel hopes to expand to 10 or 15 in the future.

VISIT SMC’S WEBSITE at for more information

about the company.

Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal

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