Brian Gramentz, New Ulm’s city manager, says the city has proposed that the recycling company contract with an engineering firm to look at where the excess noise is coming from and what steps could be taken to lower the decibel levels. At the present time, he notes, the facility is out of compliance with the sound ordinance.
Locations where the city will view other operations include Brainerd, St. Paul and Minneapolis. The company expects to have its findings complete and suggested course of action by early October 2013.
In a recent meeting, the New Ulm City Council ordered tests of the shredder to determine if it is in compliance with the city's noise and vibration standards after receiving numerous complaints from surrounding property owners. The problems were exacerbated following several explosions at the shredder operation, including one that occurred after a propane tank stored in a vehicle was punctured.
According to a local report, New Ulm Steel and Recycling has already taken several steps to reduce the complaints, including installing a guard on the top of the shredder that ended the problem of metal spraying out of the machine’s top.