Fixing Fort Myers’ Junkyard Problem

In an aerie-like office whose windows level with the downtown skyline, Bill Spikowski pores over GIS map layers and decades of city land use regulations as part of his latest consulting gig: helping Fort Myers fix its junkyard problem. It’s a big problem: the city has more salvage, scrap and recycling yards than Broward and Miami-Dade counties combined, concentrated in largely minority neighborhoods that suffer from lower property values and less political clout. And the heavy industries that create these junkyards, such as metal-processing and auto shredding operations, tend to cluster in those communities.

Gray Johnson moved to Fort Myers in 2000 from New England, looking for warm weather and a chance to peddle recycled goods. He started All Scrap-Fort Myers Inc., which now operates three locations in the area. He pays a competitive price for ferrous (iron and steel) and non-ferrous (copper and aluminum) iron and metal, offering people an alternative to the neighborhood dump. The company also buys unwanted junk cars from the general public, giving them a way to clean out their yards, driveways and garages.

About a decade ago, All Scrap opened its Metro Parkway yard in Fort Myers to 49 acres and two years later added an automotive shredder. Then two weeks after Hurricane Ian, the business got even busier as customers came to recycle or purchase car parts that were swept away by the storm. To handle the influx of metal, All Scrap invested in an Atlas material-handling machine from Linder Industrial Machinery Company and LMH Group. scrap yard fort myers

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