GOSHEN — Not long ago, it seemed PolyKarmic Recycling was finished.
Owner Tim Huser had closed up shop on his curbside recycling business after about three years due to some customers not paying their bills.
But Huser was approached in December by an individual who thought he should give the business another shot. That shot turned out to be PolyKarmic Recycling 2.0.
PolyKarmic 2.0 began operating Jan. 1, 2013, and held a grand opening March 19 to publicize the business’s efforts.
The newest incarnation of PolyKarmic deals strictly with industrial recycling and has already garnered significant interest.
Huser said PolyKarmic has 27 customers, primarily in Goshen, that use his service. He also has a handful of clients from Elkhart, Bristol and Wakarusa.
“There’s been a very good reception,” he stated. The business tries to be convenient, allowing waste to be dropped off at its site, picking up waste from clients and even offering to place hoppers at clients’ facilities.
Another advantage: PolyKarmic does not charge clients when it picks up waste.
PolyKarmic 2.0 handles all types of materials, whether it be cardboard, plastic, wood or rubber. Huser said the service even collects fryer oil from two restaurants and also deals with Styrofoam, which many similar businesses don’t handle.
“Many companies, especially larger ones, have to pay to get rid of waste,” he explained. PolyKarmic has become a convenience for businesses that otherwise would have to cover the cost of disposing of their waste materials.
Huser added that more clients will be willing to bring their waste to PolyKarmic once the service has the capacity to handle deliveries.
At the moment, the PolyKarmic Recycling warehouse is on Fifth Street. But the service’s early success, coupled with issues with Goshen’s Zoning Board, means Huser and his employees will soon move into a new warehouse in the industrial park.
“We are growing faster than what I thought we would,” Huser explained. The warehouse on Fifth Street does not provide the space PolyKarmic’s volume requires.
Huser said the zoning board ordered the business to vacate the building within 45 days of its March 5 ruling. “They said that we were handling hazardous materials and that hazardous materials were seeping out onto city property,” he explained.
Goshen Planning and Zoning Administrator Rhonda Yoder said her recommendation to the board contained no references to hazardous materials, but did say she recommended the section of the use variance that pertained to PolyKarmic not be granted.
The business’s use, she explained, was “more intense than is compatible with other uses in the central business district.” She believed that because the materials PolyKarmic dealt with were more industrial in scope, the business did not fit within the established zoning of the area.
“It is also a concern of fire safety,” Yoder added, “as far as those materials being in the building.”
Though Huser did not agree with the board’s findings, he said that moving out of the small warehouse made sense anyway because of size constraints.
While PolyKarmic tries to improve the area environmentally through recycling, its also has a positive impact socially.
Huser said he is in an unofficial partnership with Chain Reaction Bicycle Shop, which has a curbside recycling program on the side, and employs several people who are underemployed or unemployed. Huser has also hired some of those people to assist him in his business.
PolyKarmic’s philosophy can be found on its website: “We recognize that the simple luxuries most of us take for granted are not available to all.”
For more information visit www.polykarmic.co or visit its Facebook page.