Pilsen residents rally against Chicago metal recycling company they say pollutes the air

Fears are growing over a growing threat of pollution in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

Now there is an effort to stop it.

“We are the essential workers who keep our economy running. Treat us with respect,” one commenter said.

Emotions are running high for the residents of Pilsen, who are fighting for cleaner air.


An 8-year-old girl with asthma says her lungs are being destroyed by polluters.

“My asthma inhaler, I always have to carry it, sometimes I can’t breathe,” she said.

About 300 residents filled the pews at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on Wednesday as Sims Metal applies for a new permit.

The South Paulina Street Recycling Plant is along the Chicago River near homes and schools. Longtime residents say their health is compromised.

“We have one of the highest rates here, especially in Pilsen and Little Village, with asthma-related health issues, and it’s time to put an end to it,” one man said.

The Region 5 administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency attended the meeting. Residents are calling for a cumulative health impact study and the non-renewal of Sims Metal’s permit.