Electronics recycler plans move to city
5R Processors could add 50 jobs in West Bend

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

Nov. 26, 2014

WEST BEND - A Wisconsin company that recycles and restores electronics and appliances plans to open in West Bend by the end of the year with the potential of providing up to 50 jobs.

5R Processors Ltd., Ladysmith, wants to buy the former Praefke Brake & Supply Corp. a 105,398-square-foot facility on 7 acres at 133 Oak St.

5R will have its conditional use permit reviewed by the city’s Plan Commission on Tuesday.

The Ladysmith company has won awards for its leadership in the field of environmentally-friendly electronics and appliance processing.

If there are no delays or concerns with the permitting, 5R Vice President of Business Redevelopment Sarah Maple said, “We’d like to to be up and running in the next few weeks. I’d say by the first of the year we’ll get going. It all depends on how fast we can get people moving.”

5R provides electronic recycling, investment recovery, online industrial and computer sales, logistics for hire, recycle events, hard drive data wipes and appliance and electronics resale shops.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, 5R was founded in Ladysmith and has locations in Glen Flora, Wausau and 13 other states.

Ten employees would open the facility, Maple said, and the company anticipates it will hire up to 50 within six months.

“We feel that is highly likely,” she said.

The West Bend site would include electronics recycling to commodities, reconditioning of appliances, refurbishing of computer hardware and other electronics, and a resale shop for electronics and appliances, including what Maple described as “scratch and dent” merchandise.

Jim Reinke, business and development planner for West Bend’s Department of Development, said 5R will clean and modernize the building but is not planning major renovations. “There’s going to be some updates, but nothing substantial for the exterior.”

The company plans to do all of its processes indoors, Reinke said.

“It’s pretty structurally sound,” Maple said. “There are just a few updates that need to be done.”

One thing to check, she said, was to make sure the sprinkler system meets current codes.

The Praefke property has been sparsely occupied since the company closed in 2003.

Earlier this year, the site was one of five priority sites in the county declared eligible for a federal brownfield assessment grant from the U.S. Environ-mental Protection Agency. Brownfields are vacant industrial properties suspected of being contaminated that may require expensive cleanup projects.

However, a brownfield assessment of the property would not be necessary because 5R will use the facility as is and will not disturb the subsoil, the city’s Economic Development Specialist Amanda Knack said.

The West Bend Plan Commission is scheduled to convene at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1115 S. Main St.