Tnis Kaasik, the first environment minister in Estonia after the collapse of the USSR, continues to create opportunities in the country's industrial northeast. EcoMetal is a battery recycling company in an old Soviet uranium refinery, recycling 20,000 tons of batteries into 12,000 tons of lead alloys last year. The refinery was once a secret uranium enrichment facility in Sillame. After Estonia gained independence in 1991, Kaasik spearheaded the remediation. It took 11 years and 28 million, but paved the way for Sillame's economic recovery. By 2003, the local harbor, which the Soviet military bombed, was rebuilt.As a result, more than 60 jobs were created for former uranium workers. In addition, a 17th century mansion is undergoing renovations to create another 30 jobs for local residents that are working in a hotel complex.