Recycling facility to have grand opening

By Peter H. Milliken


With local, state and federal officials in attendance, the new Greenstar North America recycling facility at 5505 Center Road (U.S. Route 224) will have its grand opening ceremony at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

“We’re happy to be part of the community. ... We’re looking forward to creating jobs,” said Arnold Brock, Greenstar’s Pittsburgh-Ohio area general manager.

The new $2.1 million materials-recovery facility will have six employees when it begins operating Monday and could grow to 30 to 40 employees in three years, depending on tonnage of recyclables handled there, Brock said.

The plant will sort and process paper, cardboard, metal cans, glass bottles and plastic containers in preparation for them to be made into new materials.

The new facility will process all recycled materials from Mahoning County’s curbside collection program and most of the recyclables deposited at the county’s recycling drop-off sites, said Jim Petuch, director of the county’s recycling division.

Among those expected to attend the grand opening are U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-6th; Sean Logan, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Poland Township trustees; Mahoning County commissioners; and several state representatives, Brock said.

The new plant will eliminate the need to haul locally collected recyclable materials to Pittsburgh for processing, said Michael Heher, manager of the Carbon Limestone landfill division of Republic Services.

Republic collects recyclables at curbside twice monthly from more than 80,000 Mahoning County homes free of charge and subsidizes that free collection with surcharges for out-of-state waste going to its landfill, Heher noted.

Republic has a contract with Greenstar to take the recyclables Republic collects in the Youngstown and Pittsburgh areas.

Contaminants (nonrecyclable materials) mixed with the recyclables arriving at the new MRF will be dumped in the adjacent Carbon Limestone landfill, Brock said.

The initial 20,000-square-foot facility will be able to process at least 10,000 tons of recyclables annually. The company has architectural drawings for a future 20,000-square-foot addition, Brock said.

Funding for the plant’s $1 million worth of equipment was provided in part by a $250,000 market development grant from ODNR.

An identical $250,000 state grant went toward the county’s first materials-recovery facility, which opened at the beginning of 2008 in North Lima and is operated by Associated Paper Stock Inc.

When ground was broken a year ago for the Greenstar facility, Petuch said he hoped end users of recycled materials, such as a paper mill or glass factory, could be attracted to Mahoning County.

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