San Francisco–based waste and energy development company Brightmark has launched a nationwide search for suitable locations for its next set of advanced recycling facilities, which will convert hundreds of thousands of tons of post-consumer plastics into new products, including fuel and wax.
Brightmark expects to make investments of approximately $500 million to $1 billion at each site location and plans to create more than 100 jobs in each host community. Significant additional indirect economic activity is anticipated to occur in each chosen community as a result of the projects. The company’s plastics renewal technology takes single-stream, mixed post-consumer plastics and converts them into ultra-low sulfur diesel, naphtha and wax. The process is also capable of creating the building blocks for new plastics, thus enabling a circular economy in the plastics industry, the company explained.
“The United States is facing a major plastics recycling shortfall,” explained CEO Bob Powell. “Imagine a world without plastic waste. We’ve got a proven, market-ready solution, which we will be scaling up nationally to meet this demand. Communities are struggling with a deluge of contaminated plastics, much of which ends up in incinerators or landfills. We have a viable, profitable alternative that solves many of the challenges historically associated with plastics recycling.”
Brightmark is currently completing construction of a $260-million plastics renewal facility in northeast Indiana, which will accept 100,000 tons of plastics each year for conversion into new products. The plant is expected to begin producing fuels and wax in Q2 2020 and will be operating at full capacity by Q4 2020. The feedstock for the Ashley, IN, plastics renewal facility will be sourced from Indiana and the Chicago metro area.
“Our team has successfully developed power and energy plants, and we’re ready to go big on our next plastic conversion sites,” said Zeina El-Azzi, Chief Development Officer of Brightmark. “We’ve built a tremendous partnership with the folks in Steuben County, IN, and we’re now searching for other communities where we can put down roots and work hand-in-hand to expand local recycling infrastructure and create jobs.”
Communities interested in a Brightmark renewal facility must provide strong local, regional and state support for the product development through incentives and improved plastic recycling programs; access to at least 200,000 tons per year of co-mingled plastic waste (types one to seven); access to 30 to 100 acres of suitable land with excellent access to rail and highways; and natural gas and electric utility support. Other criteria will be detailed in a forthcoming request for proposal. Brightmark anticipates completing its site selection by Q2 2020.