MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The City of Montgomery is one step closer to getting back in the recycling business.
Montgomery's first mixed recovery facility, or MRF, named Infinitus Renewable Energy Park ceased operations in 2015, leaving behind a new, state of the art facility.
After lengthy negotiations in bankruptcy court, Montgomery now owns that building and is searching for a new company to pick up where things left off.
The final offer: the city purchased the facility for $750,000, not including other taxes and fees, and directly assumed the debt service for the building which totals about $29 million dollars. Montgomery was already footing the debt service for IREP through a service agreement.
"IREP owned the facility," Montgomery Finance Director Barry Crabb stated. "We had an agreement to deliver our trash to their facility in exchange for $28 a ton for a min of 100,000 tons which works out to $2.8 million while they operated. If they ceased operations for a period of time that number reduced to $2.175M and that was the number required to service the bonds."
Crabb says they came up with the $750,000 total to purchase the plant because it would have been less than a protracted litigation. With the title in hand, Montgomery is searching for a company to assume operations in the city-owned facility.
"We would like to find an operator who would use our $35 million facility, deliver of our household garbage to them, and their contribution is everything else," Crabb said.
The city is currently in talks with upwards of three companies to do just that. No contracts have been drawn up, but Crabb says he's cautiously optimistic a deal will be inked in the coming months. Relaunching recycling will also prolong the life of the city's landfill, possibly adding 20 additional years to its lifespan.
The lifespan of recycling in Montgomery remains unknown. The city's lack of recyclable household materials contributed to the failure of IREP in 2015.