Mayor to discuss future of recycling in Montgomery Tuesday

Mayor to discuss future of recycling in Montgomery Tuesday
The state-of-the-art Infinitus Renewable Energy Park, or IREP, recycling facility opened in April 2014 and closed in October 2015. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Could a recycling program be coming back to Alabama's capital city?

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange is set to hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon "to announce developments regarding the future of recycling and sustainability..." the city said Monday.

Montgomery welcomed a first-of-its-kind facility known as the Advanced Mixed Materials Recovery Facility, or IREP, in 2014. It was designed to sort recyclables from everyday garbage, eliminating the need for a curbside recycling program.

Residents simply dropped their trash in a can and it was taken to a new $35 million dollar facility on Louisville Street off the city's Northern Boulevard where it was sorted by a high-tech separation method. Officials boasted it would keep up to 80 percent of waste from going into landfills.

Things appeared to be going smoothly. In mid-2015 the facility won an innovation award. Just two months later the facility was closed and more than 100 jobs were lost.

The company that ran the plant, Infinitus Renewable Energy Park, blamed the closure on a collapse in commodity prices for the materials it was recycling.

In January, the City of Montgomery took ownership of the building after lengthy bankruptcy court negotiations. In addition to paying $750,000 for the building, the city assumed the debt service for the building, a total of $29 million.

With the title in its possession, the City of Montgomery has been searching for another company to restart operations.

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