MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It’s back! Montgomery officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning to recognize the restarting of a multi-million dollar recycling facility that had sat idle for several years.
City and chamber leaders stood with RePower South executives for the celebration that relaunches what is now the Montgomery Recycling and Recovery Facility, located off the Northern Boulevard.
“This ribbon cutting speaks to our commitment to do what’s right by becoming a green city and a destination known nationally as a leader in recycling, innovation and technology,” Mayor Todd Strange said. “Partnerships mean progress in Montgomery, and thanks to our partnership with RePower South, we are bringing a cost effective, environmentally-friendly and seamless sanitation solution to our residents. Not to mention, this facility will save taxpayer dollars by extending the life of our landfill at no additional cost to our city.”
The city says the restart comes at no additional cost, and there won’t be any extra effort (read: trash sorting) needed by Montgomery residents. They’ll drop their trash in their green cans, just like normal. Once it’s picked up, it will go to the MRRF to be processed by sorting machines.
“Our platform enables greater recycling recovery and does so across the entire Montgomery waste stream,” RPS President Scott Montgomery said. “RePower South creates a low-carbon, clean fuel to help reduce the consumption of coal. Greater recycling, less landfilling and cleaner air at lower cost is a true win-win for the City of Montgomery."
Montgomery leaders and RPS executives reached an agreement in mid-2018 to operate the city-owned facility. Once the contract was signed RPS got to work investing more than $12 million in the facility, the city said. Some of the investment funds went into adding advanced machinery that helps turn traditionally landfilled waste, like non-recyclable paper and plastic, into low-carbon, clean fuel.
Part of the problem that led to the end of the previous facility operations came from a dependence on a volatile commodities market, but the new facility operators are eliminating that danger by selling the fuel it creates.
The city says the private-public partnership includes revenue sharing, so the city could get up to $200,000 annually from RPS, if sales of recovered materials increase. The city will also be able to save money by reducing maintenance and capital costs for sanitation equipment and by extending the life of the city’s landfill.
The facility creates 65 new jobs at an average pay rate of $16 an hour.