- Medina County in Ohio is considering a proposal by Optiva Group, a business development company, to build a "waste mall" that would receive residential garbage and convert it into recyclables, new products, and energy at the former central processing facility. The mall would be powered with energy generated there. The concept is to have a large structure housing varied businesses, sharing equipment and facilities. So far six "stores" plan to participate in what Optiva said is a first-of-its kind endeavor, according to Cleveland.com.
- Sherbrooke, who makes waste recycling equipment, would sort materials to create new products for sale using 70% to 80% of the waste. Edmund Kwiecien, president and CEO of Optiva, said the company wants to accept trash from other Northeast Ohio communities to take full advantage of the site's 500,000 tons a year capacity which could generate 50 to 100 jobs.
- The existing facility could be renovated in three to four months and start processing waste in July.
As commodities dip in value but the cost to process them continues to rise, municipalities are looking for ways to hold onto their recycling programs or create new ones that can ride out tough times.
Optiva figures by consolidating operations under one roof, it can streamline the process — from moving the waste, to processing it and selling it.
"If the waste mall were to receive the 120,000 tons of unsorted, mixed waste generated in Medina County each year, it could repurpose most of it and vastly reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills," said Kwiecien.