- The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) has canceled a $100 million project that would have brought a new recycling facility and a waste-to-energy facility to Franklin County. Florida-based Team Gemini, who was to build the facility, reportedly defaulted on rent and "improperly suspended the project," according to a letter from SWACO’s lawyers.
- The plan, which was in the works for three years and slated for completion in June, called for Team Gemini to receive and buy recyclables from SWACO, sell them, and landfill what was not recycled. However in addition to the rent problem, there were other concerns including "the feasibility of this technology on this size or scale," said Ty Marsh, SWACO’s executive director, to The Columbus Dispatch.
- SWACO has taken possession of the property and is working to figure out how to profit off of its waste.
Deals are made and deals fall through, especially with capital-intensive projects dependent on flailing recycling markets.
Even existing MRFs are shutting down—including those owned and operated by industry giants like Waste Management, who has shuttered 1/5 of its facilities since 2014. This has been an industry trend for over three years, with devalued materials and higher operation costs driving the plant shut downs.
In Ohio, Team Gemini couldn’t raise the money to build the large facility. However, "The failure of the Team Gemini project in no way diminishes our interest in leveraging the waste that’s generated in Franklin County for greater economic opportunity," said Marsh, as reported in The Columbus Dispatch.
SWACO will continue to work to extend the Franklin County landfill’s life beyond 30 years without expanding its size—a goal that the Authority set fairly recently, but now may have trouble achieving.