Lester Miller, mayor of the Macon-Bibb County consolidated government, has withdrawn his support of Brightmark, which plans to construct an advanced plastics recycling and renewal facility in Macon, Georgia. Brightmark, a global waste solutions provider based in San Francisco, announced in June 2021 its plan to invest $680 million to build an advanced plastics recycling and renewal facility in Georgia’s Macon-Bibb County.
At that time, the company reported that the 5.3 million-square-foot site would use the company’s proprietary renewal process, a form of chemical recycling, to recycle Nos. 1-7 plastics that have reached the end of their useful lives, including flexible packaging and plastic film, expanded polystyrene, plastic beverage cups, car seats and children’s toys. The company said it convert this material into new products that included fuels and wax and the building blocks for new plastics using technology developed by RES Polyflow.
According to a report from WMAZ-TV, Macon, Georgia, Miller wrote a letter to the chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority Jan. 7 that states that he “cannot ignore the long-term safety concerns of this unproven process that have been raised in the last several weeks.”
Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority had been considering issuing $500 million in revenue bonds for Brightmark to start this project in 2023 and hosted a public hearing on it in November 2021.
Although the mayor has withdrawn his support, Brightmark tells Recycling Today it intends to continue to work with the Macon-Bibb County community on this new facility.
“Given Brightmark’s commitment to the environment and economy of Macon-Bibb County, we look forward to continuing our engagement with Mayor Miller and the community at large,” says Bob Powell, founder and CEO of Brightmark. “We’re eager to demonstrate the overwhelmingly positive effects of plastic renewal technology, along with the immediate and long-term economic growth that this project will drive for Macon-Bibb County. We are confident that this project will continue to move forward, comply with all environmental permitting requirements and demonstrate its positive impact on the environment in this community.”
Brightmark is in the commissioning phase at a similar facility in Ashley, Indiana, that it broke ground on in 2019.