Brightmark Narrows Search for Advanced Plastic Recycling Plant Locations

Key regions include Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Texas.

Waste360 Staff, Staff

April 9, 2020

3 Min Read
Brightmark Narrows Search for Advanced Plastic Recycling Plant Locations
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Brightmark, a global waste solutions provider, announced that it is prioritizing its search for locations for its next advanced plastic recycling plants to key regions in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Texas. The company plans to make its final site selection decisions by the third quarter of 2020 and to have at least two sites shovel-ready by 2021.

This announcement represents Brightmark’s move into the second phase of its nationwide site search for U.S. locations suitable for its next set of plastics renewal facilities. The company’s plastics renewal technology takes single stream, post-use plastics and converts them into ultra-low sulfur diesel, naphtha and wax. The process is also capable of creating the building blocks for new plastics, thus enabling a circular economy in the plastics industry.

“The United States is facing a major plastics recycling shortfall. We’ve got a proven, unique, market-ready solution, which we are scaling up nationally to meet this demand,” said CEO Bob Powell in a statement. “Communities are struggling with a deluge of contaminated plastics, and we have been overwhelmed with the level of interest in our solution from communities across the states. With recent events affecting all of our communities, we are excited to be investing in jobs and economic activity in our partner communities. I have spoken with multiple community leaders who have been enthusiastic to partner with Brightmark as we expand our plastics renewal locations.” 

Brightmark expects to make investments of approximately $500 million to $1 billion at each site location, directly creating hundreds of new jobs in each host community selected through this process, with significant additional indirect economic activity anticipated to occur in each chosen community as a result of the projects. Each plant will process hundreds of thousands of tons of plastics each year.

“We’ve built an excellent partnership with the folks in Steuben County, Ind., at our first plastics renewal facility, and we’re now deeply engaged with other communities in our target states to determine where we can put down roots and work hand in hand to expand local recycling infrastructure and create a significant number of new jobs,” said Zeina El-Azzi, chief development officer of Brightmark, in a statement.

During the first phase of Brightmark’s site search process, more than 100 communities nationwide participated in an open “indication of interest” process. CBRE partnered with Brightmark to research these locations, as well as other localities nationwide.

“CBRE has been an incredibly valuable partner to us, ensuring we connect with all interested localities in the most effective manner,” said Gale Clark, vice president of business development and origination at Brightmark, in a statement. “With CBRE’s knowledge and expertise in this space, we are confident to be moving forward in a strategic fashion that will lead to the successful development of our projects making a positive impact to local communities.”

The next phase of Brightmark’s selection process will include a deeper dive into potential key regions and specific site locations in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Texas. Ideal locations are those able to offer strong local, regional and state support for project development through incentives and improved plastic recycling programs; access to at least 200,000 tons per year of co-mingled plastic waste (types 1-7); access to 30 to 100 acres of suitable land with excellent access to rail and highways; and natural gas and electric utility support for such a project.

Brightmark is currently completing construction of a $260 million plastics renewal facility in Northeast Indiana, which will accept 100,000 tons of plastics each year for conversion into new products. The plant is expected to begin producing fuels and wax later this year and will be operating at full capacity in early 2021. The feedstock for the Ashley, Ind., plastics renewal facility will be sourced from Indiana, Ohio and the Chicago metro area.

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