Alabamians who have been dedicating time and effort into recycling are disappointed by the news of a local recycling facility shutting down due to financial concerns.
According to Recycling Today, Infinitus Renewable Energy Park Montgomery (IREP) has ceased operations after its parent company, Infinitus Energy, pulled the plug on the once-successful plant.
Infinitus Energy released a statement regarding the closure, saying that “We plan to meet with all project participants in the coming weeks and with Mayor Todd Strange and city officials later this month to review a detailed plan that would allow us to resume operations.”
There is indication whether the closure is temporary or permanent. The CEO of Infinitus Energy, Kyle Mowitz, says that operations were ceased at no fault of the facility or city of Montgomery, but rather due to fluctuations in the recycled materials market.
“One key element of a successful materials recycling program is the ability to sell recovered material at a price that will support the recycling process. While our customers have been satisfied with the material we have reclaimed, unfortunately the market price for these materials have dropped dramatically,” Mowitz said.
Over 87% of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs, and many Alabama residents were more than willing to do their part in separating recyclables before the facility ceased operations.
Mayor Strange confirmed that the closure cannot be blamed on Alabamians, nor the performance of the facility.
“The technology of the plant is working just as expected and is doing extremely well,” the mayor said. “The issue is the historically low commodities pricing.”
According to Keep America Beautiful’s website, the recyclable materials in the U.S. waste stream would generate a whopping $7 billion if they were all recycled. Despite this massive potential source of revenue, facilities like Infinitus are finding it difficult to stay afloat.
Mayor Strange continued to say that Infinitus has told the city that another investor may be looking to get involved in buying and reopening the facility. City officials will meet with the prospective investor later this month.
In the meantime, Mayor Strange wants locals to know that the city is committed to bring recycling back to Montgomery.
“We will do everything we can to continue the recycling strategy and to continue the [one-bin] strategy,” he said.