Waste & Recycling


Brightmark seeking multiple locations for plastics recycling

SAN FRANCISCO – Brightmark, a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, is launching a U.S.-wide site search for locations suitable for its next set of advanced recycling facilities, which will convert hundreds of thousands of tons of post-consumer plastics into new products, including fuels, wax, and more.

The search kicks off on November 19 with a webinar and formal indication of interest submission for interested communities.

Brightmark expects to make investments of approximately US$500 million to $1B at each site location and plans to create more than a hundred jobs in each host community selected through this process, with additional indirect economic activity anticipated to occur in each chosen community.

The company’s plastics renewal technology takes single-stream, mixed used plastics and converts it into ultra-low sulphur 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,” explained CEO Bob Powell.

“Imagine a world without plastic waste. We’ve got a proven, market-ready solution, which we will be scaling up nationally to meet this demand. Communities are struggling with a deluge of contaminated plastics, much of which ends up in incinerators or landfills. We have a viable, profitable alternative that solves many of the challenges historically associated with plastics recycling.”

Brightmark is currently completing construction of a $260M 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 in Q2 2020 and will be operating at fully capacity by Q4 2020.

The feedstock for the Ashley, Indiana plastics renewal facility will be sourced from Indiana and the Chicago metro area.

“Our team has successfully developed billions in power and energy plants, and we’re ready to go big on our next plastic conversion sites,” said Zeina El-Azzi, chief development officer of Brightmark.

“We’ve built a tremendous partnership with the folks in Steuben County, Indiana, and we’re now searching for other communities where we can put down roots and work hand in hand to expand local recycling infrastructure and create jobs.”

For consideration during the open solicitation, communities must provide: 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 one to seven); 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.

Other criteria will be detailed in a forthcoming request for proposal. BME anticipates completing its site selection by Q2 2020.

Interested municipalities should plan to attend BME’s November 19th webinar and visit Brightmark’s website to learn more about the solicitation process, indication of interest, selection criteria, and the project schedule.