The much-discussed mixed-waste materials recovery facility in Montgomery, Ala. has closed its doors.
The closure of the Infinitus Renewable Energy Park at Montgomery (IREP Montgomery), first reported by a local TV station in Montgomery, was confirmed in an email sent to Resource Recycling by Montgomery’s director of public works, Chris Conway.
According to Conway, the city has been asked to “temporarily divert all municipal solid waste straight to the landfill.” A meeting is scheduled this week between city officials and IREP personnel to “discuss our path forward,” Conway said.
A report in the Montgomery Advertiser published Monday noted an estimated 100 workers were laid off last week. In a letter attached to the report, Kyle Mowitz, CEO of Infinitus Energy, which owns IREP, stated the closure was caused by commodity prices.
“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 writes.
Mowitz says the company will meet with city officials in the coming weeks to discuss a “detailed plan” that would allow IREP to reopen.
The facility, which opened last year, has been touted as a prime example of the success of modern mixed waste processing. At this year’s Plastics Recycling Conference, Mowitz stated the facility could achieve diversion rates “north of 60 percent.” The company has a 20-year agreement with the city to handle all of its MSW.
Last month, Montgomery announced drop-off recycling bins were being removed due to the presence of the IREP facility.
In the event Infinitus is unable to reopen the facility, Montgomery will assume control of the multi-million dollar operation.