The CEO of Pace Glass said his company remains on track to build a large-scale glass processing plant in central New Jersey, despite recent charges of code violations from Jersey City authorities.
Pace Glass, which operates a recovered glass sorting plant in Jersey City, is developing a large-scale processing facility in Andover, N.J. The plant is expected to include over two dozen optical sorters to sort half to three-quarters of a million tons per year of glass. End markets will include bottles, fiberglass insulation and other products.
The company and its leaders are now facing charges related to stored material in Jersey City. NJ.com reported the Jersey City Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut served Pace Glass, Inc. and a different recycling company, Reliable Group, LLC, with dozens of code violations. The prosecutor also charged leaders at the companies.
The following Pace Glass leaders have each been charged with two waste-related city code violations and two state health code violations, according to court records: CEO George Valiotis, owner Vincent Pace and chief operating officer Michael Mahoney. Additionally, Leonard Pirrello of Reliable Group faces those same charges. They were cited in Jersey City Municipal Court, and their arraignment is set for July 30.
According to NJ.com, the city, responding to complaints from neighbors, is pursuing enforcement over material stored at 1 Craven Point Ave. in Jersey City. Hudnut called it an illegal dumping site that’s affecting the quality of life of nearby residents. With the health code violations, he alleges the defendants are maintaining a nuisance hazardous to health and an accumulation of filth or source of foulness hazardous to health or comfort.
The charges come as city leaders have boosted code enforcement on property owners. Hudnut earlier this month was reappointed chief municipal prosecutor, with the mayor’s office noting in a press release he is now chairman of the Mayor’s Quality of Life Taskforce.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home and clean neighborhood to live in,” Hudnut stated in the release. “That is what the Taskforce – and the dozen City offices that comprise it – is fighting for every day.”
Frustration from Pace leader
In an interview with Resource Recycling, Valiotis expressed frustration with city officials, noting that the site has been the source of an ongoing dispute with officials for some time.
“They’ve been hell from the beginning,” he said. “I feel like we’ve been shaken down from the very beginning in Jersey City.”
For years, Pace Glass has operated a plant on a 1-acre property at 88 Bishop St. in Jersey City, but the facility isn’t capable of processing all of the material the company receives from materials recovery facilities (MRFs). So the company also leases five acres at 1 Craven Point Ave., where Reliable Paper Recycling operates, Valiotis said. That’s where Pace Glass has been pre-screening MRF glass and storing glass fines and residue, he said. When its Andover site is operational, the company will be able to process fines into feedstock for insulation manufacturers and residue – a mix of plastics, labels and other materials – into refuse-derived fuel for sale to cement manufacturers and others, he said.
The Andover project broke ground in April 2018, but Pace Glass temporarily halted work while it negotiated with a German recycling group over a possible joint venture at the site, Valiotis said. The deal didn’t come to fruition. The negotiations delayed development by about a year, however, contributing to growing stockpiles at Craven Point Avenue, he said.
With the contracts and financing in place, the Andover project is still going forward, Valiotis said. Work has been ongoing, he said, with concrete pouring set to begin in three weeks.
In the meantime, Pace Glass has started clearing out 1 Craven Point Ave. and plans to be off the site in six to eight months. It has accelerated plans for clearing out because of the added legal pressure, he said.
“We’ve already communicated to every agency that we plan on moving to our new operations,” he said.
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