BEACON FALLS, CT — The jelly jar you tossed into the ......
Green Manufacturer Opens CT Plant in Beacon Falls
A New York company that recycles old bottles and jars into a product used to create greener concrete has opened a 16,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Beacon Falls.
Urban Mining Industries held a soft opening Friday for the facility at 105A Breault Rd., the company’s first in Connecticut.
The company is currently based in New Rochelle, N.Y., but anticipates moving its headquarters to Stamford within the next year, founder Lou Grasso said in a phone interview.
There are five employees on site now, but the company expects to ramp up to multiple shifts once construction season starts in March and will expand as demand grows.
Grasso has developed a proprietary process to recycle glass discarded by consumers in curbside recycling bins to create a product that can replace up to 50% of the cement used in concrete.
“Connecticut has an abundance of this glass that’s problematic for all of the municipalities,” he said. “It’s very difficult to process because it’s very abrasive.”
The closing more than a year ago of a Massachusetts bottling company that recycled up to 300,000 tons of the glass per year exacerbated the problem, he said.
With the exception of bottles that are returned for deposit, he said most bottles put to the curb end up in landfills.
The product itself is also greener than conventional concrete made with cement, which Grasso said is to blame for as much as 7 percent of carbon emissions worldwide.
“If you can replace up to 50 percent of that cement you can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint for the concrete, and for the state,” he said.
The plant has the capacity to recycle more than 50,000 tons of glass annually.
Grasso said in addition to the environmental benefits, the process produces a “better, more durable concrete for the concrete industry.”
The product, called Pozzotive, has been used in numerous high-profile projects, including United Nations Plaza and the 2nd Avenue subway line stations in New York City and construction of ESPN’s Digital Center 2 in Bristol, where Sportscenter is filmed.
Urban Mining has been working with Connecticut-based construction firm O&G Industries to produce test batches of concrete with Pozzotive at its Stamford concrete plant.
Grasso said the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has been supportive throughout the permitting process.
“They realize the benefits we bring to the state in helping municipalities reduce the cost of processing their glass recycling,” he said. “We’re very excited to be here.”