STL Land Development, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based New Planet Energy, will build the plant on a 20-acre site in the North Riverfront area of St. Louis, MO. The developer expects it to divert up to 2,250 tons of trash per day from local landfills.

The plant, which could cost up to $100 million, will hire about 80 workers, said Chris Goodson, a local partner on the project. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued a construction permit on Oct. 3.

Recycling efforts in many cities have declined, after contamination and Chinese tariffs raised costs of recycling last year. The project could help municipalities that are struggling with recycling expenses reduce costs, Goodson said.  “Unfortunately, recycling has dipped to the lowest levels it’s had in a long time, so this is a great solution to flip that dynamic and get recycling back up where it should be,” Goodson said.

The plant will create solid recovered fuel by extracting cardboard, plastic bags, metal cans and other materials from the garbage it receives. Those items will be turned into pellets that cement kilns and paper mills can burn as fuel instead of fossil fuels.  “[The materials] it’s shredded, tumbled, dried and bound. SRF acts like coal or another fuel source. It’s a physical product that carries an actual [British Thermal Unit] value,” Bird said.

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