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January 2007

New options for SWACO and Columbus, Ohio

New green development is slated for the former Waste-To-Energy Facility in Columbus, Ohio. If Columbus City Council members and Mayor Mike Coleman follow the lead of the SWACO Board of Trustees, there will be increased recycling options for residents of Columbus as well.

SWACO Trustees have approved a modification to the trash plant site lease with the City of Columbus. Any change in the agreement must also receive the approval of City Council and the Mayor.

If the approval happens, land at 2500 Jackson Pike will be the site of the Rastra building products facility. This $5.5 million project is expected to create approximately 50 jobs within 3 to 4 years. The Rastra process creates building panels with high insulation value out of ground polystyrene and cement. Currently 6% of the annual volume of SWACO’s Franklin County Landfill is polystyrene.

Also on the site will be an expansion of The Grossman Group paper recycling operations. Grossman is currently located in the last remaining trash plant building. This expansion will add another 28,000 square feet to the 14,000 square feet Grossman already uses. His recycling operation diverts approximately 100 tons of paper per day from the landfill.

Energy to power the new businesses will also come from “green” sources. Kurtz Brothers plans to build an anaerobic digester on SWACO property next to the 2500 Jackson Pike site. The digester will take organic materials and turn the mix into energy.

The land for expansion is currently in a flood plain. That land will be brought to grade by Shelly Materials Inc. In return for the 350,000 cubic yards of fill, Shelly will be permitted to mine the limestone on the unused portion of the trash plant property and the former cooling lake behind the property. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2007.

Another benefit of the lease modification between SWACO and Columbus is that SWACO will almost triple the number of drop off recycling locations. Currently SWACO offers around 60 sites in Franklin County. The plan is to add 150 sites utilizing Columbus School facilities. The schools will also be able to use the drop off bins for district recycling.

SWACO drop off recycling locations are expected to collect about 9,400 tons by the end of 2006. The goal will be to double the amount collected.

Columbus currently delivers trash to SWACO transfer stations at a rate of $41 a ton. Under the modification in the contract Columbus will pay SWACO $25 a ton for recyclables, so the more Columbus residents recycle, the more the city can save.

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