SWACO & Rastra build green jobs
New “green” jobs are on their way to
Central Ohio. Trustees of The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio
(SWACO) have voted a resolution in support of Rastra Technologies
Inc., a building products company which plans to locate a factory
in Central Ohio.
SWACO will apply for a $2 million loan from the
Ohio Department of Development that will assist Rastra in locating
in Columbus. Rastra will contribute $2.4 million in equity for the
project. It will also request tax incentives from The City of Columbus.
Within 3 to 4 years, the $4.4 million project is expected to create
40 to 50 jobs.
Rastra building panels are constructed of ground
polystyrene and cement. The panels are used for home and commercial
construction. When erected, the panel cavity is filled with concrete,
and the product provides up to an R-40 insulation value. Over 80%
of the Rastra panels are made from recycled product.
SWACO’s Franklin County landfill receives
at least five tractor trailer loads of polystyrene everyday. That
adds up to almost 87,000 cubic yards annually or 6% of the total
yearly capacity at the landfill. The cost of space in the landfill
for that volume of trash amounts to $695,000. While very useful
during its initial stage, polystyrene can be hard to handle, hard
to recycle, and it takes up a large volume of landfill space.
SWACO executive director Mike Long sees Rastra’s
commitment to Central Ohio as additional proof that Greater Columbus
can become a hub for green development. “We believe Rastra
can become a model for others. As other green companies see the
success Rastra has locally, they will follow. We can create jobs
to grow our economy, while at the same time improve our environment.”
Under terms of the agreement with SWACO, half
of the equipment will be owned by SWACO until the loan is paid off.
The rest of the equipment will be used a collateral. A site for
the factory is expected to be selected by mid-September.
- The project totals $4.4-million. SWACO will ask the state of
Ohio for $2-million in loans. The rest will be financed by Rastra
using half of the value of the equipment as collateral. Rastra
will ask the City of Columbus for tax incentives.
- The project is expected to create 40 to 50 jobs over 3-4 years.
- A location for the plant is expected to be announced by mid-September.
- Rastra building panels are constructed of cement and polystyrene.
80% of the product content is made from recycled material. The
panels are fireproof, termite proof, and resist moisture and high
- SWACO’s Franklin County landfill receives at least 5
tractor-trailer loads of polystyrene daily. That is about 87,000
cubic yards or 6% of the annual landfill capacity. The cost to
landfill that amount of trash in the landfill is $695,000.
- Polystyrene is hard to handle and hard to recycle.
- Sites in Nevada and Florida were also considered for the plant.
- Rastra has one factory in the United States. It is located
in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- The walls of “My House” at The North American exhibit
of The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are constructed of Rastra. Students
from 63 schools in Franklin County collected their polystyrene
lunch trays in 2000 to help build the Rasta panels for the project.