Organic Energy builds facility at the McCommas Bluff Landfill

Organic Energy Corporation (OEC) is seeking permission from the City of Dallas to build a multimillion dollar recycling facility at the McCommas Bluff Landfill. The privately owned and operated facility would capture up to 95 percent of the recyclables available from the city’s garbage, while bringing between $5 to 20 million annually to city coffers. The first facility represents a nearly $100 million investment directly into South Dallas and would create a public/private partnership, while the city’s only input would be a commitment to provide the garbage and lease some land.

“Dallas brings 6,000 tons of garbage every day to the landfill,” said Barney Gorey, vice president of public affairs for OEC. “Even with the curbside recycling program over 3,500 of those tons are recyclable products which can be captured and sold. The paper, plastic and metals are worth millions and can begin to bring real green jobs to Dallas,” he said.

Those jobs number 100 per facility and range from non-skilled to semi-skilled at better than minimum wage, according to the company.

The facility uses people and equipment to mechanically sort garbage straight from the route truck. The system is modeled after plants in Europe where recycling and waste minimization have been necessary for decades. The company also has a reference facility in Roseville, California which has been operating for over 17 years.

“Curbside Recycling is a bad joke in this country,” said Gorey. “We love to think we make an impact, but Dallas actually spent $12 million on curbside last year to resell $2 million worth of recyclables.”

The truth is in the numbers according to the company. A multi-patent pending mechanical separation system uses proven technology to make all the items homogenous, while separating the recyclables from the food and green waste and inert materials. The system has a comprehensive performance guarantee by the manufacturers and systems integrator, backed by a major insurance company. It’s not a box, it’s cardboard and it’s not a milk jug, it’s plastic to be bundled and sold. The plastics, papers and metals are baled for resale while the food and green wastes are put into large tanks to gather the methane they make. “Just like the methane system currently at McCommas,” said Gorey, “the methane is captured and can be used for many different products, or simply cleaned and sold as natural gas, again just like they do at the landfill.”

The company can finance the entire operation from the waste generated by the city and revenue share its profits on a 50/50 basis with Dallas. According to Gorey, the total monies given to the city would range between $5 million and $20 million annually for a 20 year contract.