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Plastic to fuel Macon's new recycling facility, slated to bring 100+ jobs

The site will sit over 5.3 million square feet on Walden Road in Macon, Ga.

MACON, Ga. — Recycling is a process we know. You put your items in the bin and roll your bin to the curb, but what happens after the pickup?  In Macon-Bibb County, Bob Powell of BrightMark says the process for repurposing plastic will soon change. 

Soon, the global waste solutions company will bring the world's largest advanced plastics recycling and renewable facility to Macon-Bibb County. 

 "What we do there is we take all the plastics, all the plastics that we all use every day, and after we use them and we convert them back into useful products like fuels back into plastics as well and waxes," Powell explains. 

The plant will turn plastic waste into gallons of low-sulfur diesel and a material called naphtha that can be blended into fuel. That waste includes items like straws, food packaging, and medical waste. 

The site will sit on 5.3 million square feet on Walden Road in Macon. To make it work, it will take over 400,000 tons of plastic. Those materials will come from all over Central Georgia, as well as Atlanta, Florida, Alabama, and even some parts of the Carolinas. But why build here in Macon? 

 "The local community wants to have us there, and then the two other things that are extremely important are, 'Is there enough plastic in the area to support a first-of-its-kind facility from a scale perspective?'" he says. 

Powell echoes how he hopes to have the community's support. He also hopes the community will get behind the plant for what it provides and the jobs it will bring both before and after it has been completed.

 "We'll have well over 100 jobs working there at our facility in Macon. While we're constructing the facility, there are many more jobs that are created the construction crews, all the people that support the construction, the truck drivers--you name it," he says.  

The investment is expected to surpass over $680 million. Brightmark's CEO says it will take some time to complete the plant, but hopes to be fully operational in two to three years.

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