Greenstar Recycling's High-Tech Akron, Ohio Plant
The City of Akron, Ohio (USA) is looking to boost recycling habits throughout its municipality, and has partnered with Greenstar Recycling to make it happen. The company is set to construct a state of the art single stream recycling processing plant that will serve as the city’s new recycling hub.
Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic says, “The facility will contribute to the growth and sustainability of Akron by returning an existing building to a manufacturing purpose with significant investment for equipment, building use and creation of new green jobs.”
“We are committed to our partnership with the City of Akron to further develop its local recycling services,” says Matt Delnick, Greenstar CEO. “This facility will allow Akron to continue to offer its businesses and residents the convenience of single stream recycling – eliminating the need to pre-sort recyclables – while growing its local economy with new investment and a minimum of 45 new green jobs.”
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The single stream recycling process allows for local citizens to discard their recyclables all in one bin, versus having to separate items prior to pick-up. Greenstar’s plant will separate the recyclables automatically and even convert recovered plastic into synthetic crude oil through a joint venture between Greenstar Recycling and local Vadxx Energy.
"We are proud to provide this innovative, domestic energy alternative right here in our home community of Akron. Plastics are made from oil, and Vadxx has figured out how to create the lowest sulfur content crude oil in the world, from a commodity that might otherwise occupy space in landfills," says Jim Garrett, Vadxx CEO. "We are thrilled to partner with Greenstar, one of the top recyclers in the U.S., and the City of Akron to continue to improve our local environmental services.”
The terms of the agreement between all parties do not limit the plant to use by the City if Akron. Neighboring communities may be able to participate in the Greenstar plant’s operations as service expands.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
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Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly