Waste Management plans new facility in Holmesburg

As part of its contract with the City of Philadelphia, Waste Management already runs a single-stream recycling facility on a portion of its 42-acre site in Holmesburg.

Pending approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Waste Management will add a facility to the property to do something with the 20,000 tons per month in waste the recycling center brings in [zoning plan PDF].

Tara Hemmer, director of area recycling operations for Waste Management, brought the proposal to last night’s Holmesburg Civic Association, where she explained how the Process Engineered Fuel facility would work. Waste Management plans to build a 59,000-square foot building on its property, which extends east toward the Delaware River from Bleigh Avenue and Milnor Street.

Inside the facility

Explore Waste Management’s single-stream recycling facility as our partners at NewsWorks go behind the scenes to find out where your waste goes (with video).

The existing facility brings in recycling from around the city. And with a non-opposition vote from the HCA, Waste Management is on its way to building the addition, which would convert that waste into PEF pellets that would then be used at coal-fired plants.

The waste, as HCA President Fred Moore wanted to make sure, will come only from Waste Management’s existing transfer facility.

Hemmer said about 1,200 tons a day will go into the PEF plant from the adjacent recycling facility, and about half that will be made into pellets for plants within 100 miles. The pellets won’t be burned until they reach their destinations, minimizing the air quality impact at the Holmesburg site.

HCA members voted unanimously not to oppose the plant, and Hemmer agreed to organize a tour of the facility for interested residents. If the ZBA grants approval at the Jan. 18 hearing, construction is expected to start in the Summer.

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