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Earth First to open $2 million recycling and waste transfer facility

Should allow the company to compete for Fort Wayne contract, president says

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 1:32 pm

After nearly a year of planning, hearings and construction, Earth First's new $2 million recycling center and transfer facility is nearly ready to go.

After a scheduled ribbon cutting Friday, the 20,000-square-foot facility at 4429 Allen Martin Drive is expected to open Monday, adding about 15 employees to the work force at the company that has attracted 16,000 customers since its inception four years ago.

Part of the facility will be used to sort recyclable materials and part will serve as a “transfer station” that will allow Earth First's trucks to unload waste for reshipment in larger trucks to a landfill in Jay County.

Company President Gregg Walbridge said that is important because Fort Wayne's municipal recycling and waste contract – which the company has unsuccessfully sought in the past – requires disposal within a limited radius of Fort Wayne. National Serv-All operates the only landfill in Allen County. By processing the waste locally, the company expects to bid for the city's contract when it comes up for renewal in four years, Walbridge said.

The new facility will be able to process 300 tons of recyclable material daily, which will then be sold to companies in need of plastic, cardboard or construction materials such as concrete.