St Charles MN finds recycling a boon to local economy

Winona Post reports…

Out back, the rear of the new Envirolastech plant in St. Charles is practical, not pretty. Eighty tons worth of milk jugs and similar plastics are stacked in bales. A loading dock ramp leads up to a stockpile of broken glass bottles. A skid steer sits parked nearby. This is where the magic starts.

From there, the old bottles from around Southeast Minnesota will be cleaned, ground up, and mixed into proprietary formulas and extrusion molded into deck-building materials, pallets that withstand water and freezing temperatures, and permeable pavers that are — according to Envirolastech — stronger than concrete.

In a community where some have longed for a return of manufacturing jobs since the Northstar Foods fire of 2009, Envirolastech leaders say they have created 19. Their LEED-certified building captures rainwater for use in the manufacturing process, and last week, hosted a contingent from Governor Dayton’s cabinet. “This is a crown jewel for us right now,” St. Charles Mayor John Schaber said of the new factory.

It’s a great idea for any community. Read More