No. The facility will be housed in a small portion of an existing building within an industrial park.
2. How large is the facility?
MedRecycler will operate in 48,000 sq, feet of space within a much larger building in an existing industrial park.
3. How large is the building where MedRecycler will operate?
The existing building that will host MedRecycler is well over a half-million square feet.
4. What other types companies operate in this building?
Other industrial uses in the building include another renewable energy company, a document storage company, a food processor, a wire manufacturer and a gym equipment distribution company.
5. How many permanent jobs will MedRecycler create?
The company will create approximately 40 new jobs for local residents once operational and fully completed.
6. How many constructions jobs will be supported during the construction of the facility?
Up to 100 Rhode Island based professional tradesmen, electricians, and construction related jobs will be directly supported during the assembly, build out, and continued maintenance of the facility.
7. What is happening at the facility now?
MedRecyclers portion of the building has undergone some basic electrical work required for safety. Some capital improvements have also been made to the roof and doors, along with some construction of administrative offices in preparation for the facility. Some equipment is also being stored there.
8. What kind of waste will be converted to renewable energy?
Regulated medical waste.
9. How much waste will the facility receive each day?
Initially up to 35 tons of waste per day will be transformed into renewable energy. The facility will have the ability to convert a maximum of 70 tons of waste per day to renewable energy.
10. How does the process work? What is “pyrolysis”?
Pyrolysis is a treatment which can be applied to any organic (carbon-based) product. It can be done on pure products as well as mixtures. In this treatment, material is exposed to high temperature, and in the absence of oxygen goes through chemical and physical separation into different molecules. The decomposition takes place thanks to the limited thermal stability of chemical bonds of materials, which allows them to be disintegrated by using the heat.
According to the U.S. EPA, for every ton of municipal solid waste processed at Energy-from-Waste facilities, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by approximately one ton. This is due to the elimination of methane from landfills as the waste decomposes, the offset of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel electrical production and the recovery of metals for recycling.
11. How will the emissions from the facility compare to those from other emissions sources nearby?
The emissions from the facility will be less than the emissions from four cars travelling 11,500 miles at 55 miles per hour over the course of a year.
12. How is the renewable energy generated and how much is created?
Pyrolysis indirectly heats organic compounds thereby evaporating them into syngas that can then be used by engines to create electricity.
13. How will the renewable energy be used?
Electricity will initially be used to power the facility and adjacent companies. Eventually it will be sold to the power grid.
14. Will the facility discharge waste from the process into the local waste-water system?
The process will generate no waste-water, and none will be disposed into the local waste water system.
15. What safety systems will be in place?
The company will make a significant investment to install state-of-the-art safety systems. These include: – Fire suppression system, including fire extinguishers; – Monitoring of gases in the closed pyrolysis system and the facility environment; – Extensive biological testing; – Testing to insure that radioactive material, commonly used in medical procedures, is not received at the facility. (The facility will not accept radioactive medical waste under any circumstances.)
16. This is a relatively new process. Where else has it operated and how well has it worked?
This system is already in use across the U.S. and internationally. The process of pyrolysis was invented in 1897. It is the same process used to make charcoal briquettes.
17. Was the facility granted master plan approval by the West Warwick planning board?
Yes. Approval was granted at a publicly noticed meeting on May 6, 2019.
18. What West Warwick town approvals are next?
Once MedRecycler has all necessary permits and approvals, it will seek Preliminary and Final plan approvals from the town. There will be an opportunity for public participation as well during that process.
19. This project was originally proposed for the town of Johnston. What happened to that proposal?
The Town of Johnston approved the proposal, which had broad support from the Mayor and other town officials. The proposal was moved to West Warwick after the landlord at the proposed site significantly increased the cost of the lease. The company subsequently found a more suitable facility in West Warwick. In a letter of support, Johnston Mayor Joseph M. Polisena wrote: “As Mayor of Johnston, I wholeheartedly welcome Medrecycler… I am truly excited to have such a development be part of the Town of Johnston’s future.”
20. What is the status of the project with DEM? What approvals have been granted? What approvals remain?
DEM’s Office of Air Resources granted a minor source permit on May 7, 2020. Additional approvals are required from the Office of Land Revitalization and the Office of Sustainable Material Management. MedRecycler is in the process of securing those approvals, and has applied for a license to operate a Medical Waste Treatment Facility.
21. Are any tax dollars being used to finance the facility?
No. The facility is 100% financed by private investment.
22. Part of the financing will be through bonds issued by the state. Are these bonds guaranteed by the taxpayers, so that taxpayers will be responsible to repay the bonds if the business fails?
No. There is no state or taxpayer backed guarantee for the bonds. These bonds are a common and often-used economic development tool that the state uses to create new jobs.
23. If there’s no taxpayer funding and no state guarantee for the bonds, why was it necessary for the state to issue bonds in the first place?
The bonds issued by the state offer lower interest rates and are a commonly used financing tool for projects of this kind. Again, this is a standard and widely-used approach to generate economic development and create new jobs in Rhode Island.
24. What is the project date for the facility to begin operations?
The company plans to begin , with testing and limited operations during the 4th quarter of 2020.