The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio’s leaders believe they will succeed at attracting businesses to a Green Economy Business Park, a development planned on 362 acres mostly on the north side of London Groveport Road (state Route 665) in Grove City.
SWACO’s goal is to attract manufacturers that use recycled materials in their products, said Hanna Greer-Brown, SWACO communications manager.
“SWACO’s Green Economy Business Park will create a cluster of companies using research, technology and advanced manufacturing to bring together the supply chain for recycled materials,” she said. “New jobs could be created, adding to local tax revenues and capital investment in the region. This innovative concept could create tomorrow’s products from today’s recycled materials.”
Central Ohio already is home to almost 400 businesses that rely on recyclables, and SWACO’s vision for the business park is to benefit those businesses while attracting additional, likeminded companies to the region, she said.
The market promises to grow, she said.
“We’re preparing for the growth of Franklin County and prioritizing local partnerships,” she said. “It has become increasingly clear that there is an emerging market for products made from recycled material, and we believe this market will grow in the years ahead.”
Green Economy Business Park could create 2,000-3,500 jobs
The SWACO website, swaco.org, predicts big economic benefits for the city.
“Based upon models around the country and the economic momentum behind recycled materials, the site could create 2,000 to 3,500 manufacturing jobs at good wages, producing between $1.6 million and $4.2 million in local tax revenues and between $350 million and $500 million in capital investment,” it says.
“The Green Economy Business Park will use research, technology and advanced manufacturing to bring together the sustainable materials management supply chain creating a sustainability destination for businesses and workforce alike.”
SWACO’s goal to divert from landfills
The business park also would help SWACO meet a goal of its solid-waste management plan adopted in 2018 – to increase the region’s diversion rate (the percentage of waste recycled instead of going into landfills) from 50% to 75% by the year 2032.
The Grove City Planning Commission in December 2020 approved what Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage called a preliminary conceptual plan. He said SWACO has yet to submit a final development plan.
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“We’ve had several conversations with SWACO over the last probably three months, and I think we’re much more aligned in what things could be going on within those 300 and some acres,” Stage said.
“The CRA will enable both SWACO and the city of Grove City to spur on development,” Greer-Brown said. “Yet the successful development will depend on all of the partners having the proper steps in place. …
“Grove City and SWACO recently collaborated to expand a community reinvestment area on the Green Economy Business Park site, which will have the added bonus of new jobs and investment in the local community.”
Processes using recycled materials might have negative issues, such as odors, Greer-Brown said, but added that SWACO works closely with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Franklin County Public Health and other agencies to ensure best practices are utilized and environmental regulations are followed.
“SWACO has been proud to call Grove City home for the past 30 years and remains committed to operating with a high regard for the public’s safety and environmental protection and applies these priorities to any project, partnership or effort we undertake,” she said.