Construction of municipal waste recycling plant in Gary, Indiana, moves forward

The proposed $40 million plant is ramping up to open in spring of this year.

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January 22, 2021

A new municipal waste recycling plant in Gary, Indiana, will begin construction in the spring, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Jimmy Ventura, president and CEO of Maya Energy LLC, the company constructing the facility, said the proposed $40 million plant is ramping up to open later this year at 2727 W. 35th Ave., near the Little Calumet River.

“We have contracts and letters of intent, it’s been real positive,” Ventura said. “Local cities in Lake County are waiting for us to open.”

Ventura said an office trailer will be at the site soon. He said a 165,000-square-foot building will be built for the project.

In 2018, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) awarded an operating permit to Maya, despite objections from neighboring landowners, Steel City Charter school students and environmentalists. The controversy led to a defamation suit filed by Maya against the HEC that’s since been resolved.

Maya is leasing 35 acres through an agreement with the Little Calumet River Basin Commission, which owns the property, the Chicago Tribune reports. Dan Repay, executive director of the commission, said Maya’s lease calls for a payment of $100,100 for the first 10 years.

In a document submitted to IDEM, Maya said it intends to recycle municipal solid waste and construction and demolition (C&D) debris including paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, wood, concrete, drywall and metals. Maya said it would not accept hazardous or medical waste.

The recycled materials are expected to be sold to paper and packing manufacturers for re-use.