Plastics to Diesel Fuel Program Helps Farmers and the Environment

Submitted Photos/Sharon Driscoll

James Zecca, director of the Madison County Department of Solid Waste and Sanitation inspects bales of agricultural plastic that were sent to JBI, Inc., in Niagara Falls as part of a test load to make sure the product collected can be processed. In the background is a large bale of rigid plastic that was also shipped to JBI, Inc.

In March, a contingent from Madison County traveled to Niagara Falls to tour JBI, Inc. CEO John Bordynuik explains how the agricultural and rigid plastic is converted into diesel fuel. Madison County Recycling Coordinator Sharon Driscoll holds a jar of diesel fuel created from discarded plastic. Madison County Industrial Development Agency Director Kipp Hicks, second from left, and Kevin Voorhees of Barton and Loguidice Engineers, right, pay close attention to Bordynuik’s description.

(, NY – Oct. (Madison County, NY – Oct. 2012) A new program at the Madison County Department of Solid Waste is aimed at safely and economically recycling agricultural and rigid plastic, which will help the environment, save space in the county landfill and help solve a longstanding problem for area farmers.

The plan is to turn plastic back into usable diesel fuel.

Madison County is striving to find a solution to effectively recycle these plastics. These efforts are arousing the interest of neighboring counties that have expressed interested in learning more about this new process and pledging to support Madison County’s efforts.

“Everyone wants more details and wants to know when we plan to start the program,” said Director James A. Zecca.

Zecca has visited a number of counties to discuss the new agricultural and rigid plastics-to-oil program; on Oct. 17, Zecca, along with Solid Waste Committee Chairman Jim Goldstein (D – Lebanon) and other Madison County representatives met with the chief executive officer and the chief operating officer of JBI, Inc., of Niagara Falls to get the ball rolling.

JBI, Inc., has discovered a way to “crack the code” – turn plastic back into diesel fuel. Their plant in Niagara Falls is an innovative North American fuel company that transforms unsorted, unwashed waste plastic into ultra-clean, ultra-low-sulfur fuel without the need for refinement.

Diversion of items that don’t biodegrade and take up space in the landfill is a concept that has long been the mantra for the Madison County Department of Solid Waste under Zecca’s leadership.

“We are extremely eager to move forward with this program,” said Zecca. “The first step is to start collecting ag and rigid plastic from in and around Madison County, bale it and ship it to the Niagara Falls facility, where it will be turned into clean diesel fuel,” Zecca said. “We are confident that, as this program evolves, JBI, Inc., will realize the untapped potential here in Madison County and surrounding counties and commit to establishing a presence here.”

Zecca was guest speaker at the Madison County Farm Bureau annual meeting Oct. 17 at Centro’s Restaurant in DeRuyter where he gave an update on the plastics-to-oil program. This event was attended by more than 60 people.

“As soon as a contract is put in place with JBI, Inc., more information on the collection process will be released,” Zecca said.

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