Green Economy Business Park could create 2,000-3,500 jobs

Green Economy Business Park could create 2,000-3,500 jobs

The leaders of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio believe they will succeed in attracting businesses to a Green Economy Business Park, a development planned on 362 acres mainly on the north side of London Groveport Road (state Route 665) in Grove. City.

SWACO’s goal is to attract manufacturers who 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 that use research, technology and advanced manufacturing to bring together the recycled materials supply chain,” she said. “New jobs can be created, contributing to local tax revenues and capital investment in the region. With this innovative concept, tomorrow’s products can be made from today’s recycled materials.”

The 362 acres mostly on the north side of London Groveport Road (state Route 665) in Grove City had been farmland. Central Ohio's Solid Waste Authority plans to convert the land into what it calls the Green Economy Business Park.

Central Ohio is already home to nearly 400 businesses that rely on recyclables, and SWACO’s vision for the business park is to benefit those businesses while also attracting additional, like-minded businesses to the region, she said.

The market promises to grow, she said.

“We are preparing for Franklin County to grow and prioritize local partnerships,” she said. “It is becoming increasingly clear that there is an emerging market for products made from recycled materials, and we believe this market will grow in the coming years.”

Green Economy Business Park could create 2,000-3,500 jobs

The SWACO website, swaco.org, predicts major economic benefits for the city.

“Based on models across the country and the economic momentum behind recycled materials, the site could create 2,000 to 3,500 manufacturing jobs at good wages, between $1.6 million and $4.2 million in local tax revenue, 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 and create a sustainable destination for both businesses and employees.”

A video on SWACO's website shows the location of a planned Green Economy Business Park.

SWACO’s goal to move away from landfills

The business park would also help SWACO meet a goal of its solid waste management plan passed in 2018 – to increase the region’s diversion rate (the percentage of waste that is recycled rather than going to landfills). from 50% to 75% by the year 2032.

The Grove City Planning Commission approved in December 2020 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 past three months, and I think we’re much more aligned with what could be happening within those 300 and a few acres,” Stage said.

“The CRA empowers both SWACO and the City of Grove City to drive development,” said Greer-Brown. “However, successful development will depend on all partners taking the right steps. …

“Grove City and SWACO recently teamed up to expand a community reinvestment area on the Green Economy Business Park site, with the added bonus of new jobs and investment in the local community.”

Processes using recycled materials can have negative issues, such as odors, Greer-Brown said, but added that SWACO is working closely with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Franklin County Public Health and other agencies to ensure best practices are used and that environmental regulations are observed.

“SWACO is proud to call Grove City home for the past 30 years and remains committed to operating with a high respect for public safety and environmental protection and applies these priorities to every project, partnership or every effort we are making,” she said.

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