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US remanufacturing hub still being planned

US remanufacturing hub still being planned

February 26, 2016

The hub, in Austin, Texas, was announced two years ago, with construction set to begin this year.

An image showing where the "remanufacturing" park will be based (Credit: Austin Business Journal)

An image showing where the “remanufacturing” park will be based (Credit: Austin Business Journal)

My Statesman reported on the latest details about the hub, which The Recycler first reported on in July 2014. The plan aims to open up 107 acres of land to “manufacturing development” for manufacturers utilising recycled and reused materials, such as cartridge remanufacturers.

The area was said two years ago to be opened to a competitive development process, and officials believed the area could “create more than 1,000 jobs” with its $3 million (€2.1 million) investment in “city-owned acres” near to the city airport. Officials planned to use “low-cost, long-term leases and access to shipping corridors and recycled materials” in an effort to attract the companies they want to move in.

Should the plan attract the companies and investment, projections have shown a more than $30 million (€21.9 million) investment in private sector development, whilst at the same time “helping Austin to recycle more”. A $10 million (€7.3 million) investment would be used to “ready” the site, which would be expected to pay for itself over the next 25 years through “lease revenue from tenants”, with this larger investment funding roads, lighting, drainage, and water and weather infrastructure.

Two years on, the [re]Manufacturing Hub is set to still be built at a “former landfill”, with Austin Resource Recovery, the city’s waste and recycling department, noting that it still retains “support from the majority of City Council members, some local recyclers, the main companies that sort and sell household recyclables and zero waste advocates eager to see the city meet its goal of diverting nearly all materials from landfills by 2040”.

However, questions “are swirling” around the hub, construction on which is hoped to begin this year, but is a concept “that, at this scale, hasn’t really been tested in the US by a city government”. Additionally, “some of the details are still being figured out”, with one main stream of funding falling through thanks to a rejection of sale for land needed. In turn, the developers are facing criticism “for being to short on specifics”, including rent, leasing cash flow and their cash reserves.

Other concerns include dominion over waste collected in the city, but organisers said that the hub “has no interest in establishing control over materials”, and 22 local businesses remain interested in relocating there.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Business Remanufacturing USA

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