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County looking at food waste processing facility
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The Liberty County Commissioners and the Coastal Estuary Protection Association are studying a waste handling facility planned for 2170 Sunbury Rd in Tradeport East Business Center near Midway.

At the county commission’s midmonth meeting Thursday, representatives of Neo Energy outlined their plans for the plant, which will process food waste for eventual conversion into organic fertilizer. The commissioners plan to decide on the project at their meeting scheduled for Oct. 20.

Neo Energy CEO Bob Nicholson and engineer Elan Lynch presented 47 pages of documents describing their company and its proposed operation of the plant.

Neo Energy uses a digestion process in which waste from food processing is broken down by bacteria.

Both spokesmen emphasized that the plant will use sophisticated odor control systems to prevent the escape of any smell. Trucks will be loaded and unloaded inside the plant building.

Inbound foodstock haulers will use liquid-tight trailers that will be washed down after deliveries; outgoing shipments to Elan Technologies will be inside sealed tanker trucks, also washed down at the GBF plant.

Although Liberty and surrounding counties were described as sources for the food waste, the only specific company mentioned was Frito Lay, which has a plant near Kathleen in middle Georgia.

An estimated 19-22 trucks will go to and from the plant each week, including those hauling foodstock waste in for treatment and moving its output to Elan Technologies in the Midway Industrial Park for final processing and a single weekly truck delivering chemicals such as sulfuric acid and ferric chloride.

Neo Energy will lease a five-acre site from the Liberty County Development Authority for its plant.

Allen Davis, president of the Coastal Estuary Protection Association, asked the commissioners for sufficient time for him and other interested parties to examine environmental impacts of the waste facility. Davis, who lives near Tradeport East, told the commissioners he could assemble the information in time for the October meeting.

It’s unclear how many jobs the plant might provide, if it is approved. Details of the project are on the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ website as a development of regional impact. According to the DCA, the project is called GBF Midway Waste Handling Facilty and the developer is GBF Midway, LLC.

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