Tempico spokesman says paper recycler still coming to Pontotoc County

By Jane Hill

Daily Journal

PONTOTOC – Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority members took renewed assurances that a multimillion dollar waste recycler will be coming to Pontotoc County with a grain of salt at their Wednesday meeting.

Tempico Inc., in cooperation with the Beloit Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of paper-making machinery, has been stating its intention of constructing a $130 million paper recovery and recycling plant near Three Rivers’ Pontotoc County landfill for almost two years.

Mike McNames of Doty and McNames in Jackson is the Mississippi spokesman for Mandeville, La.-based Tempico. McNames wrote to Three Rivers officials March 8 saying that bonds for construction of the pulp plant have been committed and the design for the recycling plant are finished.

“Everything has been done except sale of the off take,” McNames said.

The concept behind the Tempico venture is to pull wastepaper from garbage being hauled to the landfill and steam it, thereby sanitizing it and rendering it into reusable paper pulp. The process is similar to a technique used to sterilize hospital waste at other facilities using Tempico equipment in Mississippi, Alabama and New York.

The process would also pull and sanitize other recyclables such as aluminum and glass from the waste stream and allow them to be recycled.

Slow progress

McNames said several companies have signed letters of intent to contract for the pulp paper and that Beloit officials hope to work out final contract details within the next 30 days.

It is estimated that removing paper from the Three Rivers waste stream could reduce the volume of garbage buried there from 50 to 70 percent.

However, the slow progress of Tempico’s plans to begin construction of the plant has discouraged authority members and Pontotoc county and city officials, who are beginning to think the Tempico proposals too good to be true.

In his letter, McNames noted that there was some “real discouragement as to the viability of the Tempico plant” among authority members.

Ronnie Bell, chairman of the Three Rivers Authority and an advocate of the seven-county waste cooperative developing a recycling program, said he planned to celebrate Tempico’s coming when ground was broken for the plant and not before.

“You will all be formally invited to a gathering on the Tempico site when the first spade of dirt is turned,” Bell said.

Cell 2 approved

Though it has been in use for almost three weeks, the second cell was formally approved by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality on March 3, according to Greg Davis, an engineer with Neel-Schaffer Engineering of Tupelo.

Davis’ firm designed the first and second cells at the landfill and is currently in the process of designing Cell 3 for the authority. Neel-Schaffer is responsible for seeing that the landfill meets state and federal environmental standards.

The landfill design is divided into huge land excavations or cells, where garbage is buried until the cell is full. Space in Cell 1 was running short by the end of 1995. Cell 2 is expected to last until November 1997.

Authority members will discuss when to advertise for bids, and order construction of Cell 3 at their April meeting, Davis said.

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