Posted at: 03/08/2013 6:59 PM
By: Jenna Lohse
Rochester Company Looks to Turn Waste into Building Materials
(ABC 6 News) -- Look to Olmsted County’s Recycling Center on any given day and you'll find people like Stan Ernste looking to save the planet one can at a time.
"Every two weeks or so I gather that much at bring it down here," said Ernste.
However there's a new company in Rochester that wants to save the world tons at a time.
"We’re not only going to be able to stop the existing footprint, carbon footprint, were also going to be able to reverse it," said Schmitt.
Paul Schmitt is the inventor of Envirolastech. He's developed a way to create plastic building materials out of incinerator ash and recycled plastics.
"All we're doing is completing the loop. We are now taking the ash bringing it back into the building mixing it with our technology and producing siding, lumber," said Schmitt.
The company has built more than 30 products from materials found in landfills. Schmitt says the plastic lumber is 3 times stronger than normal construction materials.
"It's the first possible true replacement for wood," said Schmitt.
He says if his new company succeeds, within 5 years, nothing will have to be hauled off to local landfills.
"This is something that has been needed for a long time, many environmentalists have dreamed about it. I just happened to stumble across the last spoke in the wheel and now we're going to build the wheel here," said Schmitt.
Which sits just fine with Stan Ernste.
"It sounds like a pretty good idea. Anytime we can recycle waste it's very worthwhile I think," said Ernste.
Envirolastech hopes to break ground on a new facility in May, next door to Rochester's Waste To Energy incinerator. The company wants to be up and running by the end of September.