World’s biggest glass recycling plant coming to Jersey

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer speaks at the groundbreaking. – Office of U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer

Pace Glass Inc. broke ground Tuesday on a 250,000-square-foot processing plant in Andover Township that the New York-based recycling firm said will be the world’s largest glass recycling facility.

The project, on 85 acres off Limecrest Road in the Sussex County municipality, will be the Long Island City company’s second New Jersey site. It conducts both receiving and preprocessing, as well as processing, in Jersey City.

“Especially in densely populated cities throughout the Northeast, the process of how glass is recycled has literally become broken,” Pace CEO George Valiotis said in his remarks. “Through our innovative technology that is able to capture and repurpose 90 percent of what is currently landfilled, Pace Glass has found a way to remedy that.”

Pace Glass said in a news release that the project will bring 80 jobs to the area, nearly double the amount employed at the Jersey City processing facility. Another 60 truck drivers could be hired to transport the recycled product to manufacturers in the region, Pace said.

Multiple media reports put the project cost at $55 million.

Pace, founded in 2014, said the plant will help it triple recycling production, to more than 15,000 tons per week at a rate of 90 tons per hour, up from 25 tons per hour. That would make the site the nation’s largest by output, Pace said.

“With the addition of the new Andover Township plant, we will be able to strengthen our position as a leading glass recycling technology provider on a much larger scale,” co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Mahoney said.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), whose 5th District includes the plant site, presented Valiotis with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition for service to the community.

“I am thrilled Pace Glass chose to continue investing in New Jersey workers and families by opening up its second facility in our state, creating 80 local jobs and as many as 60 jobs for truck drivers to collect glass and deliver materials to manufacturing sites across New Jersey and neighboring states,” he said. “Today’s groundbreaking showcased the benefits the new facility will bring to our environment and our economy, and demonstrated the power of business and government working together on the same team.”

Pace’s leadership praised the township as welcoming.

“The town of Andover has been instrumental in giving us our approvals, and we feel very fortunate that they have been so supportive,” Valiotis said.

“We are more than extremely excited about the fact that we’re opening here, and the potential growth within the company,” Mahoney added. “(Andover Township leaders) have been more than welcoming to bringing in new business and making the process move quickly.

Andover Township Mayor Janis McGovern also spoke at the event, saying, “We are delighted to welcome them to our community.”

Construction of the plant is scheduled to be completed over the next year, with operations beginning in early 2019.

“In Congress, I do my best to advance pro-growth, pro-jobs policies, but I want to recognize and thank the real job creators: businesses like Pace Glass and entrepreneurs like CEO George Valiotis, who choose to invest in our state and our workers,” Gottheimer said. “I could not be more proud to be here today to break ground on the new Andover plant, the world’s largest glass recycling facility, which will bring critical new jobs and investment to our community.”