Tippecanoe County Open To Alternative Recycling Solutions

May 16, 2019

Chemical engineer Linda Wang has been examining converting high-density plastic into fuel, but due to a lack of funding she is unable to commercialize her process.
Credit Vincent Walter / Purdue Research Foundation image

Following the closure of the West Lafayette recycling center Monday, Tippecanoe County Commissioners say they’re open to ideas for dealing with the plastic and glass the facility used to accept.

Commissioner Tracy Brown says incineration of certain wastes has been proposed and, but he’s also interested in hearing how science might deal with the refuse.

Brown says, “if someone comes up with something or an idea and they’re looking for a beta site to test I promise them a great deal of volume in the stream, that we could be a beta for.”

Purdue University researchers have been working on converting certain types of high-density plastics into gasoline or diesel fuel. But the team still needs funding for future work before it can be applied to today’s problems.

Demand for recyclables has fallen in recent years, meaning it’s become more costly for communities to operate recycling centers, since they can’t make as much money selling what they receive.