Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility'It draws a red flag': Mayor Miller's explains his reasoning for pulling out of Brightmark | WGXA
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'It draws a red flag': Mayor Miller's explains his reasoning for pulling out of Brightmark

Photo Source/Ereina Plunkett
Photo Source/Ereina Plunkett
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MACON, Ga.-- What would have been the largest recycling facility of its kind in the world is no longer a possibility in Macon-Bibb.

WGXA's Ereina Plunkett sat down with Mayor Lester Miller to understand the reasoning behind not moving forward on the $680 million dollar recycling and renewal plant.

"This is a new industry, it's still in the testing phases...the waste to fuel is kind of new and untested," Miller said.

With the potential to add 100 jobs and convert our plastic waste into combustible fuel, the vision to move forward with Brightmark is now a thing of the past.

To test its success before the company built a 5.3 million-square-foot site at 2300 Walden Road, the Mayor says the county placed conditions to prove Brightmark's success in Indiana, which they failed.

"December 31st, they informed us they could not and did not meet those expectations and that's one of the things that I considered in the completion of our due diligence investigation... we needed to go a different direction," Miller said.

After seeing the results, Mayor Lester Miller withdrew his decision to move forward with the company.

"It draws a red flag, I don't feel like it is the best decision for Macon-Bibb County, therefore I sent a letter to the industrial authority advising them that I wouldn't be supporting that or signing off any bonds for this project," Miller said.

It's not just a concern of the risks economically and environmentally but also for the health and safety of citizens.

In that letter to rescind his decision, Mayor Miller cites his reasoning saying "while we should and will continue to support green energy, economic development, and technical jobs, we cannot ignore the long-term safety concerns of this unproven process that have been raised in the last several weeks."

MORE: Brightmark loses Mayor Miller's support over worries of 'long-term safety' to county

This comes after we reported on the Georgia Water Coalitions newest Dirty Dozen list, which listed the Brightmark project as one of the 12 biggest threats to Georgia waterways.

"Observers warn that the “chemical recycling” facility in Macon would result in the release of greenhouse gases and highly toxic dioxins locally while producing fuels that, when burned, will release still more greenhouse gases," stated the Georgia Water Coalition on the Brightmark plant.

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For Mayor Miller, it was enough to dim any lingering chances on Brightmark.

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