The cargo containers you see on ocean vessels and trains are being used to make an industrial manufacturing facility in Goodfield. Chip Energy, state, and village officials broke ground on the building Thursday that will be made up of 60 metal containers once complete.
The one-of-a-kind facility will recycle energy crops like grasses, leaves, sticks, and other woody biomass into reusable products. Paul Wever is the President of Chip Energy. He says he wants to duplicate the idea in rural communities across the nation.
“If I asked you where you take your aluminum cans, your newspapers, your glass, all those types of materials, you know where to do that. If I was to ask you where you were going to take that wood that you had in the backyard to be recycled, there is no place. That’s what this is about. We’re building the infrastructure to where those materials have an alternative direction to go. They do not have to go to the landfill. They do not have to be burnt in the backyard. They do not have to be wasted.”
Wever says five million pounds of scrap wood are buried in landfills daily in just Illinois. He says grass and leaves can be turned into liquid fuel while wood can be made into briquettes used in the coal burning process. Wever says the company will also recycle wood to make mulch, pellets, and logs for fireplaces. He says there are no buyers yet for his materials.
The Chip Energy plant is expected to be operational at the end of next year.