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West Palm Beach, FL –The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB), in cooperation with Palm Beach County and the City of Pahokee, announced that it has assisted Sunshine State Biomass Cooperative (SSBC) in establishing their recycling operations in Pahokee. SSBC is an agricultural cooperative that makes products for the agriculture industry by recycling yard waste into 100% organic products, primarily compost and mulch.
The SSBC, in partnership with BioCarbon Technologies Inc., (BCT) currently operates a registered Source Organic Processing Facility (SOPF) in Pahokee at 1740 N. State Market Road. Here, the SSBC intends to expand operations through a $5 million capital investment to employ cutting-edge patented torrefaction technology to Florida’s recycling of yard waste. The 25 acre site, including a 20,000 square foot facility which already employs a small number of local workers, will ultimately employ up to 200 people with salaries that match or surpass Pahokee’s average wage. The Pahokee site currently recycles yard waste from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
The BDB assisted the company through the permitting process with select Palm Beach County entities and introduced it to CareerSource Palm Beach County to help it accomplish its staffing needs.
“This project is a great win for Pahokee” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. “It will help build upon the Glades Region’s agricultural industry, employ 200 people, and it will have a lasting impact for the community.”
“The City is enthusiastic about the new economic development occurring in Pahokee. I welcome the BIO Mass Family to the community. The future is bright for sustainable economic opportunities in the City of Pahokee,” said Chandler Williamson, City Manager of Pahokee.
“The SSBC, which is a state wide partnership between 100 of the largest landscape companies intends on transforming the Glades, as well as other areas of rural Florida, into a synergistic win between local residents, cooperative members, farmers, agrotech companies, and environmental researchers. This project is an exceptional example of the good that can be achieved when entities such as the City of Pahokee and Palm Beach County work together for a common cause. This project will create approximately 200 new jobs that will provide salaries that match or surpass Pahokee’s average wage. The facility is already employing a small workforce, but the bulk of our hiring will occur during the Summer of 2016,” said David Disbrow, President of the SSBC. The SSBC in partnership with BCT operates an additional SOPF in Arcadia, Florida and will soon open a third facility in Fort Pierce, Florida.
About Sunshine State Biomass Cooperative (SSBC): SSBC and BCT have joined forces to create an innovative recycling partnership for the state of Florida. The Pahokee site is the first of many Source Organic Processing Facility sites to be opened around the state. Each SSBC member enters into 10-year feedstock agreement, in exchange for discounted services and patronage fees, where a portion of profits from product sales is rebated the membership. The Torrefaction of “yard waste” produces many products; two of the most coveted products to be manufactured in Pahokee will be “biochar and activated carbon.” Torrefaction sequesters carbon, by eliminating the “greenhouse gases” from the recycling process, and separating them for potential fuel use. Biochar’s environmental credentials are exemplary, and it has even been touted as a “geo-engineering” solution for comprehensive soil fertility management and ecosystem service support systems. Research consistently finds, “poor and depleted soils” enriched by biochar grow bigger, stronger plants that yield higher quantity and quality. Similarly, activated carbon is the premiere water purification and remediation material used throughout the world today. Together these organic materials are carbon-friendly and through the implementation of technology, can help meet the conservation goals that have been set for the state of Florida.
About the BDB: The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is the official public/private economic development organization for Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida. Founded in 1982 as a not-for-profit corporation, our primary purpose is to attract and retain new industry, business investment, high quality jobs and workforce development through corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,600 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $67,000, resulting in more than $693 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $5.87 billion. Additional information can be found at the BDB’s web site, BDB.org.