If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That’s an adage Winnebago businessman Bob Weerts lives by.
It was more than three years ago when Faribault and Martin County commissioners rejected Weerts’ idea to purchase the Prairieland compost facility in Truman.
On Monday, Weerts got some good news when the Atlanta City Council voted 14-0 to hire his company, Green Energy and Development Inc., to build a recycling and compost facility at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest airport.
“I’m waiting for the contract from the city so I can sign the papers and get going,” says Weerts. “It’s a huge, huge project … made possible by a company in little Winnebago.”
Weerts, president and owner/operator of Green Energy, says the project has been in the works for a long time.
His company was among six vying for the 30-acre project located on the south side of the airport in Clayton County.
“I want to get going on it,” he says. “I’ve been trying to get this off the ground for two years.”
Under the contract, Green Energy has a 30-year lease with two five-year renewal options and will pay up to $215,883 a year in rent.
It’s expected to be the first fully enclosed recycling and composting facility at an airport and is anticipated to be operating in early 2019.
“We’re getting all the drawings done now,” says Weerts. “I got a lot of people working on this who know what they’re doing.”
The project is part of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s initiative to make the airport environmentally friendly.
Since 2012, only about 5 percent of waste generated at the airport’s terminals and concourses has been recycled, even though 85 percent of the waste stream is recyclable or compostable.
In addition to recycling waste generated at the airport, officials want to compost chipped yard trimmings from the city’s public works department.