INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Convanta deal was the focus of a panel discussion during the Indiana Recycling Coalition’s annual conference on Tuesday. Covanta's $112 million recycling center is set to open next year.
Carey Hamilton, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition is concerned that the public was left out of the process.
"There was no competitive bidding process so it was both cutting out the community in providing what we want in a service," says Hamilton, "and also the recycling industry couldn’t compete to provide a real recycling system."
That prompted a lawsuit that was dismissed in Marion County Superior Court in April, but the plaintiffs -- two paper companies and a concerned citizen -- have filed an appeal.
Opponents worry that valuable resources like glass and waste contaminated paper won’t be recycled at the processing facility that would separate recyclables from garbage.
Covanta says the new first-of-its-kind center will bring free recycling to everyone in Indianapolis and increase recycling by five times the current rate.
Hamilton says there are so many more options, including curbside recycling programs, that haven’t been explored.
"We could have a very high quality system in Indianapolis with little or no impact to taxpayers and certainly something that could create jobs and a great service that people say they would like to see," says Hamilton.
The proposal never went before the City County Council, instead the City amended its current contract with Covanta which plans to invest $45 million in the project.