TRUMAN - The Prairieland board of directors has approved negotiations with Green Photon Power, to consider changing what the waste-processing facility produces and possibly create more jobs.
"Energy is a national security issue," said Ralph Avallone, secretary general of the Green Energy Council, when he spoke to the board Friday.
People continue to generate more and more garbage and there are fewer places to put it. That trash needs to be recycled and turned into usable products, he said.
Green Photon Power is a project management and development corporation that coordinates different companies worldwide and helps them work together to deal with all forms of waste. Bob Weerts, of Weerts Construction in Winnebago, is on GPP's board of directors.
GPP helped clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and re-educated pro sports teams about waste generated at their events, so that it doesn't go into landfills, Avallone said.
One program with Doxicomglobal encouraged college students to collect plastic bottles and get credit for it. One student went Dumpster-diving and collected more than $37,000, Avallone said.
A growing technology is plasma gasification, Avallone said. It's a way of generating energy that is portable. It can be used during natural disasters, or in places such as Brazil to stabilize energy flow for refrigeration.
Plasma gasification has multiple revenue streams, Avallone said.
He proposed that Prairieland enter into negotiations with Green Photon Power to work out a memo of understanding.
In the first 60 days, Avallone said, equipment would be installed; in 90 days, the facility would produce more product.
What Avallone envisions is Prairieland building a plasma gasification unit and becoming a plastics bottling plant to make plastic products.
"The plastics industry doesn't know where it's going to get the plastics for their products," he said.
Recycled plastic can be made into a variety of products, even T-shirts.
The goal is to make it a profitable site and generate more jobs, he said, as well as reduce America's dependence on foreign fossil fuels.
"There are 27 million unemployed Americans," Avallone said. "This is the type of project that is positive job creation."
Martin County Commissioner Steve Flohrs looked at all the national and international companies Green Photon Power has under its umbrella and had one question: "Why us?"
Weerts said he had talked to some of the commissioners; they know him and he knows them.
"He's local and sees opportunity," said Tom Loveall, Faribault County Commissioner from the district that includes Winnebago.
"[The work] can never be outsourced," Avallone said. "It's endless what can be done."
The board approved entering into negotiations on the memo of understanding with Green Photon Power.