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PHILADELPHIA-The vacant energy facility at 2500 Jackson Pike Rd. in Columbus,OH has been leased from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio for $6 million by Phoenix, AZ-based LandStar, Inc. It will become the flagship of LandStar’s planned network of regional rubber recycling refineries.

As a part of the deal, reportedly for 50 years, LandStar will also pay SWACO $5 for every ton of tires delivered to the site.

LandStar is relocating its Dayton, OH pilot plant and research facility to the Columbus site. It expects to begin production in second quarter 2003. Initially, it will employ 50 at the Columbus location and plans to eventually employ 200 in processing 10 million tires a year there.

The energy plant has been vacant since 1994, when it was closed because of financial and environmental concerns. According to a statement, LandStar will not reactivate the site’s waste-to-energy equipment and will, “if feasible,” dismantle the existing smoke stacks.

LandStar, which is being renamed Landstar Rubber Inc., recycles rubber according to a proprietary devulcanization technology and also produces fine powder vulcanized rubber for a variety of markets, including molded goods and sports surfaces.

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