Friday, September 09, 2016
Green Knights Converting Wind Gap Tire Dump to Industrial Park
Green Knight Economic Development Corp is a private non-profit first formed in 1999 when Pen Argyl Area Concerned Citizens were approached by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Waste Management with a proposal for a gas-to-energy facility at the Grand Central landfill. In addition to generating enough energy to power 8,000 homes, the plant generated something else - money. That's how Green Knights were able to build a shell building that ultimately attracted Techo-Bloc (landscaping products manufacturer). It's how Green Knights have been able to fund area scholarships and contribute to the Slate Belt YMCA. And next year, it's how Green Knights will be able to build a small industrial park on top of the second largest tire dump in Pennsylvania.
For years, Route 33 commuters have seen this tire dump eyesore at the Wind Gap exit. It's a 55-acre abandoned slate quarry that became both a massive tire dump that at one time included two million tires. Some of the soil has also been contaminated by asbestos.
In March 2015, Green Knights acquired this brownfield, and plan to replace it with a 25-30 acre industrial park with ten lots targeted to small, light manufacturers. The goal is to attract 300 jobs.
Slate spoils and steel slag already on the site will be used to cap what's left of the 2 million tires. In addition to the green from Green Knights, about $740,000 in public grants and loans have been poured into the project for clean-up and remediation.
Project manager Chad Helmer told Northampton County Council last week that the construction will take place next year, and it will be an "all hands on deck" project that pays prevailing wage.