Residents who are concerned about the proposed expansion of the Parallel Products recycling facility in the New Bedford Business Park need not worry.

That's what Tim Cusson, Vice President of Business Develop for Parallel Products, told WBSM's Barry Richard on Friday. Cusson said the planned expansion, which may include the processing of biosolids from wastewater treatment plants, will be strictly regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

“Part of the MEPA application is to control and mitigate any potential environmental or neighborhood impacts,” he said. “That’s the very first step we’re looking at to review and address all of those. This is a very long process, and we’re only in the very infancy of this process.”

Cusson said that the current design plan is only about 20 percent of what the final plans will be. He said there will be a process of review, including input and comments from the public to help refine the plan. In addition to potentially treating biosolids, Parallel is also looking to ramp up the processing it is already doing for plastic, aluminum and glass recycling. They’re also looking to connect to the existing rail service nearby in order to ship product out without having to send more trucks into the streets.

A group of concerned residents are worried it is going to be a smelly landfill with trucks going in and out all day long. A community organization called Stop the Parallel Dump has sprung up to try to block Parallel from expanding its operations, but Cusson said that's because there are a lot of misconceptions about the project and he’s hoping to meet with the group to clear things up.

“I’d love to have the opportunity to meet with them. They haven’t come forward to meet with us or have any discussion,” Cusson said. “I’d love the opportunity to sit down with them.”

Cusson said Parallel Products is not planning on doing any food waste processing, as has been suggested, but rather further processing the biosolids produced by wastewater treatment plants such as in the South End of New Bedford. In fact, they're hoping to get the City's business as well. Currently, New Bedford trucks its biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant in the South End to Rhode Island, but Cusson said Parallel could save the City a lot of money.

“Ideally, we’d love to work with the City. We have a great relationship with the City. We’ve been here 10, 11 years and have worked well with the City, so we look forward to continuing that and hope to be able to put a good project together that could actually benefit the City long-term,” he said.

Cusson said the City currently pays about $2 million per year for biosolid removal, and he says most of that goes into trucking it to Rhode Island. Parallel's proposed plant would be a 50-dry-ton-per-day facility, and would easily be able to handle the city's load of about 17 to 20 dry tons each day.

Cusson says that servicing the cities of New Bedford and Fall River would take up much of Parallel's capacity, but that they would still have a small amount of room to process other waste from municipalities or private businesses.

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