Enterprise Zone Going Green

(09/12/2009) - As part of the development strategy of the re-designation and expansion of the Enterprise Zone, the EZCB is looking to build on successful green businessess in the area like Liberty Tire Recycling and Fossil Free Fuels and the new urban farming taking place. The EZCB will explore all sectors of the environmental industry recycling, clean energy, sustainable architecture and green buildings for their future investment potential.

Environmental industry clusters comprised of businesses that have low environmental impact by making efficient use of resources have huge economic potential. By building on the success of existing green businesses and establishing conditions to attract new businesses, the EZCB has an opportunity to create a viable new business sector in the area.

Liberty Tire Recycling, LLC, the largest of existing green businesses, is headquartered in Braddock. The company has ten (10) collection/processing locations and four (4) other satellite collection operations in nine (9) states. Seventy million of the nation's 300 million tires (23%) are collected by Liberty Tire. Employment has been doubled from 16 to 32 in 2007. Liberty Tires proposed Braddock Zero Waste Project to recover and recycle all waste products from tires has received attention from State officials and the EZCB. Expansion is being discussed.

Fossil Free Fuel, LLC, which began operations in Braddock in 2007, is a two-person start-up that designs and installs fuel systems for diesel vehicles to operate on processed vegetable oil. The owners relocated from Allentown, PA due to the existence of other local businesses and nonprofits committed to alternative energy with EZCB financing assistance. Fossil Free Fuel is expanding operations, creating jobs for local residents, and forming public-private partnerships to increase awareness of clean energy alternatives.

Braddock Farms, a non-profit social enterprise of Grow Pittsburgh and Penn State Cooperative Extension of Allegheny County, began operation of an urban farm in 2007 on formerly vacant and delinquent property in Braddock. The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County absorbed the liens and assumed title of the assembled property through its Vacant Property Review Committee. The urban farm provides a source of fresh, nutritious food to local residents while providing summer employment opportunities for area youth. Grow Pittsburgh plans to expand operations onto other vacant properties and develop a certification program to train the local workforce.

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