By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
BEACON FALLS — At the end of Breault Road, after the pavement turns to dirt, there’s a facility that is making a one-of-a-kind product: Pozzotive.
Pozzotive is a finely ground glass powder that can be used as a pozzolan to replace up to 50% of the cement in concrete. Urban Mining Northeast, which is based in New Rochelle, N.Y., makes Pozzotive at the plant on Breault Road through a patented process from recycled glass collected at municipal recovery facilities. The process sorts out the debris and removes the ceramics from the glass then refines it into a sand-like substance.
The benefits of Pozzotive are three-fold, according to Patrick Grasso, who owns Urban Mining with Pozzotive inventor, Louis Grasso Jr. The product creates stronger, longer-lasting concrete, helps keep previously unwanted glass from ending up in landfills, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. About 7% of carbon dioxide emissions globally comes from creating cement, he said.
“The innovation and ingenuity that we’ll see today helps us all to envision the healthy environment our future generations deserve,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Mark Rolfe during a grand opening ceremony May 5 at the plant.
Local, state and federal dignitaries came out for the ceremony and to tour the facility.
Betsey Wingfield, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said Pozzotive can help solve the state’s burgeoning waste crisis, especially the challenge of what to do with recyclable glass.
“We’re so excited about this plant, the fact that innovation is happening in Connecticut,” she said.
Urban Mining started production late last year at the 20,000-square-foot plant the company leases from O&G Industries, which also happens to be a customer.
T.J. Oneglia, vice president of O&G Industries, said Pozzotive satisfies the need for alternatives for pozzolan and recycling glass.
“O&G is honored to be Urban Mining’s first customer to utilize Pozzotive in the production of ready-mix concrete,” Oneglia said.
Grasso said Urban Mining plans to invest further in Beacon Falls by building a new storage facility that will increase the company’s space by 30%.
“We’re looking forward to them growing, expanding, and that Pozzotive can really be something to put us on the map together,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said.