$30K USDA grant could help bring EcoGlobal to Middlebury

EcoGlobal's Caleb Rick

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Economic Development Corporation has been awarded a $30,000 grant to undertake a study regarding the feasibility of EcoGlobal LLC locating its headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Middlebury.

EcoGlobal, a federal HUBZone certified small business with offices in Chelsea, is looking to expand the use of the Compression Upcycling Technology, a proprietary manufacturing process that converts landfill-bound, single-use plastic film and flexible packaging into value added, multi-life Ekopolimer products and applications. EcoGlobal is currently importing and distributing ground protection mats (marketed as “Ekomats”) produced in the Netherlands and made from agricultural film.

ACEDC will assist EcoGlobal, and the local, regional state and federal officials they are working with, to complete a feasibility study and market analysis of the viability of building and operating its headquarters and a 2–4-line production facility on rail-accessible land in Middlebury. ACEDC proposes to use the Rural Business Enterprise Grant to retain PDR Development, a Vermont-based business and manufacturing consultant, to work with EcoGlobal to create and deliver a comprehensive feasibility study, designed to inform next stage planning and investment.

“We’re grateful to the USDA for supporting rural economic development and encouraging American manufacturing,” noted Caleb Rick, EcoGlobal CEO, “and deeply thankful to the town of Middlebury, Middlebury College, the Addison County Economic Development Corporation, the state of Vermont and Sen. Leahy’s office for their help over several years, consistently demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Vermont.”

EcoGlobal’s proposed Ekopolimer facility aligns with rural economic development goals including workforce development and better opportunities for unskilled workers. If the study finds the project to be feasible and EcoGlobal decides to move forward, the plant will support many local businesses including design, engineering, and construction firms, among others, and the opportunity to collaborate with Middlebury College on climate and circular economy related research.

A two-line Ekopolimer facility would create up to 180 new jobs and play an important role in strengthening rural economic development in the region. Each production line of the low-emissions, low-energy process would annually divert over 37,000,000 pounds from the landfill and create significant carbon offsets, company officials said.

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