Harrison County and Marshall officials praised a partnership between the Marshall Economic Development Corporation and Piney Woods Environmental Services that helped bring the tire recycling facility to the area on Monday.
County and city officials, as well as other invited business leaders, got an inside glimpse into the operations at the Piney Woods facility on South Buck Sherrod Road and celebrated the new business's creation.
"This business is part of our strategic plan," Marshall City Commissioner Gloria Moon said. "We want to see more job growth. You bring that to us. We want innovation. You bring that to us."
Piney Woods Environmental Services provides recycling for commercial businesses, such as tire dealerships. Using specialized equipment, the company takes old, disused tires and turns them into fuel for paper mills and scrap for steel mills.
Piney Woods recycles 100 percent of the tires it receives, with about 70 percent of their recycled material going to International Paper.
Piney Woods was able to bring its business to Marshall after MEDCO provided $37,500 to help upgrade the electric infrastructure at the site.
"Lane and I didn't just choose Marshall and Harrison County," co-owner Todd Lucas said to those visiting the center on Monday. "Y'all choose us."
Lucas says the company looked at a wide variety of East Texas towns-and no one wanted to lease a building to a tire recycling center. When they finally found a building and land in Marshall, the lack of power almost stopped them from starting the business. They turned to MEDCO for help and were able to get what they needed.
MEDCO Chairman Rusty Howell praised Piney Woods' business model and said he knew they would be good neighbors in the community.
"I think we have a win-win situation here," Howell said.
Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor agreed.
"It actually recycles something that's a nuisance," Taylor said. "That's something pretty significant. It's taking a nuisance and turning it into fuel and recycled metal."
In addition to the environmental benefits, Taylor said the jobs Piney Woods creates will only help the local economy. The company currently employees about 11 local residents, with that number expected to increase in the future.
In his remarks Monday, Taylor said even just one job leads to the creation of two to three more in the community. He thanked MEDCO for their work in bringing Piney Woods to the area.
"We continue to work together to recruit business," he said. "We work together to create opportunity."
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