BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Bridgeport welcomed the state’s first medical waste facility of its kind to the city’s burgeoning eco-technology park, touting 25 to 30 new jobs and a commitment to second chance opportunities for local residents.
“If you want to work hard, we have a job for you,” said Charlie Dippolito Jr., who owns Future Healthcare Systems.
Based in a re-configured South Avenue factory space that has been vacant for 17 years, the company has been up and running for about a month, processing medical waste from local nursing homes and other facilities, Dippolito said.
Those gathered for the official ribbon cutting Thursday said Connecticut hospitals and other healthcare facilities now ship waste for processing in Rhode Island and northern Massachusetts, a process that can take two weeks.
Future Healthcare Systems will be able to turn waste around and bring it to the nearby trash-to-energy plant in a day, reducing costs and carbon footprints, Dippolito said.
He is working to add more clients, including the Yale-New Haven hospital system, which oversees Bridgeport Hospital.
Re-fitting the 25,000-square-foot building took about 14 months and $3.5 million.
Dippolito led a bus tour from Bridgeport to his flagship location in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., to help convince city leaders the facility would be a good fit for Bridgeport.
Over the past few years, the city has been building what has been dubbed an eco-technology park. The sweeping swath in Bridgeport’s South End includes the largest fuel cell in the Western Hemisphere, the largest liquified natural gas filling station on the East Coast and the largest mattress recycling facility in Connecticut.
It will also include the largest solar park in Connecticut and the largest biodiesel production facility in New England.
Jeff Grant, executive director of Bridgeport-based Family Re-Entry, said he was pleased to see Future Healthcare is open to ex-offenders looking for work. Fred Hodges, the organization’s community affairs director, said that accounts for thousands coming back to Bridgeport each year.
“This is a huge, huge step for Bridgeport,” Grant said.
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