Future Healthcare Systems, a Mount Vernon-based medical waste processing company, held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday at its first Connecticut location at 750 South Ave. in Bridgeport.
“There’s not a single facility like this in the state,” said Charlie Dippolito Jr., senior vice president of the company, whose new operation occupies a 25,000-square-foot plant that was vacant for 17 years. Future Healthcare Systems spent 14 months and $3.5 million to renovate the facility, with a $750,000 grant from the state.
The facility is designed to offer a faster and more cost-effective manner for processing nonhazardous medical waste. Dippolito said Connecticut hospitals and health care facilities have been shipping waste to a transfer station in Middletown, from where the waste is then shipped to a Rhode Island plant to be autoclaved, sterilized using steam under pressure, before being sent to another plant at the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border for its final destruction.
The Bridgeport plant will now enable the waste to be autoclaved locally, with salvageable volume recycled and the remainder incinerated at the Wheelabrator Waste-to-Energy facility three blocks away at 6 Howard Ave.
The plant, which will process waste from facilities in the tri-state area, is expected to employ between 25 and 30 people initially. A key element of hiring will be the providing of employment to local residents who have been unable to find work due to a criminal record.
“That’s a pillar of my company,” Dippolito said. “I grew up in the Bronx and a lot of the guys I grew up with were incarcerated. I couldn’t stand when people were turned down for a job because of something stupid they did when they were young.”
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim also spoke at the ceremony and noted Future Healthcare Systems’ place within the clean tech business sector evolving across the city’s south and west ends.
“The new facility is a perfect fit for our green business cluster in the Bridgeport Eco-Technology Park,” he said.