Midtown Alliance and Blue Goblin
I hosted Shannon Powell and Ben Hirokawa of Midtown Alliance and Blue Goblin, respectively. Shannon Powell is the COO for Midtown Alliance and Ben Hirokawa is founder and President of Blue Goblin, a plastic foam recycling company.
Created in 1978, Midtown Alliance has been a significant force in the revitalization of Midtown Atlanta, a district that runs from ~Pine St. on the south end to the Peachtree Bridge over I-75 entering Buckhead on the north end, and east-west from I-75 to ~Piedmont Ave.
Midtown Alliance is a not-for-profit membership organization and consists of a coalition of local business and community leaders. Each member is committed to establishing Midtown as a leading destination for commerce, culture, education and living.
Midtown Alliance is led by a 71-member board of the district’s leading private sector executives and their mission is to improve and sustain the quality of life for those who live, work and play in this thriving business and residential district. The Alliance fulfills is mission through a comprehensive approach to planning and development, including numerous initiatives to enhance public safety, improve the physical environment, and strengthen the urban amenities giving the area its distinctive character.
Ben Hirokawa has been a leader in three different start-ups, including a recent one in South Carolina focused on recycling a variety of household appliances. That enterprise developed technology that would allow them to dispense with the noxious coolant materials and associated fumes/gases safely, allowing them to reclaim the metals and plastics.
Founded in 2014, Blue Goblin is an innovative, environmentally-sound solution for disposal of plastic foams. These versatile foams – found in products ranging from commercial roofing and wall insulation, to refrigerated transport units, to mattresses and other furniture, to many types of packaging – pose significant challenges at end-of-life: they are bulky and difficult to transport and compact, and they can emit significant greenhouse gasses.
Both the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board have recognized emissions from PUR, XPS, and ISO foams
as significant environmental challenges, but currently virtually all of these foams are landfilled. Blue Goblin offers a solution:
• Mobile Service: Blue Goblin brings its processing unit directly to its customers, and begins the process of compacting and recycling these foams on-site, significantly reducing transportation and waste disposal costs
• Environmental Responsibility: Greenhouse gasses are captured and properly disposed
• Convenience and Customer Service: Blue Goblin works with each customer to define the scope of the job and maximize convenience and value
Shannon Powell, COO, of Midtown Alliance
- BA, Urban Studies/Affairs, College of Charlston
- Master of City Planning, City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ben Hirokawa, President/founder of Blue Goblin
- ME, Engineering Management, Dartmouth College-Thayer School of Engineering
- Former President/CEO, Reclaim
- Co-founder/Previous VP of New Business Development, MicroPore Plastics