RECYCLED PVC UNPROFITABLE FOR BAYSHORE

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Bayshore Vinyl Compounds Inc. has placed a spring expansion project on hold, the result of a collapse in its recycling business.

Two months after buying Occidental Chemical Corp.'s EcoVinyl line of post-consumer PVC compounds, Bayshore stopped reprocessing PVC.

Tennent, N.J.-based Bayshore bought the product line in June for one dollar, and invested about $3 million in equipment. It expected to produce 13 million pounds of EcoVinyl annually, with OxyChem as its sole distributor.

However, just after the transaction, OxyChem lost several customers for the 25 percent post-consumer EcoVinyl compounds, leaving Bayshore and its compounding division, Ricicla, without any post-consumer PVC business. Bayshore stopped buying PVC bottle scrap.

``We haven't produced a thing since August.'' Bayshore President Barry Axelrod said recently by telephone from Tennent.

In taking over the OxyChem line, Bayshore depended on rigid PVC containers collected from curbside programs around the country. Now, those containers are being landfilled, he said.

``California's repealed use of [post-consumer recycled content] hurt us,'' he added. ``Two or three other states were to follow California's lead. If we had government subsidies or legislation it would work. Someone's got to pay for it.''

Axelrod also believes the PVC producers don't want recycling to succeed.

``Recycling is going down the toilet,'' he said.

Although Oxychem jettisoned the EcoVinyl business after it proved to be unprofitable, Axelrod initially felt Bayshore could make the business prosper. But a proposed 25,000-square-foot expansion for this spring is on hold. Bayshore planned to use the new space as warehousing, Axelrod said.

The firm has seven compounding lines and 40 employees.