Branching into more materials, NextLife opens recycling plant in Arkansas

Mike Verespej

Published: October 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Materials, Recycling, Suppliers

BOCA RATON, FLA. (Oct. 26, 3:40 p.m. ET) — Plastics recycler and resin manufacturer NextLife Enterprise LLC has opened a second reprocessing plant. But unlike its plant in Frankfort, Ky., this won’t be devoted exclusively to plastics recycling.

The new $10 million plant in Rogers, Ark., will recycle plastics, metal, aluminum, glass and corrugated. Only about 20-25 percent of the material recycled at the 260,000 square foot plant will be plastics, said Ron Whaley, president and CEO of NextLife, which is headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla.

But he emphasized that “the amount of plastics we plan to process there annually will be about the same as the Frankfort plant—at least 60 million pounds.”

He said the Arkansas plant—which opened under a slightly different name, NextLife Asset Recovery Services—is currently processing about 1 million pounds of material per week.

“We expect to reach full production by the middle of next year,” Whaley said in an Oct. 26 phone interview. The company did not announce that the new plant was operational until Oct. 17—or about three weeks after it started operations.

Whaley said the new name reflects the different mission of that plant and meshes with changing customer demands.

“The Arkansas plant will be focused on recovery of assets,” he said. “This is something our customers asked us to do which is why we put a little different spin on the name.”

In Arkansas, Whaley said NextLife, for example, is working with a consumer product goods company to recycle child care seats and with another company to recycle appliances.

“We will be working with larger retailers, manufacturers and consumer product companies who want to divert materials from their waste stream and who want a single solution to help them recover all their recyclables,” he said.

“We will collect waste, clean waste, process waste and turn it back into consumer products,” said Whaley. “Our goal is to have to be a complete waste-to-recovery facility that does every step in the process.”

Currently, the plant has three baling, shredding and sorting lines and employs roughly 70 people. But Whaley said the company will be adding more lines and eventually injection molding equipment to make products.

“We want to do custom work for specific customers to make products using our resin,” Whaley said. “We will continue to ramp up on a monthly basis and within 18 months, our workforce will be close to 350 people.”

That would be more than twice as many as the 150-person workforce at the Frankfort plastics recycling plant, which currently operates three reprocessing lines, However, that plant is expanding soon.

“We have two more lines getting ready to ship,” Whaley said. “One should be in place by the end of the year and another in early 2013. Each line will add 15 million more pounds of capacity, boosting the capacity at the Frankfort plant to nearly 75 million pounds.

“We need more people in Arkansas because we will be handled a lot of material with our asset recovery services,” Whaley said. “We are handling a massive amount of recoverable materials.”

He said that at the present time materials such as glass, aluminum, corrugated and metals are shipped to other recyclers. “We want to remove those materials from landfills for our customers.”

Whaley said the Arkansas operation gives NextLife access to different streams of plastic feedstock that otherwise would be difficult to obtain.

NextLife has initially planned to expand with a plant in Michigan, but decided earlier this year to switch to the site in Arkansas.

“We need more plants,” said Whaley. “This won’t be our last facility by any means.”

NextLife Asset Recovery Services is a fully-owned subsidiary of NextLife Enterprise LLC.

At present, NextLife works with manufacturing partners such as Cascade Engineering Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Dell Inc. to create products such as ink cartridges, industrial pallets and aesthetic rain barrels from recycled resins.

Some other products that use NextLife resins are the Schick Xtreme3 Eco razor from Schick-Wilkinson Sword; the recycled resin cutlery line and the EcoLid 25 lids for hot-beverage cups sold by Eco-Products Inc. of Boulder, Colo., and some of the Preserve-brand personal-care, tableware, kitchen and food-storage products made by Recycline Inc. in Waltham, Mass.


Comments

Branching into more materials, NextLife opens recycling plant in Arkansas

Mike Verespej

Published: October 26, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Proposed Shell project draws more than 1,000 to informational meetings

April 17, 2014 2:03 pm ET

More than 1,000 people attended a pair of public meetings hosted by Shell Chemical LP on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major...    More

Image

Hedging can slow the resin rollercoaster

April 17, 2014 3:00 pm ET

The good old days — if they even ever existed — are gone, and.Andy VanPutte thinks volatility in the resin market is here to stay and...    More

Spain's Cristian Lay Group buys two materials units of bankrupt LSB

April 17, 2014 11:11 am ET

Spanish industrial conglomerate Cristian Lay Group has purchased two of the bankrupt Spanish PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.    More

EU moving closer to rules that will reduce plastic bag use by 80 percent

April 17, 2014 10:54 am ET

European Union countries could have to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by at least 80 percent by 2019 under draft rules backed by the...    More

Negri Bossi's new owners may 'bring significant manufacturing' to US

April 16, 2014 1:09 pm ET

Italian plastics equipment major Negri Bossi may “bring significant manufacturing of injection molding machines back to the United States”...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events