Pa. scrap recycler moving to bigger plant

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Post-consumer scrap recycler National Plastics & Manufacturing Co. Inc. plans to move its operation about 10 miles west to Whitehall Township., Pa., from its current plant in Easton, Pa., in Palmer Township.

“We have outgrown our space and need more power to install additional equipment,” owner and purchasing manager Munish Suri said in a telephone interview.

National Plastics & Manufacturing will take over a 40,000-square-foot building in Whitehall Township and begin operations there in late February, Suri said. The recycler’s growth was restricted in Easton, where it had 21,000 square feet of space.

The Lehigh County Board of Commissioners recently approved the move, with conditions that National must meet. A key condition is installing a state-of-the-art fire suppression system. In July 2011, the recycler had a fire in Easton that Suri blamed on careless testing of a piece of plastic.

Two commissioners excused themselves from the Jan. 7 vote after raising questions about the company’s stand on fire safety. Nonetheless, voting members approved the relocation 5-0.

Suri said in a Jan. 9 interview that concerns raised by the two non-voting commissioners were due to a lack of educating the public about fire safety measures that National Plastics will undertake. “We’re upgrading the sprinkler system in the new building,” Suri said.

Suri defended his firm’s track record of operating in the Allentown, Pa., area for more than 20 years. The company flakes and pelletizes a range of commodity and engineering thermoplastics and recently bought two extruders to expand its business.