GP Harmon Recycling buys plastics recycling facility

By: Jessica Holbrook

August 1, 2013

GP Harmon Recycling, a subsidiary of paper and pulp giant Georgia Pacific LLC, has purchased the assets of The Highlands Group Inc.'s plastics recycling plant. The acquisition marks GP's official move into plastics recycling.

The 50,000-square-foot facility in Elizabethton, Tenn., operates two lines – a post-industrial and a post-consumer – and processes mostly polyethylene and PET.

GP Harmon is one of the largest traders of recycled fiber a year. The company started trading in plastics and metals in 2007, but wanted to get into processing, said Marc Forman, GP Harmon president, by phone.

"Everything we do is around creating value for our suppliers and customers," he said, and recycling will let the company "transform raw material to high value material."

GP saw a lot of similarities between the plastics recycling business and paper recycling – the same things that made GP a successful paper recycler can make the company successful plastics one, Forman said.

He noted GP's ability to procure material, their success in trading and "bringing buyers and sellers together," the company's plan to start building recovery centers and their work making advancements in paper recycling.

GP plans to grow its plastics recycling business, but it's to know if that will mean expanding the current facility or acquiring new ones, he said.

"We're committed to growing in (Elizabethton). It's a really good place to grow" he said.