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InterGroup opens Georgia recycling site

By: Frank Esposito

January 23, 2014

Plastics scrap recycler InterGroup International Ltd. has headed south for its third location.

In July, Euclid, Ohio-based InterGroup opened a recycling plant in Jackson, Ga. The firm bought a 33-acre site there that included two buildings. InterGroup is operating from a 156,000-square-foot building on the property and is leasing the second building to a local firm, general manager Neil Gloger said in a recent interview.

Shredders, granulators and separating equipment already are operating in Jackson, a town of 5,000 about 45 miles south of Atlanta. Two repelletizers are to be installed there by the end of January, with another two headed there in the second quarter of the year.

Gloger added that the new site was needed to handle InterGroup's growing business in that part of the country. The firm already operates recycling plants in Euclid and in Springfield, Mo., as well as a warehouse in Cleveland. Three repelletizing lines that InterGroup acquired from a defunct Solo Cup Co. recycling plant were installed at the Euclid plant late last year.

Gloger sees InterGroup's goal as providing its suppliers with "landfill avoidance." He added that the firm is focused on giving back to the community, as well as making other acquisitions or expansions. In 2012, InterGroup became the first recycler accepted as a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a nonprofit group based in Charlottesville, Va.

"We're looking for other recyclers to buy at a certain size," he said. "The recycling market is strong — it's a great place to be."

This strength is shown in InterGroup's sales totals, which climbed from $14.5 million in 2012 to $17.5 million last year — an increase of almost 21 percent. The firm's sales volume in pounds also grew more than 20 percent, Gloger said. Its sales mix also has changed from selling as much as 50 percent of its recycled resins into export markets in prior years to selling only 15 percent via that channel in 2013.

InterGroup's sales for 2014 are projected to grow almost 40 percent to $24 million. The firm does most of its business in polypropylene — sourcing scrap from industrial packaging, automotive and housewares. But it also does a sizable amount of work in polyethylene and PVC and a smaller amount in polystyrene and PET. Industrial packaging, can liners and totes provide PE scrap for InterGroup, while the firm's PVC scrap comes from windows, siding and fencing.

"Recycled material is great [for a processor] if you're in a space where you can make it work," Gloger said. "It can lower your everyday material cost."