Report: Maryland recycling facility may point the way for future projects

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A plastics recycling facility in Maryland designed to handle more-difficult recovery streams can serve as a model for other locations across the country, according to a financial backer of the project.

The Closed Loop Fund is out with its first-ever report that examines the impact of its investments to date.

Included in that report is information on QRS of Maryland, which last year opened a $15 million plastics recycling facility in Dundalk aimed at processing Nos. 3 through 7 resins with the help of a $2 million loan from the fund.

Closed Loop is pointing to the facility, even in this time of lower recycled resins pricing, as proof that plastic recovery can be viable.

“PRF infrastructure is needed across the country, with few viable options for recycling #3-7 plastics, even in major markets,” the report states. “Regions west of the Rocky Mountains [Pacific Northwest, West Coast, Southwest] present new opportunities for QRS’s model.”

The report also indicates there is “insufficient processing capacity” for Nos. 3 through 7. “As a result, much of this material is being landfilled or exported.”

The impact report indicates that QRS of Maryland has created 52 jobs and has diverted 15,200 tons of plastics from disposal so far. QRS Recycling and Canusa Hershman Recycling Co. are partners in the facility near Baltimore.

The Close Loop Fund provides no-interest or low-interest loans to help spur recycling. The group’s report covering all of its investments is available here