TAMPA, FLA. - A Tampa company's plans to become the pre-eminent plastics recycler in Florida, and then the nation, are anything but ``Mickey Mouse,'' and Mickey, Donald and Goofy are going to help prove it. Equipment installation and fine-tuning at Consource Plastic Recycling Corp.'s 40,000-square-foot plant in Tampa will be completed by late January, and production will begin some time next month, according to Vincent Tifer, president.
The opening will be aided by the landing of a major contract with Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., which has promised to supply all the waste plastics accumulated at the mammoth theme park to Consource for recycling.
``This is a major step for us,'' Tifer said in a late-January interview at the Consource plant in northeast Tampa. ``We are not exactly sure how many pounds per year that will mean, but with all the food-service and other plastics at Disney World, it will be substantial.''
Tifer said Consource's $6 million operation is dedicated to recycling only post-consumer plastic, and will accept all seven resin categories.
In addition to the Disney waste, Consource's 60 million-pound-per-year capacity will be filled out with material from material recycling facilities, waste haulers and private firms inside and outside the state. Material will include automotive scrap gleaned from junkyards and from auto producers' plants. The company has deals with Ford Motor Co., and is interested in handling the waste from Tampa's McDill Air Force Base.
``We've talked to people in every county in the state, and with waste haulers,'' he said. ``We will be the only recycler in the state that can handle all forms of post-consumer plastic.''
Although he declined to give specifics on the plant's equipment, Tifer said its state-of-the-art process involves both automated and hand-sorting stages, a triple washing system, in-line metal-detection systems sensitive enough to pick up a syringe needle, a proprietary densifying system for styrenics and high-volume extruders. The plant also will feature a custom water-treatment system designed in-house to purify the wash water.
He said Consource starts operations with an advantage over many recyclers: It is debt-free and privately financed.
``So many recyclers over the years have gotten into business and then realized that they were not going to have the volume or the profitability they thought,'' he said.
So sure is Tifer of Consource's success that the company already is talking about a joint venture in South America.
``It may be getting a little ahead of ourselves to be talking about expansion before we are really going here, but ... we are talking to Reiciplast of SÃo Paulo, Brazil, about the joint venture.''
He declined to say exactly what the venture would be, or when it might be consummated.
``Recycling is just something that seems right, and it seems to be time for it to happen,'' he said. ``We think we can do it right.''