GE Plastics of Pittsfield, Mass., is testing the waters with a program to recycle polycarbonate scrap from appliances and automotive parts. GE has enlisted Appliance Recycling Centers of America Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., to collect the scrap from about 20 GE customers in the Rochester area.
If the program is successful, the company is interested in setting up a national pickup and buy-back system to supply its production of polycarbonate resin, according to Doug Nutter, GE's general manager of recycling programs.
``As we speak, Arca is starting up and identifying the places we will be working with,'' Nutter said in a telephone interview. ``We will also be working with auto dismantlers to provide a good stream of bumpers in the test. It will enable the dismantlers to get paid cash for the material they can provide.''
Initially, Arca will collect metalized and unmetalized polycarbonate scrap, Lexan brand and other GE resins, as well as Xenoy-brand polycarbonate blend auto bumpers.
He said the companies are not limiting their pickup and buyback program just to existing GE customers, but they are willing to collect from anyone who has the material.
Nutter would not disclose how much material the company hopes to collect during the test, or name any of the customers, but said that if the collection program works well enough, the company envisions setting up a similar system nationwide.
Arca has collected discarded household appliances for public utilities in a number of locations nationwide.
Arca will collect, inspect, weigh and mark each box of scrap, and pay customers directly on behalf of GE. The scrap will be shipped to Recycling Separation Technology Inc. of Lowell, Mass., which will clean and granulate it for use by GE in its new RE series of recycled-content resins, and other GE products.
``We have worked before with RST,'' Nutter said. ``Their knowledge of our materials will be a big help.''