CINCINNATI - The high price of post-consumer bottles and low margins for recycled HDPE resins may drive Quantum Chemical Co. out of recycling. Ronald Yocum, chief executive officer, president and chairman, said Quantum has been frustrated in its PE recycling attempt and may close or sell its Heath, Ohio, high density polyethylene recycling facility. Quantum, a wholly owned unit of Hanson plc of London, is North America's largest PE maker.
``We thought we should get into recycling six years ago to prove we are a leader. We put a lot of money into that operation, and we never made money there,'' Yocum said May 15 at the company's Cincinnati headquarters.
He said the Heath operation is nearly breaking even.
However, ``It has been frustrating. We have to pay for milk bottles that are pulled out of the garbage. When we started the Heath operations, we were paying 7 cents per pound for those bottles. Now the cost is up to 35 cents per pound.''
Other recyclers have said repeatedly that the high cost of scrap bottles severely has limited margins.
``It is too early to say that we will be out of recycling, but we are studying the situation,'' Yocum said.
Dolco reviewing financila alternatives
STUDIO CITY, CALIF. - Dolco Packaging Corp.'s board of directors has hired Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. as its financial adviser ``to assist the board in considering and reviewing alternatives to enhance shareholder value.''
The publicly held, Studio City-based company, a leading supplier of polystyrene egg cartons and meat trays, has not received any purchase offers, said corporate secretary Maggie Earley. The board will consider all options, such as sale of the company, financial restructuring or redemption of stock.
Embrace Systems to be liquidated
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A bankruptcy judge has converted a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to a Chapter 7, setting up the liquidation of Embrace Systems Corp., a Michigan recycler and insulation fiber maker that admitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it lied about its financial performance.
In Grand Rapids, Judge James Gregg of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the western district of Michigan approved the Chapter 7 filing on May 15. Assets of Embrace in Grand Haven, Mich., will be auctioned off May 31.
In October, Embrace filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. Earlier that year, Embrace filed documents with SEC that admitted violations of securities laws, including hundreds of thousands of shares going to insiders such as officials and relatives. Shareholders have filed a number of lawsuits against the firm. Its main product was insulation made from soda bottles.
Geon closing two compounding plants
CLEVELAND - Geon Co., in its quest to become the low-cost vinyl compounds producer, announced May 15 a plan to cut 133 jobs and close two compounding plants in Henry, Ill., and Pedricktown, N.J., and part of its Avon Lake, Ohio, operation.
In the long run, Avon Lake will gain, however, as Geon will relocate work from the two closed plants there. Avon Lake will be updated and expanded. Geon will continue to make vinyl resin at the Illinois and New Jersey plants. Vinyl compounds accounted for 37 percent of Geon's 1994 sales. Its shipments of compounds have grown 35 percent during the last three years, said William Patient, chairman and chief executive officer.
``However, for us to succeed in the long run, it is essential that we also become the low-cost producer,'' he said.
Geon took a $36.4 million after-tax charge for surplus equipment and early retirement packages. Geon is moving its headquarters from Cleveland to suburban Avon Lake.
APC's Statler leaves to work for Dutko
WASHINGTON - Jean Statler, one of several staff members involved in directing the plastics industry's $18 million ad campaign, left the American Plastics Council in Washington, D.C., to work for APC's one-time contract lobbying firm. Her last day was May 12.
Statler, vice president of communications, joined what was then called the Council for Solid Waste Solutions seven years ago. She will work part time with DCS Group, a new public relations and advertising arm of Dutko and Associates.
In 1992 and 1993, Dutko led the APC government affairs department's lobbying effort regarding the reauthorization of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.