PHOENIX - A Colorado recycler has filed a civil suit in Phoenix charging restraint of trade against two recycling firms, two polystyrene resin suppliers and an industry trade association. Pasco Industries Inc. filed suit in Arizona Superior Court against National Polystyrene Recycling Co., Amoco Foam Products Inc., Mobil Chemical Co., Talco Recycling Inc. and the Polystyrene Packaging Council Inc. Denver-based Pasco charged that they conspired to keep prices of recycled PS artificially high in order to keep it from competing with virgin PS.
According to Pasco's attorney, Eugene Deikman, Pasco signed a three-year, exclusive contract with NPRC to collect, bale and haul all post-consumer PS and expandable PS in Arizona. Pasco then arranged with grocery chains, 12 school districts, Motorola and Arizona Public Service to collect their PS.
Pasco then was to ship the waste to Talco in Corona, Calif., which NPRC contracted with to run a PS recycling plant.
The plaintiff claims that NPRC, based in Bridgeport, N.J., and its owners - a coalition of eight PS virgin resin suppliers - deliberately restrained PS feedstock sourcing and marketing. Because of waning consumer and environmental pressures they no longer considered the recycling program necessary except for ``issues of management purposes,'' Deikman said.
``The whole system is designed not to collect anything,'' he said.
Pasco also alleged that NPRC abandoned the recycling program without telling the public.
``Even if the plaintiff loses,'' added Deikman, ``it is clear that NPRC and the eight major, virgin-resin producers have deceived the public by announcing a recycling program when there isn't one.''
Spokesmen for the Polystyrene Packaging Council, based in Washington, and NPRC said they could not discuss the case because it is in litigation.
NPRC's recycling program, started in 1990, had a goal to recycle 25 percent of all post-consumer PS food service and packaging nationwide, about 250 million pounds per year by 1995. Deikman said only about 15 million pounds per year is being recycled.