Two Topeka, Kan., men, Marty Miller and Ron Hale, hope to open a plastics recycling plant in Burlington, Kan., soon. The benefits of their plant, Consistent Quality Compounding Inc., would be far-reaching.
``There's a market to recycle in Kansas,'' Miller said. ``But you must go out of state and there's no one who takes everything.''
``We have solicited companies in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska and parts of Arkansas'' for feedstock, he said. The firm also is putting out feelers in Colorado and Texas.
The firm is in the process of raising capital for the $2.5 million plant. The company is selling stock, and has received bonds from Coffey County, where Bur-lington is located, totaling $1 million. It also received a Small Business Administration loan for $567,000, as well as a $200,000 loan from the city of Burlington.
If successful in raising the capital, the firm will begin construction this summer. Miller projects that three months later it would be in partial operation with two compounders and a washing system. The plant will grind, wash and float-separate mixed plastics, followed by a step in which a computerized optical sorter will sort plastics into three groups - colors, white and opaque.
This method allows more kinds of plastics to be recycled at a lower labor cost than hand sorting, he said.
When the plant first opens, Miller expects to employ at least 15, expanding to 40 by the end of the first year. He projects annual sales of $3.5 million. By the end of the third year, Miller anticipates employing 80-100 and surpassing $8 million in sales.
Consistent Quality Compound-ing also has established links with Kansas' Pittsburg State University to set up research and development and co-ops for the students. However, when the plant will open is still a question.
Miller expects to process 20 million pounds of plastic the first year, but would like to be at 100 million pounds by the third year.