ROYSE CITY, TEXAS — Dog bowls, flowerpots and even gardening trays are being made from plastic that is usually considered a con-taminant. J&M Plastic, located in Royse City, makes these products from bottle lids.
Owner John Stettler said that after bottles such as 2-liter soda bottles are collected and ground, non-PET material is separated in a flotation process.
Most of the caps, base cups and even labels are made from polypropylene and polyethylene. J&M processes about 80,000 pounds per month of these materials. And until recently, the company bought and imported the lids from other areas of the country, mostly the Northeast.
Dry Gulch, a nonprofit collection center in Dallas, now accepts the caps along with the bottles. After they are collected, companies such as Image Industries in Armuchee, Ga., or PureTec Corp. in Ridgefield, N.J., grind the material, separate it and sell the PP and PE flake to J&M.
FRAMINGHAM, MASS. — Framingham-based Alton Labs won a bid with the U.S. Postal Service in Pittsburgh to make 100 percent recycled plastic chock blocks for the fleet vehicles.
The blocks are wedges placed under wheels to keep the vehicles from moving. Alton will mold 3,000 such blocks for the post office. The company uses any unsorted, dirty plastic from materials recovery facilities and wire stripping from utilities. The company also makes pallets and other molded products from a mix of post-consumer and post-industrial plastics.
Alton's goal was ``to develop a new technology to make real products that use a lot of cheap, dirty plastic,'' said Alton Labs President Bob Mann.
The 2-year-old company has the technology to make larger products but was convinced to mold the blocks by the Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
The Chelsea Center provides technical and business assistance to manufacturers that want to use scrap materials in Massachusetts.
``We haven't supplied other companies yet, but there seems to be a reasonable market for the blocks,'' said Mann.
PHOENIX, — A&E Products has introduced a technology to recycle plastic hanger waste as it is discarded by clothing retailers.
The program, called Hanger Rescue, is a dedicated, close-looped national hanger recycling system. The company claims this is the first such program to benefit retailers.
``Hanger Rescue enables retailers to meet environmental goals, reduce plastic disposal costs and generate income,'' Ron Donigan, vice president of hanger rescue operations, said in a press release.
Retailers collect discarded hangers and ship them to any of nine collection centers.
Phoenix-based A&E then picks them up and takes them to a recycling facility, where the different types of plastic, metal, foam, rubber and paper are separated.
A&E estimates that 500 million pounds of plastic waste are discarded by clothing retailers each year. Program participants include Dillard's, Broadway/ Macy's, Neiman-Marcus, Belk Department Stores, Burdine's and Gottschalk's.
The collection centers are in Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Denver; Kansas City, Kan.; Minneapolis; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; and North Bergen, N.Y.
The recycling plants are in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Thomasville, N.C.
A&E is a division of Carlisle Plastics, which was recently purchased by Tyco International Ltd. of Exeter, N.H.