Reproccesor recovers from $10 million fire
FLINT, MICH. — American Commodities Inc. is back in business after a severe fire Aug. 27 that caused $10 million in damage.
The Flint-based reprocessor of automotive thermoplastics started up extrusion equipment at a normal production pace Sept. 8, said Mark Lieberman, chief executive officer.
By the end of September, the company hopes to be 80 percent operational, and fully operational by the end of the year.
The fire was contained for the most part to a 65,000-square-foot warehouse area.
The primary production area with twin-screw extruders, laboratory facilities and maintenance facilities was affected only minimally.
The company now has temporary, off-site warehouse space.
In addition to rebuilding the damaged area, the firm plans to add 20,000 square feet of space and a twin-screw extruder, Lieberman said. The firm also is looking at sites for an additional facility.
American Commodities has annual sales of about $10 million, Lieberman said.
Guaranteed Plastics relocates, expands
GLOUCESTER CITY, N.J. — Guaranteed Plastics Inc., a recycled plastics brokerage firm, moved to a new facility earlier this year in Gloucester City.
``We used to outsource our warehousing, distribution, trucking and secretarial services,'' owner Theresa Beltley-Fitzgerald said in a news release. But the company wanted more control over those services, she added.
With an investment of about $30,000, the firm moved from Cherry Hill, N.J., into 80,000 square feet of a 350,000-square-foot, leased building in January. Guaranteed Plastics also has warehouses in 12 states.
The scrap clearinghouse buys and sells all types and forms of post-industrial plastic, then sells it to injection molders, extruders, compounders and recyclers.
The company recently hired Linda Sager as vice president of sales. She and Beltley-Fitzgerald worked together at two plastic trading firms. Sager has seven years of experience in the post-industrial plastic trading industry. She will oversee export market development and the purchasing department.
Guaranteed this year plans to begin grinding and densifying plastic, which may involve purchasing another building, the company said.
Star Plastics opens plant in W. Virginia
MILLWOOD, W.VA. — Star Plastics Inc. has opened a 54,000-square-foot plastics recycling plant that will provide value-added services such as size reduction and separation for engineering thermoplastics.
The plant opened in the first quarter of 1997 and has about 20 employees, but is using only a small part of its capacity, said President Doug Ritchie.
The Millwood plant is the company's first. He would not say how much the facility cost or detail the firm's ownership.
The company is hired by other firms to take scrap from resin producers and processors and to perform services such as metal separation and size reduction, Ritchie said.
Carpet recycling commercially viable
RICHMOND, VA. — AlliedSignal Polymers, in partnership with DSM Chemicals Ltd., said it is expecting to receive a European patent for nylon carpet recycling.
With the introduction of depolymerization technology, large-scale recycling of post-consumer carpet is becoming a reality. The European patent will complement a U.S. patent that has been approved and is to be issued this year, according to AlliedSignal. The U.S. patent is for technology for depolymerizing post-consumer nylon 6 carpets, as well as post-consumer nylon 6 automotive parts.
``While AlliedSignal has been depolymerizing its internal nylon 6 waste for more than 35 years, post-consumer carpets and automotive parts offer a challenge, due to the presence of other materials used to construct a carpet, as well as dirt deposited during the useful life of the carpet,'' AlliedSignal Polymers President Mark Bulriss said in a news release.
Carpet recycling begins with material collection. Waste carpet is identifed by resin type using near-infrared technology. Nylon 6 components are depolymerized in the presence of steam. After purification, the recovered materials can be polymerized, producing engineering resins and fibers.
``This technology means that recycling post-consumer and post-industrial nylon 6 carpet now has the potential to become commercially viable,'' Bulriss added.
Nearly 6.3 billion pounds of carpet were made in the United States in 1995, according to AlliedSignal Polymers, a Richmond-based division of AlliedSignal Inc.
The carpet used about 3 billion pounds of face fiber. The company said 4 billion pounds of carpet were discarded in 1995.
AlliedSignal is working with several companies to collect nylon 6 carpets.
Publications outline recycling in Mass.
CHELSEA, MASS. — The Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development has released two new publications to promote and support scrap-based manufacturing in Massachusetts.
The 1997 Massachusetts Directory of Recycled Products Manufacturers updates the document published last year. The directory profiles 107 companies that use more than 20 different types of recyclable feedstock. Products include ties made from from old inner tubes and kayaks made from old milk jugs.
Manufacturers of recycled products in Massachusetts employ about 12,000 and use 4 million tons per year of scrap materials. The directory overviews manufacturing with recyclables in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Guide to Services for the Recycling Industry informs technical, financial and economic development service providers, as well as businesses seeking assistance from them, of the resources available. The guide profiles 44 quasi-public and not-for-profit agencies, and includes information about business incentives in Massachusetts as well as sources of recycling and business information.
The Chelsea Center creates jobs, supports recycling efforts and helps to increase manufacturers' use of recyclables. It is affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
To order publications contact the Chelsea Center at (617) 887-2300 or fax (617) 887-0399. Publications are free to Massachusetts businesses and residents and $10 for out-of-state requests.
Some Horizon items use recycled content
COBOURG, ONTARIO — Horizon Plastics Co. Ltd. is incorporating recycled content into some structural foam molded products.
One example of this type of work is a compost bin incorporating 5 percent recycled rubber crumb mixed with polyethylene. The bin won the Environmental Award at the SPI Structural Plastics Division's annual design contest in April.
The Cobourg firm claims to be one of the few structural foam molders in North America that use multinozzle, low-pressure foam injection molding, according to Vice President Brian Read.
Horizon celebrated its 25th anniversary during a June 12 open house at its Cobourg plant.