U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. is on the move again, literally. This time, the firm is moving to a larger facility in Tennessee and expanding another of its plants for added capacity.
The company is moving operations from its rented, 35,000-square-foot plant in Sharon, Tenn., to a 50,000-square-foot building in Trenton, Tenn., that is owned by the city. The move will be complete by the end of this month with additional lines running by the end of November.
``We were always looking for a larger facility,'' said David Farrow, founder, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Earth Care Products, U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp.'s plastic lumber marketing name. ``This is a happy move.''
Recently, Earth Care had consolidated several operations for making shapes, molds, rings for drums and railroad ties into the Earth Care of Tennessee plant in Sharon. Equipment from the Lake Odessa, Mich., plant, with a capacity of 1 million pounds per year, was moved to Sharon early in September. That plant made molded plastic lumber bench ends.
Earth Care, a maker of plastic railroad ties, plans to expand its operations by 100,000 square feet by the end of 1998 to accommodate increased railroad tie production. Currently, the plant can produce 42,000 ties per year. By the end of next year, Earth Care plans to have the capacity to make 500,000 ties per year, using 100 million pounds of plastic.
All 30 employees moved with the company and about 40 will be added during the next year, the firm said. Equipment for three additional lines has been delivered and will give the company a total of nine lines. More than $500,000 is invested in the building and equipment.
In Green Bay, Wis., U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp.'s Recycled Plastic Industries unit is adding 20,000 square feet and six plastic lumber lines at a cost of about $2 million. Construction is slated to be complete at the end of November, giving the company about 50,000 square feet. The plastic lumber lines will begin operating by the end of January, quadrupling production. RPI currently operates two lines.
``Plastic recycling now is every bit as exciting as it was 10 years ago,'' said Lee Anderson, vice president of U.S. Plastic Lumber based in Green Bay.
New markets have opened up for the subsidiary, increasing sales, and the number of employees will double with the expansion. In addition, RPI is developing a testing laboratory.
U.S. Plastic Lumber reported profit of $508,000 for the second quarter, ended June 30. During the same period of 1996, the company reported a loss of $722,000.
U.S. Plastic Lumber also has a division that treats and recycles petroleum-contaminated soil and construction debris. The Clean Earth subsidiary is based in New Castle, Del.
Earth Care's lumber products are made from post-consumer and post-industrial high density polyethylene using a proprietary process. The company markets its products from a national sales office in Blue Bell, Pa., and from its corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. It has worldwide distribution rights and a patent for plastic railroad ties.
Earth Care has four product units: fabricated, such as picnic tables, park benches and trash receptacles; building, including decking systems and standard plastic lumber; engineered, such as marine pilings and guardrail spacer blocks; and railroad ties.