Shortly after receiving a research grant from the Integrated Waste Management Board of California, Fix-Corp International Inc. announced it will open a second high density polyethylene recycling facility.
Company officials would not disclose the plant location, but other recyclers postulate that because the grant is from California, where the bottles will be collected and ground, a West Coast location is likely.
Fix-Corp teamed with AlliedSignal Inc.'s Federal Manufacturing & Technologies unit to separate motor oil from HDPE containers using proprietary techniques. Beachwood, Ohio-based Fix-Corp received a $257,000 research grant from the Integrated Waste Management Board of California. The firm estimates about 2 billion motor oil containers are landfilled each year.
The new facility will be similar to the company's 57,000-square-foot Heath, Ohio, plant, said Bill Buckholtz, Fix-Corp's head of company relations.
The unit will be part of the Fixcor Industries Inc. subsidiary, and will have at least one reprocessing line that will sort, clean, grind and extrude the plastic into pellets.
In addition, the company will have at least one pallet-molding line for Fix-Corp's Palletech Inc. subsidiary.
Orders for the equipment have been placed, but the company would not provide details on the cost or makes. The plant is scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 1998 and contribute more than $30 million to annual sales.
``We're becoming vertically integrated with selling pallets and pellets,'' Buckholtz said.
However, two HDPE recyclers who asked not to be identified expect that Fix-Corp will have the same problems other companies have had — collecting motor oil bottles is difficult and requires an efficient infrastructure.
One recycler thinks Fix-Corp could be a significant player in the HDPE recycling market with technical advances, but it may take as long as three years for the company to prove itself.
For now, supply remains a problem for East Coast recyclers and the market is continuing to fall with the softening of virgin resin prices. However, Fix-Corp's proprietary technology may give the firm a significant edge.