Drumtech, a plastic and steel drum and intermediate bulk container reconditioning company, began recycling discarded plastic containers through its new Polygran LLC affiliate.
St. Louis-based Drumtech added square footage to its facility to accommodate Polygran's operations. The post-consumer recycler started operations in February with two grinders — one for whole drums and another for buckets, bottles and pails.
The closed-loop, self-recovering washing system, located in Drumtech's new expansion wing, can process as much as 4,000 pounds per hour, said Drumtech Vice President John Shocklee.
``We started out with equipment that would give us the quality we wanted to sell in the marketplace. We expect to add additional recycling systems to fully accommodate this market,'' he said.
He would not disclose the amount invested or other details.
Polygran sorts, grinds and cleans all types of plastic. The flake sold is dry and free of oil, chemicals and labels. For now the containers are high density polyethylene and high-molecular-weight HDPE, but Shocklee said Polygran will take other materials.
``We're looking into pelletizing as a value-added operation,'' Shocklee added. ``But we are also looking at additional recycling systems to do other types of value-added applications.''
``The company's goal is to produce as close to virgin-pellet quality as one possible can with regrind from industrial containers.''
Polygran material is used in industrial products such as drainage tile, truck bed liners, lumber, pallets and sheet stock.
Before starting Polygran, Drumtech granulated and cleaned drums but did not accept buckets and pails.
Drumtech had estimated recycling sales of $1 million last year and employs about 30.