Lavergne Groupe did not take a vacation this summer. Instead, it added to its recycling capabilities with its first high density polyethylene bottle and PE film lines.
The HDPE bottle line, capable of reprocessing 12 million pounds per year, began operating in June. The equipment is part of Masplas Inc., a Lavergne division that makes compounds from virgin, post-industrial and, now, post-consumer plastic.
In addition, the new line is able to recycle wet powder, polypropylene caps and contaminated HDPE.
``We don't sort out the color,'' Larry Koester, marketing and sales manager for Anjou, Quebec-based Lavergne Groupe, said in a telephone interview. ``In Quebec, we don't use natural 1-gallon milk jugs. We have bags for milk. Colored bottles are collected on the curb.''
The bottles are ground, washed and repelletized. The pellets are used in blow molding, profile extrusion and sheet extrusion. About a third of the US$200,000 recycling line's capacity currently is utilized.
This line will allow Lavergne Groupe to purchase both PET bottle bales for its Petco operation, and HDPE bottle bales from existing and new curbside bale suppliers.
Petco has capacity of 30 million pounds per year of PET and generates about 1.6 million pounds per year of PP caps.
``We're interested in buying anything in polyolefins, even if it is contaminated and needs to be cleaned,'' Koester said.
The new film line, also associated with Masplas, started last month and has a capacity of 6 million pounds per year.
``It is designed to go directly from loose or rolled film, through the grinder to pelletization without densifying,'' Koester explained.
Masplas is using one of its four single-screw extruders to reclaim the post-industrial film.
The company added a grinder and feeding system, plus about eight employees, mainly to move film from the warehouse to the extruder.
The line now is reprocessing about 500,000 pounds per month. The company sells the pellets to nonfood film and profile markets.
Lavergne Groupe operates from a 120,000-square-foot facility in Anjou and employs 200.
Lavergne reported recycling sales of US$21.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, ranking seventh in Plastics News' survey of North American plastics recyclers and brokers.