Flame test leads to real thing at recycler ADRIAN, MICH. — Firefighters blame a smoldering piece of plastic for a fire that swept through an Adrian recycling operation April 27, destroying about half of the recyclable material but leaving the building and equipment untouched.
The blaze at Arrow Performance Plastics burned for more than two hours, sending up a column of dark smoke visible for more than 20 miles and requiring help from more than six different fire departments, said Adrian Fire Chief Paul Trinka.
Arrow officials did not respond to requests for comment. The company grinds and repelletizes automotive parts.
Trinka said an employee set fire to a plastic piece to determine the type of material, then dropped the still-burning part back in a pile of recyclables. Flames spread through about half of the 1-acre site, he said.
International Paper shifting operations
PURCHASE, N.Y. — International Paper Co. plans to shift flexible plastic packaging production from its Monticello, Ark., plant to facilities in Georgia and Wisconsin.
The Purchase-based firm wants Monticello to focus on paper packaging rather than operate as a dual-material plant, the only International Paper plant to do so, according to Monticello plant manager Jim Wilson. The Monticello operation runs nine extruders for form, fill and seal films and films that are converted to industrial and lawn and garden bags at the plant. Wilson said the plant makes monolayer and multilayer films.
Wilson said the transfer of equipment will begin by July and be finished by late August or early September. Griffin, Ga., and Tomah, Wis., already make similar plastic products and are strictly plastics operations, Wilson noted in a phone interview.
Altantis setting up shop in California
ATLANTA — Atlantis Plastics Inc. plans to set up its West Coast stretch film plant in Fontana, Calif.
Atlantis is negotiating a 10-year, $4.5 million lease for 55,000 square feet in a 153,000-square-foot building, according to Vince Anthony, a broker for Commercial Realty Advisors Inc. of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Anthony and colleague Jim Panting have been representing Atlantis in the deal.
Atlantis said in early 1999 that it planned to set up a linear low density polyethylene stretch film plant on the West Coast and originally hoped to make a site decision that spring. It had been supplying West Coast customers from its Tulsa, Okla., plant and decided clients could be served better locally.
The Atlanta company has an option to buy the Fontana building within a year from Principal Financial of Des Moines, Iowa. Mattress Discounters is a tenant in the building, occupying about 59,000 square feet, according to Anthony.
Principal Financial plans to build a rail line and 10 storage silos at the Fontana facility during the next few months and make other changes to accommodate the film producer. Atlantis probably will move in by November, Anthony said. Atlantis officials deferred comment at press time.
Anheuser Busch Cos., a major Atlantis customer, has a large distribution center in nearby Mira Loma, Calif.
Molten plastic kills FCR Plastics worker
REIDSVILLE, N.C. — A 29-year-old employee of FCR Plastics Inc. in Reidsville was injured on the job April 25 and died five days later.
"He was working on a molding machine and hot, molten plastic was ejected from the machine and hit him in the face and hands," said Greg Cook, a spokesman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating. "He passed away April 30 due to complications which occurred from the incident. He suffered burns on the face and hands."
Cook did not identify the employee, and did not know what kind of machinery the man was working on or what his duties were at the plant.
The incident occurred about 7:30 a.m. at the post-consumer high density polyethylene recycling facility, Cook said.
Charlotte, N.C.-based FCR has 27 recycling plants and is owned by KTI Inc. of Guttenberg, N.J. FCR could not be reached for comment.
OSHA had issued two serious violations at that plant in 1997 as a result of a complaint filed. The company was fined $1,400 but agreed on a settlement that reduced the fine to $1,050, according to information found on OSHA's Web site.