Conigliaro Industries Inc. has found another use for its recycled plastic: blocks for retaining walls.
A year ago, the recycling firm, which prides itself in finding ways to reuse the material it collects, started making wall blocks of 50 percent mixed plastics.
"It's really taking off. We're using 1.3 million pounds of aggregate a year," Gregory A. Conigliaro, president of the Framingham, Mass., firm, said by telephone.
The company is doubling production of the blocks, which measure 24 by 24 by 48 inches. Conigliaro will be making 40 blocks a day and using 2.7 million pounds of aggregate by the year's end.
"It has a little less strength than the cement blocks, but it is a lot lighter," he said. That makes the 1,850-pound blocks easier for contractors to work with.
The blocks are used for retaining walls and to build storage bins and buildings.
Other Conigliaro products include a patch material made from old computers to fix potholes, and two types of packaging peanuts from recycled polystyrene and polyethylene foams.
Conigliaro began operations in 1990. It employs 40 in a 90,000-square-foot plant. The company also collects metals, glass, rubber, wood, paper and textiles.