Nearly a year after Casella Waste Systems Inc. announced that it wanted to dump its plastics-related businesses, its North Carolina plastics recycling operation has been sold to a former partner.
FCR Plastics Inc., a former Reidsville, N.C., subsidiary of Rutland, Vt.-based Casella, became Envision Plastics as of May 30.
Casella had acquired FCR as part of its 1999 purchase of waste management company KTI Inc.
Envision President Massoud Rad and his partner Parham Yedidsion purchased the post-consumer high density polyethylene recycling company for an undisclosed amount.
Rad is one of the former owners of Ecosource Corp., a Chino, Calif., HDPE recycling company that was sold to U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. two years ago.
In a July 17 telephone interview from Envision's headquarters in Pomona, Calif., Rad said the purchase of FCR expands his company's experience in post-consumer HDPE reprocessing onto the East Coast.
``We used to have the same [kind of] plant. When the opportunity came, we decided to go back into the same business,'' Rad said.
The deal includes equipment formerly owned by a Union Carbide Corp. recycling effort.
FCR's sales had dropped from $14 million in 1999 to a 2000 figure of $8 million, according to Plastics News' most recent ranking of North American recyclers and brokers.
Rad said some have questioned the move to purchase FCR in light of the lackluster results for plastics recycling operations nationwide. However, he said his company's longtime experience in HDPE recycling has prepared it to turn the business around.
``With post-consumer recycling, overall it's on the downturn, unfortunately,'' he said. ``Most major resin manufacturers have gotten out of it.
``We were in that business before, and hopefully we'll make a turnaround and make it a profitable business.''
Rad said no immediate changes are planned at the company. The plant will continue reprocessing bales of natural and mixed-color HDPE bottles into pellets.
Rad said Envision has retained the former staff and brought on additional employees. Among the new hires is Tamsin Ettefagh, vice president of sales, who was formerly with KW Plastics Recycling Division of Troy, Ala.
Envision is a sister company to two other Pomona firms: compounder Ecoplast Corp. and Primeline Polymers, a plastics brokering firm.