After more than 100 years of supplying feedstock for the textile industry, a South Carolina fibers company is branching out to add recycling to its list of services.
Barnet Polymers LLC - the new Duncan, S.C., recycling business of Arcadia-based William Barnet & Son LLC - celebrated the grand opening of its 250,000-square-foot facility in late July.
Barnet Polymers was established to reprocess compounding- and fiber-grade nylon, nylon 6/6 and polyester from post-industrial sources.
The company recycles fiber and nonwoven scrap, lumps, chunks, longs and fines, some of which previously had been landfilled, said Chuck Hall, director of the polymer business unit. The new venture also provides some tolling services for others in plastics markets.
``There are markets where this form of material is the only form used,'' Hall said in an Aug. 7 telephone interview. ``Generally [it has a] lower cost than virgin. You can't justify cost of virgin because the performance is not any better than recycled.''
The plant can reprocess 40 million pounds annually.
``We generally are a company that takes material, that changes the form of it and puts it into markets that are higher in value,'' Hall said. ``Recycling is simply an extension of that - taking material in a form that is not desirable, and this time changing it into a polymer.''
Hall would not disclose sales goals for the new operation but said he hopes to be operating at 90 percent of the facility's capacity by year's end.
``When we built the facility, we built with expansion in mind,'' Hall said. ``We have room to grow 50-60 percent in capacity without having to add physical space or auxiliary services.
Hall said the company already is looking at growth opportunities overseas, and Europe may not be a bad place to start.
The parent company has facilities in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Mexico and Hong Kong.