A long-shuttered plastics recycling facility in southeastern Ohio will be restarting, primarily to make reground PET and high density polyethylene.
A former owner of injection molder Sebring Plastics bought the recycling plant in Cumberland, Ohio, and plans to resume operations within a month. The facility, which will be called Zee Tech Polymers Inc., last operated in 1999 under the name TMT.
The new owner, Jerome McHugh, sees opportunities with the high price of virgin material, said Joel Aratari, operations manager for the new company.
Zee Tech anticipates hiring 53 people. The 8,500-square-foot plant can sort and grind up to 1.3 million pounds of recycled plastic a month, Aratari said.
The company may add washing capability later, but initially will focus on dirty flake, for markets including carpet fibers and auto parts.
Aratari declined to discuss investment figures, but according to the Ohio Department of Development, the company is spending $475,000, including $225,000 for the property and $250,000 in equipment.
The factory is getting income tax credits worth $60,000 and tax breaks on personal property and inventory taxes because it is locating in an economically struggling area, according to Ohio officials.
McHugh owns a warehouse and logistics firm, Zee Tech Shipping, in Sebring, Ohio, and was part owner in the early 1990s of Sebring Plastics. He became interested in the recycling business when then-owner of the Cumberland plant, Fred Thompson, approached him earlier this year, Aratari said.
Thompson, who has retired to Florida, had no interest in running the plant, and the facility has sat dormant since 1999, Aratari said.
The plant's sorting line has a unique, compact design that creates carousels - rather than long conveyor belts - for sorting material, he said.
``The more we investigated, the more intrigued we became,'' Aratari said. ``This looks like an industry that will be growing.''