Recycler Blue Ridge Plastics LLC, based in Eden, N.C., plans a $1.5 million expansion that involves buying a facility and new equipment, and hiring more workers.
The company will move operations, as soon as possible, into an Eden warehouse that had been owned by Toronto-based yarn distributor Nova Yarns, said owner Don Griggs.
Blue Ridge has purchased a new washing line that is being installed at the site.
The company also will purchase a grinder. With the new equipment, Blue Ridge hopes to hire 10 workers in the next four months, said Griggs. The firm currently employs 21.
Blue Ridge markets, cleans, and grinds post-consumer and scrap plastics and had sales of about $4 million in 2004, Griggs said. Its primary customers are plastic pipe and lumber makers, and injection molders.
The warehouse has 140,000 square feet and four docks, compared with the old facility's 60,000 square feet and two docks.
Plant supervisor Fran Oschell said Blue Ridge was able to buy the larger building now because the company has seen a gradual rise in profitability during recent years. Griggs attributed the increase to rising commodities prices, including oil and resin.
``The rise in commodity prices has focused people's attention on reclaiming their plastics as much as they can,'' he said.
Griggs said he is particularly happy with the new Eden facility because it does not require any employee relocations or layoffs.
``We looked all over facilities in North Carolina. This facility happens to be in our hometown, and we preferred to stay in Eden,'' he said.