Plastics film and wrap recycler Sun Valley Worldwide Inc. is pushing forward with an expansion that President Daniel Schrager expects to double capacity and sales for the Delray Beach, Fla., company by the end of 2007.
The company is turning plastic waste into products. For example, he said Sun Valley has been selling, since January, TuffStack pallets made of 100 percent recycled film. Also, Sun Valley plans to begin production in November on a line of plastic stepping stones that a major supermarket chain has agreed to purchase.
The firm's products are sold through its NextLife Recycling Co. unit.
``We subcontract the manufacturing,'' Schrager said. ``But we do the engineering and design the molds. We are currently considering two other product applications. We will be making $8 million to $10 million in investments over the next couple of years.''
In a phone interview May 18, Schrager said the company had not chosen a location for its new plant in the West - although he expects it to be in Nevada. But he said that plant and another that it will add in Ontario, Canada - both part of the company's Mountain Valley Recycling Co. operations - will begin operations in 2007, ``certainly by midyear.''
Each plant will be about 100 million square feet, have the capacity to process 50 million to 60 million pounds of used plastic film and wrap annually and employ about 75 when fully operational. That would boost the company's film recycling capacity to more than 200 million pounds per year and enable the firm to double sales. Sun Valley claimed 2005 sales of $34 million, placing it at No. 17 on the Plastics News ranking of North American recyclers.
Mountain Valley currently has operations in Morristown, Tenn., and Kalamazoo, Mich. Schrager said operating facilities in various regions is important ``because then you are closer to the supply market and to the product manufacturers.'' It also reduces the impact of rising fuel prices on transporting waste materials, end products and resin, he added.
Right now, 95 percent of the firm's sales come from selling recycled resin and 5 percent comes from its new line of pallets. But Schrager said he expects half of the company's sales in a few years to come from products such as pallets, shopping carts and baskets, recycling bins and curbside recycling containers that will be made from recycled film.
``We want to work with the grocery stores, distributors, municipalities and waste haulers to develop the type of products they want,'' Schrager said.
Mountain Valley lets its film suppliers ship other plastic waste - crates, barrels, buckets, pallets and slip sheets - on the same trucks with the plastic film and wrap. Schrager said Mountain Valley either grinds down the nonfilm materials or accumulates them until it has enough to sell to another recycler.