Bulk Molding Compounds Inc. plans to open a glass-fiber recycling plant in Walterboro, S.C., that will help supply additives for the company's thermoset compounds and composites.
``What we're doing is taking a material that's now going into landfills and finding a use for it,'' BMCI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Nunnery said in a March 7 phone interview.
West Chicago, Ill.-based BMCI will spend $2.5 million to outfit the building, which it purchased from Colleton County. The site will employ 15, with that number eventually growing to 30.
An Owens Corning factory in Anderson, S.C., will supply the new plant with glass-fiber waste. BMCI will mill and chop the material into glass fibers before using it in low-end, nonspecialty grades of BMCI materials.
Nunnery said the process is usually cost-prohibitive, but BMCI gained expertise in the area since trying recycling at its plant in Hamburg, Germany, in 2004. That plant now meets 10-15 percent of its glass-fiber needs with recycled material.
Most of the Walterboro plant's output will be used at BMCI plants, with a small portion being sold commercially, Nunnery said.
The new operation is not connected to FastTrak Applications Development LLC, a new product joint venture formed last year between BMCI and Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning.
BMCI posted sales of about $165 million in 2006. The firm employs more than 300 at five facilities worldwide.