Recycler InterGroup International Ltd. has survived a tumultuous four years, and now has found a new and larger home in Euclid.
InterGroup started to occupy the 130,000-square-foot Euclid site in May, and is in the process of moving its 10 recycling lines there from its original site in Warren, Ohio, about 75 miles away.
The company was founded in Warren in 2006, but is making the move because it needs more space. The 60,000-square-foot Warren location may remain open as a warehouse.
Now, InterGroup is on track to increase its workforce of 30 to 100 by the end of the year, when it expects to be running three shifts. The firm currently has an overflow of post-industrial plastic scrap including lots of polyethylene and polypropylene film and has had to work with other recyclers to handle the load, General Manager Neil Gloger said at an opening event Aug. 26 in Euclid.
Reaching its current level of growth was far from easy. In December 2007, an electrical fire burned down InterGroup's original 40,000-square-foot site in Warren, destroying almost all the firm's inventory millions of pounds of plastic scrap.
Then, as InterGroup was looking to rebuild We made up our minds that we would succeed, no matter what happened, Gloger said the economy crashed in late 2008.
Almost overnight, InterGroup went from handling about 140 loads of scrap per month to only six. It let go all but one manufacturing worker and retained three sales representatives.
It was like watching a car crash in slow motion, Gloger said of the end of 2008. But we continued to pick up product, because we had made a commitment to our vendors.
We kept adding to our inventory, because we thought if we purchased inventory at the right price, it would be a good move. Then when things did improve quickly, we were in a good position, he added.
At its current pace, InterGroup will register sales of at least $7 million this year, up from about $3 million in 2009.
Gloger estimates the firm has invested about $3 million in the Euclid building. The 80-year-old facility has a long manufacturing history, but had been vacant for at least three years.
Services offered by InterGroup include shredding, granulating and repelletizing. In addition to PE and PP, the firm handles nylon and other engineering resins and a small amount of PVC. It sells some of its products to the export market and some to compounders and various types of plastics processors.
InterGroup already has received some recognition for its efforts. The firm checked in at No. 239 in Inc. magazine's recent ranking of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.