Industrial plastics recycler Continental Waste Management LLC, based in Raleigh, N.C., is investing $6 million to open a plant in Covington, Va., to recycle post-consumer PET, polypropylene and polyethylene; and post-industrial PP and PE.
Plant manager Mike Wade said the Virginia plant will have capacity of 100 million pounds, and be operating one or two extrusion lines for post-industrial material within four to five months.
He said a wash line to make PET flake and a wash line and an extrusion line to make post-consumer PP and PE pellets will begin operating near year's end.
Within a year, there will be a lot of activity, Wade said by phone March 14, shortly after Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell announced the project. Eventually the site will mold products like wood-plastic composite lumber and employ 100, Wade said.
Continental already has a post-industrial PP and PE recycling plant in Raleigh. In Covington, the firm is leasing 25 percent of a now-vacant 500,000-square-foot plant on 100 acres previously used by AET Films, part of Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc. of New Castle, Del. Continental also obtains, as part of the deal, an existing line in the plant for reclaiming post-industrial plastics that includes a granulator and extruder, Wade said.
Continental will add the two wash lines, plus new equipment for post-industrial plastics reclamation, Wade said. The plant will be able to recycle from 250,000-300,000 pounds a day.
McConnell said in a news release: Not only will Continental Waste Management create 100 new jobs for a region that is striving to rebound, they are able to put a former industrial property back into productive use.
Wade said Continental chose the AET plant in Covington because of its infrastructure, a ready workforce in an economically depressed area and because there is a lot of support from technical schools.
AET closed the plant in 2008, blaming its relatively small size, and moved the work to other sites.
This plant has a lot of infrastructure ... rail access and availability of natural gas, Wade said.
McDonnell approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist the city with the project. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support recruitment and training for the plant.