ST. HELENS, ORE. (April 26, 1:15 p.m. ET) — The new $10 million PET recycling plant that is a joint venture between the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative and the principals of plastics recycler Denton Plastics Inc. and Quantum Leap LLC, will have its grand opening April 27.
The 45,000 square foot plant in St. Helens, Ore., got its impetus when non-carbonated beverages were added to Oregon's bottle bill in 2009, and the three companies teamed to create ORPET and build the plant. It is the first PET recycling plant in the Pacific Northwest.
Pacific PET Recycling LLC is the name of the holding company for the joint venture, which will continue to operate as ORPET.
The joint venture involves the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative and the three principals of Denton Plastics and Quantum Leap, but not their companies: Dennis Denton; Tom Leaptrott of Quantum Leap, and Rick Wollenberg, who is a retired paper company executive.
Quantum is a Vancouver, Wash., supplier of packaging materials and plastic bags used in the recycling industry, and OBRC picks up and processes nearly all of the PET beverage containers redeemed at five processing facilities throughout the state.
The expectation is that the plant will process 14 million pounds of PET in 2012, and 30 million pounds of PET annually when it is fully operational.
“It has always been our vision to create jobs locally rather than export our raw materials,” said Dennis Denton, chairman of Portland-based Denton Plastics in a statement. “It was our vision to create good paying jobs with full medical coverage. Without the help of the [U.S. Department of Agriculture], we would not have been able to secure funding, due to the economic uncertainty at the time.”
Previously, Denton told Plastics News that he believes the plant will be the prototype for how plastics will be recycling in the future.
“We are creating a technology and a system that we will be able to replicate and take to other areas,” Denton said. “Our system will be very viable and economical and it will be able to go deeper in the waste stream” for material.
“The ... plant is designed to be a regional facility and I think all plastics recycling will be regional in the years to come,” he said. “All you need is a good urban area, and away you go.”