The pipes, fitting and chambers that Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. makes to drain fields, hold storm water and control erosion not only manage precious water resources but also come from an eco-friendly raw material.
An ADS subsidiary, Green Line Polymers, recycles high density polyethylene plastic and formulates it into recycled resin for the No. 3 extruder of pipe, profiles and tubing in North America, according to Plastics News' newly released ranking.
Hilliard, Ohio-based ADS saw sales of $1.385 billion in fiscal year 2019, up 4 percent from the prior fiscal year due to price increases, better product mix and growth in domestic construction markets. The company's thermoplastic corrugated pipe is generally lighter, more durable, more cost-effective and easier to install than comparable products made from traditional materials.
Green Line adds to ADS's appeal, helping it earn its green stripes on pipes for storm and sanitary sewers, highway and residential drainage, agriculture, mining, wastewater treatment and waste management. With seven U.S. sites and one in Canada, the subsidiary keeps PE detergent bottles, plastic drums and telecommunications conduit out of landfills and turns them into plastic pellets for infrastructure products that meet or exceed industry standards.
ADS says it has become the largest consumer of recycled HDPE in the U.S. The company diverts about 400 million pounds of plastic from landfills annually.
The company's efforts to use recycled content resonates with customers, such as municipalities and developers of building certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, ADS President and CEO Scott Barbour said in a phone interview.
"We use material that is more or less from the region and we recycle it to make it into a useful, durable product that stays out of the circular economy of plastics for 40, 50, 60 years. That has some real benefit to these customers," Barbour said.
ADS officials estimate that the U.S. markets served by the company's products represent about $11 billion of annual sales opportunity.