As the new CEO of PureCycle Technologies, Dustin Olson does not hold back on his view of the company.
"When I look at PureCycle, I see a technology that has an opportunity to fundamentally change the way recycling is done in a way that has never been done before," he said.
It has been less than two months since Olson took over the CEO role from Mike Otworth, who guided the company to the precipice of production at the company's first commercial-scale polypropylene recycling operation in Ironton, Ohio.
Olson, who had been chief operating officer, expects the facility to be complete by the end of the year and push out recycled PP pellets using a unique solvent-based process. Described by PureCycle as a purification process, the company is able to strip away color and odor to create like-new PP.
"When we get this right, it's a fundamental change to the world for, now, you can create a truly circular economy," he said. "I really believe in the technology, and I really believe in the opportunity it brings to the world."
Make no mistake, this is a big bet for PureCycle, which has been working to commercialize the process initially developed by Procter & Gamble Co., the consumer packaged goods company.
Getting to the verge of production, the new CEO said, has not been without challenges. In 2017, PureCycle talked about getting the company's first plant operational by 2020. But funding delays actually pushed the start of construction back to 2020 with a new end-of-2022 time frame for production.
Even with the challenges of COVID-19, global supply chain woes and inflation, the company has been able to keep the project on time. But not without some creativity, Olson said.
"We've held schedule. The challenges are crazy, the supply chain challenges. We had pieces of our plant that were being built in different areas of the world. We had some pieces of our plant that we destroyed in Ukraine. We had lots of supply chain issues that we had to fight through. We had to get creative in some of our solutions," he said.