PlastiCycle Corp. is simultaneously staying close to home and moving into another state as the plastic recycler expands through a $6 million project.
The company, with operations in Nashville, Tenn., has acquired another building in nearby Franklin, Ky., that will allow for the installation of additional processing equipment early this year.
PlastiCycle, at the turn of the century, located the company's initial recycling location in Nashville thanks to a combination of location, real estate affordability and workforce availability, said Anthony Corso Jr., vice president of sales for the firm.
But with a real estate boom in Nashville these days, the company decided to look outside the city to find a more affordable location to expand operations. Franklin, about 45 minutes north of Music City, fits the bill.
"We are very busy in Nashville, which is certainly a good problem to have. But it's also a problem. We've got a pretty high volume of material coming in the doors. It will allow us to not only keep up with the current workload but also bring on additional materials as well," Corso said about the additional plant.
Nashville operations include two grinding lines as well as a pelletizing line, and PlastiCycle looks to install the same equipment in the 60,000-square-foot Franklin building, he said. The new location will not only allow the company to expand capacity but also allow for the processing of different resins simultaneously through both locations.
"This will allow us to get our hands on more material, more feedstocks, get in the door with additional suppliers. So it's really to keep up with our current demand, which we're outgrowing in Nashville," he said.
PlastiCycle is based in White Plains, N.Y., near New York City, where there is a small corporate staff of five. But the company decided to locate its recycling operations in the Southeast two decades ago to take advantage of lower real estate and transportation prices, in particular, compared with White Plains.
When rising real estate prices these days precluded an expansion in Nashville, the company looked outside the city, but still nearby, to find a solution, Corso explained.
"We've got a pretty strong foothold in Nashville. We found the location is very suitable for a lot of manufacturers in the Southeast," Corso said. "The area is very well suited for what we are doing as far as the location.
"We've developed multiple suppliers and customers in the area. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's what we're sticking with," he said.
PlastiCycle expects to hire about 25 employees to work at the new facility, which could open by the end of the first quarter this year. "We just got the keys to the building," he said. "The wheels are in motion as far as getting equipment and machinery in there in the very near future."
PlastiCycle, which has about 35 workers in Nashville, primarily handles high density polyethylene and polypropylene but also processes other resins.