PureCycle Technologies Inc. is planning a new polypropylene collection and processing facility that will feed resin to the firm's first two solvent-based recycling plants.
The Orlando, Fla.-based company revealed plans Oct. 6 to establish what it calls a "plastic recycling prep facility" to sort and grind PP in nearby Winter Garden, Fla.
The cost will be just over $1 million to retrofit an existing building for the operation that eventually could create 30 new jobs, PureCycle said.
CEO Mike Otworth, in a Oct. 6 interview, indicated the company expects to tap into a variety of waste and recycling streams to capture used PP that might otherwise head to landfills.
"We did a bit of testing the waters of potential sources just to gauge the receptivity of having a facility like this," he said. "We found a lot of receptivity."
"A lot of Central Florida's economy is related to tourism. And tourists, as you know, generate a fair amount of trash. And a lot of that is plastic. There was a general recognition on the part of the businesses that generate this waste stream and the municipalities that then have to deal with it that more capacity needs to be built … and operated and we could play a very useful role in that," Otworth said.
PureCycle is using technology licensed from Procter & Gamble Co. to create a solvent-based approach to recycle PP into like-new resin. Work continues on the company's first recycling site in Ironton, Ohio. A second facility is planned for Augusta, Ga., as the company works to locate facilities around the country and around the world.
Work is progressing as scheduled in Ohio and the company continues to anticipate a late 2022 opening. Planning for the Augusta site also remains on track, Otworth said.
"It just made perfect sense for us," he said about the newest Florida project. "Our headquarters is in Orlando. We're right in the heart of an area where there is a need for us to participate in collection and pre-processing of plastic waste. We feel Florida is a great space to plant a stake in the ground from a feedstock standpoint. This is our first step in that direction."
"This is a component of our strategy. But it's also gratifying for us to do something of benefit in the geographic where our headquarters is," Otworth said.
PureCycle envisions a network of PP recycling facilities using P&G's solvent-based technology as well as a network of processing sites throughout the United States to capture and prepare used PP for the larger solvent-recycling locations.
"We've tried to make sure we understand the entire landscape across the country. We're starting in the Southeast, but we're looking at the whole map. We've got it rolled out across the table and we're looking at the whole world of opportunities," Otworth said.
While it makes sense for PureCycle to build its own facility in Winter Garden, the CEO said future similar PP collection efforts in other markets will depend on what existing infrastructure and other companies that might already be in those areas.
"We are looking at those types of opportunities. Winter Garden we may be doing on our own, but in the future we hope and expect to be working with some partners in that type of symbiotic relationship where more than one type of partner is involved and getting the elements out of the waste stream that they particularly have interest in," Otworth said.
The new Florida site is slated to open during the second quarter of 2022.