Petoskey Plastics shows off expansion plans
By Henry Leineweber, Resource Recycling
For Petoskey Plastics, plastic film and wrap aren't problem materials, they're the company's main business.
Plastics Recycling Update had the opportunity to tour the company's 320,000 square foot recycling and distribution facility in Hartford City, Indiana during the recent Resource Recycling Conference – catching a glimpse of both the company's operations, and its plans for the future.
"I assure you, we didn't clean it up for you," jokes company president Paul Keiswetter as we walk into the main building. The Hartford City plant immediately set itself apart for its cleanliness and noticeable absence of dust, debris and disorder. Bales of plastic were stacked neatly on the facility's clean floor and organized according to grade and color.
Strategically located halfway between Petoskey Plastics headquarters manufacturing plant in Petoskey, Michigan, and its secondary manufacturing plant in Morristown, Tennessee, the Hartford City site takes in and processes primarily LDPE and LLDPE film, wrap and sheet material to be manufactured into new products.
One of Petoskey's strategies for sourcing material involves having companies that buy its products sort and send them back through the supply chain when they become waste. Most baled scrap the company receives originates from the automotive industry, packaging, industrial users and warehouses, although Petoskey recycled products division manager David Price says they are always on the hunt for new sources.
"We're actually looking into recycling boat wrap," says Price. "It's probably not something most people think about but there's a surprising amount of very clean, high quality material that's just getting thrown away right now."
The site's EREMA wash-line can handle approximately 1,100-1,200 pounds of material per hour, and the company hopes to add a second wash line at the facility in the near term. The water recycling system installed onsite means just 28 gallons of water are used per day.
"We'd like to get that even lower," says Keiswetter. "We're looking at installing a rainwater harvesting system, so ideally, we'd get it down to zero."
The company has an ambitious growth plan for all its sites, as well as for the Hartford City plant, which currently employs 26. In addition to the rainwater collection system, the company is testing a wind power generator on site, rail freight service to the plant, the addition of another sort line, and the possible expansion into food-grade plastic production.
For pictures of Petoskey Plastics' Hartford City plant, click here.