Republic Services to Build Integrated Plastic Recycling Facility

EFS-plastics Inc., a plastics recycling company headquartered in Listowel, Ontario, announced the opening of a new processing plant in Lethbridge, Alberta, which will increase its access to raw materials including it needs to produce its recycled resins.

The 70,000 square foot facility will increase the company’s processing capacity by 10,000 metric tons, or 20%, per year, according to EFS-plastics.

Beginning the first week of April, the company will accept Mixed Rigid Plastic Bales Nos. 3-7 and Nos. 1-7 from material recovery facilities (MRFs) in the western United States and the Canada, building on the strong relationships EFS has developed with these suppliers since China implemented its National Sword Policy that restricted the export of post-consumer plastics in 2018. The company will recover high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) to produce post-consumer resin (PCR).

“Since 2018, we have been sourcing equipment from MRFs in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada,” says Eadaoin Quinn, director of business development and purchasing for the company. “A facility in Lethbridge, Alberta solidifies already strong supplier relationships and reduces [the] carbon footprint associated with transportation.

“As we increase the amount of recycled resin we produce, we remain focused on keeping our carbon footprint as low as possible,” says Martin Vogt, President and CEO of EFS-plastics. “This new location allows us to reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation as we expand the impact of our highly automated mechanical recycling operations.”

Although Quinn says the company will not initially source film for this facility, “we continue to seek new sources of film to supply our facilities in Ontario and Pennsylvania across North America.”

The Lethbridge site will sort mixed rigid plastic waste using a process that is almost entirely automated using proprietary equipment, Quinn explains. “However, we will use manual quality control, which will allow us to handle a wider range of bale qualities.”

The company says it sees the opportunity to recover more materials from western North America that are lost to landfills or exported overseas. As interest in PCR grows, EFS says it is committed to developing national end markets that simplify the work of MRFs and provide customers with the high-quality post-consumer resin they seek.

Quinn adds that EFS is seeing increased demand for its PCR due to the higher pricing of PE and PP. “Most importantly, we are seeing new interest in PCR from brands looking to meet their public commitments and from manufacturers trying to stay ahead of legislative requirements emerging in North America.”

In addition to its Listowel plant, DFS operates a plant in Hazelton, PA where it also produces PP repro for injection molding applications, PE repro for injection molding and extrusion applications, low density PE repro for extrusion applications and repro HDPE for extrusion and blow molding applications. Last summer, the company integrated vertically, to acquire Exi-Plast Custom Moulding, which provides custom blow molding of plastic products and components.