FREMONT — A Fremont company’s move to go green is not only helping the environment, it is also helping to bring new jobs to The Plastics Group, Inc.
The Fremont factory on Thursday unveiled plans to install a new waste plastic recycling plant after receiving a $225,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The expansion will create nine new jobs at the Cedar Street plant that now employs 245, the company said.
The new line, expected to begin operating next April, will allow The Plastics Group to recycle 1.2 million pounds of plastic each year that can be used to to build such products as gas cans, kayaks and bed bases.
“The payback is big. We are helping the environment, creating new jobs and saving material,” said Michael Moore, chief financial officer of The Plastics Group.
The recycled material, which otherwise would be thrown into a landfill, will allow the Fremont factory to reuse plastic for production. The company, which uses about 20 million pounds of plastic a year, will save money by not having to purchase as much plastic, while also keeping the recycled materials from adding to landfill waste.
“We expect a cost savings of fifty to sixty cents per pound,” said William Hassell, vice president of operations.
The used plastic will pass through a shredder to be ground into manageable pieces, then run through a grinder that produces small black pellets before being boxed. Any metal, wood or other non-plastic contaminants is removed during the process.
Once the pellets are in the boxes, they will be ready to use to make kayaks, portable toilets and air duct parts, among other products.
In addition to the grand money, The Plastics Group is investing between $450,000 and $550,000 in the project, Hassell said.
Laurie Stevenson, deputy director for the Ohio EPA, said she is glad the agency can help provide an eco-friendly grant to grow the Fremont business and promote environmental safety. She said it was an honor to work with the city on the grant.
“I have a personal connection to Fremont. I grew up here and spent most of childhood here. From EPA’s perspective, I’ve seen a real change in the agency grow and develop and interact with business,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson said the grant funding comes from the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, which is used to help businesses and communities.
“The ability for us to leverage our funding to help support business growth and development is phenomenal,” said Stevenson.