When North Carolina-based EnviroVision Techonologies needed to expand their growing, plastic recycling business in 2015, they looked west and chose a location in Clinton, Iowa. Three-and-a-half years later, Iowa’s Envirovision Recycling is a thriving business, serving customers throughout the Midwest.
Reclaiming end-of-life, post-industrial plastic is the name of the game at EnviroVision, and in 2018, the Clinton location processed 8.2 million lbs. of landfill-bound material. Garbage bins, drums, crates, pallets, pipes and other items pictured at right provide much of the raw material the Clinton facility converts to flaked plastic (pictured above). This regrind product is then sold to manufacturers for re-use in new products.
The recovery process starts at industries within approximately a five-hour radius of Clinton. EnviroVision arranges for the collection and shipment of feedstock material from these locations. The materials collected include HDPE injection-grade and extrusion-grade parts and products, as well as rotational molding-grade materials.
A typical example of this material: broken garbage and recycling carts from solid waste collection companies. To reclaim these carts, EnviroVision arrives at the company yard, removes the carts’ wheels and metal components, then stacks and loads the carts, by the hundreds, on a semi bound for Clinton. After arriving at the processing facility, the carts are cleaned, and any remaining metal removed. Then the carts are cut, stacked and loaded into the grinder. Final processing captures any remaining materials that could contaminate the end product.
EnviroVision sells its regrind plastic to manufacturers and compounders throughout the U.S. New garbage carts, car parts, pallets, pipe and beverage crates are among the many products EnviroVision’s customers manufacture.
Chris Cobb, whose previous experience at City Carton/Republic made him a good choice to launch and manage operations at the Midwest location, says the Clinton plant currently runs two shifts, employing 16. U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack and other officials have toured the facility and praised the recycling business for providing workforce opportunities in Iowa.
Plans for the company’s future may include additional hires.
“When we hit 9 million lbs. of material a year, we hope to expand into an adjacent warehouse,” Chris explains. Currently operating out of a 65,000 sq. ft. warehouse, the additional 35,000 sq ft. of space would enable the company to process more material and add different processing equipment. New equipment may include a pulverizer and an extruder, adding powder and pellets to the products sold from the Clinton facility.
In the meantime, Chris says EnviroVision is always looking for raw material. Networking through the company’s Iowa Recycling Association membership has helped Chris make connections for both buying and selling product.
“City Carton and Republic were both IRA members, so I knew it was a great way to get our name out and network.” Chris says. “We’re all in this for the same purpose: Keeping things out of the landfill.”