BHS to Equip $60m CarbonLITE PET Plastic Bottle Recycling Facility in Texas

CarbonLITE Recycling has signed contracts with Bulk Handling Systems for the supply of  equipment to its new $60m plastic recycling facility in Abilene, Texas.

Los Angeles based PET bottle recycling company, CarbonLITE Recycling has signed contracts with Eugene, Oregon based recycling equipment manufacturer, Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) for the supply of primary process equipment to be installed in its new plastic recycling facility in Abilene, Texas.

Once operational, the 200,000 square foot (5700 square metre) plant is expected to recycle around 100 million pounds (45 million kg) of PET beverage bottles into pellets that can be used to make new bottles. It is also expected to employ more than 100 personnel.

The CarbonLITE group currently operates a similar facility in Riverside, California which also has a capacity of roughly 100 million pounds per year.

According to CarbonLITE, in keeping with its philosophy of carbon reduction, it intends to power the Abilene plant with 100% green energy.


The plant’s front-end, bale-opening and bottle sorting will be built by BHS using sorting modules from its Nashville, Tennessee based subsidiary, NRT. 

The plant will feature a BHS Debris Roll Screen®, three Nihot Windshifters, five NRT SpydIR®, four NRT ColorPlus™, an Eddy Current Separator, Magnets, and Conveyors, Structure and Platforms.

In addition, BHS explained that label removal, bottle-washing, grinding and flake-washing modules will be sourced from Novara, Italy based equipment manufacturer, AMUT and food-grade purification and pelletising will use the Prime technology from EREMA North America.

The total investment in equipment and infrastructure is said to exceed $60 million.

Neville Browne, president of CarbonLITE is confident of a smooth ramp-up for the new plant.

“We have had a very important learning curve in Riverside that has played, and will continue to play, a critical role in both the design and implementation of our plans for Abilene,” he said.

Market drivers

CarbonLITE explained that it has a strategic alliance with bottled water firm, Nestlé Waters North America, and that its Abilene plant will be supplying Nestlé’s bottling facilities near Dallas.

“The beverage bottling giants are all committed to incorporating post-consumer material into their bottles,” explained Browne.

“Some companies are more aggressive than others and Nestlé is certainly leading the charge with its 50% post-consumer initiatives,” he continued.

Brown is confident that the market for high quality post-consumer PET material will continue to grow, and believes that all new plastic bottles should be made from old plastic bottles.

“The only defence for single-use plastic packaging is to make certain it is made from earlier generations of itself rather than from virgin raw material,” he concluded.

Installation of the equipment in Abilene will begin in Q4 2014 with first production expected in  Q2 2015.

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