Expanding the scope of recycled materials for the company's environmentally friendly decking and other green building materials, Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies (A.E.R.T.) opened a new, state-of-the-art polyethylene recycling facility in Watts, OK. The 70,000-ft2 facility will allow A.E.R.T. to recover and utilize a wider range of polyethylene materials including plastic film and food packaging and containers. A.E.R.T. uses recycled PE for its MoistureShield decking, fencing, and molding, as well as its EcoShield deck tiles.
The company has been using primarily milk jugs and water bottles, but with the enhanced cleaning process installed in the new facility, A.E.R.T. will be able to recycle food containers. "By digging further into the waste stream, we can increase our supply of low-cost raw materials and divert more waste from landfills each year," says Brent Gwatney, VP of sales and marketing for MoistureShield. "Both of these benefits will help us continue to bring cost-competitive, environmentally friendly composite building products to our customers."
The new Watts recycling operation is designed for LEED green building certification and is currently in the process for approval. Its green features include being energy efficient and managing water effectively with no storm water discharged from the site and no potable water used in the manufacturing process. The plant's 60-acre site includes habitat for protected wildlife.
Tim Morrison, President of A.E.R.T., comments that A.E.R.T. receives waste products from numerous sources, many of which are distribution centers, post industrial applications, and retail outlets through the Southeast and the Midwest. "With the opening of the new Watts, Oklahoma, facility and with its enhanced cleaning and recycling capabilities, we can focus on a more diverse group of waste plastics from new as well as current sources," says Morrison. "We are specifically interested in tapping into highly distressed waste-plastic streams that are difficult to recycle due to contaminants and/or logistical challenges. We are targeting those streams that are currently going to landfills-recovering and converting them into high-quality products."
Based in Springdale, AR, A.E.R.T. extrudes MoistureShield composite decking and other building products, encapsulating recycled wood fibers in recycled polyethylene. Each product that the company produces contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer and 60% pre-consumer recycled content.