Plastics recycler to open research center focused on closed-loop recycling

May 24, 2012

Plastics recycling company SirNaik LLC has invested $10 million in a 200,000-ft2 facility dedicated to closed-loop recycling of post-consumer plastics.

The facility, called the Green Research Center, will house a variety of recycling processes and is scheduled to open Fall 2012 in West Virginia.

Saurabh Naik, founder and CEO of SirNaik, told PlasticsToday the goal of the center is to help the plastics industry find solutions for materials that are difficult to recycle.

"Many streams require multiple processes, but there's really no place in the world where all of the necessary recycling equipment and processes are under one roof," he said. "We're opening the center now because the U.S. is finally turning green. Businesses are talking more about the value of being green and the value of sustainability, and we want to play an active part in that discussion and in carrying out green initiatives."

SirNaik was founded 25 years ago with a focus on post-industrial scrap recycling. Since then, the organization has spread globally with facilities in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, India, and Europe.

"Ample opportunity exists to engage a new stream of feedstock," the company stated in a press release. "But a tremendous amount of research is required because post-consumer feedstock has a high degree of variability. By utilizing multiple unit processes, the Green Research Center will develop the best continuous process for recycling post-consumer material."

The facility will accept almost any kind of plastic that is currently landfilled, whether post-industrial or post-consumer material, according to the company. It will use flotation, density separation, optical sorting, mechanical washing, among other sorting technologies.  The center will process the plastics scrap, certify the material, and return it to the manufacturer in a reusable form.

The company stated it wants to work with businesses that want to improve its green ranking, and are invested in product stewardship and closed-loop recycling.

Naik said the research center has three long-term goals.

"First, we want to continue updating our equipment and processes based on new research developments," he said. "Second, we want to measure the elimination of landfill waste and space to witness the environmental benefits, from improvements in environmental quality to new uses for unused landfills. Finally, we want to offer similar solutions at a global level. Currently, our Green Research Center is focused on solutions for North America."

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