Verdeco Recycling opening set for June 20 in industrial park

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. GarzaSecond U.S. plant: When full operational, Verdeco Recycling Midwest Inc. will employ more than 29 workers in the Vigo County Industrial Park.

Verdeco Recycling Midwest Inc. is nearing completion of its Terre Haute manufacturing plant, the company’s second U.S. plant.

The company, when the plant is fully operational, expects to employ more than 29 workers at the Vigo County Industrial Park. Verdeco expects to start operations on June 20, said Rick Blakeslee, project manager. 

“It will be a several-days-per-week schedule as we ramp up toward 24/7 operations this fall,” Blakeslee said. “It will be operating a minimum of three days a week, but will be up to five days a week as we ramp up.”

Verdeco Recycling is occupying a manufacturing-specific speculative building owned by Garmong Development at the Vigo County Industrial Park, 10535 James Adams St. The California-based company in 2014 received a tax abatement to install $5,701,329 in manufacturing equipment and $96,400 in information technology equipment.

“Ninety-nine percent of the equipment is on site now. We have been putting it all together for three months now,” Blakeslee said. “The build out started in October and was ready for us in February, and the equipment began arriving in March.”

Verdeco Recycling is an industry leader in the manufacturing of FDA-approved Polyethylene Terephthalate resins using a proprietary “state-of-the-art” processing technology. Utilizing all new manufacturing extrusion equipment and conveying systems, this is the company’s second U.S. plant. The first was in South Gate, California, near Los Angeles, operating since 2012. Additional plants and expansions are planned, according to the company. 

“The main end products of our FDA recycled PET resins will be PET bottles and PET films, the latter thermoformed into uses like berry containers. Molding or extrusion companies, located in our multi-state geographic region, will receive our product for processing,” Blakeslee said.

Food packaging made of Verdeco Recycling recycled PET (up to 100 percent recycled content) can be found on the shelves of retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Kroger.

The company expects the Terre Haute plant to reach full employment by the end of September. “There is a potential to add employees with a possible expansion, within two years. These decisions will be made in early 2017,” Blakeslee said.

“It has been an exciting process to come to this point,” says Alex Ofer, the President of Verdeco Recycling Midwest. “Our expansion into the Hoosier State represents yet another milestone in the growth of Verdeco Recycling. The Terre Haute plant will allow us to better serve the needs of our existing clients while also bringing new companies to the Verdeco Recycling family of customers.”

Blakeslee said the new plant will have a capacity to produce more than 60 million pounds annually of FDA-approved, food-grade recycled PET. Combined with its California plant, the company will have a total capacity of more than 100 million pounds annually, he said.

”By reducing shipping costs and increasing the company’s capacity and reach across the region and United States, Verdeco Recycling will effectively amplify distribution in a cost-effective, eco-friendly manner,” Blakeslee said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.