The new equipment will allow Denton Plastics to take in contaminated source-separated plastics that are too dirty for the company to process today, such as material from plant nurseries. | Zoran Milosavljevic/Shutterstock

Oregon-based Denton Plastics will add equipment allowing the company to process contaminated source-separated plastics.

Denton Plastics received a $684,000 grant from Metro, a Portland-area regional government agency, to install what the reclaimer is calling an “eco-line.” The Portland company will match the grant dollar-for-dollar, for a total $1.37 million project.

Denton Plastics processes both post-consumer and post-industrial scrap plastic, and the line is “going to give us a chance to work a lot more in the post-consumer realm,” said Nicole Janssen, the company’s president.

Janssen and Mark Samuel, materials manager at Denton Plastics, explained the line will allow them to take in contaminated source-separated plastics that are too dirty for the company to process today. Janssen said examples include back-of-house retail, plant nursery and grocery store plastics, as well as material gathered during special collection events.

“We have had a lot of material over the years we’ve had to turn away,” Janssen said.

Janssen said the line will also allow Denton to conduct R&D on bales from materials recovery facilities (MRFs), including PP bales being produced in the region. For example, Pioneer Recycling Services, which last year received a Metro grant to help fund sorting robots, is producing PP bales.

Denton Plastics’ line, which will be under the company’s existing roof, will clean up PE, PP and PS before sending the polymers to company extruders. The line won’t sort plastics by polymer or color.

“It has to be sorted by polymer,” Samuel said. “So that’s our biggest focus, is on finding enough material that we can get sorted by polymer that then just needs to be washed.”

Installation and activation of the line is planned for the third quarter of this year.

(Janssen was a board member of the Association of Plastic Recyclers when the organization purchased Resource Recycling, Inc., publisher of Plastics Recycling Update, last year.)

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