This story has been updated.
Plastics recycling company PreZero US will close its South Carolina recycling facility and instead concentrate on expanding recycling capabilities in California.
The company, which is part of international recycling company PreZero, announced on Sept. 26 that it would close the Westminster, S.C. plant, where it recycles mixed rigid plastics from residential and commercial sources and films from stores.
Less than a year ago, PreZero announced a project to invest millions of dollars to add film recycling capacity to the plant, which was already recycling mixed rigids. The project was intended to boost the facility’s capacity to 40,000 tons per year.
At that time, the South Carolina governor’s office touted the $11.5 million investment and the creation of 32 jobs, and PreZero US’s now-former CEO said at the time that the company was “happy to provide stable, long-term employment opportunities for the surrounding community.”
The closure announcement said that “after much deliberation, it was determined that the closure is the best way forward for PreZero US to remain sustainable in the pursuit of its vision for a cleaner tomorrow.”
In an interview with Resource Recycling, Max Bracey, PreZero US’s manager of marketing and communications, said the facility was underperforming, although he wasn’t free to detail how.
The announcement stated PreZero US began closing the plant on Sept. 21 and the facility would officially close in November. Bracey said the facility currently has 57 full-time staff. The employees will be offered incentives to stay for the remaining 60 days, and those who stay will receive a severance package.
The plant has recycled over 14,000 tons of post-consumer plastic since July 2021, when PreZero took full control of the facility, which was previously run in partnership with ACI Plastics, Bracey said.
PreZero, which also recently moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to its Jurupa Valley, Calif. location, plans to leave its equipment in Westminster “with the aim of returning to the Southeast region in due course.” PreZero owns the Westminster building. “We’re not selling off any assets or selling the facility at this point,” said Bracey, who added that it’s unknown when it might reopen.
Meanwhile, as part of the company’s “new strategic direction,” it is working to increase its capacity in California. PreZero also operates a recycling plant in Riverside, Calif., in the Los Angeles area. And last year, the company acquired plastics recycler and bag manufacturer Roplast Industries, which operates a plant in Oroville, Calif.
This story has been updated with details about the closure from Max Bracey, manager of marketing and communications at PreZero US.
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