A grinder at rPlanet Earth in the Los Angeles area. The PET reclaimer recently received a grant from the PET Recycling Coalition. | Courtesy of rPlanet Earth

The PET Recycling Coalition has given grants to three MRFs and a PET reclaimer to help them better recover and recycle post-consumer PET.

The coalition, which is a project of The Recycling Partnership, awarded grants to Casella Waste Systems in Massachusetts, Baldwin County in Alabama, Cedar Avenue Recycling and Transfer Station (CARTS) in California and rPlanet Earth in California. 

Casella will use the funds to increase PET recovery at its Charlestown, Mass. materials recovery facility (MRF), according to the coalition website. The company invested $20 million in revamping the Boston-area facility, which re-opened earlier this year. 

Baldwin County, Ala. will use the money to upgrade sorting capabilities at its MRF, which received state funding earlier this year, as well. 

CARTS will apply its grant to improve the ability of its Fresno MRF to sort PET bottles, thermoforms and pigmented/opaque PET into separate streams. Last year, CARTS received a grant from the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, another project of The Recycling Partnership, to help the MRF better recover PP. 

Finally, rPlanet Earth, which is a large PET reclaimer in the Los Angeles area, will use the grant funds to increase capacity to recycle commingled PET bottles and thermoforms. The plant first opened in 2018.

According to the PET Recycling Coalition, the grants are cumulatively projected to capture over 3 million new pounds of PET annually, broaden access to PET thermoform recycling for 200,000 households and boost recycling for pigmented/opaque PET.

Launched in early 2022, the PET Recycling Coalition awarded its first round of grants in January 2023 and the second round in March 2023. 

A version of this story appeared in Plastics Recycling Update on Nov. 7.

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