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Fremont Business Saving Money, Creating Jobs, Reducing Landfill Use

The next time you put gas in your lawnmower or take your kayak out on a lake or river, you may be helping an Ohio business and supporting plastics recycling at the same time. Recently, Ohio EPA stepped up to assist Fremont Plastics Products, Inc. with a $225,000 market development grant from the Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance. 

The recycling grant, along with matching funds from the company, are being used to purchase equipment that will allow the company to recycle waste plastic from the molding line for reuse in its manufacturing process. The new recycling line will support nine new, permanent full-time jobs and help the company save money.  In addition, an estimated 1.2 million pounds of polyethylene (PE) plastic scrap annually will be diverted from landfill disposal. 

Fremont Plastics Products, located at 2101 Cedar St., Fremont, is a subsidiary of The Plastics Group, Inc., and has been in business since 1980. It currently employs 225 full-time staff and uses about 20 million pounds of plastic a year to manufacture plastic gasoline containers, kayaks, playground equipment, automotive fuel tanks, panels for portable toilets and parts for adjustable beds.

The new regrind equipment will shred, grind and reprocess waste plastics into pellets that can be put back into the blow molding process. The company estimates it will have the equipment operating by April 2016.  The company also is hopeful it can eventually become a regional resource for regrinding similar plastic byproducts from other manufacturers.

Fremont Plastics is a good example of how Ohio EPA’s market development grants can help  increase the use of recycling technologies, strengthen the infrastructure for handling and processing recyclables and develop more markets for recycled products. Materials targeted for market development grants include plastics, glass, paper, metals, construction and demolition debris, organics and other materials. The grants require at least a 100 percent matching investment from the applicant.

The deadline to apply for a 2016 grant is February 1, 2016. Ohio EPA is hosting a webinar on November 18, 2015 from 10-11 a.m. For more information, contact Chet Chaney at (614) 728-0043 or at chet.chaney@epa.ohio.gov

 

Rich Knaggs, center, technical manager for Fremont Plastics Products, explains how the company’s new plastics reprocessing equipment will work. The company’s investment is being assisted by an Ohio EPA Recycling Program Market Development Grant. Among those present at the presentation and plant tour were, clockwise from bottom left, Jim Darr, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Solid Waste Management District (OSS SWMD); Tim Wasserman, OSS SWMD director; Knaggs; Jim Sass and Jodi Regal, Ottawa County commissioners; Angie Ruiz, Fremont city council; Jim Ellis, mayor of Fremont; and Amy Drummer, OSS SWMD.