All plastic scrap is not created equal. Here are ten actions you can take to generate more revenue from your scrap:
- Provide as much information as possible. Without disclosing proprietary information, provide either the virgin resin number and the manufacturer, or key physical data such as melt or izod. Also, describe the condition (regrind, unground, virgin, etc.), quantity, and geographic location. If you need a COD (certificate of destruction), just ask.
- Be specific with your labeling. The more information you provide, the more your plastic will be worth. “Zytel 101 natural regrind” is worth a lot more than “general purpose nylon.” And, if you think something may be contaminated, be sure to label it clearly to avoid possible mixing with clean material.
- Keep plastic families separate. Generally speaking, mixed plastics are hard to recycle and have to be separated somewhere. Usually, it is easier and cheaper to do so at the source. If separation is impossible, call us and we’ll tell you which plastics can be mixed. Quite often we can reduce a several hundred item list to a collection system consisting of fewer than a dozen gaylords.
- Don’t mix different members of the same family. For example, while it is acceptable to mix different grades of ABS in the same gaylord, you should not mix FR (flame retardant) and non-FR (non-flame retardant) grades together. The same holds true for filled and unfilled grades. Mixed extrusion grades and injection grades are recyclable, but if you want to maximize your return they should be kept separate.
- Separate by color. Clear and unpigmented (natural) materials are usually worth more than colored plastics. A good guideline is to keep the following color-classes separate within the same family of resins: natural (clear), white, black, dark mixed colors that can be turned black, and light mixed colors that can’t be turned black. In some circumstances, segregated colored plastics can yield a greater return than mixed colors.
- Recycle your purgings (lumps, drools, patties, chunks, etc.). Keep them clean and follow the above guidelines for separating resins. Purge your machines onto a clean surface, not corrugated. We can design and supply metal pans to fit your needs. Purgings containing different colors of the same material are perfectly acceptable.
- Be careful not to contaminate material when grinding. Thoroughly clean out your grinder when changing materials. Or, better yet, dedicate a grinder for each material family.
- Think heavy. More weight per truck means less freight cost per pound. This translates into higher prices paid.
- Package and transport material with care. If your material is baled, make sure the ties/straps will hold during transport. If your material is loose on a skid, make sure it is strapped down. If your material is in a gaylord, use a top to avoid possible introduction of dirt or other plastics. The gaylord should sit on a transport-worthy pallet. If you are shipping pellets or regrind, the container (gaylord, drum, etc.) should be lined. Fill all gaylords whenever possible, and when shipping, don’t put partial gaylords under full ones.
- Find out what else you can recycle. In some instances, multiple plastic assemblies can be recycled. We can design a destruction process to fulfill your requirements. Parts partially contaminated with metal inserts, labels, adhesive, foam, etc. can possibly be recycled. However, these parts should be kept separate from their “clean” counterparts. Proper labeling is essential when sending any plastic, especially if it is contaminated.
Remember, all plastic is recyclable but not all plastic is marketable. Maine Plastics can design a program to meet your individual needs and help you realize the highest possible financial return.
Contact us to learn more.