Could there be a regional recycling center in the Magic Valley?

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By Benito Baeza

02/19/10

One of Idaho’s senators toured the Hilex Poly plant in south Jerome. The senator was shown the possibility of a regional recycling center. In recent years the plastic bag has caught a bad wrap; blamed for clogging up landfills. One company would like to change that image.

Senator Mike Crapo got a first hand tour of the Hilex Poly facility that has operated for 5 years in Jerome.

Crapo says, "What we learned here is that they can literally recycle again, again, and again a thousand times if necessary and take the plastic bag and make them back into plastic bags."

In many towns across the county, and right here in Idaho, there are movements to do away with plastic bags and they have legitimate concerns.

But, plant manager mike shoots says they want to educate the public on how to better use their product. How many times have put milk jugs in a bag that didn't need to be in one, or laundry detergent?

Schutz says, "We'd like to see those as well as anyone else not go back into the landfill but we'd rather, instead of banning those bags, bring them back to our facility through some type of recycling center and we'll re-use that material and that s our preference."

The company already collects used bags, you can find these bin in most grocery stores. They are then sent off to an Indiana recycling center to be made into new bags, and the company hopes to open a similar center right here in the Magic Valley.

According to Schutz, "We're the plant that is the gateway to the west coast. We think there's unique opportunities for one of those to be positioned here."

Crapo says, "This is an opportunity for us to become a center for expansion of that entire notion of reusing our natural resources and our materials rather than just sending them to landfills."

The facility already recycles on a small scale from within, any defective bag or cut off plastic is chopped up and sent back into the system to become a plastic bag. Basically there isn’t any waste.



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