Case Studies

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  • Color Separation
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Medical Molding Scrap is a Good Source of HIPS

Problem / Opportunity: A medical molder had been recycling 1.2 million pounds per year of scrap plastics.  Whole parts, purge, floor sweepings and regrind were put on the truck.  Landfill avoidance was the minimum requirement although a greater value proposition existed.  The product line was primarily made from a HIPS resin yet was also mixed…

Security Means Good PC Source

Problem / Opportunity: An investment firm acquired a compounder of Polycarbonate. The investment was made to create a platform company and grow the footprint. To achieve growth, more post-consumer content was required at acceptable prices.  PC, specifically post-consumer PC is in high demand and short supply. They contacted Butler MacDonald to buy PC. We suggested…

Consumer Returns – Ag/Flower Trays

Problem / Opportunity: A thermoformer of HIPS agricultural trays has an internal means of recycling some of the materials it collects from growers and nurseries throughout the upper mid-west. About 50% of the material they collect is too contaminated with PET, PP, Talc PP (plus other polymers), including small amounts of dirt and rocks. Due…
Rejection Does Not Mean Sell Cheap Or Export

Rejection Does Not Mean Sell Cheap Or Export

Problem / Opportunity: A company that sells TPO needed a solution to fix 80,000 lbs. of mixed-color material that was rejected by their customer due to the presence of both nylon and TPU (urethane) contamination. Facing a significant loss in material value, the company was looking for options other than trashing the material or selling…
Silo Contamination: Polymers Get Recovered

Silo Contamination: Polymers Get Recovered

Problem / Opportunity: 50,000 lbs. of natural ABS virgin pellets had been contaminated with PVC pellets (square) anda trace amount of yellow concentrate and black resin – a result of silo cross-contamination.The material required immediate removal from the silo in order for the customer to get areplacement load of ABS pellets and maintain production. Impact…
Consumer Returns - Polymer Recovered

Consumer Returns – Polymer Recovered

Problem / Opportunity: A multi-national producer of toner cartridges needed a solution to the growing problem of consumer returns and the rising costs of HIPS resin. The returned material contains ABS, HIPS, Acetal (plus several other polymers), urethane and silicone rubber, foam and both ferrous and non-ferrous metal. Impact on Customer: The rising costs of…
Floor Sweeps & Waste: A Usable Plastic Resource

Floor Sweeps & Waste: A Usable Plastic Resource

Problem / Opportunity: A customer had an opportunity to purchase 40,000 lbs. of natural HIPS pellets contaminated with rocks and dirt from a ground spill at a very low price “as is.” This material also contained wire, metal, wood and several other commingled polymers that made it unusable. The customer had no idea whether or…
Window Profiles & Lineals: Metal & Mixed Plastic Are Not An Issue

Window Profiles & Lineals: Metal & Mixed Plastic Are Not An Issue

Problem / Opportunity: Window manufacturers produce scrap cutoffs and other rejects from the manufacturing of their PVC window products. The window parts can contain locks, handles, springs, weather stripping and other polymers such as nylon and PP. While some manufacturers and other recyclers will grind the material as is, they cannot recover all the PVC…
Contaminated Resins: ABS & PP Raw Material Bargains

Contaminated Resins: ABS & PP Raw Material Bargains

Problem / Opportunity: A silo with natural ABS prime resin had been cross-contaminated and time was of the essence. The source needed to get the material removed from their silo immediately (via bulk truck) so that replacement material could be received. One of our customers (a distributor) had an opportunity to bid on the commingled…
Metal Detector Rejects

Metal Detector Rejects

Problem / Opportunity: A few of our customers specialize in recycling PVC window and siding. To remove metal generated during granulation, they rely upon a metal detector and a magnet. While magnets can remove the ferrous metal (attracted to a magnetic), a metal detector was used to detect and remove the non-ferrous metal. Due to…
Contamination Not Seen Commingled PC, GPPS & PVC

Contamination Not Seen Commingled PC, GPPS & PVC

Problem / Opportunity: A compounder acquired what they believed to be clean, clear PC regrind contaminated with off-colored pieces. Thinking they could use the material as received, they blended the material so it could be used in production. Unfortunately, after the company blended the material they found the material was contaminated with other resins (clear…
Ground Spill Scrap: Usable Plastic Recovered

Ground Spill Scrap: Usable Plastic Recovered

Problem / Opportunity: 54,000 lbs. of dark gray/black ABS virgin pellets had been contaminated with wood, cardboard, dirt and rocks from a ground spill. Impact on Customer: With production now halted due to the ground spill and now contaminated material, the customer had to either immediately buy replacement prime ABS pellets or find someone who…
Color Separation Sometimes It Doesn’t Work

Color Separation Sometimes It Doesn’t Work

Problem / Opportunity: A company called us in search of someone who had a color sorter thinking that a color sort was the answer to a problem they were having. A bulk truck receiving error had resulted in 110,000 pounds of PP being erroneously blown into the PVC silo – resulting in a major cross-contamination…
Security Devices Source of Raw Materials

Security Devices Source of Raw Materials

Problem / Opportunity: A North American department store chain needed a solution for handling millions of clothing security devices without having to send them to a landfill. They approached a leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America, who partnered with Butler-MacDonald to provide a solution. Butler-MacDonald is often approached to recover…
Cap and Closure Scrap: Polymer Recovery Achieved

Cap and Closure Scrap: Polymer Recovery Achieved

Problem / Opportunity: One of the world’s leading manufacturers of PP caps and closures was generating scrap at their manufacturing facilities. This material was generated as whole closures (i.e. caps) or could be ground for destruction and freight savings purposes at their facility. In both cases the material was not suitable for use in the…
Metal In Parts & Assemblies: Plastic Can Be Recovered

Metal In Parts & Assemblies: Plastic Can Be Recovered

Problem / Opportunity: Inherent in the process of manufacturing parts is the need to include metal. The metal can be of various forms, weight and thickness. It’s required to make the part function. Most recycling efforts call for the use of manual labor to remove the metal part or assembly prior to grinding. The problem…
Irrigation Dripline Scrap: PE Polymer Recovered - Silicone Removed

Irrigation Dripline Scrap: PE Polymer Recovered – Silicone Removed

Problem / Opportunity: Major manufacturers of irrigation products and services wanted an alternative to sending their otherwise unusable production scrap to a landfill. Irrigation dripline scrap cannot be reused “as is” because of imbedded thermoset silicone emitters and incompatible polymers. In addition to landfill avoidance, our customers also wanted to recover the valuable PE from…
Coextruded PET Preforms Nylon Barrier Liberated - Both Plastics Recovered

Coextruded PET Preforms Nylon Barrier Liberated – Both Plastics Recovered

Problem / Opportunity: We were approached to find a way to separate Nylon from PET to recover PET. Bottle preforms can be coextruded with a Nylon barrier (above) sandwiched between two layers of PET. Our customer (another recycler/scrap buyer) was forced to take these along with more salable scrap PET resin when they won the…
e-Waste Solutions

e-Waste Solutions

Problem / Opportunity: Literally – for years – recovering an ongoing and sustainable plastic value derived from end-of-life dismantled electronics has been questionable at best. Almost always, export becomes the outlet – and that is not always available and only at minimal value. Impact on Customer: While a significant mix of polymers exists in eWaste…
Foil Lined Closures: Green is In

Foil Lined Closures: Green is In

Problem / Opportunity: A closure manufacturer was not able to reuse scrap closures because of the foil lining. They did not want to grind the scrap closures and introduce foil into the system. They tried other recyclers that do grinding, extrusion, melt filtering and pelletizing in the past, but the effort resulted in residual foil…
Purge, Strands and Die Drool: Once Waste Turns Unexpected Profits

Purge, Strands and Die Drool: Once Waste Turns Unexpected Profits

Problem / Opportunity: A pharmaceutical bottle manufacturer generates amber purge, stands and die drool as manufacturing scrap. The material is burnt and discolored from sitting in the barrel and also has adhered cardboard (stray polymers, screen packs, nuts, bolts & screws). The plant had a company repelletize the material but the lot was rejected for…
Paper lined closures: No Burnt Paper Stink

Paper lined closures: No Burnt Paper Stink

Problem / Opportunity: A closure manufacturer had a customer switch from a blue two piece assembled closure to an orange PP closure that required a paper liner. With the orange being a specific color, when scrap was generated they wanted to maintain a color sort to reclaim the orange colored polymer. However, they had no…
EVA Lined Closures: Commingled Polymer Contaminant

EVA Lined Closures: Commingled Polymer Contaminant

Problem / Opportunity: A closure manufacturer was not able to reuse scrap closures because of the EVA lining that is adhered to the interior of the cap. In an effort to reuse some of the material, the manufacturer had a company grind and repelletize the EVA lined closures but found the residual EVA caused failure…
Label Scrap (L-Scrap): Paper Is Out – Plastic Is In

Label Scrap (L-Scrap): Paper is Out – Plastic is In

Problem / Opportunity: A PET bottle manufacturer generates defect bottles with adhered labels. The labels cannot go back into the melt stream. Solution: During Butler-MacDonald’s initial sample evaluation, metal and color contaminants were found in addition to the labels. Amoung the many other things we can do, Butler-MacDonald is set up to remove metals, colors…
Coextruded Window Profiles: Coextruded Parts

Coextruded Window Profiles: Coextruded Parts

Problem / Opportunity: A custom profile extrusion manufacturer generated scrap coextruded profiles on a monthly basis. The two polymers, rigid PVC (white) and flexible PVC (black), are not compatible in the melt stream. Prior to using Butler MacDonald, the company had other recycler’s sort the two materials but suffered a 25% yield loss. Impact on…
Silo Contamination Ground Spill: (Natural Mixed With White PET)

Silo Contamination Ground Spill: (Natural Mixed With White PET)

Problem / Opportunity: A bottle manufacturer accidentally dumped virgin white PET pellets & regrind on top of natural virgin PET pellets & regrind. To further complicate matters, when they drained the silo a portion of the material spilled on the railroad tracks. Color sorting the white PET from the clear PET would make it very…
Contaminated PET Pellets; PVC Comingled

Contaminated PET Pellets; PVC Comingled

Problem / Opportunity: A multinational custom compounder had four truck loads of black PVC pellets that had been contaminated with white PET pellets (pepper and salt). Had it all been PVC, they would color over the white with the black. But in this case, the white was PET. Solution: A sister plant referred the Plant…
Mixed Plastic Separation Blending Mishaps Do Not Equal Loss In Value

Mixed Plastic Separation Blending Mishaps Do Not Equal Loss In Value

Problem / Opportunity: A company that sells PCABS needed a solution to fix 120,000 lbs. of material that was blended with ABS. Facing a significant loss in material value, the company was looking for options other than trashing the material or selling “as is” for export. Based upon these options, the customer would incur a…
Silo Mix PET & PE Bulk Truck Errors

Silo Mix PET & PE Bulk Truck Errors

Problem / Opportunity: Receiving material in bulk is a great way to save on material handling and get good buys on material. Unfortunately, at some point its likely that the truck will hookup to the wrong point and then if your plant is like this one, where they run two incompatible materials, you will have…