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Ultra-Poly Corporation Honored By PA Recycling Markets Center

The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. has awarded Ultra-Poly Corporation, located north of the Lehigh Valley, with the 2013 William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award for its innovation and commitment to developing new market opportunities for hard-to-recycle plastics in Pennsylvania.

With more than 170 million pounds of production capacity at three facilities, Ultra-Poly is one of the largest plastics reclaimers in the United States. Ultra-Poly’s services include custom compounding, toll processing, contract product manufacturing, analytical services, and commodities management.

(Photo: Michele Nestor, chair of the RMC board of directors; John McCullam, vice president of Ultra-Poly Corporation; Alan La Fiura, president of Ultra-Poly Corporation; David La Fiura, vice president of Ultra-Poly Corporation; Robert Bylone, executive director of the PRMC.)

“We are pleased to recognize this leading and innovative recycling company with the William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award specifically for its focus in conceptualizing, independently constructing and operating a new facility in Berwick, PA, on a Brownfield Site which was the historic home of American Car & Rail Company,” said Michele Nestor, RMC board chair. “Interestingly, one of Ultra-Poly Corporation’s contracted products includes non-wood railroad ties.”

Ultra-Poly is headquartered in Portland, PA with additional facilities in Berwick and Bloomsburg.

The panel of judges for this year’s William M. Heenan, Jr. Markets Development Award was especially impressed with Ultra-Poly’s high-volume answer to a Pennsylvania recycling challenge – recycling of Marcellus Liner Pad Plastics, marine plastic wrap, automotive plastic wrap – almost any film polyethylene or polypropylene plastic.

This “green” investment resulted in creation of 25 new jobs with expansion plans for 50 new jobs, an investment over $3 million of private funds, and diversion of almost 3,000 tons of liner plastics since inception in July 2012. With annual capacity of 15,000 tons, this production capacity is approximately the equivalent weight of 60 Statue of Liberty monuments.

“We greatly appreciate this award that acknowledges our efforts,” said David La Fiura, vice president of Ultra-Poly Corporation. “It’s been both an exciting and challenging learning process.”

“The RMC first met with Ultra-Poly personnel in March 2008 for a needs assessment. The development of this green manufacturing model, opportunity for hard-to-recycle Pennsylvania plastics, investment and job creation is a result of our partnered efforts and Ultra-Poly’s leadership,” said Robert J. Bylone, Jr., RMC executive director. “Products such as railroad ties, corrugated plastic drainage piping and flower pots are being made in Pennsylvania from Pennsylvania-sourced recycled plastic—showcasing a triple bottom line approach.”

“We’ve worked hard to develop the technology necessary to reduce the quantities of high-density plastic liners being discarded by drillers in the Marcellus Shale region,” said La Fiura. “We look forward to building new partnerships and enhancing the technology we developed.”

The William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award is the only award if its type issued annually in Pennsylvania. The 2013 recipient, Ultra-Poly Corporation, was selected by a committee comprised of RMC Board Directorates and William M. “Bill” Heenan, Jr., who has provided unconditional support to the RMC. Bill, a lifelong international ambassador of the recycling industry, was instrumental in supporting the Department of Environmental Protection to initially vision and fund inception of the RMC.

Bill is past president of the Steel Recycling Institute, serving as president for 20 years of his 40 year career in the steel industry. Bill has the distinction of being the 2013 recipient of the Steel Market Development Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Steel Market Development Institute is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute. As a founding RMC board member, coupled with Bill’s international commitment to developing steel recycling markets, this prestigious, annual award was inspired.

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