New International Recycling plant aims to combat climate change in Erie

Local News

The International Recycling plant coming to Erie is hoping to combat climate change.

The founder of the company says they aim to use modern technology that won’t be harmful to the environment.

Some Erie residents have concerns about the environmental effects of the proposed International Recycling plant in Erie. The company says its mission is to remove tons of plastics from entering landfills and recycle the materials.

“We do that from what is called ‘Near infrared technology,’ which essentially means every type of plastic has a chemical signature and we use an infrared ultraviolet light ray that comes through the piece of plastic.” said Mitch Hecht, Founder and Chairman of the International Recycling Group.

Penn State Behrend has a world class polymer program. The experts have looked into the safety and technology of the company.

“We’re very interested because we can turn around and create better materials that can be used in new products that come out of what IRG is doing.” said Ralph Ford, Chancellor of Penn State Behrend.

The founder of the IRG plant says plastics are made out of petroleum. The goal is to replace what he says are “virgin materials” that are used in products across the globe.

“Whether it’s a drink bottle or you can take a milk jug or water jug, you can, by mechanical recycling, change that back into a new product. That’s the holy grail and that is great and that’s what we’re about.” Hecht said.

The facility should be built sometime in 2023.

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