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February 2007

Mountain Valley expands operations to include plastic hanger recycling

Mountain Valley Recycling developed a new, automated system for recycling plastic hangers. With billions of plastic hangers discarded by retailers each year, Mountain Valley is expanding its operations to convert used, plastic hangers into new certified recycled-grade resins.

Mountain Valley has added the recycling line to its production facility in Tennessee now capable of handling over 20 million pounds of mixed plastic hangers each year. Having secured a major contract with a national retailer, Mountain Valley will begin processing millions of pounds of their plastic hangers by March 2007.

“Our automated recycling systems can separate the polypropylene and polystyrene—the materials used to make plastic hangers from one another with no manual labor at all,” says Daniel Schrager, president of Mountain Valley Recycling. “The result is clean, certified polypropylene and polystyrene post-consumer recycled resins [regrind and pellets] that can be used to make many long-lasting durable products.”

In the past, plastic hangers were not recycled because cost-effective recycling technologies did not exist. Challenges including contamination such as dirt, mixed colors, metal, stickers, fabrics, foams, paper and rubber as well as the ability to handle different types of plastics existed.

Now, with the development of new manufacturing technologies and innovation, baled mixed hangers can be sorted, cleaned and ground, and then pelletized or compounded to produce various types of resins for industries including household consumer goods, packaging, agriculture and automotive, and is a perfect material for closed-loop recycling.


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