Orpet to develop Oregon plastic recycling facility

Orpet, a new Oregon-based partnership, announced plans for a state-of-the-art, sustainably designed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle recycling facility near St. Helens, Oregon. Orpet is a partnership between private investors and the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), the predominant administrator of Oregon’s bottle bill. Orpet will begin operations in the second quarter of 2010, immediately creating 50 local, sustainable jobs.

The facility will be the first of its type in the region, converting millions of the PET bottles collected each year through Oregon’s Bottle Bill into materials for manufacturing, construction and packaging. Orpet plans to market these products to a wide variety of Northwest companies, providing a local supply chain solution for regional businesses, and eliminating the carbon footprint associated with the current practice of exporting PET bottles to foreign countries.

“Oregon’s innovative bottle bill and the public’s commitment to recycling can benefit both the environment and our region’s economy,” said Dennis Denton, organizing group partner, Orpet. “Rather than ship these materials overseas, we can put them to work right here in the Northwest, with zero negative environmental impact.”

Orpet’s collaborative business model leverages a management team with more than 25 years of experience in recycling and materials management, as well as OBRC’s expertise with Oregon’s bottle bill. OBRC manages more than 95 percent of the recyclable containers collected through the bottle bill, which in 2009 added PET water bottles to the $.05 deposit program. Collection of PET water bottles has increased significantly since their addition to the program, providing a consistent supply of bottles for the facility.

In planning and constructing the facility, Orpet will pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s prestigious LEED green building certification. Plans for the facility include green building elements such as rainwater harvesting, rooftop solar panels, building materials containing recycled content and a variety of features to conserve energy.