Chinese plastics company to open recycling facility in Georgia

UPT Group could reprocess some 2,000 tons per month.

October 10, 2018

The China-based UPT Group Inc. says it has completed a deal to purchase a vacant building in Montezuma, Georgia, in Macon County. The company expects to undertake repairs at the site to convert it into a facility that will be able to process plastic scrap into pellets.

The 400,000-square-foot building, formerly a Southern Frozen Foods Fresh Plant, sits on about 18 acres of land.

“This deal is a cooperative effort between UPT Group Inc., Montezuma, and China’s XTJ Plastic Recycling Inc.,” says Gerald Beckum, executive director of the Development Authority of Macon County. “Locally, the county, the city of Montezuma and the Development Authority of Macon County have worked for the better part of two years to make this a reality.” Beckum says the company expects to have the facility operational by the end of the year.

Song Lin, CEO of UPT Group, says the company plans to renovate the property and install equipment to wash, degrease, sanitize and pelletize recycled plastic. Water used in the plastic processing stages also will be recycled, causing minimal use of the city’s sewage system, according to Lin.

Lin says the company will be recycling LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic scrap from postindustrial, postconsumer and agricultural sources. Regarding agricultural plastic scrap, Lin says he recently met with a Florida supplier and saw as much as 15,000 tons of plastic in storage awaiting a home.

He estimates that when the company is running with its eight proposed lines, it will be able to pelletize about 2,000 tons of plastic scrap per month. The pelletized plastics will be shipped to China, where, according to Lin, it will be used by XTJ Plastic Recycling to manufacture plastic piping, among other products. The company will be shipping the pelletized plastics from the Port of Savannah in Georgia.

Lin says the quality of the reprocessing equipment being installed makes him confident the quality of the material produced at the plant will allow it to ship the pellets into China despite its tight standards on such materials.

Although scrap initially will be trucked in, Beckum says there is an idled CSX rail line on the property that could be reconnected.  Whatever scrap materials UPT does not reprocess into pellets it will sell as scrap back onto the market, adds Beckum.