Pottstown Chosen For Flexible Plastics Pilot

POTTSTOWN PA – Area trash hauler J.P. Mascaro and Sons has chosen Pottstown as the first municipality in the U.S. for an experimental, industry-sponsored pilot program to handle and process flexible plastic packaging – like plastic bags, wraps, and pouches (at top) – as recyclable material, the company announced. Those items currently are sent to landfills.

Earlier this year, Mascaro said it would participate in the “Materials Recovery for the Future” project under a $2.6 million grant, but had yet to choose a test location. The funding comes from a research group that includes Procter & Gamble, Target, Dow Chemical, PepsiCo, Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Amcor, the Walmart Foundation, KraftHeinz, the American Chemistry Council, and others.

With its selection of the borough as a test site, Mascaro hopes to “demonstrate the viability of processing flexible plastics at automated material recovery facilities,” and market the recycled product, called rFlex, to end users. The company installed sophisticated optical sorting equipment at its nearby TotalRecycle facility in Berks County to perform the work.

Pottstown won the project “because of its proximity to our facility, and because it meets important project requirements, such as curbside recyclables being collected in wheeled carts.” Flexibles plastics collection in the borough is expected to start later this fall, after Mascaro notifies all households of what will now be additionally collected as recyclables.

Residents are eligible to start recycling the materials as soon as they receive a mailed notice. Mascaro also intends to create an informational display at Pottstown Borough Hall about the new program.

“An obvious benefit of this (pilot) is the enhancement of our ongoing waste recycling and reuse efforts,” company President Pat Mascaro said. “And it will further improve the sustainability of the integrated customer waste service system we have developed over the years.”

Photos from Google Images, J.P. Mascaro and Sons