BHS, Amut partner on N.C. recycling system

Aug. 24, 2015

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eugene, Ore., and Amut North America, Vaughan, Ontario, are teaming up to help build a new PET recycling line.

Unifi Manufacturing Inc., Greensboro, N.C., specializes in production of multi-filament polyester and nylon-textured yarns. It picked the two companies to design and assemble its facility in Reidsville, N.C., as part of a $25 million investment to create a production line to turn trash into its Repreve-brand polyester yarns and fibers. Companies that use Repreve include the makers of the Timberland, Dockers and Adidas brands, along with numerous other clothing manufacturers.

Mark McNeill, VP of technology and business development for Unifi, says the company was impressed by the technologies offered by Amut and BHS, a manufacturer of sorting systems for the recycling industry. For the project, Amut, an extruder-maker that is part of Amut Group SpA, Novara, Italy, will build a new PET washing line. In a separate processing stage, a patented Amut dry de-labeling system will recover and collect labels from bottles.

The line will incorporate a front-end PET purification system with nine optical sorters from National Recovery Technologies, Nashville, Tenn., a BHS business division. BHS says the system will process 22,000 pounds of baled materials per hour.

 "This state-of-the-art facility will raise the bar for Unifi, allowing us to internalize the majority of our flake requirement as we continue to expand our Repreve filament and polymer chip business," McNeill says.

The new plant is expected to convert 125 million pounds of post-consumer PET into 75 million pounds of high-quality recycled PET annually, in addition to the caps and label streams. Operations will begin in June 2016.