ASHLEY, IN - Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch along with several state and local leaders got a first hand look at the region's unique waste-to-fuel producer. Brightmark, a new company located in Ashley, is the lone leader in converting plastic waste into usable fuel.
Jay Schabel, president of Brightmark’s plastics recycling division and one of the company’s founders, describes the plant as a “recycling facility on one end and a refinery on the other with a magic black box in between”. The west side of the structure is where the recycled plastic is housed in large bales. The plastic goes through a grinding and shredding process midway through the plant, which turns the hard plastic into more of a pellet-like substance where it can then be vaporized and then converted into fuel or wax.
Brightmark is the only commercial company in the United States taking waste plastic and turning it into a new, marketable product, which company officials say is not only profitable, but also makes a positive impact on the environment.
The Lt. Governor was joined on her Thursday walking tour at Brightmark along with Representative Denny Zent (R-Angola), Senator Sue Glick (R-LaGrange), Angola Mayor Dick Hickman, and numerous other dignitaries.
Representative Zent has helped Brightmark make local connections with other area businesses to recycle their plastic waste. A noteable connection was made with Terry Archbold of Dry Dock Marine where Brightmark takes their shrink wrap after it is used to winterize boats and re-purposes it. Archbold has been able to supply Brightmark with their used shrink wrap, which typically isn’t reused.
Brightmark is still preparing for full operations. They are anticipating full production to start in the early part of 2021. Currently Brightmark employs about 30 people at the Ashley facility. Once they are fully operational, the workforce will be about 130-140 people, with even more planned for the future.
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