ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – PureCycle Technologies’ mission is simple: to create an infinitely sustainable planet.
PureCycle Technologies is a company with a focus on recycling polypropylene plastics, and it’s been looking to start operations at a new facility in Winter Garden.
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According to the recycling company’s CEO, Dustin Olson, the type of plastic PureCycle processes is one of the most-produced worldwide, being found in car parts, food packaging, construction, film and fiber, among others.
“There’s no recycling company like us in the world,” Olson said. “We have a unique technology that allows us to purify the (polypropylene) to a level that no one else can do.”
However, Winter Garden residents have complained about PureCycle’s facility, citing concerns over pollution, traffic and trash.
Olson addressed those concerns, saying that the allegations are misleading.
“We don’t burn plastic. We don’t discharge any water. We don’t create any microplastics,” Olson said. “We simply sort the plastic.”
Olson told News 6 that the company is seeking to collect plastic from tourist locations, resorts, cruise ships and other places with a lot of human traffic.
After the plastic is collected, it will be sorted at the center in Winter Garden before being shipped to Augusta, Ga., for purification.
As far as traffic goes, Olson said they will have trucks coming to the facility, though they will be limited to daylight service only.
Olson said the reason the company has been eyeing Winter Garden is because of a lack of other suitable locations. The warehouse that PureCycle plans to use has been empty for years.
“There’s just not a lot of empty warehouse space around the state, so when we saw this had been empty for a couple years, we looked at it and said, ‘Hey, this is a good operation, let’s see if it will work,’” he said.
In addition to creating a system for sustainable resources, Olson said the facility will provide jobs and education to the community.
He added that residents have every right to feel the way they do, but he hopes they can come to an understanding.
“Our job — our role — is to be a good citizen, and you can’t do that if you’re not open to listening and open to changing,” he said.
The team at PureCycle said they have reached out to One Winter Garden, a Winter Garden advocacy group, multiple times in hopes to meet with the group’s members.
“We’ve reached out many times to One Winter Garden and offered to meet and speak with them, and whenever their schedule opens up, we’d be happy to sit with them and talk it out completely,” Olson said.
The company is still in the process of building parts within the Winter Garden facility. Olson expects the facility to be operational by December.
About 30 employees will work at this location, which will operate Monday through Friday during the day. Olson said it will not be a 24/7 operation.
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