Plastics recycler to bring 100+ jobs to Berks

The manufacturer, CarbonLITE Holdings LLC, plans to open an $80 million, 270,000-square-foot facility that is expected bring more than 100 jobs to the region.

The company specializes in processing used plastic bottles into bottle-grade PET resin flakes and pellets that can then be used to manufacture new plastic beverage bottles and other products. PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate. The bottles are collected from municipal curbside systems and deposit centers.

CarbonLITE also has recycling operations in California and Texas. The proposed Berks facility, however, will be the company’s largest.

The company expects to process between 2 billion and 2.5 billion plastic bottles a year at the new plant.

CarbonLITE had originally been looking at an undisclosed property in the Allentown area, but spokesman Jason Farahnik, said that would have meant moving into a smaller, existing property that may not have accommodated all of the equipment the company would need.

“We just felt that build to suit would better meet our current needs,” he said.

He noted other factors drove the decision to locate in Berks 61, including the facility’s heavy utility requirements and accessibility to major transportation routes and labor pool.

He said switching to a different location has not delayed the company’s timetable for opening.

The plant is expected to begin operations by the first quarter of 2020.

Farahnik noted that preliminary construction work is already underway. Work is being handled by Endurance Real Estate Group and Brasler Properties, development partners at the site.

Pamela Shupp, executive vice president and COO of The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, said local economic development officials worked together to attract CarbonLITE to the Berks 61 site.

She said they were particularly drawn to the company because of its use of cutting-edge and green technology.

“The company is committed to preserving resources and reducing the carbon footprint from PET bottle production,” she said in a release.

She said the alliance will continue to assist the company as it goes through the development, construction and startup of operations.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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