ECO starts 'first' U.S. silicone rubber recycling plant

ECO starts 'first' U.S. silicone rubber recycling plant

FORT LEE, N.J.—ECO USA has completed phase one in the development of what it claims is the first silicone rubber recycling plant in the U.S.

Started as a pilot plant in 2018, the facility can recycle around 500 metric tons of silicone monthly, according to a Feb. 10 company statement.

With plans to double capacity "in the near future," ECO USA said it aims to meet a need created by "a surge of silicone waste" being generated by increased usage of the polymer in product manufacturing.

Through its facility, the New Jersey-based company said this material can be recycled into polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) silicone oil for use in a range of products and applications.

The industrial-grade silicone oil, it said, can be used in industries such as the automotive industry, which emulsifies it to produce high quality waxes and tire shines.

Target applications also include the manufacturing of sealants, transformer fluids, mold release agents and industrial lubricants.

"Our silicone oil is very competitively priced and works the same as name-brand products," said Edmund Tse, co-founder of ECO USA.

Until recently, ECO USA said the end-of-life options available for silicone rubber products were limited to discarding into landfills or incineration.

According to the company, its operation offers silicone manufacturers and compounders hassle-free programs to help reduce waste management fees.

ECO USA said works with businesses globally to collect silicone materials such as silicone purges, reject parts, trims and runners for recycling.

The company does not yet offer any residential collection programs but is "actively looking for partnerships" in this area.