Bottle recycling plant headed to Abilene, will create 100 new jobs

Recycling center comes with promise of new jobs

ABILENE, Texas - One of the world's largest recyclers of plastic beverage bottles has announced plans to build a "bottle-to-bottle" recycling plant in Abilene.

CarbonLITE of California is bringing the new plant to the Big Country and said the facility will employ around 100 people who will operate the high-tech $40 million processing plant.

The facility will process used plastic bottles into food-grade raw material to make into new bottles.

"The goal is to produce bottles that have recycled materials in them, reducing the need for new plastic," said CEO of Develop Abilene Richard Burdine.

The plant will be located in the Five Points Business Park in Abilene. 

"It's planned, it's landscaped, you know, all the utilities are there," Burdine said.

Burdine said the move is a good one for Abilene.

"It's a big investment for Abilene and a good use of that building," Burdine said. "Let's start producing some rent and some more tax base and some more jobs. It's a win-win all around."

It'll be about a year and a half before production will begin.

About 100 locals will be employed and trained in California for a few weeks to learn the new equipment.

The plant will process around 1.6 billion used bottles a year.

One of its most important customers will be Nestle Waters North America, which bottles Ozarka Natural Spring Water.

The new jobs will range from "semi-skilled" to "highly-skilled."

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