There are thousands of Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania -- 9,848 to be exact according to a
. And each uses an estimated 20,000 pounds of plaster liner material, almost all of which goes into the dump.
So a new venture to collect and recycle plastic well pad liners from Marcellus gas drilling sites has big implications for the state's environment and economy.
The two Pennsylvania-based partners, WellSpring Environmental Services
in Orwigsburg and Ultra-Poly Corporation
in Portland are expected annually to remove at least 20 million pounds of plastic from the waste stream for re-use as marketable products such as composite railroad ties and building components.
Ultra-Poly, a large plastics recycler, has designed a proprietary process for processing the liner material and has built a plant specifically for that purpose in Berwick. "The market is potentially huge," says David LaFiura of Ultra-Poly.
For its part, Wellspring has developed special equipment for separating well pad liners on site to truck them away in a single trailer load; in the past it took eight to 10 trips with roll-off containers to take large sections of the liners from a single site to a landfill for disposal.
"There's not one well pad in Pennsylvania where this new approach doesn't make sense," says Jonas Kreitzer of WellSpring. "We can do liner removal more efficiently, at less cost, while cutting down truck traffic, protecting the environment and generating commercially usable material."
The new partnership will generate 80 or more jobs for Ultra-Poly; WellSpring will add another dozen employees.
Source: Natonia Samchuck, PPO&S
Writer: Elise Vider