Buffalo Niagara Enterprise announced today that Nulife Glass, a recycling specialist based in Manchester, England, will open their first U.S. facility in Chautauqua County. The company will invest $3.7 million to renovate a 50,000 square foot manufacturing plant in the Town of Sheridan where they will create 25 new jobs.
"We are very pleased to locate our first North American expansion in New York state, the Buffalo Niagara region, and specifically Chautauqua County and the Town of Sheridan," said Nulife owner Simon Greer. "The welcoming business environment that Buffalo Niagara Enterprise introduced us to and the reception we received from our state, regional and local partners was tremendous. Everybody we talked to did what they said they were going to do and now here we are."
BNE's announcement of Nulife expanding to the region followed the company's formal launch last week to the U.S. recycling industry at the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Development Summit where this year's spotlight was on e-scrap. Greer made Nulife's formal announcement in an address to the conference.
BNE provided assistance with site selection, access to incentives and service providers, and help in navigating state regulatory agencies in successfully attracting Nulife, whose search for a North American location included Canada and the western United States. The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and the county's Department of Economic Development also played important roles in site selection and assisting the company with the permitting process for their new facility.
"This is the type of innovative technology and creative application of advanced manufacturing that I believe will strengthen our regional economy in the years ahead," said Thomas Kucharski, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise president and CEO. "Successfully attracting this project to Chautauqua County sends a strong message to entrepreneurs like Nulife around the globe that New York state can successfully compete for your business and that upstate communities across the Buffalo Niagara region want to be home to your manufacturing facilities."
A burgeoning market awaits Nulife, whose technology solves a rapidly growing problem in the electronics recycling industry. Cathode ray tubes, or CRTs, are glass components commonly found in televisions and computers. Sweeping changes in flat screen technologies have made many of these products obsolete, causing what some industry experts are calling a "glass tsunami" as these waste materials accumulate while demand for their recycled product shrinks proportionately. This phenomenon is complicated by the fact that CRT glass contains lead oxide.
While the growing stockpiles of this material around the U.S. are creating potential toxic hazards, they are also creating market opportunities for Nulife. The company's furnace technology extracts the toxic lead from the glass in pure metallic form. That glass that remains has such low lead content that it can be safely be sold for use in other products. The metallic form of the lead comes out of the furnace immediately ready for re-sale to the metal markets.
"We are very pleased to welcome Nulife's investment, job creation and their state of the art technology to Chautauqua County," said County Executive Gregory Edwards. "The rapidly changing technologies and new consumer product offerings that have created this worldwide environmental challenge have also created new business opportunities and new markets that will be satisfied in part at this redeveloped building in the Town of Sheridan. It is very exciting to know that our county will be home to these exciting new advancements in manufacturing and recycling."
Nulife has already started to accept glass at the site where they will have the capacity to receive up to 100 million pounds of CRT glass. They are completing the renovation and equipping of their new facility and anticipate being fully operational within the next 12 months.
Nulife Glass Recycling Group was formed in England to deliver the company's discoveries and inventions from tests and trials over the past 18 years along with academic collaborators in England and Finland as well as input and independent verification from institutes around the world.