Asst. Prof. Meg Sobkowicz-Kline demonstrating things to a female student in the plastics recycling lab.

The Plastics Recycling & Compounding Laboratories


Thermoplastics are very recyclable. However, recycling rates for some plastics remain relatively low for a variety of reasons. One of the most important reasons is that, historically, plastics recycling education has been very limited.

The Plastics Recycling and Compounding Laboratory at UMass Lowell is dedicated to education and research related to plastics recycling. Over the years, students and faculty of the Department of Plastics Engineering have developed a number of products that are made from waste plastic or rubber. In fact, more than 50 plastics engineering graduate students have done their thesis research in the area of plastics recycling.


These unique laboratories ensure that both undergraduate and graduate plastics engineering students have all the facilities they need to work in these areas. A number of companies and organizations have supported these labs including American Leistritz, the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, and Gerber Foods.


  • Leistritz 27-mm Twin Screw Compounder
  • Werner Pfliederer 30-mm Twin Screw Extruder
  • Technovel 15-mm Ultrahigh Speed Twin Screw Compounder (with feeders, water bath, pelletizers) 

Lab Capabilities Include:

  • Granulators
  • Burnout Oven
  • Materal Washing
  • Metal Separators