Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

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Scotts grows well in Imlay Twp.

by Candice Miller on October 26, 2012

October 24, 2012

IMLAY TWP. — The Scotts Company is ramping up production at its Imlay City facility—a feat made possible by equipment investments totalling $6 million.
Work is underway on a new wood-processing facility and automated soil mixing line at the plant on Graham Road.
Company officials and Congresswoman Candice Miller got a firsthand look at the improvements during a tour on Thursday.
John Smith, regional director of operations for growing media, called it an “unprecedented capital investment” for the plant, which is one of 30 across the country.

This is a real positive to our facility considering growing media has become our primary business,” Smith said.
“Forty percent of our revenues come from growing media which include soils and mulches,” Scotts North Region President Mike Carbonara noted.
The new soil-processing equipment, worth $3 million, will replace three existing lines and promises to boost capacity, efficiency and quality. The Imlay City plant produces products like Miracle-Gro’s Moisture Control potting soil and Scotts Turf Builder lawn soil.
The machinery is being installed under a canopy on the south side of the main building.
Another $3.6 million worth of investment will go towards on-site wood processing for bagged mulch. Grinding machinery, purchased from Michigan-based Morbark, Inc., should soon be operational. The colored mulch will be sold under Scotts’ Nature Scape product line.
Smith and Plant Manager Paul Robbins noted that the logs used in the grinding process will be sourced from facilities within a 50 mile radius of Imlay City that ensure the timber is harvested in a sustainable manner.
“We’ll need 10 truckloads of logs a day to keep up with demand,” Robbins said.
DTE Energy is in the midst of installing a new primary line to provide power for the massive engines that power the grinder.
The plant currently purchases colored mulch from an outside vendor and bags it in-house. Officials anticipate that once they’re producing their own mulch, they can add an additional bagging line.
“We’re happy with what we accomplished in 2012 but we’re looking forward to a great 2013,” Smith said.
Congresswoman Miller commended Scotts leadership for their commitment to the community and their ‘green’ practices.
Mike Shelton, the company’s sustainability manager, noted that Scotts has voluntarily removed phosphorous from all of their products, not just in Michigan. Phosphorous affects water quality and the state has outlawed the use of lawn fertilizers that contain it.
“Hats off to you. It’s remarkable how quickly you’ve done it. We want to help you amplify that message,” Miller said.
Carbonara pointed out that the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company spends $50 million a year on research and development for sustainability.
The Graham Road business was founded 57 years ago as Anderson Peat. It’s been owned by Scotts for the last 23 years. In 1995, Scotts and Miracle-Gro combined to form the present company which is headquartered in Marysville, Ohio.

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.

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