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Idaho firm says plasma is "ultimate solution" to CRT crisis

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 14:00
Idaho firm says plasma is "ultimate solution" to CRT crisis

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

April 18, 2014

A plasma company located in southern Idaho has built two facilities that could start processing significant streams of CRT glass by the middle of next year.

Mike Mills, the CEO of Recovered Energy, told E-Scrap News the company plans to use a plasma method to process up to 120,000 tons of CRT glass per year between two facilities -- one in Pocatello, Idaho, where the company is headquartered, and another in Palm Harbor, Florida.

The company says the facilities will each operate six days per week and will be able to handle 200 tons of glass per day. The facilities cost a total of $52 million to plan and build, not including real estate costs, according to the company.

"We've put a lot of money into this process to make sure it works and I believe we have the ultimate solution," Mills told E-Scrap News.

And what will Recovered Energy be charging firms to take on CRT loads? According to Mills, current pricing by Recovered Energy is "comparable" to pricing of glass destined for India's Videocon, the largest processor of U.S. CRT glass in operation.

Mills said while the process may have the same end-goal as a more traditional lead smelter — successfully separating lead from glass — plasma technology is a unique application.

Operating in an oxygen-starved environment, plasma, which is often referred to as a "fourth state of matter" and can be as hot as 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, "breaks everything down to an elemental state," Mills said. "Once the bonds are broken, you can separate the lead and all the other oxides out to make sure you have clean [lead-free] glass."

Mills added the plasma will be heated only to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the lead originally contained in the glass does not gasify.

Plasma has long been investigated for use in innovation. U.S. researchers first began researching the technology in the 1960s, and some e-scrap companies have previously looked into ways to use the technology to possibly recover a wide range of valuable materials, including rare earths.

Linda McFarland, former VP of business development at 5R Processors, said that company investigated CRT glass processing using plasma "dating back to 2011," but found the method was too costly of an investment for too small of a return for the company.

McFarland, now an executive at IMS Electronics Recycling, suggested Recovered Energy could process other materials as well. While costly, one advantage of plasma processing is that it can work on a "batch" system, allowing a company – in theory – to also process other types of e-scrap in intermittent batches. "That could be what they're banking on," McFarland said.

Mills, however, says his company plans to process only CRT glass for the next 10 years using a continuous feed system. Running a batch system while processing 200 tons of glass per day, Mills says, is "impossible."

He said when the U.S. CRT glass supply begins to wane the facilities could be used to process medical waste.

Recovered Energy has begun accepting CRT glass at the Idaho and Florida facilities from about 16 suppliers and is in the process of obtaining complete permitting from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Florida Environmental Protection Agency. The Idaho facility houses both separation and plasma operations, while the Florida facility will use an off-site plasma hub "half of a mile away," Mills said.

The company goal, according to Mills, is to get both plasma operations fully operational by the middle of 2015, selling recovered lead and donating de-leaded glass to various municipalities.

Mills says plans are also in the works to build similar plasma CRT glass processing facilities in Arizona and Ohio.

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E-Scrap 2014: A big-picture look

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:59
E-Scrap 2014: A big-picture look

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

April 18, 2014

We all know the major trends that are quickly re-shaping the e-scrap industry. Think processor consolidation, CRT glass struggles and the possibility of material export regulations. But understanding exactly how those developments intertwine and shape market opportunities can be a bit of mind boggle. Fortunately, E-Scrap 2014 will be bringing the top minds in the sector together to explore the issues and offer attendees an illuminating big-picture look at electronics recycling.

Make your plans now to head to the one-of-a-kind conference this October. The education sessions, networking events, bustling trade show and collection of ancillary meetings will give you a textured understanding of how the industry is developing — and where your business fits in.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 22-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies, so plan now to secure your spot at this fall's conference. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.

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CEA releases study on remaining CRT tonnages

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:58
CEA releases study on remaining CRT tonnages

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

April 18, 2014

A new survey by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) suggests there are approximately 3.5 million tons of CRT TVs and computers still in U.S. households.

That figure, based off of telephone interviews with 1,023 adults throughout the country and determined by the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER), is well below prior estimates. A white paper commissioned by Kuusakoski U.S. and released last fall estimates there are 6.2 million tons of CRT devices left to process over the next 10 years — nearly twice as much as CEA's finding.

The Kuusakoski study includes CRT devices from homes, businesses and institutions, whereas the CEA study looks only at the residential CRT stream — explaining, at least in part, the wide disparity between the two estimates.

Jason Linnell, NCER's executive director, also told E-Scrap News past studies, including Kuusakoski's, relied on older, sales-focused models developed by the U.S. EPA that represented "the best available [methodology] at the time." New survey findings by CEA "generally correlate" with a more recent study, and a somewhat controversial one, penned by MIT, NCER and the Material System Laboratory, Linnell says.

"It may be that consumers are disposing of old CRT units at a slightly more rapid pace … which could bring down the 'available CRT' numbers below previous projections," Linnell stated, adding the survey "depends on consumers understanding what is a 'tube TV' and 'tube monitor' and then accurately relating how many of those units are still in their home."

Less than half of CEA study respondents — 46 percent — said they still used or stored at least one CRT device. About 41 percent said they had recycled a CRT device.

Arriving at an accurate estimate of how many CRTs remain in the U.S. has emerged as an important point for the host of CRT recycling ventures starting to enter the market. Most industry players have operated under the assumption that nearly 400,000 tons of CRT glass - with glass accounting for about 62 percent of the overall weight of a CRT device - will need processing in the U.S. each year for the next decade.

If CEA's new figure is more accurate, approximately 2.17 million tons of CRT glass remains for processing in the U.S., or 217,000 tons every year. "This is still an awful lot of CRTs," Linnell noted.

Speaking at the ISRI Convention last week in Las Vegas, CEA's vice president of environmental affairs, Walter Alcorn, echoed that sentiment. "There are still a lot of CRTs out there. ... Six billion pounds of CRT TVs and 1 billion pounds of CRT monitors," Alcorn said. "But it's not infinite. This too shall pass, in terms of the CRT stream."

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Earth Day shines a light on e-scrap recycling

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:57
Earth Day shines a light on e-scrap recycling

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

April 18, 2014

With the 45th annual Earth Day taking place next week, we take a look at the ways a number of e-scrap companies and organizations around the globe are marking the occasion.

Battery recycling group Call2Recycle has put together an online toolkit to help educate consumers on proper disposal of rechargeable batteries and cellphones.

Noting that "Earth Day long ago outgrew its April 22 place in the calendar year," CalRecycle, the governmental body in charge of waste and recycling for the state of California, has put together a vast array of events taking place throughout the month and into May. Check out the list here.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is looking ahead to April 23 for a lively Twitter discussion on recycling old devices and the latest developments from the trade group's eCycling Leadership Initiative. Join in from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern and use the hashtag #CEAgreen to be eligible to win win a new wireless sound system from Samsung — just don’t forget to recycle your old one.

Kid-focused environmental organization Earth Rangers is gathering momentum in the lead-up to Earth Day by encouraging parents and their children to take on special Earth Rangers Missions. The Battery Blitz Mission has already led to the recycling of more than 30,000 batteries by 4,000 members, and the Canadian group is banking on Earth Day to push participation even more.

In advance of Earth Day, ecoATM, the automated electronics trade-in kiosk company, has released findings from a recent survey that offers some data on Americans' tendency to let old electronics collect dust. According to the company, 57 percent of survey respondents said they owned idle phones and devices and 39 percent said they owned at least two. The most discouraging finding? Just 46 percent of respondents said they would even consider recycling their old gadgets.

PBS will premiere "A Fierce Green Fire" on April 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern The documentary tracks modern environmentalism, which the film depicts as "one of the largest movements of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st." Directed by Oscar-nominee Mark Kitchell, the documentary explores a variety of topics, including waste reduction and conservation.

Global electronics recycling firm Sims Recycling Solutions will be hosting a series of e-scrap collection events throughout the world this Earth Day and has compiled a list of tips for conscientious citizens to live — or at least recycle — by. Included in the list are Sims' pleas to "put off the upgrade" and "reuse what you can," after a recent event survey showed that just 20 percent of dropped-off devices were truly end-of-life.

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Certification scorecard from E-Scrap News

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:57
Certification scorecard

April 18, 2014

With the roster of companies attaining third-party certifications or audits continuing to grow, E-Scrap News has compiled a round-up of the firms announcing certification this past week.

American Document Destruction of St. Louis, Missouri; Automated Shredding, Inc. of Fort Mill, South Carolina; Business Records Management LLC of Pittsburgh; Business Records Management LLC of Wickliffe, Ohio; Document Shredding & Storage of Lubbock, Texas; PAFACOM, Inc. of Vineland, New Jersey; Proshred New York of Elmsford, New York; Record Keepers LLC of Bismarck, North Dakota; Security Shredding Mobile Document Destruction of Lufkin, Texas; Tri-State Shredding of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Xpresshred LLC of Englewood, Colorado have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Announcement: E-Scrap News has added OHSAS 18001 and NAID AAA into its certification directory, as well as moved the directory online. If your firm recently completed these certifications, a CHWMEG audit or an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, R2, RIOS or e-Stewards certification, e-mail dleif@resource-recycling.com to be included in this section and in E-Scrap News' directory. The full directory is available at www.tinyurl.com/Certified-E-scrap.

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NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 13:56
NewsBits

April 18, 2014

Researchers in Finland have zeroed in on fungi as key for extracting gold from e-scrap. After crushing devices, researchers apply a "mycelium-based" biomass to naturally absorb and attract up to 80 percent of available gold — far better than current chemical-based processes, which typically recover 10 to 20 percent of gold.

Google's big idea for the cellphone of the future — a device with readily interchangeable and upgradable parts – got off to a bit of a hiccup this week when a prototype phone ended up with a crack in its screen. A representative told attendees at the Project Ara Developer's Conference replaceable screens were back in Germany, but the phone is on track for a 2015 release and could drive significant reuse through its easily replaceable parts.

Personal computer shipments during the first quarter of 2014 were down 4.4 percent year-over-year, slightly better than a projected fall of 5.3 percent. The International Data Corporation says replacements for the recently phased-out Windows XP operating system helped give "a passing boost" to shipments.

In an opinon piece published on Wired's site, iFixit founder Kyle Wiens explains why e-scrap "dumping grounds" in Agbogbloshie, Ghana are in many ways fertile lands for innovation and training. Counteracting the traditional view of the largely unregulated e-scrap ending spot, Wiens suggests there is a highly developed assembly line system at play, reliant on skilled workers primed for more technical training and support.

While overall landfilling of material has been going down in the Vancouver, British Columbia area, waste authorities say e-scrap volumes still haven't let up. According to a new report released by Metro Vancouver, a regional authority and district, e-scrap accounted for 35 percent of inspection violations in 2013, up from 20 percent in 2010.

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Earth Day serves as plastics recycling platform

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:29
Earth Day serves as plastics recycling platform

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 17, 2014

Plenty of recycling companies and organizations are using April 22 as a center point for advocacy campaigns. Here are a few that touch on plastics.

Continuing a tradition first begun in 1991, Berry Plastics will be taking local elementary school students on Earth Day tours of company facilities "where the children see the process of turning new and recycled plastic into a usable product." The tours are also supported by yearly visits starting in February to local schools by Berry employees.

Noting that "Earth Day long ago outgrew its April 22 place in the calendar year," CalRecycle, the governmental body in charge of waste and recycling for the state of California, has put together a vast array of events taking place throughout the month and into May. Check out the list here.

Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council are using Earth Day to launch the Spanish-language version of their "I Want to Be Recycled" advocacy campaign. The effort uses infographics to show the journey taken by five different consumer items, including a plastic shampoo bottle, as they move from recycling bin to new product.

PBS will premiere "A Fierce Green Fire" on April 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern. The documentary tracks modern environmentalism, which the film depicts as "one of the largest movements of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st." Directed by Oscar-nominee Mark Kitchell, the documentary explores a variety of topics, including waste reduction and conservation.

Trex, a company that manufactures decking from reclaimed plastic and wood, is using Earth Day as a platform to remind consumers that many types of household plastic film can be recycled.

Grocery chain Wegmans will be offering shoppers free reusable bags when they turn in their single-use plastic bags at stores on April 26, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern. Last year the effort led to 177,000 pounds of plastic bags turned in, a mark Wegmans intends to break this year.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled CoPP prices rise in April

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:28
PetroChem Wire: Recycled CoPP prices rise in April

April 17, 2014

Tight flake and bale supply is contributing to higher recycled CoPP prices this month.

Business for black pellet has been done at 60 to 62 cents per pound FOB East Coast, up about 2 cents per pound from March. Black CoPP flake material is also several cents stronger in April, with the market reported at 50 to 51 cents per pound FOB the East Coast. The tight supply of recycled CoPP is also tied to competition from export markets.

In the U.S. prime PP market, HoPP held in the first half of April at 83 cents per pound, while CoPP was up about 0.5 cents per pound to 84 cents per pound.

For a free trial to the Repro/Regrind Resin Report or to see sample issues of all PCW reports visit the PetroChem Wire website at www.petrochemwire.com. You can also contact Cindy Bryan at cindy@petrochemwire.com or (713) 385-1407.

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Can Michigan significantly increase plastics recycling?

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:26
Can Michigan significantly increase plastics recycling?

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

April 17, 2014

Despite having one of the lowest state recycling rates in the country, Michigan is attempting to reinvent itself as a trendsetter when it comes to recovering plastics and other materials.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled an ambitious plan this week to double the current municipal solid waste recycling rate by 2017 through a series of recycling-focused initiatives.

"States with healthy recycling programs have found that, in addition to reducing pressure on landfills and helping the environment, recycling creates jobs and opens markets for recovered materials," Snyder stated. "We’ve been throwing away money for decades. Addressing this issue is simply the right thing to do, and I am pleased to announce we are committed to making Michigan a recycling leader."

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality estimates the state recycles just 14.5 percent of its municipal solid waste each year — and that's with both a bottle bill and an e-scrap law on the books. According to the state, approximately $435 million worth of recyclable materials gets landfilled each year.

DEQ director Dan Wyant said the governor's recent action will go a long way. "When you have the highest elected official in your state calling for the expansion of recycling that gets people to focus on it," Wyant told Resource Recycling. "We're not anywhere near where we need to be with respect to recycling … and it's the right thing to do now."

The state's recycling initiative will focus on building in-state markets for recycled commodities, enhancing data collection practices and increasing curbside access.

Attention will also be paid to greater educational efforts, counteracting a still-prevalent attitude among some residents that recycling "doesn't really matter," Kerrin O'Brien of the Michigan Recycling Coalition told Resource Recycling. O'Brien was named to a new nine-member Michigan Recycling Council, which will help represent the various interests within the industry.

According to O'Brien, the new plan, which recommends $1 million in additional recycling funding in 2015 and another $500,000 in DEQ pollution prevention grants, will help educate stakeholders and lawmakers alike on where recycling infrastructure needs to improve in order to blossom. "We want to get to a 50 percent recycling rate," O'Brien said.

Just 25 of 83 counties within the state provide "convenient access" to residents, leaving about 70 percent of counties without sufficient recycling access, according to the DEQ website. Under the governor's new plan, all 83 counties will provide "convenient access" by 2017.

However, while Wyant and O'Brien stressed $1.5 million in funding should be sufficient to get things going, Paul Gardner of product stewardship nonprofit group Recycling Reinvented cautioned the state will have to be creative with its allotted finances. "That's not going to go very far," Gardner said, adding private and public funds will need to materialize in order to meet the new goals.

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College recycling push diverts nearly 90 million pounds

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:26
College recycling push diverts nearly 90 million pounds

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

April 17, 2014

Antioch University Seattle emerged as the Grand Champion of this year's RecycleMania, an on-campus recycling tournament held in February and March.

The event, which is managed by Keep America Beautiful, led to 89.1 million pounds of material being separated for recycling or composting, according to a press release sent out this week.

More than 460 schools from across the U.S. and Canada participated, and Antioch grabbed the Grand Champion prize for diverting approximately 93 percent of the overall waste it generated. The second-best recycling rate, roughly 81 percent, was achieved by University of Missouri, Kansas City.

The 14th annual event tracked schools' progress in a number of categories including recycling rate; overall recycling by weight; and per capita recovery for paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste.

Rutgers University in New Jersey won the "gorilla" category by collecting the most material overall — more than 1.3 million pounds.

Full results can be viewed here.

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NewsBits from Plastics Recycling Update

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:24
NewsBits

April 17, 2014

Over at The Guardian, a representative from household electronics maker Philips details how the company was able to manufacture a new single-cup coffee brewer that is made of 13 percent post-consumer resin.

U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury's has launched an Easter-aimed recycling initiative at 50 of its locations. The collection points allow consumers to drop off plastic eggs and other holiday staples that may not normally be accepted curbside.

PepsiCo announced it is expanding an initiative to bring public-space recycling bins to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The move will bring 120 receptacles to 30 retail partners in the city.

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Michigan tries to revamp recycling culture

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:44
Michigan tries to revamp recycling culture

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

With one of the lowest state recycling rates in the country, Michigan is attempting to reinvent itself as a "recycling leader."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled an ambitious plan this week to double the current municipal solid waste recycling rate by 2017 through a series of recycling-focused initiatives.

"States with healthy recycling programs have found that, in addition to reducing pressure on landfills and helping the environment, recycling creates jobs and opens markets for recovered materials," Snyder stated. "We’ve been throwing away money for decades. Addressing this issue is simply the right thing to do, and I am pleased to announce we are committed to making Michigan a recycling leader."

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality estimates the state recycles just 14.5 percent of its municipal solid waste each year – and that's with both a bottle bill and an e-scrap law on the books. According to the state, approximately $435 million worth of recyclable materials gets landfilled each year.

Dan Wyant, DEQ director, said the governor's recent action will go a long way. "When you have the highest elected official in your state calling for the expansion of recycling that gets people to focus on it," Wyant told Resource Recycling. "We're not anywhere near where we need to be with respect to recycling … and it's the right thing to do now."

The state's recycling initiative will focus on building in-state markets for recycled commodities, enhancing data collection practices and increasing curbside access.

Attention will also be paid to greater educational efforts, counteracting a still-prevalent attitude among some residents that recycling "doesn't really matter," Kerrin O'Brien of the Michigan Recycling Coalition told Resource Recycling. O'Brien was named to a new nine-member Michigan Recycling Council, which will help represent the various interests within the industry.

According to O'Brien, the new plan, which recommends $1 million in additional recycling funding in 2015 and another $500,000 in DEQ pollution prevention grants, will help educate stakeholders and lawmakers alike on where recycling infrastructure needs to improve in order to blossom. "We want to get to a 50 percent recycling rate," O'Brien said.

Just 25 of 83 counties within the state provide "convenient access" to residents, leaving about 70 percent of counties without sufficient recycling access, according to the DEQ website. Under the governor's new plan, all 83 counties will provide "convenient access" by 2017.

However, while Wyant and O'Brien stressed $1.5 million in funding should be sufficient to get things going, Paul Gardner of product stewardship nonprofit group Recycling Reinvented cautioned the state will have to be creative with its allotted finances. "That's not going to go very far," Gardner said, adding private and public funds will need to materialize in order to meet the new goals.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Heading to the Big Easy

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:43
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Heading to the Big Easy

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

Mark your calendars for September, when the industry's premier high-level gathering will take place in one of America's premier cities. The Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is heading to New Orleans, a historic hotbed of culture and cuisine at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 will give you the chance to learn from and network with top decision-makers from stakeholders representing every part of the materials recovery stream. And when the day's work is through you'll be steps away from the brass bands, gumbo joints and centuries-old neighborhoods that define the charm and character of the Crescent City.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside Sept. 16-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting. And be sure to plan your trip to include the numerous industry trade associations holding meetings before, during and after the conference itself. More information on those events will be coming soon.

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Beyond the flying footwear: Clinton touts recycling at ISRI

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:41
Beyond the flying footwear: Clinton touts recycling at ISRI

By Dylan de Thomas, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

At the closing general session of the 2014 ISRI Convention & Exposition, presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to over 1,000 attendees about recycling and how the industry fits into the larger U.S. and global economy, but not without some controversy.

Just as Clinton began speaking, a member of the audience threw a strapped shoe and some papers at the former Secretary of State. Clinton responded with humor, saying, "My goodness, I didn’t know that solid waste management was so controversial. Thank goodness she didn’t play softball like I did."

ISRI's director of media relations and online communications, Mark Carpenter, told the Las Vegas Sun that the shoe-thrower was not a convention attendee and a Resource Recycling staffer at the event confirmed the woman was not wearing a badge.

Though the tossed shoe grabbed the national headlines, the content of Clinton's speech was also noteworthy — at least to recycling professionals. The politician spoke for 30 minutes, praising the recycling industry for "driving innovation and resource efficiency" and noting that recycling "offers a chance to improve the environment and stimulate the economy at the same time." The former senator then highlighted various projects the Clinton Foundation has launched relating to "sustainable waste management," including a Haitian recycling plant.

"We can be the clean energy superpower for the 21st century as American innovation unlocks new supplies, pioneers new technologies and gives us new tools to lower carbon emissions," Clinton said.

After Clinton's speech, she sat down with outgoing ISRI chair Jerry Simms, who offered a "deepest apology for that crude interruption."

During the discussion with Clinton, Simms noted the recycling trade group's strong stance in favor of exports without restrictions and history of "preventing protectionist trade policies of other nations."

Clinton expressed support of such policies. "We have to be stronger about going after countries in the WTO, like China, now like Russia, like any others who try to put those barriers up," Clinton said. "We have to be tougher in bringing trade action against them. We have to threaten reciprocity, because they love to get into our market while they block their markets."

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Earth Day brings flood of materials recovery efforts

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:41
Earth Day brings flood of materials recovery efforts

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

With the 45th annual Earth Day taking place next week, we take a look at the ways companies and organizations around the globe are marking the occasion through recycling initiatives.

Noting that "Earth Day long ago outgrew its April 22 place in the calendar year," CalRecycle, the governmental body in charge of waste and recycling for the state of California, has put together a vast array of events taking place throughout the month and into May. Check out the list here.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is looking ahead to April 23 for a lively Twitter discussion on recycling old devices and the latest developments from the trade group's eCycling Leadership Initiative. Join in from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern and use the hashtag #CEAgreen to be eligible to win a new wireless sound system from Samsung – just don’t forget to recycle your old one.

Kid-focused environmental organization Earth Rangers is gathering momentum in the lead-up to Earth Day by encouraging parents and their children to take on special Earth Rangers Missions. The Battery Blitz Mission has already led to the recycling of more than 30,000 batteries by 4,000 members, and the Canadian group is banking on Earth Day to push participation even more.

In advance of Earth Day, ecoATM, the automated electronics trade-in kiosk company, has released findings from a recent survey that offers some data on Americans' tendency to let old electronics collect dust. According to the company, 57 percent of survey respondents said they owned idle phones and devices and 39 percent said they owned at least two. The most discouraging finding? Just 46 percent of respondents said they would even consider recycling their old gadgets.

A recent Harris Interactive poll shows 75 percent of workers "say they would insist upon change if they saw obvious wasteful practices at work." The survey, which was commissioned by Ricoh and polled 900 U.S. workers, does indicate that workplace environmental practices are becoming an expectation among the American workforce.

The NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Novelis have officially wrapped up the second annual Rise Up & Recycle challenge. Attracting more than 50 schools in Georgia to participate in the program, the Falcons and Novelis, a major aluminum rolling and recycling company based in Atlanta, honored four teachers for their work encouraging students to think twice before throwing recyclables in the trash.

PBS will premiere "A Fierce Green Fire" on April 22 at 9 p.m. Eastern. The documentary tracks modern environmentalism, which the film depicts as "one of the largest movements of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st." Directed by Oscar-nominee Mark Kitchell, the documentary explores a variety of topics, including waste reduction and conservation.

SC Johnson, maker of some of the world's most frequently used home products, has announced it is on track to meet its 2016 goal of minimizing manufacturing waste by 70 percent. Since 2000, the company has reduced 62 percent of manufacturing waste produced around the globe, an achievement hinging on zero landfill initiatives and recycling efforts.

Global electronics recycling firm Sims Recycling Solutions will be hosting a series of e-scrap collection events throughout the world this Earth Day and has compiled a list of tips for conscientious citizens to live – or at least recycle – by. Included in the list are Sims' pleas to "put off the upgrade" and "reuse what you can," after a recent event survey showed that just 20 percent of dropped-off devices were truly end-of-life.

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Steel demand to be pushed more by developed economies

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:40
Steel demand to be pushed more by developed economies

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

After many years where rapid growth in steel consumption in China and other emerging economies dominated the global marketplace, an important steel industry study shows that the U.S. and Europe will see greater growth in steel consumption in the next two years.

The World Steel Association estimates China will experience a growth in steel use of about 3 percent in each of the next two years. This is half of the growth experienced in 2012 and 2013. China is the world’s largest user of steel.

WSA says other developing economies will see a similar fall in their steel-consumption growth curve. On the other hand, steel use in the U.S. is expected to rise 4 percent this year and European consumption will grow 3 percent.

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College recycling push diverts nearly 90 million pounds

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:39
College recycling push diverts nearly 90 million pounds

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

Antioch University Seattle emerged as the Grand Champion of this year's RecycleMania, an on-campus recycling tournament held in February and March.

The event, which is managed by Keep America Beautiful, led to 89.1 million pounds of material being separated for recycling or composting, according to a press release sent out this week.

More than 460 schools from across the U.S. and Canada participated, and Antioch grabbed the Grand Champion prize for diverting approximately 93 percent of the overall waste it generated. The second-best recycling rate, roughly 81 percent, was achieved by University of Missouri, Kansas City.

The 14th annual event tracked schools' progress in a number of categories including recycling rate; overall recycling by weight; and per capita recovery for paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste.

Rutgers University in New Jersey won the "gorilla" category by collecting the most material overall — more than 1.3 million pounds.

Full results can be viewed here.

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Wide world of recycling

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:38
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

April 16, 2014

A Scottish recycling firm will have to pay more than $330,000 as punishment for improperly handling material.

Doonin Plant Ltd., based in Scotland, has lost an appeal and faces the landmark fine for illegally burying hundreds of tons of tires and other materials. The company was first issued the fine in late 2012.

In other news, TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based company, that works with brands to recover hard-to-recycle materials, has expanded into New Zealand. The company is partnering there with Mondelez, owner of the Cadbury brand, to develop a system for recycling candy wrappers.

And grocery chain Sainsbury's has launched an Easter-aimed recycling initiative at 50 of its U.K. locations. The collection points allow consumers to drop off plastic eggs and other holiday staples that may not normally be accepted curbside.

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NewsBits from Resource Recycling

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:34
NewsBits

April 16, 2014

Waste Management CEO David Steiner spoke recently at a Wall Street Journal conference and he again stated publicly the firm has seen financial losses from its recycling division, a statement that grabbed industry attention when he made it last year (and which WM's recycling chief later had to clarify). Steiner says WM is continuing to see its costs rise and the value of its recovered material go down.

New York City recently added nearly 3,000 public space recycling receptacles as the city continues its push toward a 30 percent recycling rate goal.

A new single-stream materials recovery facility has opened near Bakersfield, California. The $12 million MRF is run by Metropolitan Recycling and will handle around 30,000 tons of material annually.

PepsiCo announced it is expanding an initiative to bring public-space recycling bins to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The move will bring 120 receptacles to 30 retail partners in the city.

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Hillary Clinton touts recycling, ducks shoe, at ISRI Convention

E-Scrap News Magazine - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:16
Hillary Clinton touts recycling, ducks shoe, at ISRI Convention

By Dylan de Thomas, E-Scrap News

April 11, 2014

At the closing general session of the 2014 ISRI Convention & Exposition, presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to over 1,000 attendees about recycling and how the industry fits into the larger U.S. and global economy, but not without some controversy.

Just as Clinton began speaking, a member of the audience threw a strapped shoe and some papers at the former Secretary of State. Clinton responded with humor, saying, "My goodness, I didn’t know that solid waste management was so controversial. Thank goodness she didn’t play softball like I did."

ISRI's director of media relations and online communications, Mark Carpenter, told the Las Vegas Sun that the shoe-thrower was not a convention attendee and a Resource Recycling staffer at the event confirmed the woman was not wearing a badge.

Clinton spoke for 30 minutes, praising the recycling industry for "driving innovation and resource efficiency," noting that recycling "offers a chance to improve the environment and stimulate the economy at the same time.” The former senator then highlighted various projects the Clinton Foundation has launched relating to "sustainable waste management," including a Haitian recycling plant.

"We can be the clean energy superpower for the 21st century as American innovation unlocks new supplies, pioneers new technologies and gives us new tools to lower carbon emissions," Clinton said.

After Clinton's speech and shoe-dodging, she sat down with outgoing ISRI chair Jerry Simms, who offered a "deepest apology for that crude interruption."

During the discussion with Clinton, Simms noted the recycling trade group's strong stance in favor of exports without restrictions and history of "preventing protectionist trade policies of other nations."

Clinton expressed support of such policies. "We have to be stronger about going after countries in the WTO, like China, now like Russia, like any others who try to put those barriers up," Clinton said. "We have to be tougher in bringing trade action against them. We have to threaten reciprocity, because they love to get into our market while they block their markets."

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