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Call2Recycle seeks to collect single-use batteries under Vermont law

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:33
Call2Recycle seeks to collect single-use batteries under Vermont law

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 31, 2015

Representing a dozen battery manufacturers, battery stewardship organization Call2Recycle will submit to Vermont regulators a plan for the collection and recycling of single-use batteries.

The nonprofit group announced it had been selected by battery producers to represent them in complying with the nation’s first mandatory take-back law for single-use batteries.

Call2Recycle has a network of 34,000 collection sites in the U.S. and Canada where consumers can return rechargeable batteries for recycling. In Vermont, it already has a voluntarily established network of 100 drop-off sites accepting rechargeable batteries.

The Vermont law covers only single-use households batteries, including alkaline, carbon-zinc and lithium metal batteries, and it applies to those weighing 4.4 pounds or less, according to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

“Millions of single-use batteries used to power toys, flashlights, wireless devices and other consumer products are thrown away every day, when they could be diverted from landfills for recycling,” Carl Smith, Call2Recycle CEO and president, stated in a press release. “We applaud Vermont for addressing this issue and look forward to working with state government and our partners to implement a recycling program in the months ahead.”

Call2Recycle has been selected by the following battery producers to help them comply with the state law, passed in May 2014: Ace Hardware Corp., Dorcy International, Duracell/The Gillette Co./ Procter & Gamble, Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Interstate Batteries Recycling, Maxell Corporation, Panasonic Corp., Polaroid, Rayovac/Spectrum Brands, RiteAid, Sony Electronics and Varta MicroBattery.

Call2Recycle will submit a plan to the state on behalf of those companies by June 1, 2015. The plan, which will be posted on the state Agency of Natural Resources website, must include details on the battery brands covered by the plan, collection sites, public outreach efforts, take-back goals and more. Under the law, producers must provide at least two collection sites in each of Vermont’s 14 counties, must accept batteries for free from any person and must agree to accept up to 100 batteries per visit by a consumer. All municipalities, battery retailers and certified solid waste management facilities can opt to be a collection facility under a plan.

Under the law, the plan also must include a reimbursement procedure so that, for example, Call2Recycle could request reimbursement from a battery manufacturer that declined to join Call2Recycle’s effort when the group collects and recycles that manufacturer’s batteries.

Mia Roethlein, environmental analyst at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, said the state will contact any producers selling in Vermont that aren’t on the Call2Recycle list. The state will ensure they participate under a stewardship plan, submit their own plan in time for the June 1 deadline or prove their exemption (companies that sell under $2,000 worth of batteries a year in Vermont are exempt).

Under the law, collections at various sites around the state will open starting Jan. 1, 2016.

Vermont currently has a landfill ban on certain types of rechargeable batteries but not a ban on disposal of single-use batteries, Roethlein said.

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Debate heats up on status of B.C.'s deposit program

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:28
Debate heats up on status of B.C.'s deposit program

By Bobby Elliott , Resource Recycling

March 31, 2015

Is the fate of North America's first bottle redemption program in question?

According to Dennis Kinsey, a longtime veteran of British Columbia's retail sector and current principal at consultancy Common Ground Solutions, anti-deposit voices are in the process of preparing "one last push" to take down the province's 45-year-old bottle return program.

"The stage is set for one last push by the diverse corporate interests involved in the marketing of beverages and other consumer packaged goods to eliminate the deposit system altogether in British Columbia," Kinsey writes in an article posted on Upstream, an organization that advocates for extended producer responsibility systems.

While not citing any current British Columbia legislation aiming to alter the deposit system, Kinsey goes on to suggest stewardship group Encorp Pacific, which represents the beverage and retail grocery industries in their mandated collection efforts, would ultimately like to see containers included in British Columbia's producer-funded printed paper and packaging curbside recycling program, Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC).

In an interview, Kinsey said efforts to move away from the deposit program remain "behind closed doors." He added, "They're lobbying to get the legislation changed. They have been for 25 years but it's getting closer all the time."

Corrine Atwood, who serves as the executive director of the BC Bottle and Recycling Depot Association, added MMBC's active acceptance of deposit containers "is an attempt to prove that all containers can be collected in blue box programs."

Encorp CEO Scott Fraser, however, disputed the theory that his group is hoping to put an end to the deposit program.

"The deposit system is very successful, well-entrenched, broadly supported by the public and it has a big economic impact," Fraser said in an interview. "I am not aware of any conversation at all, let alone an escalation in the conversation [to discontinue the deposit program]."

In 2013, British Columbia recovered 80.1 percent of the containers and bottles that entered the waste stream, Encorp's latest annual report shows. That rate is 5.6 percentage points above the beverage container recycling rate a decade ago, when 74.5 percent of beverage containers were recycled.

According to Fraser, approximately 93 percent of deposits in 2013 were redeemed through stand-alone depot centers throughout the province, while the remaining 7 percent came through retail and grocery store take-back programs.

To Kinsey, those numbers show efforts on the part of retailers to push consumers to depots.

"There's not a grocery retailer in British Columbia that promotes return-to-retail," Kinsey said. "In fact, they do everything to discourage it."

On that point, Fraser noted Encorp members do prefer depot collection but are required to take back bottles at stores.

"We do have a preference for depot [returns], because the higher the volumes at depots, the more efficient the overall system is, and it's certainly true in any jurisdiction that retailers would rather not have those containers in their stores," Fraser said. "But they're obligated under the regulation."

"We have certainly created and reinforced the depot network for convenience," Fraser added.

Under British Columbia's deposit law, retailers must take back at least 24 containers per day. Once that threshold is met, retailers can either decline to provide further refunds – directing residents to depots instead – or continue providing refunds.

There are 173 active depot centers spread throughout the province, Fraser said.

Fraser noted the goal of Encorp and its members is "to continually increase the recovery rate."

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Composting chronicle

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:22
Composting chronicle

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 31, 2015

Napa, California will start a curbside composting program, and a nonprofit group in New York City is finding success with its drop-off model for organics collection. Get the details on these organics efforts in our composting roundup.

An organization in New York City’s East Village is running a popular program accepting compostables, with drop-off convenience proving a key to success. The 14th Street Y estimates it accepts about 2,000 pounds of compostable materials a month.

Napa, California will institute a curbside compost collection program, aiming to reduce the amount of garbage disposed of by residents. During a test run, officials saw about two-thirds of households using the compost bins.

A bill in Maine would require the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to formulate a strategy for encouraging composting and energy recovery from organic materials. Legislative Document 659, sponsored by a Democratic representative and co-sponsored by a Republican senator, aims to help the state increase its diversion rates.

Portland, Oregon's commercial composting program now only accepts food scraps, directing all compostable non-food items, including cardboard, paper cups and plastic food service items, to the trash. The change, signaled in 2014, was made due to the growing quantity of compostable and non-compostable non-food items entering commercial compost bins. Portland's residential composting program also does not accept compostable plastic takeout containers and utensils.

A Seattle-area producer of technology that converts food scraps into fertilizer for farming has received an $11 million investment, allowing it to expand into other cities. Redmond, Washington-based WISErg’s machine, called the Harvester, allows grocery store workers to dump scraps in while the machine produces liquid fertilizer that can be sold to farmers.

It’s durable when you wear it and wash it, but it biodegrades in your compost bin. A new material called F-ABRIC can be used to create biodegradable clothes. The manufacturer, Swiss company Freitag, found during a test that work clothes made from F-ABRIC fully biodegraded in about three weeks in a household compost bin, according to a company founder.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: The expert opinions you need to hear

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:19
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: The expert opinions you need to hear

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 31, 2015

The Resource Recycling Conference showcases and analyzes the most relevant industry trends and topics. At the 2015 edition, top-notch experts from across the field will share research findings, offer unique perspectives on evolving issues and give their thoughts on the industry's future.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the topics set to be explored in September in Indianapolis: the status and future of mixed-waste MRFs, updates from the Closed Loop Fund and Recycling Partnership, the realities of current commodities markets, and proven strategies for connecting with your community.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 is scheduled for Sept. 28-30, 2015 at the Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Head to rrconference.com for all the latest on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.


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Wide world of recycling

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:16
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 31, 2015

A $22 million UBC recycling facility is on the way in South Africa, and U.K. recycling advocates look to boost resident awareness of curbside possibilities.

South African aluminum products manufacturer Hulamin has announced plans, to build a $22 million can recycling center. The facility will be located in Pietermaritzburg, where the company is headquartered, and will aim to provide recycled aluminum to "local markets."

A revamped public education campaign in the U.K. aims to inform consumers on which materials they can recycle curbside. The Waste & Resources Action Programme is now testing the updated Recycle Now campaign in an urban and a rural area of England.

A hospital in Rotterdam, Netherlands is planning to revamp its recycling program with $11 million in funding and an all-in-one approach. The Erasmus Medical Center has announced plans to move away from source-separated collection and instead send all medical waste materials to Pharmafilter, a startup aiming to recover recyclables from the stream.


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Patent watch

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:15
Patent watch

March 31, 2015

Velbert, Germany-based Doppstadt Familienholding GmbH was awarded Patent No. 8,939,292 for a star screen for sorting fiber from a commingled stream of recyclable materials.

Patent No. RE45,290 was awarded to Richfield Springs, New York's Glass Processing Solutions LLC for a method of cleaning and separating cullet from other materials.

Nike, Inc., headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, was awarded Patent No. 8,944,937, concerning a method of recycling golf balls.

Stackable recycling bins are the subject of Patent No. 8,950,581, given to Barrie, Ontario's Busch Systems International, Inc.

Patent No. 8,950,620 was awarded to Iowa City, Iowa's Warren C. McDuffie for developing a divided waste and recycling bin.

A method for processing large scrap tires via pyrolysis is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140311886, given to a group of researchers led by Highland Park, Colorado's Paul Andrade.

Grand Rapids, Michigan's Cascade Engineering, Inc. was given Patent Application No. 20140312124 for an RFID assembly that includes a spring clip so as to be attached to recycling bins or rollcarts.

Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge was awarded Patent Application No. 20140331897 for a method of recycling asphalt shingles.

Brandon M. Kersey of North Port, Florida developed a method for hanging recycling bins from a standard trash rollcart and was awarded Patent Application No. 20140332649.

Patent Application No. 20140336307 was given to Memphis, Tennessee-based Ahmed Maher Ghalayini, for building materials made out of recycled items.

A reverse vending machine for recyclable materials is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140337191, awarded to the Columbus, Ohio-based Aluminum Can Bank of America.

Paris, Kentucky's Shelly Ann Townshend was given Patent Application No. 20140352623 for a method of reprocessing animal bedding.

Aerocycle GmbH, headquartered in Neuss, Germany, developed a novel method of pulping scrap paper and was awarded Patent Application No. 20140352905.

A furniture recycling method is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140361465 given to Ecoval Environnement, based in Lognes, France.

Tomra Systems ASA, based in Asker, Norway, was awarded Patent Application No. 20140362382 for a method of detecting scrap materials placed in a reverse vending machine.

Patent Application No. 20140352905 was given to Springfield, Missouri's Friends Of Abilities First, Inc., for a scrap paper pulping process and composition.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database online.

Copies of patents can be ordered by number for $3 each from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1450.

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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:11
NewsBits

March 31, 2015

Because of contamination and painfully low prices for recyclable materials, recycling companies that serve Fort Collins, Colorado are encouraging people to throw fewer materials into the recycling bin. The city may be looking at changing its pricing structure to increase flexibility, so haulers could recoup their costs.

The city of Buffalo, New York is inflating its recycling rate by including clothing donations to local nonprofits, among other things, according to the Investigative Post.

An industry-funded group that implements a packaging and printed paper extended producer responsibility law in British Columbia, Canada is reminding consumers that some packaging simply can’t be recycled. Multi Material BC accepts many materials otherwise not accepted curbside, but packaging that uses foil alongside other materials can’t be easily separated for recycling.

Garbage collections went down noticibly after the city of Westfield, Massachusetts switched to single-stream recycling collection. Single-stream service began Jan. 5, and while recycling numbers aren’t yet available for January and February, the city’s garbage bill decreased $18,000 during that period, compared with the year before.

Ford is now using a fabric made from recycled PET beverage containers for seating in F-150 trucks. The company already uses the Repreve fabric in its Ford Fusion and Ford Focus Electric vehicles. The fabric is available either in 100 percent post-consumer PET or a blend of post-consumer and post-industrial PET.

Baltimore, Maryland has cancelled it deal to buy electricity from a proposed waste-to-energy plant, citing a lack of progress in developing the facility. The city's school district also cancelled its deal to buy power from the plant, dealing a setback to the controversial plant.

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Industry and supplier news

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:07
Industry and supplier news

March 31, 2015

The Carton Council has launched a campaign called “Carton Capitals,” which celebrates state capital cities that recycle cartons and encourages those without programs to start them. Currently, 27 capitals and the District of Columbia recycle cartons, and 23 do not. For more, click here.

Waste Management has finished its acquisition of Deffenbaugh Disposal, which owned collection operations, transfer stations, recycling facilities and landfills. Waste Management received all required approvals and closed on the acquisition, which was announced in fall 2014. For more, click here.

The magazine and catalog publishing industry has joined the Curbside Value Partnership and will support its efforts to capture more material at the curb. The publishing group coming on board is called Recycling Works in Publishing, and it includes stakeholders Hearst, Time Inc., Sappi, Veritiv/Bulkely Dunton, Verso, Resolute, Catalyst, UPM, Meredith, Lindenmyer, L.L. Bean and Consumer Reports. Print ads to support the project will be included in publications beginning in early summer.

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Spain implements targets for e-scrap reuse

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:43
Spain implements targets for e-scrap reuse

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

March 26, 2015

The Spanish government will require electronics manufacturers to hit annual targets for the reuse of electronics, in addition to recycling.

Spain is the first European country to require that certain types of electronics be prepared for reuse.

Spain’s Royal Decree 110/2015 requires producers to meet annual weight targets for processing based on their sales. But, starting in January 2017, it also requires them to prepare 2 percent of white goods and 3 percent of other electronics for reuse. Those requirements increase to 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively, starting Aug. 15, 2018.

Repair and reuse is preferable to recycling, the decree preamble states.

The decree is intended to implement specifics laid out in a 2012 European Union directive on managing e-scrap and white goods. That directive, however, did not require countries to implement reuse targets. By August 2016, the European Union plans to study the possible imposition of reuse targets. Spain’s reuse requirements would be revised after the European Commission’s study is published, the decree states.

Under the decree, retailers must accept free of charge e-scrap when a customer buys an equivalent new item, according to an analysis of the decree by the law firm Gomez-Acebo & Pombo. In addition, the decree requires retailers devoting 4,300 square feet or more of their stores to electronics to accept small e-scrap items without requiring the customer to purchase an equivalent, according to the analysis.

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E-Scrap 2015: Register early and save

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:41
E-Scrap 2015: Register early and save

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

March 26, 2015

The 13th annual E-Scrap Conference is set for early September in Orlando. Savvy industry players know the gathering is an ideal opportunity to bolster business – and they also know not to wait to get signed up.

Register now and you'll score the early-bird registration rate, which can save you up to $100. The value will be even more apparent once you get to Orlando and experience the bustling trade show, expertly curated panel discussions and unique networking opportunities all in one place.

E-Scrap 2015 is taking place Sept. 1-3, 2015 (that's the week before Labor Day) at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. Last year's conference brought together more than 1,300 attendees from 35 countries and similar numbers are expected for the upcoming iteration. Check in at e-scrapconference.com for all the latest information on exhibiting, sponsoring and attending.


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EPEAT removed from federal electronics standards

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:39
UPDATED: EPEAT removed from federal electronics standards

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

March 26, 2015

The White House has issued an updated executive order on federal sustainability practices that noticeably leaves out green electronics standard EPEAT. The standard helps promote the recovery and reuse of many types of devices.

It remains unclear exactly why the feds made the move.

Replacing a 2009 executive order "ensuring procurement preference for EPEAT registered electronic products," the White House's new order, issued on March 19, directs branches of the federal government toward "procurement for environmentally sustainable electronic products." There is no mention of EPEAT in the update.

The federal government – with its many tentacles – is one of the world's largest consumers of electronic devices. Its Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship, developed in the wake of the 2009 executive order, has a stated goal of pushing the federal government to "lead by example" on electronics stewardship.

Robert Frisbee, the CEO of the Green Electronics Council, which manages EPEAT, said he didn't have a clear answer on the government's reason to drop the standard out of its protocol.

"It is surprising to see the EPEAT support left out of the latest executive order," he said in a statement to E-Scrap News. "Many important players including U.S. agencies, private sector institutional purchasers and environmental advocates have been striving to maintain the government’s commitment to EPEAT. This legacy period for the [Obama] administration would seem to provide an opportunity to enhance environmental goals, and this seems contradicted by this order."

The White House's Council on Environmental Quality issued a statement on the development to E-Scrap News. "The executive order establishes sustainability criteria that the federal community should use to help with product selection, management and disposal, and it avoids endorsement or recommendation of any particular non-federal label," the statement read. "The administration will continue to work with private and non-governmental sector standards bodies to ensure the federal community has adequate information to continue to promote electronic stewardship across the Federal government."

The EPEAT standard was formed in 2005 and serves as a global rating system for a wide range of electronics, including computers and televisions.

Products registered to EPEAT are graded on various sustainability criteria, including end-of-life management, repairability and use of recycled content, and are awarded bronze, silver or gold labels based on how many criteria are met.

Frisbee said EPEAT has helped the electronics industry move forward significantly. "A program that has been so effective in moving environmental goals ahead," he said, "without regulation, taxes or mandates … deserves the ongoing support of the administration."

Note: This story was updated to include the statement from the White House's Council on Environmental Quality.

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It takes a village

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:36
It takes a village

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

March 26, 2015

Effectively managing the country's used electronics stream takes the support and coordination of individual communities. In that vein, we offer a look at developments in municipal e-scrap programs across the country.

A Richmond, Virginia-area county has established permanent drop-off locations for end-of-life electronics recycling. Before the two drop-off locations were established, residents of Goochland County had to wait until an annual electronics take-back day.

The city of Casper, Wyoming has announced it can no longer collect CRT devices due to rising processing costs. According to Cynthia Langston, Casper's solid waste division manager, all collected CRT devices are now being landfilled at a solid waste facility. While landfilling of CRT glass is banned in many states, Keith Guille, public information officer at the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, confirmed with E-Scrap News that "municipal solid waste landfills may dispose of CRTs received from households." According to Guille, "there are few, if any, opportunities to recycle leaded glass from CRTs anymore [in Wyoming]."

E-scrap processing firm eWorks Electronic Services will begin accepting e-scrap from residents of two Long Island towns. The company, based in Freeport, New York, will accept e-scrap at drop-off locations from residents of Northport and Asharoken.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:35
Certification scorecard

March 26, 2015

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

Sims Recycling Solutions, Inc. has achieved R2:2013 certification at all of its U.S. processing facilities. The sites are in the following locations: Elkridge, Maryland; Franklin Park, Illinois; Hayward, California; LaVergne, Tennessee; Rancho Dominguez, California; Roseville, California; Tampa, Florida (two sites); Tucson, Arizona; and West Chicago, Illinois.

The Arc of Madison County Shredding Svc. of Huntsville, Alabama; DeCycleIt! Inc. of St. Louis; and Shred Up, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

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 here.


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NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:34
NewsBits

March 26, 2015

Gizmodo has a video showing what e-scrap processing looks like at Hugo Neu Recycling, in the New York City area. The video shows the "fate you dream of for your stalled printer or shoebox of old cords you keep in a closet for some reason," according to the tech blog.

According to a new report on the state of recycling in California, 83 percent of the CRT glass collected for recycling in 2013 was shipped to India's glass-to-glass recycling plant, Videocon. The report also notes that "questions have been raised by various organizations as to whether Videocon has sufficient capacity or infrastructure to accommodate the CRTs it receives." Such unknowns have swirled around Videocon for some time. An estimated 44,000 tons of CRT glass was shipped from California to Videocon in 2013, the report suggests.

An e-scrap collection event will be held in conjunction with the final rounds of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Indianapolis next week. The collection effort, a partnership with LG Electronics USA, is one of several moves to make the event “greener,” according to a press release.

Companies working in recycling and packaging design received Supplier Sustainability Awards from AT&T, the company announced. Among the suppliers to AT&T that won awards were an e-scrap processing company, a waste and recycling efficiency consulting company and a packaging designer.

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California details plastics recycling activity and pricing

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:21
California details plastics recycling activity and pricing

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

March 25, 2015

California has released an extensive report on the state's recycling activity and infrastructure as it looks to hit a 75 percent recycling rate goal by 2020. Some intriguing plastics recycling figures are included.

According to the report from California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the governmental body overseeing recycling activities throughout the Golden State, Californians recycled and composted roughly 50 percent of all the waste they generated in 2013. That rate, while one of the highest in the nation, has remained essentially flat since 2010.

CalRecycle says plastics accounted for less than 1 percent of the total weight of recyclables processed in the state while making up almost 10 percent of current disposal tonnages.

The value of a ton of scrap PET in California, as of July 2014, was $650, and a ton of HDPE was valued at $1,005, according to the report. While CalRecycle does not provide information on the 2014 value of mixed plastic, the July 2013 value of a ton of mixed plastic in the state was approximately $96.

Overall, 73 million tons of material was generated in California during 2013, and about 27 million tons were recycled. An additional 9.6 million tons were composted.

Mark Oldfield, CalRecycle's communications director, noted two factors could sufficiently push California's recycling growth: the development of statewide recycling infrastructure and greater demand among domestic manufacturers to make use of recovered commodities.

"The key here is both creating an incentive for various materials to be collected for recycling and then creating a further incentive for the remanufacturing of the materials that are collected," Oldfield said.

Based on permitting documents, CalRecycle estimates there are 102 plastics reclamation facilities in the state as well as 100 shredding and grinding operations. Combined, those operations processed 335,000 tons of material in 2013, 63,000 tons below capacity.

According to CalRecycle's count, the plastics manufacturing sector operates 33 facilities that consume 68,000 tons of recycled plastics annually. It has room to consume an additional 3,000 tons.

Without sufficient domestic demand, exports account for the majority of California's recycling activity, the report shows.

Of the 27 million tons of material the state recovered, 18.6 million tons were exported, most often to China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Plastics accounted for 6 percent of the state's scrap exports in 2013.

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Plastics Recycling 2016: Start planning now

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:18
Plastics Recycling 2016: Start planning now

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

March 25, 2015

The plastics recycling industry's most pivotal gathering is headed to New Orleans next February. Register now to make sure your business gets a big boost in the Big Easy.

The February 2016 gathering of top plastics recycling executives will be the 11th iteration of the conference. Plastics Recycling 2015 welcomed more than 1500 attendees from 32 countries, and a packed exhibit hall featured nearly 200 leading companies. Expect even more education, networking and inspiration in New Orleans.

Plastics Recycling 2016 is set for Feb. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Head to plasticsrecycling.com to register and find out more about exhbiting and/or sponsoring at the premier conference for plastics recovery.


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WRAP study finds black PET trays can be detected

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:14
WRAP study finds black PET trays can be detected

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

March 25, 2015

Use of alternative colorants is giving rise to the hope that black food service trays can be sorted at recycling facilities, says U.K.-waste reduction group WRAP.

A six-month trial project spearheaded by WRAP and grocery store chains Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Sainsbury's found black PET trays containing alternative colorants were in fact detectable by sorting machines at plastics recycling facilities in England.

An estimated 33,000 tons of black trays enter the U.K. waste stream each year, but few are recovered due to challenges in sorting and identifying the packaging type, WRAP says.

"The success of this trial ... marks a significant step forward for plastic recycling and progress for closed loop systems," the group stated in a press release.

WRAP had in recent years studied trays containing colorants, and in the tial project more than 4 million of the trays were used in packaging products sold at select M&S and Sainsbury's stores in Southeast England. Once entering the waste stream, trays were collected curbside, included in mixed plastic bales at local MRFs and then sent to PRFs for further processing.

Using near infrared sorters, PRFs were able to sort the trays and successfully prepare them to be recycled back into food trays.

According to WRAP, if all 33,000 tons of trays used each year in U.K. contained a detectable colorant, municipalities could save at least $3 million in disposal costs.

WRAP says going forward more work needs to be done to support the use of the colorant.

"Investment and support is now needed to prove its operational and commercial viability for both retailers and recyclers in full scale commercial conditions," the group writes.

The issue of detecting black PET trays has been noted in the U.S. as well.

In a 2014 study by North American group PAC NEXT, black plastic containers ranked third among 25 packaging types as one of the most challenging materials for U.S. and Canadian MRFs to handle.

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Could 3-D printing spawn greatly expanded resin code system?

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:11
Could 3-D printing spawn greatly expanded resin code system?

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

March 25, 2015

When it comes to recycling the plastic objects created by 3-D printers, seven is not a lucky number. And it’s definitely not a sufficient one.

Researchers at Michigan Technological University have developed a 1-to-140 plastic resin identification system based on codes used in China. They’re proposing to use it as a replacement for the current Nos. 1-7 identification system.

And it’s all due to the growth of 3-D printing.

“The centralized paradigm of both manufacturing and recycling is being challenged by the rise of 3-D printing,” said Joshua Pearce, the lead researcher in the Open Sustainability Technology group at Michigan Tech.

Currently, the plastics most commonly used in 3-D printing are PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), according to Michigan Tech. Because the 1-7 system doesn’t have numbers specifically for them, they often fall into the catch-all No. 7 category. That makes identifying the resins extremely difficult.

Their proposed 140-code system provides specific codes for more resin types. And researchers have made available for free the computer scripts people will need to print the new codes on their plastic objects.

By recycling plastics, Pearce and his team demonstrated that they could reduce the cost of 3-D printing to about 4.5 cents per pound of plastic filament, well below what it costs to buy new filament.

They reported the results of their research in a paper published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling. The paper was co-authored by Pearce and students Emily Hunt, Chenlong Zhang and Nick Anzalone.

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Low oil prices threaten U.K. plastics recycling

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:08
Low oil prices threaten U.K. plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

March 25, 2015

The British Plastics Federation has released a notice on the continued negative impact low oil prices are having on the plastics recovery sector in the U.K.

According to a release from BPF, low oil prices have put certain recycled resins at a distinct price disadvantage when compared with their virgin counterparts.

"Areas of plastics recycling are becoming uncompetitive and this is threatening not only the viability of businesses but also, potentially, the recycling record of the whole supply chain," the group warns in the announcement.

BPF, which represents both manufacturers of recycled plastics and virgin plastics, is now calling on the industry to keep in mind that producers must meet recycling targets established by the U.K. government.

According to the official website of the U.K. government, producers of plastics are on the hook for reaching at least a 47 percent recycling rate in 2015.

U.S. plastics recycling operations have also struggled in recent months trying to compete with virgin plastics that have been offered at lower prices.

 

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 23:04
NewsBits

March 25, 2015

Under a new business deal, Houston-based Avangard Innovative will acquire the scrap HDPE injection grade and bulky rigids that plastic recycling company KW Plastics needs to supply a newly installed wash line. Avangard will manage market development and purchase the plastics from Mexico to supply the Troy, Alabama-based KW Plastics.

An event at the U.S. Capitol drew entrepreneurs who talked about their products aimed at reducing the damage plastics cause to the world’s oceans. The forum was organized by two Democratic Party senators from California who want to spotlight the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a non-objection letter to Geo-Tech Polymers, in conjunction with Intertek, the companies announced. The letter applies to all grades of plastics previously certified as FDA approved. Geo-Tech’s cleaning processes are designed to remove contaminants so that food-grade plastics can be recycled back into food-grade products.

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