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Oregon processor moves some operations south

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:06
Oregon processor moves some operations south

By Jared Paben, E-Scrap News

August 27, 2015

An Oregon-based e-scrap processor says government regulation practices and tough commodity markets have led the company to relocate shredding operations to Texas.

Export Global Metals (EG Metals) has battled with state environmental regulators over compliance with stormwater regulations at its Portland, Ore.-area facility.

The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in January fined the company, alleging it exposed e-scrap to the elements. EG Metals disputed the allegation and appealed the fine.

As of Aug. 1, the company is no longer shredding e-scrap at the facility, Peter Van Houten, company general manager and vice president of operations, told E-Scrap News. It is currently in the process of moving the shredder to a new 90,000-square-foot location in Carrollton, Texas, a Dallas suburb.

Meanwhile, in an Aug. 13 letter, DEQ confirmed EG Metals was in compliance with a June agreement and order regarding the storage of materials.

In the future, the 15,000-square-foot building in Oregon formerly housing the shredder will only accept e-scrap, sort it into gaylords and ship it out, and all e-scrap to be shipped out will be stored indoors, according to Van Houten.

"I can't point and say 'We're moving this because of DEQ,' but that was the catalyst," he said. "Doing business in Oregon has not been as great as we expected it could be."

"Oregon is becoming over-regulated on recycling facilities," he added.

DEQ officials could not be reached for comment by press time.

Low commodity prices are also a reason EG Metals, which has already laid off workers, is moving the shredder, Van Houten said. Ferrous metal prices EG Metals can fetch are less than one-quarter what they were a year and a half ago, he said.

"Look at the pricing," he said. "We're at the lowest price (since) before 2001 on literally every market."

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Report: Embattled Materials Processing Corp. shuts down

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:06
Report: Embattled Materials Processing Corp. shuts down

By Jared Paben, E-Scrap News

August 27, 2015

Materials Processing Corp., the Minneapolis-based e-scrap company fined by state regulators for improper storage of CRTs, has shut down operations.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports MPC shut down in the wake of state fines, the loss of e-Stewards certification and a drop in commodity prices.

E-Stewards investigated and withdrew MPC's certification for one year after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency levied a $125,000 fine against the company for stockpiling 2,500 tons of CRT glass in the Twin Cities area. MPC paid to move the material to a hazardous waste facility.

The company has been struggling financially for some time, court records indicate. The company used to have a processing facility in Philadelphia but, starting in August 2014, became embroiled in a legal battle with the landowner over alleged back-rent and damages.

While the case was proceeding, MPC told the landowner it was in financial distress and unless the landowner would accept a modest settlement paid over time, MPC's financial situation would continue to deteriorate, attorneys representing MPC wrote in court documents.

In July, MPC terminated its legal representation because it couldn't afford their services, court documents show. The attorneys said MPC owed them more than $60,000 in unpaid legal costs. MPC currently lack representation in the case.

Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, which created the e-Stewards standard, told E-Scrap News his group received a letter from MPC saying the company intended to appeal the suspension, but the appeal never came, and e-Stewards hasn't heard anything from the company since.

The Star Tribune reports competing companies OceanTech and Tech Dump have seen significant demand from former MPC customers.

MPC's listed phone number was disconnected as of Wednesday morning. The company did not respond to a request for an interview on the matter.

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It's not too late to register for E-Scrap 2015

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:05
It's not too late to register for E-Scrap 2015

August 27, 2015

As the week's news indicates, markets are tight and firms of all sizes are struggling to stay afloat. E-Scrap 2015, which takes place next week, is designed to help industry players navigate challenges and find hidden opportunities amid the upheaval.

From the always-bustling trade show floor to the discussions generated by two days of presentations and debate, the E-Scrap Conference is the annual meeting place for e-scrap processors and business owners from around the world. Don't miss out on the one event this year that can help you weather the tough market and look ahead toward continued growth.

E-Scrap 2015 is taking place Sept. 1-3, 2015 at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla. 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 on exhibiting, sponsoring and attending.

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California rare earth mine suspends production

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:05
California rare earth mine suspends production

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

August 27, 2015

Citing depressed prices, rare earth company Molycorp has decided to temporarily halt production at its Mountain Pass, Calif. mine, the company announced.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company announced it will transition the facility to a "care and maintenence" mode by Oct. 20. Its customers who rely on rare earths to produce magnets for electronics will not be affected, the company said.

Prices have fallen dramatically for rare earths over the past four years, the main reason Molycorp is suspending production at Mountain Pass, according to Molycorp, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

China mines the majority of rare earth elements used in electronics. In the late 2000s, China began limiting exports, sending prices to record levels in 2010 and spurring investment in U.S. production capacity and rare earth recycling efforts. Then, China relaxed export restrictions, and some companies found alternatives to rare earths.

A number of enterprises have been launched to recover rare earths from recovered electronics.

The open pit Mountain Pass mine, located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, produces lighter rare earth elements used in devices such as phones, but they fetch lower prices than the heavier ones mined at Molycorp's operation in Canada, according to The Denver Post.

The California mine was inactive from 2002 to 2010 and re-opened in mid-2014 after three years of facility improvements. Molycorp called it "one of the world's most technologically advanced, energy efficient and environmentally progressive rare earth facilities."

From the 1960s to the 1980s, the facility produced most of the world's rare earth elements.

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IDC: 2-in-1 devices expected to defy overall decline in tablet shipments

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:04
IDC: 2-in-1 devices expected to defy overall decline in tablet shipments

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

August 27, 2015

Shipments of new tablets are expected to drop further in 2015 than previously estimated, while shipments of 2-in-1 devices have a bright future, according to International Data Corp.

Meanwhile, mobile phone shipments are expected to grow this year, though at a lesser rate than predicted in an earlier forecast.

According to International Data Corp.'s (IDC) latest forecast, worldwide tablet shipments are expected to decline 8 percent in 2015. That's a steeper drop than IDC's previous forecast, which showed them dropping 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, global shipments in the 2-in-1 segment are forecast to grow 86.5 percent this year, IDC predicts. Devices in the 2-in-1 category are essentially combination laptops and tablets. The number expected to be shipped in 2015, 14.7 million devices, is still only about 7 percent of all tablets, according to IDC.

"In the past, the biggest challenges with 2-in-1 devices were high price points, less-than-appealing designs, and, quite frankly, lack of demand for Windows 8, which was the OS most devices were running," Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, stated in a press release.

Today, more electronics companies are producing 2-in-1 devices, increasing competition and driving down prices, according to IDC. Additionally, with the launch of Windows 10, the introduction of more Android-based products and the possibility Apple will release a larger, screen-detachable iPad, 2-in-1s are a form factor to watch, according to IDC.

IDC predicted mobile-phone global shipments to grow 10.4 percent in 2015. That projection is down from IDC's previous 11.3 percent year-over-year growth projection.

The slower growth is due to the expectation that China will settle into a more mature growth pattern, according to IDC.

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Patent watch

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:04
Patent watch

August 27, 2015

Manerbio, Italy's Danilo Domenico Molteni was awarded Patent Application No. 20110147279 for a kind of eddy current separator.

A method and system for separating and recovering wire and other metals from processed scrap is the subject of Patent Application No. 20110147501, given to Thomas Valerio from New Port Richey, Fla.

Patent Application No. 20110230689, concerning a system of processing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) via melting of the materials, was awarded to Victoria, Australia's P-Fuel Ltd.

James Akridge, from Tuscon, Ariz., was given Patent Application No. 20110274598, which describes a method of recovering metals from scrap electronic materials.

A portable device that can discern whether cells contain levels of toxic substances, such as those that are commonly found in scrap electronics, is the subject of Patent Application No. 20120045835, awarded to a group of Bologna, Italy-based researchers, led by Elisa Michelini.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database at patft.uspto.gov/.

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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Early birds get the workshops at E-Scrap 2015

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:04
Early birds get the workshops at E-Scrap 2015

August 27, 2015

As you finalize travel plans for next week's E-Scrap 2015, aim to be in Orlando early in the week to maximize your experience at North America's largest gathering of e-scrap professionals.

Tuesday, Sept. 1 will be packed with workshops and seminars offered by the leading groups in electronics recycling. Learn how to maximize mobile-device value and optimize business models with ISRI. Get up to speed on what R2, e-Stewards, RIOS and ISO certification can do for your operation. Digest the facts on state law updates from the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse. All that and more will await early arrivers.

To see complete details on the workshops and other extra events, click here. You will be able to register for the individual events as you register for the conference itself.

E-Scrap 2015 is taking place Sept. 1-3, 2015 at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla. Check in at e-scrapconference.com for the latest on exhibiting, sponsoring and attending.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:03
Certification scorecard

August 27, 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.

Global Ewaste Solutions of Guelph, Ontario is now certified to the e-Stewards and ISO 14001 standards. Knowledge Computers, a sister business to Global Ewaste that focuses on network hardware resale, also gained ISO 14001 certification.

Absolute Data Shredding of Norman, Okla.; American Document Services LLC of Las Cruces, N.M.; American Shredding Inc. of Salt Lake City; Mobile Documents Destruction of Kankakee, Ill.; Records Management Center of Bangor, Maine; River Mill Data Management, LLC of Columbus, Ga.; Safeguard Shredding LLC of Ft. Myers, Fla.; Secure Records Management Systems of Sanford, Maine; and TechnoCycle of Houston 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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Wide world of e-scrap

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:02
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

August 27, 2015

A Chinese consumer electronics company will launch a mobile phone recycling program but acknowledges the effort is unlikely to bring in beaucoup profits, and an advocacy group is New Zealand says the government needs to implement a product stewardship program for electronics.

Chinese consumer electronics company Meizu Technology will launch a mobile phone recycling program called "mCycle," Want China Times reports. A Meizu officials said he doesn't expect the recycling business to make much money but hopes it will help build its brand name. Chinese mobile phone dismantling companies generally run profit margins of under 10 percent, according to Want China Times.

U.K. nonprofit organization Techfortrade wants to bring 3-D printing technology to poor and developing countries, allowing them to turn discarded plastics into new products. Its program Retr3d aims to help them build cheap 3-D printing equipment from e-scrap, according to 3Dprint.com.

Students at a Kolkata university saw a lack of e-scrap collection opportunities, so they took matters into their own hands. Five students at Jadavpur University have started their own campaign to collect e-scrap, and they're planning to expand it to another university and a college, NDTV.com reports.

The organization behind New Zealand's eDay recycling events says the government is failing to provide a roadmap for sustainable e-scrap recycling. EDay Trust says a new government report has just sparked new fears about e-scrap ending up in landfills. The group advocates adoption of a product stewardship model for electronics.

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NewsBits from E-Scrap News

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 18:01
NewsBits

August 27, 2015

Convenient? Yes. Curbside collections of e-scrap certainly are that. But Jason Linnell, executive director of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, says the curbside model isn't the way to go with e-scrap. Weather can destroy reuse potential, scavengers can leave a mess of broken material and data thieves could get their hands on personal information, he writes.

The state electronics recycling program in Pennsylvania is broken, because electronics manufacturers aren't paying the true costs of recycling e-scrap, writes government relations firm Crisci Associates. The commentary, published in the PA Environment Digest, says collection locations are disappearing in the state, including in the most populous counties, and it advocates changes to the law.

Cohen Recycling has broken ground on a $7 million expansion of its e-scrap recycling facility in Middleton, Ohio. The expansion will house a new processing system allowing the company to process eight times the volume of e-scrap at that location, which is located between Cincinnati and Dayton. When complete, the system will be able to process more than 20,000 pounds of material per hour.

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Plastics-to-oil plants could face more scrutiny in Oregon

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:50
Plastics-to-oil plants could face more scrutiny in Oregon

By Jared Paben, Plastics Recycling Update

August 26, 2015

The Portland, Ore.-area government is proposing to regulate plastics-to-oil facilities because of concerns about impacts to neighboring properties.

Metro, which is tasked with managing the solid waste system in Oregon's largest urban area, proposes to require licensing and inspections of a variety of new facility types, including those converting plastics to fuel or oil. Metro already licenses and inspects construction and demolition debris sorting facilities and waste transfer stations.

Roy Brower, Metro solid waste compliance and cleanup director, told Plastics Recycling Update the facilities present various potential issues, including odors and dust. One in the Portland area accepted plastic food wrappings, presenting putrescibility issues, he said.

Regulatory programs should be proactive and work with facilities before issues crop up, Brower said.

The agency also wants to license and inspect materials recovery facilities (MRFs) sorting curbside materials. Brower said a switch to single-stream recycling has contributed to an increase in contamination, and MRFs are now more akin to solid waste processing facilities, raising issues for nearby properties.

"The big change really came when the area initially moved to a roll-cart system (starting around 2005) – that is when the management of recyclables started to have more of the nuisance, health and environmental risks that characterize other parts of the solid waste stream," Brower wrote in an email. "There was no specific incident that triggered Metro’s interest in licensing or inspections – but generally the recognition for Metro to play a larger role in assuring the integrity of the entire solid waste system."

If Metro's elected leaders approve the change, it would then work with the affected facilities and the public to develop administrative procedures, Brower said.

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Harvesting plastics from the agricultural sector

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:47
Harvesting plastics from the agricultural sector

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

August 26, 2015

Recovering mulch film, pesticide containers, drainage piping and much more was the focus of the Agricultural Plastics Recycling Conference (APRC 2015), held last week in San Diego.

Presentations on a plethora of aspects of the agricultural plastics recycling industry were offered at APRC 2015, the second year the conference was held.

A presentation from Rami Margalit of Netafim, a large producer of polyethylene drip irrigation pipe, addressed one of the largest issues facing ag plastics recycling: high contamination.

Margalit's firm had experience with the use of post-consumer plastics in making thin-wall pipe and found high levels of holes in the finished product, caused by contaminants in the recycled resin pellets. Following that experience, Margalit developed a way to test pellet loads for contamination. The system uses a lab extruder in a filter test, with pellets being put through 80/20 filters. The filters are then examined to determine contamination levels. The firm now tests every load and is encouraging large recycling suppliers to install their own filter-test systems.

In another presentation, Ron Perkins, executive director of the Ag Container Recycling Council (ACRC), offered an update on his 23-year-old nonprofit volunteer alliance of 37 pesticide producers and distributors that partner to recover one-way HDPE pesticides containers in 43 states. The plastics from triple-rinsed or pressure-washed containers are ground at collection sites and then shipped to one of six ACRC-approved end-use markets in the U.S., primarily corrugated pipe producers. ACRC has recovered 160 million pounds over the past 23 years.

Finally, Gene Jones, the head of the regional solid waste and recycling group SWIX offered a look at ag plastics recovery in Florida. According to Jones, farmers in the Sunshine State annually produce 40,000 tons of mulch film and drip pipe or tape and the state is struggling with how to handle this volume. One county offered as an example has more than 50,000 tons sitting in three monofills.

Jones highlighted one firm, FieldClean of Florida, which has developed a technology to pick up and clean film in the agricultural field, perhaps offering a way to recover some of Florida's ag film volumes.

Jones, who also was the conference planner, will present a full international assessment of ag plastics recovery as a speaker at Plastics Recycling 2016, scheduled for February 1-3 in New Orleans.

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Scrap plastics exports see month-to-month drop

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:43
Scrap plastics exports see month-to-month drop

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

August 26, 2015

While scrap plastics exports are up overall for the first half of 2015, the latest month-to-month levels show a decline in activity.


June, the most recent month for which figures are available, saw a decrease of 8.8 percent from May 2015 export levels, with 451.55 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in June 2015.

When matched against June 2014 levels, however, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by 11.4 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in June came in at 17.97 cents per pound, down 2.2 percent from its May 2015 standing. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 7.1 percent.

Through the first six months of 2015, at 2.39 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was up 2.8 percent from its 2014 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 18.40 cents per pound, the average price through June was down, however, by 5 percent from its 2014 YTD standing.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices under downward pressure

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:42
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices under downward pressure

August 26, 2015

Last week clear rPET flake from high-grade curbside bottles was reported sold at 47 to 48 cents per pound. FDA-sanctioned pellets were holding just above 70 cents per pound.

Spot prime PET prices were also steady last week, with bottle-grade PET delivered by rail to the Midwest reported at 62 to 65 cents per pound. But the prime PET market is under strong downward pressure due to weakening feedstock MEG and PTA prices as well as sharply lower crude prices.

This market scenario is expected to make an impact on vulnerable recycled PET prices too, certainly by September.

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 petrochemwire.com. You can also contact Cindy Bryan at cindy@petrochemwire.com or (713) 385-1407.

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Major investment group puts $15 million behind PET recycling firm

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:40
Major investment group puts $15 million behind PET recycling firm

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

August 26, 2015

Global investment company Franklin Templeton Investments is backing a Beijing-based company that produces PET bottle recycling kiosks.

Plastics News reports the San Mateo, Calif.-based firm invested $15 million in Incom Renewable Resources Recovery.  The company says it recovers 110 million pounds of plastic containers annually and it's the only one in China producing recycled bottle-grade PET chips. 

Its subsidiary, Incom Recycle Co., founded in 2008, makes kiosks that accept PET beverage containers and pay the consumer based on the material's value.  The machines scan the bar code, weigh the container (returning those with too much liquid in them), crush the container and provide credits to the consumer on a card.

Currently, the machines are placed in Beijing subway, bus facilities, schools, malls, office buildings and other public places.  The company also recently launched an on-call, at-home recycling collection service for plastics, paper and appliances.

Founded as Franklin Distributors in 1947, Franklin Templeton is a global investment firm managing assets for people and organizations in 150 countries.

 

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Patent watch

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:39
Patent watch

August 26, 2015

Patent No. 9,089,878, which describes a bottle-cleaning operation that removes labels and other foreign bodies with an abrasive, was given to Meckesheim, Germany-based Herbold Meckesheim GmbH.

A two-phase NIR plastics sortation device is the subject of Patent No. 9,101,963, awarded to Oberburen, Switzerland's Buhler Thermal Processes AG.

The Woodlands, Texas' Americas Styrenics LLC has developed a styrenic resin incorporating recycled polystyrene and was given Patent No. 9,096,698.

Patent Nos. 9,114,551 and 9,114,552 were awarded to Wisconsin Film & Bag, Inc., headquartered in Shawano, Wis. for a system and a method of recycling post-consumer scrap plastic film.

Aetrex Worldwide, Inc., from Teaneck, N.J., was given Patent No. 9,114,580, for a method of making athletic shoes or other goods from recycled materials, in particular, recovered athletic shoes.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database at patft.uspto.gov/.

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 from Plastics Recycling Update

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 16:37
NewsBits

August 26, 2015

Digitaltrends.com, citing the American Chemistry Council, provided a rundown for consumers on what those numbers mean on their plastics. The hope is to reduce some of the confusion for members of the public.

NASA has created a visualization showing where plastics accumulate in oceans around the world. The Daily Mail covers the release of the video, which is based on data from buoys released into the oceans. The visualization shows huge patches in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

In other ocean plastics news, a Chile-based company has set up fishing net collections so the plastic material can be recycled into skateboard and sunglasses. The Boston Herald features the company, Buero, which founded by a Bay State native and supported by the New England Aquarium. The company has set up collection points in Chile but plans to expand to the U.S.

Cities and counties in California continue to ban thin plastic bags, despite a referendum that delayed the July 1, 2015, statewide bag ban, according to advocacy group California vs. Big Plastic. Since then, the city of American Canyon passed a ban. San Diego and several other communities are also considering bans, according to the group.

 

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Contamination spawns tighter MRF policies in one city

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 18:18
Contamination spawns tighter MRF policies in one city

By Jared Paben, Resource Recycling

August 25, 2015

An evolving ton with more contamination is one reason the Portland, Ore.-area regional government is moving toward licensing and inspecting MRFs, an official said.

Metro, which is tasked with managing the solid waste system in Oregon's largest urban area, proposes to require licensing of a variety of new facility types, including MRFs handling household recyclable materials. The agency already licenses and inspects C&D sorting facilities and waste transfer stations.

Metro's interest isn't in how the facilities sort and process materials; it's more about ensuring the MRFs don't affect neighboring properties, Roy Brower, Metro solid waste compliance and cleanup director, told Resource Recycling.

A switch to single-stream recycling has contributed to an increase in contamination, and today, MRFs are more akin solid waste processing facilities, he said. They need more people and equipment for sorting recyclable materials from garbage, and their disposal costs have increased.

Some of those facilities store bales attracting rats near residential and public areas, he said.

"The big change really came when the area initially moved to a roll cart system (starting around 2005) – that is when the management of recyclables started to have more of the nuisance, health and environmental risks that characterize other parts of the solid waste stream," Brower said. "There was no specific incident that triggered Metro’s interest in licensing or inspections – but generally the recognition for Metro to play a larger role in assuring the integrity of the entire solid waste system."

Metro's code change, if approved by the agency's elected leaders, could affect nine sorting facilities, including those operated by Far West Recycling, which operates three MRFs in the Portland area, and fiber recovery giants WestRock and Smurfit Kappa Corp.

Metro would work with the affected sorting facilities and the public to develop draft administrative procedures, Brower said.

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Well-funded battery recycling startup breaks ground

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 18:17
Well-funded battery recycling startup breaks ground

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

August 25, 2015

A company using a unique technology for extracting lead from lead-acid batteries has begun construction of a $30 million facility in Nevada.

Oakland, Calif.-based startup company Aqua Metals has broken ground on the recycling plant near Reno, Nev., the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

The company recycles lead from batteries through a proprietary process called "AquaRefining," which uses an electro-chemical process to produce lead from recovered batteries, according to the company's initial public offering (IPO) description. The company raised $33 million in its IPO.

The vast majority of recovered lead-acid batteries are those that come from automobiles.

"AquaRefining offers a significant reduction in production cost over smelting, which is the existing method of producing lead," according to the description. "We also believe that AquaRefining significantly reduces the environmental emissions, health concerns and the permitting, logistics and transport challenges associated with lead smelting."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided the company a $42.4 million guaranteed business loan, which the company used to buy land and build the facility, the Reno newspaper reports. A USDA spokeswoman said the company will use the water-based process to remove an estimated 88 tons of lead per day.

The company said it has the potential to locate multiple smaller recycling facilities closer to the sources of used lead-acid batteries, reducing costs.

"The modular nature of AquaRefining makes it possible to start lead production at a much smaller scale than is possible with smelters, thereby significantly reducing the investment risk associated with building a conventional smelter-based lead production facility," according to the company. "Our plan is to actively explore distributed recycling in the U.S. by establishing our own initial recycling operation near Reno, Nevada."

That facility, at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, is expected to begin operations in May 2016.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Book your hotel room now

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 18:16
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Book your hotel room now

August 25, 2015

The Resource Recycling Conference is proud to have chosen the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown as this year's conference venue and host hotel. To receive the discounted conference rate of $179 plus taxes, reservations must be made by Sept. 3, 2015.

Don't delay – ensure you get the best hotel rate possible at the premier conference for recycling industry decision-makers. Book your reservations here.

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

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