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Shipping group suggests rate hikes for exports to Asia

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:55
Shipping group suggests rate hikes for exports to Asia

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Oct. 16, 2014

A group of major container shipping companies recently recommended rate increases for shipping recyclables — including scrap electronics — and other low-margin materials to Asia.

The move from firms in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Westbound group was announced Oct. 8, and it comes in response to price trends that carriers say were not sustainable.

"Many base cargo rates in the westbound transpacific market are approaching levels that do not justify carriage, especially when you take into account offsetting destination costs such as equipment cleaning and repair and local delivery," Brian Conrad, TSA-Westbound executive administrator, said in a press release announcing the recommended rate increases.

TSA-Westbound is advising minimum rates of $300 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Los Angeles/Long Beach, and $750 per FEU for all-water U.S. East and Gulf Coast shipments. The new rates go into effect Nov. 1 and are recommended by the group for shipments of recovered paper, hay, and metal and plastic scrap to China base ports.

TSA-Westbound's announcement noted more increases are expected in December "and beyond,"and they come roughly a year after TSA-Westbound announced a similar rate increase recommendation.

According to a TSA spokesperson, the group has never before recommended minimum price levels.

For a number of years, companies exporting scrap materials to Asia have been able to secure cheap shipping on vessels that had brought goods from China and other Asian nations to the U.S. and were searching for cargo to haul on their return voyages. Shipping companies say soft demand and rising costs in recent years have forced them to set new minimum rates. In essence, they are saying it is more cost effective to send back empty containers to Asia than it is to haul low-margin materials at current rates.

TSA-Westbound is made up of the following firms: APL, Ltd.; China Shipping Container Lines; CMA-CGM; COSCO Container Lines, Ltd.; Evergreen Line; Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.; Hapag Lloyd AG; Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Maersk Line; Mediterranean Shipping Co.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K. Line); Orient Overseas Container Line, Ltd.; Yangming Marine Transport Corp.; and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

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E-Scrap 2014: Form factor in focus

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:52
E-Scrap 2014: Form factor in focus

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 16, 2014

As gadgets have transitioned from our desks to our laps to our hands, processors and refurbishers have had to deal with new challenges to effectively dismantle or repair.
At next week's E-Scrap 2014, an intriguing session will help attendees better understand how form factor changes are having an impact on the used electronics sector. Presenters will also offer potential solutions in product design and repairability.

This form factor discussion is just one of many opportunities available at E-Scrap 2014 to better understand where our industry is headed and how to most effectively navigate a landscape full of challenges and opportunities. Book your spot today and ensure your firm’s long-term competitive edge.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.


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PC shipments continue to beat odds

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:40
PC shipments continue to beat odds

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Oct. 16, 2014

While not quite the year of the PC, 2014 has continued to see global shipments outperform expectations in that arena.

New data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows PC shipments during the third quarter of 2014 were down by 1.7 percent compared to shipments during 2013's Q3. Experts, however, had pegged shipments to be down 4.1 percent.

The major driver of the better-than-expected numbers comes down to shipments from the top 5 PC firms. Global shipments from Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer Group and Apple were up an average of 9.3 percent year-over-year, according IDC. Acer Group saw shipments grow the most — by 11.4 percent — while all firms posted at least 5 percent growth during the quarter.

On the year, IDC now expects PC shipments to be down 3.7 percent compared to 2013 after originally expecting a 6 percent drop. The anticipated drop is due to rapidly growing shipments of tablets, phablets and smartphones, devices that are beginning to mirror and duplicate many of the functions once thought to be PC-specific.

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App aims to highlight e-Stewards impact

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:38
App aims to highlight e-Stewards impact

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 16, 2014

The e-Stewards certification has released a smartphone app to help make the case for using their certified firms.

The "e-Stewards Global Impact Calculator," currently available for free on Apple devices and coming soon to the Android platform, measures the environmental benefits of opting to go through e-Stewards certified recycling firms.

Jim Puckett, executive director at e-Stewards administration body Basel Action Network (BAN), says certified firms "now have an easy tool to show their business customers the demonstrable impacts they are making towards a safer, greener, more just world, simply by utilizing e-Stewards refurbishers or recyclers."

Those "demonstrable impacts" are measured by estimating the amount of greenhouse gases avoided by recycling or reuse as well as the amount of "toxic metals diverted from landfill or global dumping" and, conversely, the amount of "valuable and precious metals recovered."

Since launching in 2010, the e-Stewards standard has developed an additional Enterprise level certification, which has thus far garnered the support of more than 60 cities and companies who've pledged to work with 70-plus certified recycling operations across the country.


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International Computer Refurbisher Summit heads to Denver

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:36
International Computer Refurbisher Summit heads to Denver

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 16, 2014

The Mile High City will play host to the 11th annual International Computer Refurbisher Summit next month.

Taking place Nov. 11-12 at the Westin Denver Downtown, the Summit will bring together leaders from the global computer refurbishment and recycling space to address the most pressing issues facing the industry today. A Microsoft Imaging Training Class will headline pre-conference events on Nov. 10, a day that will also feature a Right to Repair group meet up and an R2/RIOS crash course in getting certified, while International Computer Refurbisher Summit (ICRS) presentations will cover the full gamut of topics, challenges and opportunities facing the refurb space.

To find out more, head on over to the ICRS website.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:34
Certification scorecard

Oct. 16, 2014

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.

Document Shredding & Storage of Lubbock, Texas; Hill's Shred Express of Ocala, Florida; Kodiak Information Management of Lynchburg, Virginia; Proshred Security of Fishers, Indiana; Proshred of Georgia of Norcross, Georgia; ReadyOne Industries of El Paso, Texas; Sound Shredding & Recycling of Bellingham, Washington; Super Shred of Greenville, North Carolina and Xpresshred, LLC of Englewood, Colorado 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 at www.tinyurl.com/Certified-E-scrap.

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E-Scrap 2014: See the premiere of "The E-Waste Tragedy"

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:31
E-Scrap 2014: See the premiere of "The E-Waste Tragedy"

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 16, 2014

The contentious issue of scrap electronics exports is looked at by a new documentary from filmmaker Cosima Dannoritzer, and attendees of next week's E-Scrap Conference will have the chance to participate in a dialogue with industry leaders after the screening.

Dannoritzer's "The E-Waste Tragedy" will be making its U.S. premiere at the conference. The screening is set for 7 p.m. at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel in Orlando, Florida. The 86-minute film will be followed by an open discussion that all attendees are encouraged to take part in.

To see the trailer for "The E-Waste Tragedy," click here.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. To register and get all the latest conference information, head to e-scrapconference.com.

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NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:25
NewsBits

Oct. 16, 2014

Wisconsin's Chippewa County is ceasing its free drop-off program for end-of-life electronics collection. A county recycling official said the move comes as a response to "recent changes in the state's recycling program."

The U.S. EPA has awarded a $52,000 grant to nonprofit organization Fundación Hélice to collect e-scrap along the U.S.-Mexico border. The funding is part of a larger water pollution prevention initiative.

Vietnam is set to implement a national electronics recycling initiative that will require equipment manufacturers and product importers to establish collection sites for e-scrap. The mandate goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

With a new version of Apple's iPad expected to be announced this week, ecoATM undertook a survey to find out which features on an updated device would most likely spur consumers to trade in their existing tablets and purchase the latest technology. Faster processing capability was the deciding factor most often cited, but the study also found 58 percent of respondents are satisfied with current models and will not be upgrading in the immediate future.

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ACC study finds plastics-to-oil potential

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:08
ACC study finds plastics-to-oil potential

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Oct. 15, 2014

A new study suggests the plastics-to-oil industry is primed for growth and could divert an additional 6.5 million tons of non-recycled plastics each year.

In "Economic Impact of Plastics-to-Oil Facilities in the U.S.," the American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports the U.S. "could support" between 350 and 600 new plastics-to-oil (PTO) facilities. Constructing those sites would cost $6.6 billion in private investment, but would lead to as many as 38,900 jobs and as much as 6.5 million tons of materials diversion annually.

ACC also says those 350 to 600 facilities could generate nearly $9 billion in economic output.

"Plastics-to-oil technologies have the potential to create thousands of jobs for skilled workers, contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, cut our carbon emissions, and dramatically reduce the landfilling of a valuable energy source," said Jon Angin, vice president of business development at Agilyx Corporation and chairman of ACC’s Plastics-to-Oil Technologies Alliance, in a press release.

Noting recycling and reuse are "the preferred methods of plastics recovery," the new report posits PTO technology "complements plastics recycling." By diverting 20 percent of the 32.5 million tons of plastics landfilled in the U.S. in 2011, the report notes, PTO technology would lead to a sizable increase in diversion rates without cutting into rising plastics recycling rates.

The PTO process, which has become a much scrutinized and thought-over approach for the industry, essentially heats material down to a gas, which then is liquefied and turned into oil. A relatively new approach, PTO is being looked at by various firms throughout the country.

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APR meeting offers recycling assessment of new packaging

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:06
APR meeting offers recycling assessment of new packaging

By Jerry Powell, Plastics Recycling Update

Oct. 15, 2014

More than 170 recycling leaders met last week in Southern California to address current and future issues affecting the recycling of plastics packaging. One of the highlights was hearing how a number of plastic packaging innovations may interact with the recycling stream.

The meeting, which was sponsored by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and had the largest attendance of any gathering in the group’s history, offered updates on a much-lauded APR program in which plastics packaging designers come before the organization to assess a new product’s recyclability before the package is introduced into the marketplace. A handful of new packaging concepts received attention in San Diego.

Jim Kulp of Plastipak focused on direct-printed labels for HDPE. The technology (direct-object printing) entails UV-cured polymer with a high melting point (600 degrees Fahrenheit). The labeling is for a co-polymer HDPE bottle, with the printing likely to be used on the shoulder of the bottle. Research undertaken by Plastics Forming Enterprises (PFE), a major testing laboratory, shows that labeled containers meet all the critical guidance steps of APR.

A new shrink- sleeve label was described by Pascal Champion from Sleever, the global label producer with a large label plant in Canada. The 40-year-old French firm, which sells labels to many beverage and food packagers, has developed a low-density PET label, and the company hopes it can be separated out in PET bottle recycling. PFE tested bottles with printed and unprinted labels by putting them through washing and oven testing. In the end, researchers found the label passed APR’s guidance steps.

Array extrusion blow molding resins, meanwhile, were portrayed by Greg McMillan of DAK Americas, which produces PET and PTA and makes fiber. In addition, DAK is co-owner with Shaw Industries of Clear Path Recycling, the PET reclaimer. DAK wants to produce a resin to be used in making clear PET large-handled containers that are recyclable. To determine the feasibility of this, Array resin bottles were ground up, washed and elutriated to produce clean flake for testing. The PFE research looked at several recycling issues, with the new resin passing general APR technical muster, although additional research is required.

Rob Flores of Berry Plastics outlined a recent innovation — Versalite, a new product in the PP stream. Versalite is an insulated, microcellular, reverse-printed PP packaging material for use in hot cups. The potential market approaches 200 million pounds per year. But is it recyclable? To answer this question, Berry Plastics, which is one of the largest PP users in the world, worked with a number of parties — including PTI (the second major testing laboratory), KW Plastics, Waste Management and Sims — to determine if the package could be recovered at MRFs by optical or manual means and then successfully processed by a PP reclaimer and used by a PP consumer.

The association recognized two firms for their participation in APR’s critical guidance program. UPM Raflatac was cited for its development of a shrink sleeve label for use on PET bottles that does not hinder the recycling of the container. Indorma was given recognition for a new PET resin.

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No movement for HDPE bottle recycling rate

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 22:01
No movement for HDPE bottle recycling rate

By Dan Leif, Plastics Recycling Update

Oct. 15, 2014

A study released today by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) shows the 2013 recycling rate for HDPE bottles was 31.6 percent, identical to the 2012 rate.

The figure was identified in the "National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report," which is produced annually by the two industry groups.

Last week the national PET bottle recycling rate was announced, and that figure grew by 0.4 percentage points in 2013 to reach 31.2 percent. According to the ACC and APR, PET and HDPE bottles account for roughly 96 percent of the U.S. plastic bottle recycling rate. With HDPE flat and PET up a hair, it is not surprising that the groups found the overall plastic bottle recycling rate grew by 0.4 percentage points in 2013, to 30.9 percent.

Looking at the PET and HDPE figures together, a number of trends can be ascertained.

First, exports of plastic bottles have been down sharply compared with previous years. Exports of HDPE dropped last year 19 percent compared with 2012, to 163 million pounds. On the PET front, exports were at their lowest level in 10 years.

The overall volume of plastic bottles collected as well as the overall volume available both rose in 2013. The nation is using and collecting more of these containers than ever before. Collection of plastic bottles grew by 120 million pounds in 2013, up 4.3 percent, to 2.906 billion pounds.

However, while overall resin consumption is rising, per capita resin use has yet to return to its peak, which came in 2007. Because of continuing effects of the economic recession and trends toward lightweighting among product manufacturers, per capita resin figures have grown slowly in recent years. Per capita resin use grew by 2.3 percent last year, "a welcome increase after five years of little or no growth," according to the report.

On the reclaimer front, HDPE capacity utilization rose to 72 percent in 2013, up from 68 percent the year prior. The PET report issued last week indicated reclaimers' plant utilization rate for all PET feedstock was also approximately 72 percent, an increase of 9 percentage points from 2012.

Finally, the average of reported yield values of HDPE bales to clean HDPE pellets in 2013 was 81.4 percent, up slightly from 81.3 percent in 2012. The PET report stated national yield rates for that material ranged from 75 percent for deposit bottles to 69 percent for curbside material and 77 percent for California CRV.

According the report issued today, "The yield situation is different for recycling HDPE and PET bottles. For PET bottles, the labels are not recovered as PET while for HDPE bottles labels may be recovered as HDPE. Contamination in bales of HDPE bottles and PET bottles presented an ongoing challenge to reclaimers."

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Shipping group suggests rate hikes for exports to Asia

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 21:54
Shipping group suggests rate hikes for exports to Asia

By Dan Leif, Plastics Recycling Update

Oct. 15, 2014

A group of major container shipping companies recently recommended rate increases for shipping recyclables — including plastics — and other low-margin materials to Asia.

The move from firms in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Westbound group was announced Oct. 8, and it comes in response to price trends that carriers say were not sustainable.

"Many base cargo rates in the westbound transpacific market are approaching levels that do not justify carriage, especially when you take into account offsetting destination costs such as equipment cleaning and repair and local delivery," Brian Conrad, TSA-Westbound executive administrator, said in a press release announcing the recommended rate increases.

TSA-Westbound is advising minimum rates of $300 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Los Angeles/Long Beach, and $750 per FEU for all-water U.S. East and Gulf Coast shipments. The new rates go into effect Nov. 1 and are recommended by the group for shipments of recovered paper, hay, and metal and plastic scrap to China base ports.

TSA-Westbound's announcement noted more increases are expected in December "and beyond," and they come roughly a year after TSA-Westbound announced a similar rate increase recommendation.

According to a TSA spokesperson, the group has never before recommended minimum price levels.

For a number of years, companies exporting scrap materials to Asia have been able to secure cheap shipping on vessels that had brought goods from China and other Asian nations to the U.S. and were searching for cargo to haul on their return voyages. Shipping companies say soft demand and rising costs in recent years have forced them to set new minimum rates. In essence, they are saying it is more cost effective to send back empty containers to Asia than it is to haul low-margin materials at current rates.

TSA-Westbound is made up of the following firms: APL, Ltd.; China Shipping Container Lines; CMA-CGM; COSCO Container Lines, Ltd.; Evergreen Line; Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.; Hapag Lloyd AG; Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Maersk Line; Mediterranean Shipping Co.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K. Line); Orient Overseas Container Line, Ltd.; Yangming Marine Transport Corp.; and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

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Technical and market trends grab focus in San Diego

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 21:45
Technical and market trends grab focus in San Diego

By Jerry Powell, Plastics Recycling Update

Oct. 15, 2014

Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers members last week were presented details on several recent issues affecting plastics packaging recovery. In addition, the association launched a new program aimed at olefins and detailed work on rigid plastics.

Dave Bellon from QRS discussed PRFs (plastics recovery facilities) which can handle what he called “end of the line plastics,” or the polymer residues generated in local materials recovery facilities (MRFs). QRS is a firm that has engaged in recycling for 40 years and changed its focus in the past five years to address key processing issues. The firm has jumped in a big way into the sorting of plastic containers Nos. 3-7 by operating large PRFs in Atlanta; Baltimore; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis. Bellon recommends positively sorting contaminants (mostly fiber) to generate a negatively sorted mixed plastic bale, with QRS even accepting bales with black plastics. “We like black,” he concluded.

Producers of container sorting systems are adjusting to current market conditions, says Karel Wendl of PELLENC. The 12-year-old French company is one of the leading producers of resin sorting units and notes the company has developed units to address new sorting requirements, such as distinguishing between PE and PP, sorting and diverting black plastics, distinguishing and separating PET bottles and PET trays, and separating PET-G or PVC sleeved bottles from other PET containers.

APR has expanded its member-driven technical work to now include an olefin technical committee, with the group’s work to be based in part on the association’s decades-long committee work on PET recycling issues. Some 50 members attended the first olefins technical committee meeting in San Diego. A formal group of about 10 to 14 will be established, with this committee and its task groups looking at three important steps, these being:

  • Compiling APR’s previous documentation and research supporting olefins recycling and list the gaps found, such as the potential that new test methods are needed for PE and PP.
  • Addressing PE and PP resin separation concerns.
  • Focusing on olefin package design and its impact on recycling collection and processing. An example would be a PET-G label on a HDPE container and the resulting potential for misidentification by optical sorting systems.

Rigid plastics packaging also received attention last week. Some 36 APR member companies are involved in an APR effort to boost the recovery of non-bottle rigid plastics packaging, such as crates and buckets. Much of the focus at the subcommittee level is on PP rigids, as well as PET thermoforms. The committee has bale sorts underway at three rigid plastic processors, with combined data due in February. This entails separating the packaging in bales into a dozen categories. The work follows on a similar sorting study four years ago and is funded in part by the American Chemistry Council. Another important task is to promote rigid plastic recovery among grocery chains nationwide by urging them bale and sell rigids.

And APR itself continues to move forward. With 150 member companies, APR has seen sizable growth in recent years, with its annual budget now exceeding $1 million. The group has established a tax-exempt charitable foundation to better help expand plastics recycling in North America.

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 21:32
NewsBits

Oct. 15, 2014

This week the Foodservice Packaging Institute launched the Foam Recycling Coalition to help drive more recycling of post-consumer expanded polystyrene (EPS). The group's first action was backing a study that identified 140 companies that process or consume post-consumer EPS. Next, the initiative will aim to build a program to help MRFs better handle the material.

After a string of late-summer fatalities at U.S. recycling facilities, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has declared Oct. 15 Safety Stand-Down Day and is encouraging firms and employees to dedicate time on that date to focus on safety education. "Since early August, we have suffered at least 11 fatalities and multiple critical injuries at facilities owned by, or associated with, ISRI members and at some non-ISRI member owned facilities," the group said in a press release. "This is a disturbing trend that must be stopped."

An effort to put a bottle bill referendum on the ballot in Ohio was recently allowed to move forward by the state's attorney general. The proposed constitutional amendment, which now must pass the Ohio Ballot Board, would require the state legislature to pass deposit legislation.

 

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PET bottle recycling rate holds steady in 2013

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:36
PET bottle recycling rate holds steady in 2013

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

A recent report shows the U.S. PET bottle recycling rate was 31.2 percent last year, a slight rise from 2012's 30.8 percent mark.

The recycling rate was determined by a pair of industry groups and announced in a report made public last week.

In 2013, 1.798 billion pounds of PET bottle material was collected for recycling, an 80 million pound increase from the previous year. Representatives from the groups behind the study – the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) – note those collection increases were a product of upticks in material from states with bottle deposit legislation, as well as continued growth in single-stream and commercial recycling programs, which brought more PET into materials recovery facilities (MRFs) nationwide.

The total volume of bottles available for recycling in the U.S. also rose from 2012 to 2013, increasing by 178 million pounds to 5.764 billion pounds.

The study also notes that due to reduced demand for mixed plastic bales brought about by China's Green Fence policy (which hit its peak in 2013), "MRFs may have been incentivized to move materials from mixed resin bales to PET bales."

The trend toward lighter and smaller bottles among beverage makers is again noted as a factor holding back recycling rate growth in the PET arena. The report also indicates some states with developed curbside recycling programs reported declines in total weight collected.

China's Green Fence also seems to have made an impact on the tonnages of PET bottle material exported from the U.S. Roughly 469 million pounds of collected material, or 26 percent, was exported in 2013. That's the lowest volume since 2004 and the lowest by percentage of total collection since 2000.

U.S. reclaimers, however, increased consumption of U.S. bottles by 17 percent, compared with 2012.

"Despite very real challenges for PET recyclers due to limited supply and decreasing bale yields, this report shows a maturing, entrepreneurial industry that continues to innovate and find new material sources and process efficiencies," said Scott Saunders, APR chairman and general manager at KW Plastics Recycling Division. "Notably, domestic recyclers are contributing more than 790 million pounds of material back into U.S. production of new PET packaging; this is a significant demonstration of domestic closed loop manufacturing."

Over the past decade, U.S. PET bottle recycling rates have climbed each year. The 0.4 percentage point climb between 2012 and 2013 is the second-smallest increase the industry has seen in that time frame. The only time it was smaller was between 2010 and 2011, when the rate went from 29.1 percent to 29.3 percent, according to figures supplied in the most recent report.

Between 2011 and 2012 the rate increased from 29.3 percent to 30.8 percent.

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Los Angeles gets $50 million trash-sorting MRF

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:32
Los Angeles gets $50 million trash-sorting MRF

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

A multi-million dollar mega MRF opened this week in the Sun Valley area of Los Angeles, and it will aim to divert recyclables in the commercial and multifamily waste stream.

The MRF, run by Athens Services and expected to process 1,500 tons of material per day, cost a reported $50 million to plan, permit and build. It will process commingled waste and recyclables – functioning as a mixed waste processing facility, or "dirty" MRF – from commercial businesses, apartments and condominium complexes in and around the Sun Valley area.

The company website states that the facility is 80,000 square feet and "a first of its kind in Los Angeles." The equipment was designed manufactured and installed by Bulk Handling Systems and also features Nihot air and NRT optical technologies. More than 100 workers have been hired to work at the facility and wages will range from $12 to $20 per hour.

The city's website notes "some areas within the County of Los Angeles utilize commingled collection," allowing residents to forgo source separation.

The Sun Valley neighborhood, which is part of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, is roughly 10 square miles in size and has a population of just over 80,000.

Athens has run another mixed waste processing operation at its City of Industry, California MRF since 1996 and is in the final stages of bringing a similar facility to Irwindale, California.

Various cities, including Houston and Indianapolis, have recently been looking into the approach as a way to boost recovery efforts within their municipal solid waste streams. Montgomery, Alabama opened a MSW-sorting MRF this year.

Many industry critics claim these facilities don't produce a clean-enough recyclable material stream from the trash and organics and have called for continued source-separation of recyclables.

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Shipping group suggests hike rates for exports to Asia

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:29
Shipping group suggests hike rates for exports to Asia

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

A group of major container shipping companies recently announced plans to increase the recommended rates for shipping recyclables and other low-margin materials to Asia.

The move from firms in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Westbound group was announced Oct. 8, and it comes in response to price trends that carriers say were not sustainable.

“Many base cargo rates in the westbound transpacific market are approaching levels that do not justify carriage, especially when you take into account offsetting destination costs such as equipment cleaning and repair and local delivery,” Brian Conrad, TSA-Westbound executive administrator, said in a press release announcing the recommended rate increases.

TSA-Westbound is advising minimum rates of $300 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Los Angeles/Long Beach, and $750 per FEU for all-water U.S. East and Gulf Coast shipments. The new rates go into effect Nov. 1 and are recommended by the group for shipments of recovered paper, hay, and metal and plastic scrap to China base ports.

TSA-Westbound's announcement noted more increases are expected in December "and beyond," and they come roughly a year after TSA-Westbound announced a similar rate increase recommendation.

For a number of years, companies exporting scrap materials to Asia have been able to secure cheap shipping on vessels that had brought goods from China and other Asian nations to the U.S. and were searching for cargo to haul on their return voyages. Shipping companies say soft demand and rising costs in recent years have forced them to set new minimum rates.

TSA-Westbound is made up of the following firms: APL, Ltd.; China Shipping Container Lines; CMA-CGM; COSCO Container Lines, Ltd.; Evergreen Line; Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.; Hapag Lloyd AG; Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Maersk Line; Mediterranean Shipping Co.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K. Line); Orient Overseas Container Line, Ltd.; Yangming Marine Transport Corp.; and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

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Glass buyer eCullet done in New Jersey

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:27
Glass buyer eCullet done in New Jersey

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

One of America's largest glass processors has closed its Northeast outpost.

The Camden, New Jersey facility of California-based eCullet has not been operating "for some time," a recent court document states. Sued by its Camden landlord for leaving behind "vast quantities of trash" at the location, eCullet says it is now "negotiating with a potential buyer for the equipment at the Camden Property and other properties" to finance the cleanup.

It is unclear whether any of the company's other properties – with two in California and additional hubs in St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon – have closed or will close in the near future.  The company's lawyer, Jason Halper, and president and CEO, Craig London, did not return requests for comment.

Melinda Beer with CalRecycle told Resource Recycling, "I don’t have anything to report," with regard to the two California sites of eCullet.

The firm has been a proponent of "glass-to-glass," or "bottle-to-bottle," recycling and was able to secure as much as $38 million in investments back in 2011. Historically, recycling old bottles into new ones has been time-intensive, complicated and costly, but eCullet has sought to push forward color sortation technology.

If the Camden equipment sale goes through, the company plans to put roughly $700,000 toward removing 20,000 tons of material it has amassed at its Camden site. In the court document, Halper stated removal charges are expected to cost $35 per ton.

The landlord lawsuit filed against eCullet was remanded to a lower New Jersey court earlier this month.

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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:24
NewsBits

Oct. 14, 2014

The City of Boulder, Colorado and nonprofit recycling group Eco-Cycle have launched a unique effort to get businesses in the municipality to boost their materials diversion efforts. Residents have been given recycling cards that they can hand off to the businesses they frequent – the cards offer praise for the establishment's recycling activity or encourage them to do more. City statistics show businesses in Boulder currently divert 28 percent of their waste, a figure that is far below the residential recycling and compost rate of 60 percent.

In an effort to highlight the extensive use of disposable coffee cups, the Canadian group Binners' Project recently offered 5 cents for each one of the products turned in during a one-day rally in Vancouver. The effort collected 55,000 cups, which were brought to a local recycling facility.

After a string of late-summer fatalities at U.S. recycling facilities, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has declared Oct. 15 Safety Stand-Down Day and is encouraging firms and employees to dedicate time on that date to focus on safety education. "Since early August, we have suffered at least 11 fatalities and multiple critical injuries at facilities owned by, or associated with, ISRI members and at some non-ISRI member owned facilities," the group said in a press release. "This is a disturbing trend that must be stopped."

A large residential and research development planned at Cambridge University in the U.K. is slated to feature an underground holding system for recyclables. The plan calls for 450 subterranean bins that will serve roughly 3,000 homes, and the receptacles will be outfitted with sensors that allow haulers to track material levels at each site.

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Family ties threaten Creative Recycling equipment deal

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 00:41
Family ties threaten Creative Recycling equipment deal

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Oct. 9, 2014

The counsel for fallen processor Creative Recycling Systems has raised questions about familial connections between Creative and the firm slated to buy $700,000 worth of equipment from it.

In a court document dated Oct. 6, Creative's legal representative, Jay Verona, writes that "additional facts" have surfaced regarding the relationship between Creative and 3S International, the firm interested in purchasing Creative's Bluebox technology. Tampa, Florida-based Creative filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, and a Florida judge approved the Bluebox deal on Sept. 30.

3S International's minority owner, Verona's subsequent research has found, is Joe Yob, the former senior vice president of Creative and the brother of Creative founder Jon Yob. Another family member formerly employed by Creative — Gina Yob, a cousin of Joe and Jon Yob — also works for 3S as vice president of sales and marketing.

Jon Yob served as president at Creative for 18 years before selling the company to an investor group in 2012.

According to Verona, the Yob family connections were not known prior to the Bluebox sales agreement but could raise questions surrounding original claims that Michigan-based 3S was "neither an 'insider' nor an 'affiliate' of CRS."

Verona said 3S' lawyer, Michael Watkins, "stated that Jon Yob is not affiliated with 3S" when Verona inquired on the possible business connection.

Verona added the family connections do not make the deal illegal or void. "It’s just one of many factors that the bankruptcy court would consider in determining whether the sale is in the best interests of the bankruptcy estate," he said.

Originally, Creative had requested and gained approval from the Florida judge to sell the company's Bluebox equipment to 3S for $700,000.

In a court document, Creative stated the $700,000 price tag "is fair and adequate," adding that "it is unlikely that a higher sale price for the Bluebox would be achieved through a competitive bidding process and/or individual sales."

The acquisition would make 3S the sole owner of the two Bluebox machines in operation in the U.S. The machine crushes and separates flat panel display devices as well as fluorescent lamps and tubes.

Creative, meanwhile, is in the throes of an $18.7 million lawsuit and recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company's court-appointed receiver, Robert Swett, is currently attempting to salvage and sell off company assets.

Jon Yob, who served as president of the firm for 18 years, had faced a separate lawsuit in which he was accused of misrepresenting the value of the company when it was sold in 2012. That suit, however, was recently dismissed.

Creative continues to operate out of locations in Florida and North Carolina, but has shut down numerous other sites, most along the East Coast.

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