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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PP pricing steady in early July

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:30
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PP pricing steady in early July

July 16, 2014

Demand for CoPP black pellets was quiet in early July, with pricing steady around 61-62 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast. HoPP mixed colored flake material was offered at the beginning of the month at 42-43 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast, with very little buying interest seen.

In the U.S. domestic prime PP market, prices were stable in early July as the market digested news of a rollover of the July propylene contract. HoPP held at 79.5 cents per pound, while the CoPP remained at 81.5 cents per pound. Prime PP availability was tight as several suppliers were dealing with production issues or maintenance, and core business demand was strong.

One prime PP producer announced a 2-cents-per-pound increase, effective Aug. 1, in addition to any adjustments based on the PGP contract price. That followed an earlier announcement by another supplier, targeting a 4-cents-per-pound July increase.

Agreements for propylene contract prices were reached the second week of July with settlements at 67.5 cents per pound for polymer grade propylene.

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

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Wide world of plastics recycling

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:26
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 16, 2014

Reverse vending machines in Australia offer bus tickets, food coupons and other unique rewards in exchange for plastic bottles. We offer details in our global look at plastics recovery.

Swiss PET bottle maker Sidel has introduced a new PET beer bottle that looks just like a traditional glass bottle but is 86 percent lighter. The bottle, which can be made in various sizes and features the customary crown bottle cap, will attempt to make headway in a globally glass-dependent market — just 2 percent of beer bottles are made out of PET, Sidel says.

In Sydney, Australia, citizens can now make use of a series of reverse vending machines that offer prizes instead of money, including bus tickets and food coupons. The effort is part of a citywide campaign to boost the recycling of beverage containers and reduce litter.

The latest reports on the impacts of China's Operation Green Fence show exports of scrap plastics from the U.K. to China were down 53 percent year-over-year last fall, a time when the customs crackdown was near its peak. U.S. plastics exports to China were down 18 percent during that same period.

A rigid plastics recycling program in Copenhagen appears to have exceeded its goals. Between 2011 and 2014, the "Plastic Zero" program led to just over 660 tons of hard plastics making their way from Denmark's capital to Germany for sorting and processing. That mark exceeded initial program goals by 18 percent.

While the recycling rate for PET among EU member countries may have reached 52 percent in 2012, an official at Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) says a more robust collection system is needed for HDPE and PP packaging. Herbert Snell, PRE's vice president, told attendees at last month's Plastics Recycling Expo in Telford, England that some countries have begun to see drops in HDPE and PP collection totals, which is a worrying signal as Europe's major recycling targets for 2020 approach.

 

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:23
NewsBits

July 16, 2014

The roll-out of the Multi Material BC extended producer responsibility program in British Columbia seems to have caused some confusions over which plastics are now acceptable in curbside bins. Councilors in the municipality of North Cowichan, for example, recently expressed frustration over the fact that some plastic film packaging that used to be acceptable can no longer be included curbside.

Amusement parks SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have begun offering beverages in reusable and recyclable PET plastic cups made using Coca-Cola's PlantBottle technology, which builds PET resin partially from plant-based material. SeaWorld parks are located in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Florida, while Busch Gardens has locations in Tampa, Florida and Williamsburg, Virginia.

The 2015 Plastic Technologies Awards, an annual showcase organized by Italy-based Poli Design, will be putting particular focus on the recycling and disposal side of the industry. Winners will have their prototypes featured at the Plast 2015 conference next May. Entries are due by early November.

Dow's packaging and plastics division has launched a campaign called Recycle Rally, which aims to challenge consumers to sharpen their waste diversion skills over the course of 30 days.

 

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North Carolina convenes MRF Summit

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:51
North Carolina convenes MRF Summit

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 15, 2014

State recycling officials in North Carolina recently brought together representatives from major recycling stakeholders in an effort to build solutions to some of the materials processing sector's most vexing issues.

Troubles with glass, incoming material quality, working with public sector programs and data collection and sharing were among the most prominent topics at the state's first-ever MRF Summit.

The meeting, held July 8 in High Point, North Carolina, included representatives from Pratt Industries, ReCommunity, Republic Services, Sonoco Recycling and Waste Management as well as smaller independent materials recovery facility operators and staff from the National Waste and Recycling Association.

"Strong and healthy MRFs are absolutely critical to the future of recycling in North Carolina and beyond," said Scott Mouw, North Carolina's recycling program director. "We’ve got to find ways to feed them more material, while reducing the negatives in their business model, including incoming contamination and residue rates. Glass is one of the most serious issues."

Mouw added that going forward the state will be seeking information from the MRFs to track incoming and outgoing breakdown ratios of materials. These profiles will be aggregated and shared back to the MRFs and will be used by the state to analyze increasingly reported commingled tonnages from local government programs.

On the glass front, Mouw said, MRF leaders will need to engage in a broader dialog with the glass industry and possibly explore ways for glass and recycling companies to co-invest in cleaning technologies at MRFs.

The state also hopes the North Carolina Summit helps foster more national-level discussion and possibly more formal organization of the MRF industry. “We have felt for a long time that MRFs need to consider forming a national trade association that would give them a common voice on packaging, supply and other issues,“ Mouw said.

North Carolina estimates that the MRF industry serving the state is running at about 60 percent of its design capacity, allowing ample room for growth in material supply. North Carolina has spent more than $6.2 million in recycling grants since 2009 to build public and private recycling collection programs that feed facilities in the state.


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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Driving innovation on a large scale

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:48
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Driving innovation on a large scale

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 15, 2014

The upcoming Resource Recycling Conference will open with two must-see keynote presentations by leading figures in the recycling and sustainability realms: Walmart sustainability chief Rob Kaplan and author and designer Bill McDonough.

Walmart's Kaplan is driving global-scale change at the retail giant through key recycling and sustainability initiatives, including the $100 million Closed Loop Fund. McDonough, meanwhile, is best known for the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, a seminal text on the sustainability movement. A moderated Q&A between these sustainability heavyweights will follow their presentations.

These two thought-leaders represent the high-level discussion and education opportunities attendees can expect to find at Resource Recycling Conference 2014, which is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.

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Cutting through fog of San Francisco's recycling stats

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:44
Cutting through the fog of San Francisco's recycling stats

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

July 15, 2014

San Francisco's oft-touted 80 percent recycling rate has come under scrutiny yet again.

In a story on Bloomberg View, journalist Adam Minter writes that while "creative and perfectly legal," the way the city calculates its recycling rate results in a bloated figure.

According to Minter, the city counts as recycling the waste that is turned into landfill alternative daily cover (ADC), including construction and demolition debris — bringing ADC tonnages into recycling rate calculations is a fairly uncommon practice among municipalities in the rest of the U.S. If the city counted diversion in a more traditional fashion, Minter argues, its recycling rate would be a far cry from that sterling 80 percent figure.

"San Francisco’s diversion rate would be roughly 60 percent if it used conventional methods of calculation," Minter writes, citing research by Samantha MacBride, a professor and former New York City deputy director for recycling. A 60 percent recycling rate would still put San Francisco in line with municipal diversion leaders like Seattle, a point noted by both Minter and MacBride, but it would also mean San Francisco would no longer be able to call itself America's unequivocal recycling leader.

The MacBride research investigates what San Francisco counts beyond typical paper, packaging and organics. More than half of San Francisco's diverted tonnages (52 percent), MacBride found, were made up of "other" materials, a category consisting primarily of "rock, dirt, sand and crushed concrete," treated "for beneficial use."

Guillermo Rodriguez, program manager at the San Francisco Department of Environment, explained to Resource Recycling the city follows statewide diversion counting practices in coming up with its 80 percent diversion rate.

"We all follow the state's diversion calculator," Rodriguez said. "San Francisco, as well as many other jurisdictions in the state, are active in supporting legislation that would change the state's allowance of calculating ADC as diverted. … We acknowledge that it doesn't make sense to count it as diverted."

The city, it should be noted, uses an earlier version of the state's model for arriving at a diversion rate, instead of following an update issued in 2007.

On the topic of ADC, Rodriguez said that if the city discontinued counting material used as ADC toward its diversion rate, the statistical impact would be miniscule — the City by the Bay's recycling rate, he said, would only go down by "about 1.5 percentage points" at most.

According to Rodriguez, the city only turns 30,000 tons of material into ADC. MacBride's research suggests more than 1 million tons of "other" material went for beneficial use, which includes — but is not limited to — ADC applications.

"Verifying her analysis would be time consuming, complicated and involve not necessarily accurate allocations," Rodriguez stated.

The issue of coming up with a reliable and consistent way for municipalities and states to calculate recycling rates has long been a contentious topic and legislators have developed many methods to try to capture a wide range of diversion and sustainability efforts in a single figure.

Florida, for example, recently announced its 2013 recycling rate reached 49 percent thanks in part to a program that equates energy savings with recycling tonnages. Had the state not received percentage point boosts from renewable energy credits, the recycling rate would have been 38 percent.

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Houston mulls mixed waste processing options

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:41
Houston mulls mixed waste processing options

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 15, 2014

It's now up to officials in Houston to decide who will lead the city's proposed "one bin for all" recycling program.

The city recently closed a request for proposals period and received five bids from firms looking to take the helm of the program, which will allow residents in America's fourth-most-populous city to put recyclables, trash and organics in a single curbside cart.

Once collected, material will be separated at a yet-to-be-built materials recovery facility, or "dirty MRF", and at least 75 percent of the collected refuse will need to be recycled, composted or converted into energy.

City officials say they will review the proposals and submit recommendations by the end of this year.

Proponents of the plan argue the approach will finally jump-start diversion in Houston, which has a 6 percent recycling rate through its current curbside collection program. "We have reached another key milestone in this process and are eager to move forward as this advanced recycling and waste diversion technology has the potential to improve health and quality of life not only in Houston, but around the world," Annise Parker, Houston's mayor, said in a press release last week.

Opponents, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, charge that dirty MRFs have never been able to recover sufficient or cleanly material.

"From the perspective of materials management, from the perspective of recovering recyclables in an optimal way for purposes of marketing, this is not the best way to go," Allen Hershkowitz, director of the solid waste program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Texas Tribune.

The argument over whether to employ mixed-waste-sorting MRFs has recently taken place in other large municipalities as well. Last month, Indianapolis' mayor, Greg Ballard, opted to accept a proposal for a hotly debated $35 million facility from waste-to-energy firm Covanta. Montgomery, Alabama, also recently opened a similar mixed-waste sorting operation.


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ACC-backed report backs expansion of WTE

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:38
ACC-backed report pushes expansion of WTE

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 15, 2014

A study from a team of Ivy League researchers suggests the U.S. may be wise to increase its use of waste-to-energy practices, especially when it comes to hard-to-recycle plastics.

The study, released by Columbia University's Earth Engineering Center and funded by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), takes a look at adjusted 2011 municipal solid waste (MSW) data from the U.S. EPA to estimate how much material is being landfilled and how much of it could go toward waste-to-energy (WTE) operations.

According to researchers, almost 247 million tons of MSW was landfilled in 2011, while 29.5 million tons was converted into energy.

The study suggests a large amount of plastics, especially films, is proving hard "to be economically recycled." Those plastics, researchers point out, could help fuel greater use of WTE operations across the U.S.

The 2011 figures indicate almost 83 percent of all discarded plastics – 32.5 million tons – went to landfill. WTE was the most popular diversion method, with a shade under 10 percent of plastics – 3.9 million tons – converted into energy. If all non-recycled plastics went to WTE operations, various environmental benefits would be wrought, the study says.

However, the research also finds capacity remains an issue in the WTE realm, with just Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire "close to attaining sustainable waste management by combining high rates of recycling with high WTE."

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Grant watch

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:35
Grant watch

July 15, 2014

The City of Austin received $1 million in federal funding to put toward the development of a recycling-oriented industrial park at the site of a former landfill. The city hopes the park will house a number of companies that consume reclaimed material for use in new products.

Nebraska's Department of Environmental Quality recently issued nearly $4.3 million in recycling and waste reduction grant funding to dozens of municipalities across the state. One of the largest of those grants was $212,500 awarded to the City of Lincoln for a self-propelled compost turner.

In Pennsylvania, Exeter Township received nearly $80,000 through the state's recycling performance grant program, and the Berks County Solid Waste Authority nabbed three hazardous waste-related grants worth more than $31,000.


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Patent watch

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 18:33
Patent watch

July 15, 2014

Scott, Louisiana's John Osborn was given Patent No. 8,758,597 for a method of recycling recovered asphalt.

A method for manufacturing paper or board with recycled fiber is the subject of Patent No. 8,758,566, awarded to Nordkalk Oy AB from Pargas, Finland.

James Ashmus of Kenosha, Wisconsin was awarded Patent Application No. 20140150231 for a method of recycling conveyor belts into flexible emergency ladders.

Patent Application No. 20140159276, concerning a recovered fiber-polymer composite, was awarded to Dearborn, Michigan's Ford Motor Company.

Newton, Massachusetts' Big Belly Solar, Inc., describes a system and method for controlling electrically powered recycling and trash compactors in Patent Application No. 20140172174.

A process for filtering and recycling bleached pulp from recovered paper is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140174679, given to International Paper Co., headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

Encell Composites LLC, from Naples, Florida, was awarded Patent Application No. 20140175185, which describes a method for making thermoset composite materials from recycled rubber.

Patent Application No. 20140175198 was given to Pasadena, California's Avery Dennison Corporation for a method of recycling materials that have a label and/or adhesive attached.

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, 07/14/2014 - 18:26
NewsBits

July 15, 2014

A survey from sustainability consultancy The Shelton Group found nearly one-third of respondents said they would be more likely to attend a sporting event or concert if they knew concession waste would be recycled. In addition, 22 percent of the roughly 2,000 respondents said they would likely buy more concessions if recycling and composting procedures were in place.

Environmentalist group Texas Campaign Environment is planning another effort to try to force battery maker Rayovac to make firm commitments to battery recycling in the U.S.

The National Waste & Recycling Association has created its first safe-driver certification program. The certification was created with industry and insurance representatives and offers an exam that will be open to drivers at different points throughout the year.

A food-scrap collection pilot program is being extended to more multi-family buildings in Los Angeles. The effort is being led by hauler Athens Services and nonprofit group Global Green.

The past year has seen use of anaerobic digesters nearly double in the U.K., according to analysis from the Waste & Recycling Action Progamme.

Publicly traded Progressive Waste Solutions has become the first recycling services firm to sign on with StewardChoice, an organization that's aiming to bring recycling services to British Columbia's multi-family dwellings and other locations not covered by Multi Material BC (MMBC). MMBC is the primary extended producer responsibility system in the province.


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Massachusetts bottle bill "battle lines" drawn

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:22
Massachusetts bottle bill "battle lines" drawn

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

As expected, Massachusetts residents are going to have the final word on whether to expand the state's 33-year old bottle bill, and that may mean a public row between environmentalists and the beverage industry.

A state legislative subcommittee had until June 30 to reach a compromise that would appease both proponents and opponents of a bottle bill expansion. Supporters of the expansion wanted the bill to include non-carbonated beverages including water and juices, while opponents wanted the bottle bill scrapped altogether over time. Neither side budged.

"I’m disappointed we couldn’t get the sides together, but the battle lines are now drawn," said Rep. Randy Hunt to the Boston Globe, one of the members of the subcommittee.

Supporters of expansion have recently finalized efforts to bring the required number of signatures to state officials in an attempt to bring the issue to voters Nov. 4. Approximately 19,000 signatures were presented to the Secretary of State, William Galvin, on July 2, according to a blog post by the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

"The people of Massachusetts have spoken loud and clear, over a number of years, that they want less litter and more recycling," Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG, is quoted as saying in the post. "They want the updated bottle bill. In the World Cup of legislation, our elected officials let this goal go right through their legs. We did our best to work through Beacon Hill, now it’s up to the voters."

For the measure to make it to the Nov. 4 ballot, Galvin's office will have to first verify the signatures to the petition. Once accomplished, groups from both sides of the argument are expected to begin a costly public-courting period leading up to the vote.

In 2011, expansion advocates cut short a push to put the issue to Massachusetts voters, choosing to try the legislative path instead of engaging in a battle with bottle bill opponents.

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Plastics Recycling 2015: Registration now open

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:15
Plastics Recycling Conference 2014: Registration now open

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

It's time to secure your spot at Plastics Recycling 2015, set for February 23-25 in Dallas, Texas. Plastics Recycling 2015 is the only North American conference that caters exclusively to plastics recycling.

Plan to head to Dallas to learn how to maintain and grow your business in the current economic climate from the leading experts in the field of plastics recovery and utilization. Industry gurus will present a range of info-packed presentations, including analyses of trends in the U.S. and Canada, plastics collection issues, recycling market factors, and legislative and policy considerations.

Plastics Recycling 2015 is taking place Feb. 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. The 2014 conference attracted more than 1,775 attendees from over 30 countries, so register now to ensure you'll be in on the action in February. Details on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring can be found at plasticsrecycling.com.

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UK tests colorant to recycle black CPET trays

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 15:01
UK tests colorant to recycle black CPET trays

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

A group in the U.K. is attempting to shift an emerging PET product toward recyclability.

The group, led by the packaging, retail and recycling players in the U.K., says a new colorant enables black CPET trays to be readily sorted and recycled by plastics recovery facilities (PRFs). To prove that fact, 2 million trays featuring the detectable colorant will be used as food packaging by two of the U.K.'s largest grocery stores, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Sainsbury's, between mid-July and mid-August of this year. The group will then assess how efficiently those items are recovered within the recycling stream.

Traditionally, black CPET trays, while recyclable, have been hard to identify for optical sortation systems, meaning almost 1.3 billion of them end up being landfilled in the U.K. each year.

Representatives from WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), the project's lead researcher, say the government-funded nonprofit group has spent four years of research and development aiming to show the newly configured trays can be readily identifiable at PRFs.

"WRAP welcomes the opportunity to trial the use of detectable black colorants in the M&S and Sainsbury’s product range to validate its true potential in-market," Claire Shrewsbury, a WRAP project manager, said in a press release. "WRAP looks forward to the trial and its results, and considers this a great step toward enabling closed loop recycling."

The press release states that a public report will be released following the conclusion of the trial project. The full project team consists of WRAP, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Faerch Plast, the Kent Resource Partnership, Biffa Waste Management, Recoup, and Nextek Limited.

The press release states that a public report will be released following the conclusion of the trial project. The full project team consists of WRAP, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Faerch Plast, the Kent Resource Partnership, Biffa Waste Management, Recoup, and Nextek Limited.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET price holds steady

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:58
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET price holds steady

July 10, 2014

Prices for FDA-sanctioned rPET clear pellet have stood firm in early July at 80-82 cents per pound FOB East Coast on steady demand.

U.S. producers of prime PET have proposed price increases for July of as much as 5 cents with 2 cents expected to be settled on by month's end, or about 75 cents per pound. Recycled PET's premium to prime PET underscores an increase in recycled post-consumer PET in recent years as well as advances in plastics recycling technology.

Prices for PET scrap bales made from bottles from curbside are down 1-2 cents per pound in July and stand at 16-17 cents per pound (FOB East Coast) as supply is robust from increased beverage consumption during the summer season.

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


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Wide world of plastics recycling

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:54
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

According to one plastics recycling industry official in China, the country's scrap plastics imports fell by 11.2 percent last year. That development and others are in our global roundup.

According to a member of the China Scrap Plastics Association, the Asian nation saw its volume of plastics imports fall 11.2 percent in 2013, a year that was defined by the Operation Green Fence customs crackdown. In 2012, the trade association says, China imported around 8.8 million metric tons of scrap plastics, and that number dropped to roughly 7.89 million metric tons last year.

Government officials in the European Union last week proposed raising the recycling rate goal for all member countries to 70 percent by 2030 — with a special 80 percent recycling rate goal for packaging. Leaders have also mentioned a landfill ban on recyclables materials by 2025.

In conjunction with the Frank PR firm, the U.K.'s National Plastics Recycling Initiative is developing a campaign called Umbrella, which aims to offer toolkits retailers and municipalities to help them boost recovery of recyclable plastics. The National Plastics Recycling Coalition is backed by Recoup, Coca-Cola, Nestle Waters and others.

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Patent watch

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:51
Patent watch

July 10, 2014

Patent No. 8,763,941, which describes a plastic beverage container shredder housed in a bottle-shaped housing, was awarded to Lawrence V. Beck, Jr. from Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

A team of Japanese researchers, led by Tatsuya Hase from Yokkaichi, were given Patent No. 8,765,879 for a method of making molded products from a recycled polyester resin.

The Procter & Gamble Company, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded Patent No. 8,766,032 for a method of recycling superabsorbent polymer articles.

Encell Composites, LLC, from Naples, Florida, was given Patent Application No. 20140175185, which describes a method for making thermoset composite materials from recycled rubber.

Patent Application No. 20140175198 was awarded to Pasadena, California's Avery Dennison Corporation for a method of recycling materials that have a label and/or adhesive attached.

A method for removing labels from plastic containers for recycling is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140183078, given to Tim and Connie Newton from Lamoni, Iowa.

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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Philly recycling initiatives yield results

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:48
Philly recycling initiatives yield results

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 10, 2014

The City of Brotherly Love has over the past five years seen significant progress in its push to send fewer plastics and other recyclable materials to landfills.

The municipality's waste diversion rate, one of 14 targets in Philadelphia's Greenworks initiative, has increased from 53 percent in 2008 to 73 percent in 2012, a new progress report shows. In 2012, the latest year for which complete data is available, the city surpassed a 2015 goal of reaching a 70 percent diversion rate. It's the second straight year the city has achieved that feat.

Philadelphia's overall recycling rate, which includes both residential and commercial sources, reached 50 percent in 2012. At the same time, 23 percent of the city's refuse went to waste-to-energy facilities — those two percentages together create the 73 percent waste diversion figure.

Still, the city's residential recycling rate for 2012 came in at 21 percent.

When it comes to construction and demolition debris, however, Philadelphia's recycling and reuse rate is 80 percent, according to the progress report.

The city has been active in promoting recycling. In 2010, Philadelphia began accepting plastics Nos. 1-7, and in 2013 more than 60,000 new recycling bins were provided by the Philadelphia Streets Department. In addition, a total of 2,000 desk-side recycling bins have been distributed to local businesses. And the city recently renewed its partnership with the Recyclebank recycling incentive program.

Note: An earlier version of this story compared Phildelphia's curbside recycling rate (21 percent) with the national recycling rate (about 34 percent).  This comparison is not wholly appropriate as the national recycling rate includes composting totals.

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:44
NewsBits

July 10, 2014

Supermarket chain Kroger has released its eighth annual sustainability report and plastics appears to be a primary focus of the companyas it aims to earn "zero waste" distinction. A total of 57 million reusable plastic containers," or RPCs, were shipped by the company in 2013. In addition, 5 million pounds of grocery and dry cleaning bags were collected and 8 million reusable bags were sold or handed out during the year.

Iowa is going from bags to benches through its grocery store-led "Build with Bags" program. With cooperation from various groups, including Keep Iowa Beautiful, a coalition of in-state grocers is making park benches and other public space staples out of thousands upon thousands of plastic bags collected through residential and in-store bag programs.

The Carpet America Recovery Effort has issued a request for proposals for the group's University PET Project. The project will look to provide $500,000 in funding to a university research project able to come up with viable and legitimate end-uses for PET recovered from recycled carpets. Applicants have until Sept. 30 to apply and the winning project will commence work by 2016.


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NCER again wins Oregon e-scrap contractor bid

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:53
NCER again wins Oregon e-scrap contractor bid

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2014

The National Center for Electronics Recycling will continue to manage collection for the state-run segment of Oregon's e-scrap program.

State officials last month announced their decision to stay with West Virginia-based NCER through 2018. Since 2008, the nonprofit organization has managed and maintained the state contractor program, which caters primarily to smaller manufacturers that choose not to cover collection quotas on their own or alongside other OEMs. The state contractor program is sometimes referred to as the fallback option.

"NCER is very excited to continue working with Oregon DEQ," Jason Linnell, NCER's executive director, said. "For the past six years, the NCER-managed contractor program has provided convenient electronics collection for Oregonians with rigorous environmental standards for recycling, all while providing a cost-effective solution for manufacturers."

In its management role in Oregon, NCER coordinates collection, transportation and recycling services for end-of-life TVs, monitors and computers. Starting in 2015, keyboards and other "computer peripherals" will also be included in the program.

Oregon's e-scrap law mandates free and convenient electronics recycling options for households as well as businesses and nonprofit groups that have 10 or fewer employees.

Aside from leading the Oregon state contractor law, NCER is involved in a number of data collection and research projects focused on e-scrap management.

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