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Stored CRT glass in Arizona is set to move

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:52
Stored CRT glass in Arizona is set to move

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

June 18, 2015

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has reached agreements with two prominent CRT glass processors to get lead-laden material moving downstream.

The agreements, with Closed Loop Refining and Recovery and Dlubak Glass, stem from prior violations alleging speculative accumulation of CRT glass, Arizona DEQ spokesperson Caroline Oppleman told E-Scrap News.

"Both parties currently are on track with their respective consent order issued by ADEQ," Oppleman added.

Closed Loop received a notice of violation (NOV) in November for improper storage of approximately 22,000 tons of CRT glass at the company's Phoenix operation. Dlubak also received an NOV last year for failing to move CRT glass from its shuttered site in Yuma.

Arizona and many other states have adopted the federal CRT rule, which prohibits speculative accumulation of glass by requiring glass processors to move at least 75 percent of their glass inventories each year.

Both Closed Loop and Dlubak had been working to resolve the alleged violations with ADEQ and arrive at parameters for removing the accumulated glass.

While Closed Loop had explored the possibility of sending its Arizona glass to a variety of outlets, the company's consent order with ADEQ, signed by the company on April 28 and obtained by E-Scrap News, calls for glass to be sent to Closed Loop's headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. That location, the order explains, is hoping to install a glass smelting furnace to process CRT glass.

If the company is unable to obtain an Ohio EPA air pollution permit for furnace operation by Dec. 31, Closed Loop is required to send glass to "another facility approved for recycling, reuse, reclamation, or hazardous waste disposal," the order reads.

As part of the agreement, the company will be permitted to continue to receive CRT glass at its Phoenix location as long as Closed Loop complies with the CRT rule.

Ohio EPA spokesperson Dina Pierce told E-Scrap News the agency is still in the process of determining whether Closed Loop is meeting the CRT rule in Ohio.

Dlubak's consent order with ADEQ, signed Feb. 27 and also obtained by E-Scrap News, requires the company to remove all of the material stored at its former Yuma site by Jan. 1, 2016. If the company is unable to do so, ADEQ can grant an extension and amendment to the order. The facility, which has been closed since April 2014, will also need to be cleaned.

It is not clear how much glass still sits at Dlubak's former open-air site.

Dlubak, which is headquartered in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, uses leaded CRT glass for a number of applications, including soda lime glass, ceramics, lighting, glass beads and fiberglass. The Ohio EPA has determined the company is in compliance with the CRT rule, the agency confirmed with E-Scrap News.

By many accounts, Dlubak is the largest U.S. processor of CRT glass and one of only a handful of established domestic outlets for the material.

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Federal government sticks with EPEAT after all

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:52
Federal government sticks with EPEAT after all

By Jared Paben, E-Scrap News

June 18, 2015

Federal officials have allayed concerns that an executive order regarding environmentally friendly electronics purchasing will erode use of the EPEAT program.

President Obama's March 2015 executive order on sustainable-product purchasing excluded an explicit requirement that federal agencies give purchasing preference to electronics meeting the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) standards.

That omission concerned EPEAT advocates, who feared the decision could lead to the erosion or demise of the standard.

But the implementing instructions, dated June 10, indicate nothing less stringent than EPEAT would be acceptable.

"Unlike prior executive orders, E.O. 13693 does not include a specific reference to (EPEAT). However, EPEAT is currently the only tool available to achieve the electronic stewardship mandates of (the order)," the implementing instructions state, in part. "Any future tools shall meet or exceed current levels of sustainable and environmental performance. E.O. 13693 continues to require that agencies promote electronic stewardship throughout the acquisition lifecycle and ensure a procurement preference for environmentally sustainable electronic products."

Robert Frisbee, CEO of the Green Electronics Council, said the language reduces concerns the executive order would lead to the growth of weaker standards. EPEAT is a program of the Green Electronics Council.

"What we had been concerned about was that a transition away from an outright EPEAT mandate might start a race to the bottom," Frisbee told E-Scrap News. "This EPEAT-or-better reference will keep that from happening."

He wouldn't say the implementing instructions completely fix the issue, "but it moves us forward in a creative and, we think very useful way."

"It will put us on our toes but it also gives us the opportunity to continue to strengthen the EPEAT system," he said. "As our system increases in strength, I think others will have to follow suit."

Among other aims, EPEAT establishes standards for product longevity and recycling by encouraging design that allows for cost-effective reuse and recycling.

Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, commended Kate Brandt, the federal environmental executive in the White House, and her team for including clarifying language.

In April, Kyle wrote a letter to Brandt asking for changes to the order.

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E-Scrap 2015: Transform your facility into a profit center

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:52
E-Scrap 2015: Transform your facility into a profit center

June 18, 2015

The quickly approaching E-Scrap 2015 conference will be loaded with practical tips and tools for industry professionals aiming to thrive amid ever-competitive markets.

One conference session will be covering all the important aspects of designing and operating an efficient, money-making processing facility. Experts in the areas of facility management and technology will offer attendees ideas on boosting productivity as well as insider info on de-manufacturing techniques and product value. It's the kind of know-how that will separate your company from competitors.

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

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:51
Certification scorecard

June 18, 2015

Paper Storm of Pillager, Minn. has achieved its NAID Certification 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, 06/17/2015 - 16:51
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

June 18, 2015

With a 10 percent e-scrap recycling rate, Mexico's recovery infrastructure is lacking. Hong Kong, meanwhile, has invested millions of dollars to boost its ability to process materials domestically.

Mexico generates nearly 400,000 tons of e-scrap each year, but it is lacking thorough infrastructure for recycling, according to Recycling International. As a result, only about 10 percent of e-scrap is recovered.

A startup in India is growing its business of accepting e-scrap, refurbishing it and reselling it, according to TechinAsia.com. Karma Recycling received funding to expand its operations, which it claims have led to the refurbishment of more than 16,000 smartphones, tablets and laptops. Roughly percent of the mobile devices it receives can be reused, the company says.

The Hong Kong government is pushing ahead with development of a roughly $71 million e-scrap recycling facility, set to open in 2017, but the operation won't handle all of the e-scrap generated in the metropolis. The government expects private companies to step in to handle what it can't, according to a Reuters report. Hong Kong currently sends a majority of its e-scrap to mainland China and other nations.

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NewsBits from E-Scrap News

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:50
NewsBits

June 18, 2015

A British Columbia company has pleaded guilty to exporting hazardous recyclable battery material with a permit or notification, resulting in a fine. The company, Electronics Recycling Canada, attempted to export lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries to China, but the shipments, destined for Macau, were intercepted in Hong Kong and returned to Canada. The company was ordered to pay the current U.S. dollar equivalent of $23,600 and its director was ordered to pay $9,000.

Quantum Resource Recovery, a Portland, Ore. materials processor, has filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy court protection, E-Scrap News has learned. QRR handles recovered metals, electronics and industrial scrap plastics from a 150,000-square-foot processing facility on eight acres in Northwest Portland. The company is still currently operating.

An e-scrap collection event in Napa, Calif. yielded nearly 21 tons of computers, television, phones and other electronics. More than 3 tons of appliances were also collected at the event, which drew 570 vehicles with material to drop off.

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Industry and supplier news

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:50
Industry and supplier news

June 18, 2015

The processor formerly known as Echo Environmental is now being called Elemetal Recycling, one of several strategic name changes by parent company Elemetal LLC. Elemetal Recycling is a large-scale processor of circuit boards and other e-scrap. For more, click here.

Industrial Magnetics has announced plans to build a 16,000-square-foot addition to the Boyne City, Mich. company's headquarters. The company makes magnetic products for separating and moving metal materials. For more, click here.

Two Sims Metals Management-owned businesses involved in e-scrap processing have been rebranded under another one, according to the company. Sims Lifecycle Services, which provides IT asset disposal services in the U.K., and S3 Interactive, its mobile device management business, have been rebranded as Sims Recycling Solutions. For more, click here.

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U.S. recycling rate remains just above 34 percent

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 14:05
U.S. recycling rate remains just above 34 percent

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

June 17, 2015

A just-released report from the U.S. EPA indicates the 2013 national recycling rate was 34.3 percent, barely budging from 2012's rate of 34.5 percent.

According to the annual report, which can be viewed here, the U.S. generated 254.11 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2013 and recovered 87.18 million tons for recycling and composting.

MSW generation in 2013 rose by 1.22 percent compared with 2012's generation of 251.04 million tons. Per capita MSW generation also rose a hair in 2013, coming in at 4.40 pounds per person per day after reaching 4.38 pounds per person per day in 2012.

The paper and paperboard recycling rate in 2013 was 63.3 percent, down from the 2012 rate of 64.6 percent. The glass recycling rate also fell slightly, coming in at 27.3 percent in 2013 after reaching 27.7 percent in 2012. The plastics recycling rate, at 8.8 percent in 2012, rose to 9.2 percent during the most recently reported year.

The tone of the EPA report made clear the agency's fresh emphasis on sustainable materials management (SMM), an environmental-assessment approach to materials usage that takes into account a number of factors beyond basic disposal and recovery rates. The report on 2013 figures is titled "Advancing Sustainable Materials Management." Last year's report was called "Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States."

"As the new name for our annual report suggests, EPA is thinking beyond waste," the report's executive summary reads. "SMM refers to the use and reuse of materials in the most productive and sustainable way across their entire life cycle."

Resource Recycling will provide an in-depth analysis on the numbers in next week's electronic newsletter.

 

Montreal APR meeting highlights outreach efforts

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:59
Montreal APR meeting highlights outreach efforts

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

The largest-ever Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers meeting located outside of the U.S. was held last week in Montreal and drew 168 attendees. Numerous communication aims by APR were highlighted and updates from the group's various subcommittees were offered.

"We have two primary goals," APR'S executive director, Steve Alexander, said at the general membership meeting, "increase supply of recovered plastics and decrease contamination, which, of course, helps that first goal."

To that end, the group emphasized several outreach and educational efforts developed to reach all members of the plastics value chain from the packaging producer and brand owner down to the reclaimer and recycling processor. From the top end of that chain, APR is pushing to have more recycling-friendly packaging and containers in the marketplace.

One such effort involves holding training events at brand-owner headquarters to educate and work with company executives and designers about key recycling issues and concerns, as well as present them with design tools such as the APR Design for Recyclability Guidelines. Several major brand owners have already either held or have scheduled such events, and continued outreach is being done by the group to engage other stakeholders.

It was also announced that APR's Design for Recyclability Guidelines are being overhauled to make them interactive and easier to use. The guidelines are also being updated to cover the issue of black or dark plastics in addition to size and shape of materials. The updated guidelines will be released in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The group announced a new effort, the APR Plastics Recycling Showcase, where the objective is to reward and highlight innovations in the plastics recycling space, such as benchmarks on the use of post-consumer resin (PCR), PCR product capability, recycling-friendly packaging and plastic materials, revamped bale quality levels and more. Details about the program will be offered in the coming weeks, said John Standish, APR's technical director.

Another initiative discussed is a form for reporting "problem containers," those containers that cause issues for materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and reclaimers. The form is now on every page of the APR website, and at the meeting the APR communications director, Kara Pochiro, encouraged members to use the tool.

As part of the report from the rigids committee, rigids program director Liz Bedard delivered an update surrounding the group's efforts to collect more grocery rigids, including a video (see below) produced in partnership with the American Chemistry Council and the Publix grocery store chain. The video, encouraging other national grocery chains to bale rigid plastics, such as buckets and tubs, is included on a website offering other tools and information for grocers.

Finally, the meeting also covered an online tool created specifically to show MRFs the value of many non-bottle rigids. The Sort for Value Online Calculator, developed by Moore Recycling Associates with APR, allows MRFs to either use benchmark or market-specific pricing to show the increased value of additional sortation for plastics in their facilities.

 

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Plastics Recycling 2016: Where the action never stops

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:58
Plastics Recycling 2016: Where the action never stops

June 17, 2015

If you've ever been to the Plastics Recycling Conference, you know the buzz. It's the feeling generated by more than 1,500 industry professionals building their businesses.

Don't be left out on around-the-clock industry connections. Start planning now to make sure your company or organization is well represented in New Orleans next February by checking out the sponsorship, exhibitor, workshop and attendee options available. Registration for all these conference components is open now.

Plastics Recycling 2016 is set for Feb. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana. Head to plasticsrecycling.com to register and get all the facts on exhbiting and/or sponsoring at the plastic recycling industry's longest-running conference – now in its 11th year.

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UK industry responds as recycling target approaches

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:58
UK industry responds as recycling target approaches

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

The U.K. plastics industry has released a plan calling for major advances to comply with the government's target of recycling 57 percent of plastic packaging by 2017.

The Plastics Industry Action Plan calls on all stakeholders to take steps to help meet the target.

In 2013, about 787,050 tons of plastic packaging were recycled. If the government approves a revised estimate of 2.49 million tons of plastic packaging put on the market in 2013, the recycling rate would have been 32 percent for 2013.

"Without the full engagement, therefore, of all stakeholders, including national and local government, the waste management sector, recyclers, compliance schemes and obligated users, producers and converters, these targets will prove extremely challenging to meet," according to the report.

An estimate by U.K. recycling group WRAP and compliance firm Valpak suggests it could take until past the year 2020 to meet the 57 percent target, according to the report.

"In view of this, government is currently consulting on whether the present obligated target should be revised down to meet the original policy intent of 42 percent and to extend the timeline to achieve this," according to the report.

Meanwhile, the industry plan calls on stakeholders to take a variety of steps to increase plastics recovery, including the removal of regulatory barriers by government, expansion of materials accepted at the curb and improvements in bale quality at materials recovery facilities.

The plan was created by WRAP and Plastics 2020, which is a group made up of PlasticsEurope, the British Plastics Federation and the Packaging and Films Association.

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Major Coca-Cola bottler reports 34 percent rPET use

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:58
Major Coca-Cola bottler reports 34 percent rPET use

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

More than a third of the PET used by a Coca-Cola bottler in Europe last year was recycled content, according to a report. Another 27.8 percent was derived from plants.

That's according to a sustainability report from Coca-Cola Enterprises, a publicly traded bottler that is separate from Coca-Cola Co. but distributes brands from the beverage behemoth in eight Western European countries. Coca-Cola Co. itself hasn't released its 2014-15 sustainability report yet.

Overall in 2014, the company used an estimated 43,436 tons of recycled PET, or 34 percent of its PET, the report showed.

Coca-Cola Enterprises also reported on the status of its lightweighting efforts, which have been somewhat slowed by a shift toward smaller-sized soda options. The average packaging weight in 2014, including plastic and aluminum, was 20 percent less than in 2007, according to the report. The 2014 packaging weight was up slightly (0.4 percent) over the year before, however, "due to an increase in smaller packaging sizes, which has an adverse impact on our packaging use ratio," according to the report.

The bottler uses more PET than any other material. Of the 382,000 tons of packaging used in 2014, 33 percent was PET.

The company has worked to ensure a supply of recycled PET. It invested more than $12 million to create the Infineo recycling plant in France, a joint venture with APPE that generates enough recycled content to meet the company's needs in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, according to the report. The bottler has also created a long-term supply agreement with ECO Plastics in the U.K.

The company appears to be ahead of Cola-Cola Co. in using recycled content. According to Coca-Cola Co.'s 2013-14 sustainability report, which covers its operations around the world, the company was expecting to fall short of its 2015 goal of having 25 percent of its PET come from recycled or renewable sources, including its plant-derived PET PlantBottle product. It said 6 percent came from recycled or renewable sources.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is one of the world's largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers, serves Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

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Plasticity Forum explores smarter plastics possibilities

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:57
Plasticity Forum explores smarter plastics possibilities

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

More than 80 people gathered in Cascais, Portugal to attend the Plasticity Forum, an annual event focused on upstream solutions to the environmental problems caused by plastics.

The forum, held June 8-9, was organized by the nonprofit organization Ocean Recovery Alliance.

The event aimed to highlight "solutions for a world where plastic is used but without its current footprint," Ocean Recovery Alliance and Plasticity founder Doug Woodring stated in a press release.

This year's forum focused on "Designing for Circularity, and Opportunities in Action that Now Need Scale."

Keynote addresses were delivered by Steve Russell, vice president of the American Chemistry Council's Plastics Division; Andrew Morlet, CEO of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; and Mike Biddle, founder and president of MBA Polymers.

The forum was first launched in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro and has since been held in New York and Hong Kong.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PS pellet prices soften

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:57
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PS pellet prices soften

June 17, 2015

Prices for recycled high-impact polystyrene and general-purpose polystyrene pellets fell in early June in response to weaker prime polystyrene prices.

In mid-June, HIPS white pellet was offered at 71 cents per pound and sold at 70 cents per pound FOB East Coast. Black HIPS pellet was offered at 67 cents per pound, FOB East Coast. Both were down 2 cents per pound from the beginning of June.

GPPS clear pellets, meanwhile, were 52 to 53 cents per pound, with GPPS white pellets at 50 to 52 cents per pound, also 2 cents per pound lower than prices at the start of the month.

In the prime polystyrene market, prices have been lowered 3 to 5 cents per pound in June in response to falling benzene costs.

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, 06/17/2015 - 10:57
Wide world of plastics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 17, 2015

A PET recycling center has opened its doors in South Africa, and officials in a state in Australia are actively considering a ban on plastic grocery bags.

A PET recycling facility in South Africa has opened, making the country the first in Africa to use recycled PET in Coca-Cola beverage containers. According to Recycling International, the $6 million facility will aim to produce more than 15,000 tons of recovered material a year to make new containers.

As talk of a national container deposit program heats up, the Australian state of Queensland is also looking into banning plastics bags. According to proponents of the ban, such action would help reduce litter and marine debris, which is 40 percent higher in Queensland than in any other state.

The EcoWaste Coalition is urging customs officials in Manilla to reveal the contents of 48 containers recently seized for containing trash. The containers, which were supposed to contain plastic scraps, have been tied to a Canadian exporter previously accused of sending trash labeled as plastic scrap to the Philippines.

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Patent watch

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:57
Patent watch

June 17, 2015

Wojciech Najman, from Skarzysko-Kamienna, Poland, was awarded Patent No. 9,006,505, which describes a system for processing waste plastics to oil or fuel.

An optical sortation device is the subject of Patent No. 9,006,599, given to Hasselt, Belgium's Visys.

Patent No. 9,011,740, which describes a method of recycling synthetic turf into infill material, was awarded to Dalton, Ga.'s Textile Management Associates, Inc.

Barrie, Ontario's Busch Systems International, Inc. developed a novel recycling collection container and was given Patent No. D727,584.

A method of making a composite plastic from different types of scrap resins is the subject of Patent No. 9,022,306, given to Montrose, W.V.'s David D. B. Rice.

Another method of making composite plastic materials from scrap resins was developed by Global Recycle Solutions, Inc. from Mill Creek, Wash. and awarded Patent No. 9,028,731.

Escanaffles, Belgium's Futerro S.A. was given Patent No. 9,040,614, which also describes manufacturing composite plastics from recovered scrap plastics.

Patent No. 9,033,421 describes a chair made from recycled plastics and was given to Formway Furniture Limited, headquartered in Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

Shiun Jiug Industrial Co., Ltd., from Changhua County, Taiwan, was awarded Patent No. 9,034,227, which describes manufacturing foamed plastic goods out of recovered scrap plastic materials.

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 - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:56
NewsBits

June 17, 2015

The Packaging Consortium has released a study that suggests single-serve coffee pods "may be a better choice" than traditionally brewed coffee when it comes to the well-being of the environment. According to the study, which was conducted by Quantis Canada, traditionally brewed coffee ends up producing more waste and expends more energy despite the fact that coffee pods in use today are not recyclable.

Faced with lower-than-expected participation rates in Detroit's subscription-based curbside recycling program, a city organization has launched a program to help lower-income residents sign up. The group, Green Living Science, is gathering funds to cover the costs associated with starting service – $25 per household – and is hoping the effort will result in greater participation citywide.

An op-ed published by the Montreal Gazette takes aim at the city's proposal to ban plastic bags. According to the editorial, written by longtime industry member Terry Browitt, Montreal has no need for a ban. Browitt claims 82 percent "of the bags available for recycling" are being recycled while 87 percent of bags get reused by Montreal residents. Montreal's mayor, Denis Coderre, has come out in support of the ban as a way to reduce litter.

 

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Walmart's Kaplan joins Closed Loop Fund

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:15
Walmart's Kaplan joins Closed Loop Fund

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

June 16, 2015

Sustainability executive Rob Kaplan has left Walmart for the Closed Loop Fund, an organization the retail giant helped birth.

The move, announced last week by Kaplan, will make him managing director of the New York-based Closed Loop Fund. The Fund, which Walmart has helped launch and support, is aiming to offer zero-interest loans to support recycling efforts by communities and private companies.

Kaplan was director of product sustainability at Walmart. In a statement to Resource Recycling, he stressed the potential to drive recycling progress in the U.S. through his new employer.

"The Closed Loop Fund is at the forefront of driving business and societal value through the circular economy, impact investing, and environmental sustainability – all significant trends," said Kaplan. "If we are going to solve the challenges facing our society and future generations, we need to deliver innovation across all of them. I'm thrilled to be part of the team to help build this platform for change and can't wait to get started."

Backed by funding from Walmart and eight other large consumer product and packaging companies, the Fund was created in April 2014. It has been described as a push by the companies to increase supply of recycled content and combat "stagnant" recycling rates. The group says on its website it is aiming "to invest $100 million over the next five years" to jumpstart recycling systems across the U.S.

The Fund expects to announce the first of its projects this summer, CEO Ron Gonen stated at this month's Waste Expo conference.

During a four-year tenure at Walmart that eventually landed him as the company's sustainability director, Kaplan became a well-known industry member and recycling advocate. He spoke often of the company's goals to push recycled content usage and the broader value of recycling nationwide.

"We've turned our waste streams into profit centers," Kaplan said at Resource Recycling Conference 2014, "and cities can do that too."

Under Kaplan's watch, the company most recently launched a sustainable products section of its website, allowing shoppers to choose from a selection of "green" products, some of which contain recycled content.

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Aluminum can recycling rate reaches 56.7 percent

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:15
Aluminum can recycling rate reaches 56.7 percent

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

June 16, 2015

The recycling rate for aluminum cans reached its highest level in 17 years, although an estimated $800 million worth of the metal is still landfilled each year.

That's according to a report by The Aluminum Association and the Can Manufacturers Institute examining 2014 performance indicators for aluminum beverage container recycling.

The consumer recycling rate reached 56.7 percent in 2014, compared to the 54.9 percent rate in 2013. It was the highest rate since 1997.

An estimated 59.3 billion cans were recycled. At the same time, roughly 37.6 billion cans were landfilled, according to the report.

"These landfilled cans, which could otherwise have been recycled and made into new cans, have a significant negative impact on the environment through wasted energy and on the economy through lost jobs," the report states.

At the same time, the cans have an average higher percentage of recycled content than they did in the past. In 2014, a survey of association members showed an average recycled content of 70 percent. Of that, 43 percentage points are post-consumer scrap and 27 percentage points are post-industrial scrap, according to the report.

The Aluminum Association conducts a survey of recycled content every four or five years. Figures for 2007 showed average recycled content of 68 percent. The association surveyed five main producers of can sheet: Alcoa, Logan, Novelis, Tri-Arrows and Wise. Novelis, in particular, has made news with its high-recycled-content beverage container, Evercan, which boasts at least 90 percent recycled content.

At the same time, aluminum stats continue to be affected by product lightweighting. More containers must be collected to yield the same weight of scrap recovered in years past. In 2014, the average can weighed 12.99 grams, a 38 percent weight reduction from 1971, when the Aluminum Association began reporting average weights.

The Aluminum Association's consumer recycling rate compares domestic can recycling to cans shipped in the U.S. Its industry recycling rate, which includes imported scrap and exported cans, was calculated at 66.5 percent in 2014.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: A networking hotbed

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:14
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: A networking hotbed

June 16, 2015

"This was the best networking conference I've ever attended." That was the feedback offered from one industry executive at the close of last year's Resource Recycling Conference, and the upcoming edition will offer the same opportunities for key connections.

The 2015 Resource Recycling Conference, taking place in Indianapolis in September, will be attracting top industry decision-makers for a full slate of education sessions as well as a number of co-located events, including the National Recycling Coalition's annual members meeting and workshops being produced by The Recycling Partnership. The array of programming geared to leading recycling executives and officials simply cannot be found at any other North American recycling gathering.

If you want your municipality or firm to be part of the conversations shaping the future of materials diversion and sustainability, mark your calendar now for Resource Recycling Conference 2015.

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

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