ResourceRecycling.com RSS Feeds

Is carton recycling failing in California?

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:54
Is carton recycling failing in California?

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 1, 2014

According to a California environmental organization, many cartons collected in the Golden State are ending up in landfills and should instead be integrated into a deposit system.

In a new report, Californians Against Waste (CAW) cites research indicating that MRFs rarely separate gable top and aseptic cartons for recycling due to low volumes.

While as much as 80 percent of curbside programs include cartons, just 13 percent of the 98 MRFs surveyed for the report stated they segregate cartons for "stand-alone recycling." An additional 47 percent said some cartons are diverted (in the mixed waste paper stream) while 37 percent report simply landfilling the packaging.

CAW uses these numbers to suggest that adding cartons to the state's bottle bill would increase the recycling rate for the material type from a "negligible," sub-3 percent clip to 33 percent in just three years. In the process, the CAW report asserts that the $2 million carton manufacturer group Carton Council of North America has spent on advancing recycling in the state has thus far failed to make a sizable impact.

The Carton Council's vice president of recycling projects, Jason Pelz, sent a 2-page response to Resource Recycling addressing those assertions and the work manufacturers have done so far.

"Getting all MRFs to sort cartons takes time," Pelz writes. "We’ve made tremendous progress since we began five years ago, and the fact that cartons are now being looked at like other beverage containers regularly recycled validates that."

Pelz also asserts that Council statistics show "that actually 15 to 17 percent of the MRFs in California sort cartons. And those are large MRFs that serve 30 percent of households in California with access to carton recycling today."

That said, Pelz, who also serves as vice president of environment at packaging company Tetra Pak, acknowledges the group is "mindful of the volume situation" and has continued to push for non-bottle-bill solutions, including an effort to allow cartons to be accepted alongside other paper items under the newly created Paper Stock Industries Grade #52 designation.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Rayovac opts to support battery legislation

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:50
Rayovac opts to support battery legislation

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 1, 2014

Just as battery legislation debate is charging up, a battery maker long accused of dodging its duties to support single-use battery recycling appears to be opening up to the concept.

In a post on its website, Rayovac, one of the largest manufacturers of both rechargeable and single-use batteries in the U.S., has come out in support of an all-encompassing model bill hammered out earlier this summer.

"Spectrum Brands and its U.S. Rayovac Battery Division … pledge our support for industry and legislative efforts for the first-ever model all battery recycling bill unveiled in June 2014," the statement reads.

That statement, according to the Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE), was posted after the group descended upon the Madison, Wisconsin headquarters of Rayovac's parent company, Spectrum Brands, urging the manufacturer to step up its recycling commitments.

"After the pressure, they became very public about their position," Andrew Dobbs, programs director for TCE in Central Texas, told Resource Recycling. "Now we are working to press the entire industry to improve the proposed legislation by setting more ambitious targets for collection and ensuring that batteries are recovered for the highest and best uses, not downcycling."

The news comes as officials in Connecticut are beginning to develop legislation that would require battery makers to fund the recycling of batteries in the state. While no new bill has been unveiled, it is likely some form of legislation will surface in 2015.

Connecticut was the site of a major dialogue between numerous stakeholders, including the Corporation for Battery Recycling, a pro-legislation group formed by Duracell, Energizer and Panasonic. Rayovac had been an early participant in the group before opting out shortly after the Corporation's formation in 2011.

Outside of its newly published position on legislation, the Rayovac website does make it clear that household batteries are not considered hazardous waste by the U.S. EPA.

"Household batteries … are not hazardous waste. They are qualified as non-hazardous after having undergone government required testing." the post reads.


To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

NRC elects a new board

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:47
NRC elects a new board

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 1, 2014

The National Recycling Coalition has voted 10 board members into the fold.

Elections for the board were held during the 2014 Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans. The new and re-elected members, listed below, will each serve 3-year terms:

 

  • Gary Bilbro, president, NewGreen Consulting LLC
  • Jack DeBell, development director, University of Colorado Recycling
  • John Frederick, executive director, Intermunicipal Relations Committee
  • David Juri Freeman, recycling program manager, city and county of Denver
  • Marjorie Griek, executive director, Colorado Association for Recycling
  • Doug Hill, president, EcoVision Environmental
  • Gary Liss, zero-waste consultant, Gary Liss & Associates
  • Antonio Rios, president, Puerto Rico Recycling Coalition
  • Will Sagar, executive director, Southeast Recycling Development Center
  • Michael Van Brunt, director of sustainability, Covanta

 

The recently voted-in individuals join the following active members:

 

  • Susan Collins, president, Container Recycling Institute
  • Jeffrey Cooper, AECC Group
  • Maggie Clark, zero waste planning and adjunct professor, Maggie Clarke Environmental
  • Mark Lichtenstein, executive director, Center for Sustainable Community Solutions, Syracuse University
  • Stephen London, marketing director, ReCommunity
  • Fran McPoland, government relations, Paper Recycling Coalition & 100 Percent Recycled Paper Alliance
  • Michelle Minstrell, project manager, Waste Management Sustainability Services
  • Maite Quinn, business development and marketing manager
  • Julie Rhodes, Julie Rhodes Consulting
  • Lisa Skumatz, principal, Skumatz Economic Research Associates & Econservation Institute
  • Robin Wiener, president, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

 

Ex-officio members include Michele Nestor, president of Nestor Resources, Inc., Cliff Case of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, LLC and Murray Fox with i-ROC.

It was a busy week for NRC. Numerous awards were given out as well as NRC's longstanding Murray J. Fox Scholarships, which went to three students from nearby Tulane University.

The group also worked to hammer out a definition of recycling with the help of sustainability thought-leader William McDonough.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Programs in action

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:38
Programs in action

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 1, 2014

We hit Florida, Minnesota and Chicago in our look at recent developments in municipal recycling and composting.

Officials in St. Petersburg, Florida are set to approve a $6.5 million loan to finance the introduction of citywide single-stream recycling. While the expansion won't require residents to actually recycle, they will be charged about $3 each month for the added service. Just about 10 percent of city residents currently sign up for recycling services.

Residents in St. Paul, Minnesota have so far been taking advantage of their single-stream recycling services. First introduced in April, single-stream has led to a 16 percent increase in collection volumes even though the city is putting off plans to switch from bins to carts until at least next year.

A pilot composting program in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park appears to be flourishing. The 725 households served by the voluntary food scraps program are sending about 2,300 pounds of material each week to Waste Management's Romeoville facility. The service, which is the first of its kind in Illinois, costs residents $14 per month.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:36
NewsBits

Oct. 1, 2014

Haulers servicing Metro Vancouver were fined nearly half of a million dollars last year. The violations, which were concentrated among some of the leading firms in the area, including Waste Management, stemmed from too many recyclables ending up in the trash, according to waste auditors. Metro Vancouver views it as the haulers' responsibility to educate residents on what should and shouldn't go in the trash.

California's landmark plastic bag ban legislation has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown's seal of approval means the bag ban will go into effect in July of 2015 and will eventually ban all single-use checkout bags from grocery and convenience stores throughout the state. "We’re the first to ban these bags, and we won’t be the last," Brown said at the signing.

Recycling-savvy residents in Charleston, South Carolina will be eligible to win free $50 gift certifications from Harris Teeter for the next six months. The initiative, which is part of Coca-Cola's "Recycling & Win" program, is aimed at recognizing "households which are recycling properly" ‒ in other words, recycling as much as possible and only those items Charleston's curbside program accepts.

Scotland has fallen short of its own admittedly hard-to-reach 2013 recycling goals. Scotland's 32 local authorities collectively reached a 42 percent recycling and composting rate during the year, one percentage point above 2012's final number but well short of a countrywide 50 percent goal.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

EPA seeks input on key e-scrap issues

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:36
EPA seeks input on key e-scrap issues

By Jerry Powell, E-Scrap News

Sept. 30, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency convened a meeting of some 50 key electronics recycling parties last week near Washington, D.C. to receive advice and input. The meeting — the first "EPA Summit on Electronics" since 2005 — included representatives of original equipment manufacturers, states, nonprofit organizations, e-scrap reclaimers and trade groups.

The two-day session focused on two concerns. EPA sought input on CRT recycling management, including a review of how obsolete CRTs are being handled and how current and future problems can be addressed. Included at the meeting were executives from major CRT processors, including Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, Kuusakoski, Nulife Glass and Universal Recycling Technologies.

The stakeholder group assessed the current CRT recycling landscape, with attention focused on collection and handling practices by e-scrap firms and others. The attendees then analyzed the advantages and challenges associated with different CRT recycling options, including use of CRT glass in ceramics and concrete; the recovery of lead from CRTs in de-leading furnaces and lead and copper smelters; the chemical extraction of the lead through leaching; and CRT reuse. Discussion also centered on the use of CRT glass as alternative daily cover in landfills and the storage of CRTs in monofills.

The general consensus generated at the meeting is that obsolete CRTs are backing up in the current recovery system and additional abandoned stockpiles may occur. Some participants urged EPA to adopt a more forceful position in terms of its "speculative accumulation" rule and to increase its regulatory efforts with states to address any future problems.

The participants then generated a set of recommendations for future government-industry efforts in CRT and hazardous materials management, including the development of best practices guidance and new permitting standards for legitimate long-term CRT storage. The stakeholders at the meeting recommended that this work be expanded to include hazardous materials management issues arising from the processing of copiers and flat-panel displays.

The second focus of the meeting was sustainable electronics. Much of the discussion targeted two issues: design of electronics for reuse, repair and recycling, and better ways to determine what makes a firm a "good recycler." In terms of the first concern, the group recommended a number of government and industry actions take place involving electronics designers, software producers and e-scrap reclaimers. For the second issue, the participants want to see a mass-balance tracking system for recyclable materials developed and sample model contract language generated for those wanting to assure environmentally sound recycling.

EPA is eager to get input from others on the Summit recommendations. Agency officials are inviting those interested in CRT management to an open meeting on Oct. 23 in Orlando from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at a session immediately following the E-Scrap 2014 conference. This will be followed by a sustainable electronics open meeting at the hotel from 3:00 to 4:30 PM. To sign up for these free sessions, here.

To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

 

E-Scrap 2014: Attack of the tablets

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:33
E-Scrap 2014: Attack of the tablets

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 30, 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 E-Scrap 2014, a number of presentations 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.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies. Get all the latest information and register to attend here.

To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

Creative Recycling Systems founder Jon Yob breaks his silence

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:31
Creative Recycling Systems founder Jon Yob breaks his silence

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 30, 2014

After a multimillion dollar lawsuit was dismissed late last week, the founder of a troubled East Coast e-scrap firm has gone on the offensive.

In a 10-paragraph statement issued to E-Scrap News, Jon Yob, the founder and former CEO and president of Creative Recycling Systems (CRS), lays the blame for the recent collapse of his former firm at the feet of Intersection One LLC, the investor group that purchased CRS from Yob in 2012.

"Things didn't work as they promised," Yob writes. "The company slowly came apart — for many reasons."

Yob was until recently being sued by Intersection One for allegedly overstating the value of CRS at the time of the acquisition in 2012. That lawsuit, court records show, was dismissed "without prejudice of all claims alleged or asserted" on Sept. 26.

In his statement, which was issued in the wake of the suit dismissal, Yob asserts that Rick Bates, the CEO installed by Intersection One, "had absolutely no recycling industry experience" and that a series of bad business decisions were made "without my approval." Yob claims "the purchase contract [between himself and Intersection One] clearly stated that any changes would need my consent."

Yob adds the company's abandonment of "an industry-leading technique to process and recycle CRT glass" led to "millions of pounds of unprocessed CRT glass sitting in warehouses."

A recent report indicated more than 30 million pounds of CRT glass are being held at CRS sites in six states.

The legal team for Intersection One did not return a request for comment on Yob's assertions.

The Intersection One suit alleged that Yob misrepresented the value of CRS when the firm was sold. "Defendants led the Investors to believe that CRS was a profitable, large-scale, stable company with healthy cash flow," the lawsuit read. "What Defendants failed to disclose to the Investors was that this depiction of CRS was premised upon abject, widespread and systemic fraud."

According to the lawsuit, Yob claimed his company was worth $55 million, while its true value was "approximately $20 million."

Yob now claims he was the one misled. "In 2013, I reinvested some of my own money into Creative Recycling based on representations the group made to me," he states in his recent comments. "Turns out, those representations weren't accurate."

Asked whether he would file a lawsuit against Intersection One, Yob told E-Scrap News, "All legal options remain on the table."

CRS as a company still faces struggles. In a separate lawsuit, a Florida-based bank has sued the company for almost $19 million it says it is owed. Creative has since gone into receivership and filed for bankruptcy as it looks to close locations and sell off any salvageable assets.

The company operated three processing locations and numerous e-scrap collection hubs, most of which were concentrated throughout the East Coast.

To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

 

Wide world of e-scrap

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:27
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 30, 2014

UK regulators issue fines for end-of-life electronics that were bound for Africa. That story leads our global look at the industry.

A total of 11 containers of e-scrap bound for Africa were recently intercepted at UK ports by the Environment Agency. The containers, which were said to carry mostly old television sets, have been linked to a handful of Tyneside companies who either failed to label the items for reuse or deliberately attempted to ship off the devices without paying for "proper end-of-life treatment." Six individuals have been fined about $5,700 in all.

Rwanda appears to be on the verge of developing its own e-scrap policy. An environmental fund will contribute $1.3 million to help the African nation organize a national e-scrap strategy, and plans are also in place to fund the building of an e-scrap processing center.

Computer maker Dell has agreed on a 5-year deal with the United Nations to develop e-scrap recycling infrastructure in Africa, Asia and Latin America. According to a report by Forbes, the partners will aim to build processing sites in each region to handle e-scrap, although financial terms of the alignment and potential investment have not been disclosed.

To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

 

Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:25
Certification scorecard

Sept. 30, 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.

ZRG LLC of Carlsbad, California is now certified to the R2:2013 and RIOS standards.

EnviroShred NW of Portland, Oregon; Proshred Security of Albany, New York; Shred Guard (serving Atlantic Canada) of Saint John, New Brunswick; Shredall Ltd. of Nottingham, England; and Shred Doc Destr dba Balcones Shred of Austin, Texas have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Also, EPC's E-Scrap Processing Center of Earth City, Missouri has renewed their NAID Certification for Computer Hard Drive Sanitization as well as 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.

To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

E-Scrap 2014: Connect with all the key vendors

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:22
E-Scrap 2014: Connect with all the key vendors

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 30, 2014

The bustling trade show hall at E-Scrap 2014 will feature more than 100 leading industry companies that can take your business to new levels. And by connecting with potential partners and suppliers in one spot, you save valuable time and resources.

Exhibiting companies include electronics scrap processors, buyers and brokers, equipment manufacturers, waste haulers, industry trade associations and more. In addition, the trade show at E-Scrap 2014 will open a day earlier than in years past. The hall will open Tuesday, Oct. 21, and hours that initial day will be 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The hall will also be open for all your networking needs on Wednesday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 23.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies, so plan now to secure your spot at this fall's conference. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.


To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 11:18
NewsBits

Sept. 30, 2014

Newfoundland and Labrador's newly installed e-scrap program recently faced criticism after an 2013 annual report detailed a surplus of more than $1.7 million in the consumer-funded initiative. Program director Terry Green has responded to the heat by telling local news outlet VOCM that the program, which launched in August of 2013, is just beginning to gain steam this year, with funds directly feeding that increased recycling activity.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) this week posted a blog entry outlining some of the work the federal agency has done assessing the potential hazards at e-scrap facilities across the country. NIOSH representatives found possible overexposure to lead and cadmium among workers handling CRT de-manufacturing as well as toxic metals existing outside typical processing areas. The blog post follows a more formal report on e-scrap processing hazards NIOSH released this summer.

With its share price now at just a fraction of a penny, publicly traded E-Waste Systems has doubled its share count. The firm, which offers e-scrap processing in Ohio and New York, now has authorized a total of 3 billion common stock shares after adding 1.5 billion late last week. At press time, about 426 million shares are outstanding, leaving more than 2.5 billion up for grabs.

SERI, the housing body for the R2 environmental e-scrap recycling standard, recently announced two new members to its R2 Recycling Leader Program: Oracle and the Reverse Logistics Sustainability Council. Entities in the Leader Program make a commitment to support sustainable electronics recycling as well as consider R2 certification when choosing a recycling partner.

Asserting that "additional action is needed" on e-scrap exports, defense and computer technology experts wrote an op-ed published in Capitol Hill news source Roll Call. The article urges federal legislators to address the problem of used e-scrap parts ending up in ostensibly new defense machinery and weapons. The three writers of the op-ed — Henry Livingston, Tom Sharpe and Jim Burger — offered a similar viewpoint earlier this year at a Congressional briefing.

Marketing firm WarpSpeed, which operates the Force Multiply Gaming brand, has become an e-Stewards enterprise. The move is being framed by e-Stewards and Warpspeed as a first step toward getting the gaming industry on board to drive e-scrap recycling. "The video game industry has an opportunity to lead a critical cultural shift with respect to the replacement and proper handling of used electronics," writes Lou Raiola, founder and CEO of WarpSpeed, in the announcement. "E-Stewards is the best in class certification to ensure that e-waste is recycled ethically by responsible certified recyclers."

To return to the E-Scrap News newsletter, click here

 

.

.