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Are phone books failing to answer call on recycling?

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:44
Are phone books failing to answer call on recycling?

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 5, 2014

The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) has released a report card that indicates the nation's biggest publishers of paper phone directories are not doing enough to support waste diversion.

PSI, a group that aims to increase the role of product manufacturers in materials recovery, assessed 15 phone-book companies on their overall sustainability efforts and issued grades in four areas, including "support for recycling."

Just six companies received a grade for their recycling efforts, with the other ten providing insufficient data to accurately generate a mark. None scored higher than a B in the recycling realm and and four got marks of C or worse. In its report, PSI says it has begun trying to assess and publicize phone-book sustainability shortcomings because the sector creates high volumes of material that must be handled by local waste streams. According to PSI, in 2009 only 37 percent of phone directories were recycled, and that year the products accounted for 410,000 tons of material sent to landfills and waste-to-energy sites.

"Telephone directory publishers have a responsibility to both educate consumers about phone book recycling and undertake activities that support recycling while reducing the financial burden on local governments," PSI states in the report. "Examples of this include running recycling campaigns, conducting neighborhood sweeps to collect unwanted directories, and maintaining consumer-accessible drop-off locations."

The Berry Company, which is based in Ohio and offers phone directories in many Midwest markets, received the highest recycling grade of the firms judged by PSI. The company earned a B for its efforts to set up collection events and let communities know about those opportunities. PSI said the score would have been higher if more collections were established.

The worst-performing companies, according to PSI, were Hibu/Yellowbook and Dex Media. Both earned the grade of D for not taking "any action to reduce the burden that collecting and recycling its products has on taxpayer-funded recycling programs."

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Fate of Indy dirty MRF to be decided this week

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:38
Fate of Indy dirty MRF to be decided this week

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Aug. 5, 2014

The Board of Public Works in Indianapolis will reportedly be voting on Wednesday to determine whether a deal for a controversial garbage-sorting materials recovery facility will go forward.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reported the vote date earlier this week. Approval from the Board of Public Works is the final step needed to validate a contract between Indianapolis and Covanta that would send waste collected in the city to a yet-to-be-built $45 million facility aimed at separating recyclable materials from garbage.

Local recycling advocates and some companies that rely on recycled material have in recent months voiced strong opposition to the deal, which was negotiated by the office of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Appointees by the mayor make up a majority of Board of Public Works members.

Ballard's office has defended the Covanta partnership as a low-cost method to improve diversion in an area that has seen low recycling rates. Opponents say the deal has not gone through a thorough public vetting process, and they note the contract, which runs through 2028, would lock the city into an unproven recycling system.

The Business Journal article notes that under the terms of the contract the city would be forced to pay Covanta $333,000 a month if it opted to pursue a different municipal recycling program.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the vote date was reported by the Indianapolis Star. It was reported by the  Indianapolis Business Journal.

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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:35
NewsBits

Aug. 5, 2014

Smiles currently abound among many aluminum can collectors and processors. Just when can volumes are surging due to summer’s hot weather, the value of baled cans, at more than 80 cents per pound, is at the highest level in two years.

The Miami Marlins baseball team was recently honored for its recycling efforts by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The team operates a waste diversion system for plastics, paper, glass and other packaging materials generated during home games, and the setup has led to a recycling rate above 54 percent.

In other stadium-recycling news, the NFL's Detroit Lions teamed up with recycled-content fabric brand Repreve on an initiative called #TurnItGreen, which encourages fans to avoid landfilling plastic bottles. As part of the effort, the Lions will be expanding the number of recycling receptacles at Ford Field, the team's 65.000-seat stadium in downtown Detroit.

Shipments of recovered paper to China in the first half of this year continued the downward trend of the past three years. Imports by Chinese mills at 15.5 million tons were 5.4 percent lower than the year-earlier level.

Materials diversion shared the spotlight with Eminem, Outkast and other music giants at last weekend's Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. Recycled Paper Greetings helped bring a Rock & Recycle program to concert attendees, offering prizes, signage and "pop-up parties" to boost proper recycling practices.

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APR lauds Kennedy Group for getting labels right

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 16:05
APR lauds Kennedy Group for getting labels right

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 31, 2014

While pressure-sensitive labels can be challenging to remove from plastic bottles in the recycling stream, one company appears to have come up with a solution.

The Kennedy Group's PureVue label was recognized last month by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) for exceeding the requirements of the group's APR’s Guidance Document for Pressure Sensitive Labels. The labels, tests have shown, are easy to remove, float in water and do not bleed — three key indicators of a recycling stream-compatible label, APR points out.

"The Kennedy Group has taken a huge step in helping to generate good clean material available for recycling, and for working with the industry to ensure their innovations are compatible with existing recycling technology," John Standish, APR's Technical Director, says in a press release.

Pressure-sensitive labels have been notoriously difficult to remove in PET recycling streams, with inks known to bleed and floatability a huge question mark. Through a variety of initiatives, APR is working to promote label designs that foster marketability while proving to be readily removable from PET bottles.

Four other firms — American Fuji Seal, Avery Dennison Corporation, Plastipak Packaging, Inc. and Polysack Flexible Packaging Ltd. — were also lauded by the group for labeling innovations last month.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The evolving plastics recycling landscape

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 16:03
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The evolving plastics recycling landscape

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 31, 2014

From curbside collection to export markets with plenty of details in between, the Resource Recycling Conference will explore plastics recycling from three different perspectives and provides a wealth a knowledge about what the future landscape of plastics recycling might look like.

SPI's Kim Holmes will be taking on how export markets are affecting domestic plastics recycling, APR's Elizabeth Bedard will look at the growth of polypropylene recovery and Green Spectrum Consulting's Amy Roth will peer into the future of the curbside material mix at this fascinating session.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 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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Panasonic goes for shredded plastic dust

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 15:59
Panasonic goes for shredded plastic dust

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 31, 2014

An electronics giant says it can now collect and sort manufacturing plastics three times as fast as conventional recovery systems.

Panasonic Corporation says its new and improved system will be able to recover shredded plastic dust from disassembled consumer electronic devices at company recycling facilities, according to a Panasonic press release. The near-infrared technology identifies three types of plastics for collection — PP, PS and ABS — with 99 percent accuracy, the company says, and manages to automatically and simultaneously sort them out for recycling.

Previously, shredded dust was sorted by plastic type and typically sent for conversion into fuel. The new technology will allow the company to "close the loop" on the use of plastic resins and reincorporate recycled resin into the manufacture of new products.

The first system is active at the Panasonic Eco Technology Center. The company plans to bring the technology to other Panasonic recovery centers throughout the world, the release notes.

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It's a local affair: Plastics news one community at a time

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 15:57
It's a local affair: Plastics news one community at a time

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

July 31, 2014

In this week's rundown of local plastics recycling news, two topics of national concern come to the forefront: plastics collection and what to do with plastic bags.

Residents of Charleston, West Virginia can now recycle all plastics Nos. 1-7 thanks to a new recycling policy by West Virginia Recycling Services. While deciding to no longer take in e-scrap at the company's Charleston receiving facility, West Virginia Recycling Services is accepting all plastic types. The company previously accepted only PET and HDPE.

Residents in San Antonio, Texas are getting ready to recycle their plastic bags curbside starting August 1. A new 10-year pact with ReCommunity Recycling — a brand new recycling center — allowed the city to table talks of a plastic bag ban and try recycling the items first. For more coverage on the plan, click here.

Talk of banning plastic bags in East End, Long Island has prompted the entire county of Suffolk, New York to consider the merits of such a move. Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is actively rallying support for the cause, which, the official says, is undeniably just. "I don't think there's any disputing the environmental value of moving in that direction," Throne-Holst recently told Newsday. "The devil is in the details, and how you enforce something like that and have it work."

In a highly critical feature-length article in The Santa Fe Reporter, journalist Justin Horwath takes Santa Fe, New Mexico to task for falling short when it comes to recycling. The city, which is often viewed as an environmentalist haven of sorts, recycles just 11 percent of its municipal solid waste and one of the issues, according to Horwath, is the city's plastics recycling policy: Santa Fe only accepts PET and HDPE, contending that plastics Nos. 3-7 are too difficult, time-consuming and costly to sort and reuse.

San Diego, California has decided to put off its own plastic bag ban debate for the time being. Despite pressure from environmental groups there, San Diego's Mayor Kevin Faulconer opted to wait until the current legislative session ends before taking up the ordinance. California is currently considering a statewide ban on plastic bags, which, if passed, would make San Diego's current back-and-forth a moot point.

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Patent watch

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 15:55
Patent watch

July 31, 2014

A recycling-friendly label adhesive is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140190631, awarded to Providence, Rhode Island's Nulabel Technologies, Inc.

RCO2 Washington, Inc., based in Seattle, was given Patent Application No. 20140190921 for a method of making roofing tiles and siding from recovered plastics.

Manitowoc, Wisconsin's Brian Antone Cvetezar developed methods of using scrap polyurethane foam in various concrete applications, and that technology is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140193197.

Patent Application No. 20140196413 was given to Donald Weder for a method of using scrap biodegradable plastics to make various packaging materials and "decorative grasses."

A group of researchers from Osaka, Japan led by Tamao Kojima was awarded Patent Application No. 20140197078 for a device that separates various recyclable materials.

Plastipak Packaging, Inc., from Plymouth, Michigan, developed a system and method for recycling bio-based plastics, the subject of Patent Application No. 20140199508.

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

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 15:49
NewsBits

July 31, 2014

Recycling Reinvented, a group that advocates for packaging extended producer responsibility, has launched a podcast, and its first episode features an interview with Ron Gonen of the Closed Loop Fund. In his discussion with Recycling Reinvented's Paul Gardner, Gonen explains how the $100 million Closed Loop Fund got its start and what types of programs its hoping to fuel as it leverages private dollars to boost municipal recycling rates. On the plastics front, Gonen specifically mentions efforts to bolster the recycling of polypropylene.

The Turkish city of Istanbul has turned to reverse vending machines to help feed an estimated 150,000 stray dogs roaming city streets. Residents who bring their plastic water and beverage bottles their "Smart Recycling Boxes" activate a dispensing mechanism that provides strays with food and water.

A new poll conducted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and Earth911 points to a lack of information as the major barrier for increasing curbside plastics recycling. Nearly 1,200 users took the online poll in May, with 37 percent of participants saying they don't know how much food contamination is acceptable and 28 percent saying it's unclear what plastics are accepted in their curbside program.

Carpet recovery efforts continued to make gains in 2013, according to a new report by the Carpet America Recovery Effort. The national group says 14 percent — or 534 million pounds — of all discarded carptes were diverted from landfills during the year, equivalent to a 52 percent increase in U.S. gross post-consumer carpet collections compared to 2012 numbers.

 

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Tablet shipments climbing slower

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:47
Tablet shipments climbing slower

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 31, 2014

Tablet shipments are on pace for a year of gains in 2014 but still aren't quite keeping up with last year's growth rate.

Worldwide shipments of tablets during the second quarter of 2014 totaled 49.3 million units, an increase of 11 percent compared to last year's Q2 performance. And, according to research firm IDC, the second half of 2014 will see tablet shipments continue to grow, despite being held back by a handful of lingering market factors.

"The market is still being impacted by the rise of large-screen smartphones and longer than anticipated ownership cycles," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets, in a release. "We can also attribute the market deceleration to slow commercial adoption of tablets. Despite this trend, we believe that stronger commercial demand for tablets in the second half of 2014 will help the market grow and that we will see more enterprise-specific offerings, as illustrated by the Apple and IBM partnership, come to market."

Tracking the amount of new devices entering the marketplace helps provide a snapshot of future waste streams — one potentially intriguing industry trend to watch is the "longer than anticipated ownership cycles" exhibited by tablet customers, IDC notes. This runs somewhat counter to the popular belief that today's gadget owners replace their devices at a rapid, if insatiable, rate, leaving behind perfectly good electronics in their wake.

By vendor, Apple continues to hold on to the top spot among tablet vendors. Apple, with 26.9 percent market share during Q2, was trailed by Samsung (17.2 percent), Lenovo (4.9 percent), ASUS (4.6 percent) and Acer Group (2.0 percent). A host of smaller vendors made up for the remaining 44.4 percent market share, a notable increase over Q2 2013's share of 37.0 percent.

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E-Scrap 2014: Connect with all the key vendors

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:45
E-Scrap 2014: Connect with all the key vendors

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 31, 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 Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. 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.

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Senate passes phone unlocking bill

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:42
Senate passes phone unlocking bill

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 31, 2014

Lawmakers have passed legislation that reverses a 2012 ruling that banned bulk unlockings of used cell phones.

After passing through the Senate on July 15, the House of Representatives quickly moved to reconcile and pass a revised version of the ‘‘Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act" on July 25. The final version of the bill, which is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama, allows consumers to unlock their phones as well as bulk unlockings — a key provision that was left out of the Senate version of the bill.

"We are very pleased that the legal right for recyclers and refurbishers to bulk unlock cell phones has been restored," said Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) President Robin Wiener in a press release welcoming the legislation. "Copyright law should not stand in the way of advances in the legitimate reuse of cell phones and tablets or prevent innovations and competitive uses for such devices."

An October 2012 ruling by the Librarian of Congress made unlocking cellphones illegal for consumers and bulk resellers, effectively sending the burgeoning mobile phone reuse and recycling industry into a tailspin. Without the ability to unlock used phones, companies struggled to cost-effectively resell them overseas, where demand is high but only for sanitized, "unlocked" devices.

The change, according to Kyle Wiens, iFixit's founder, forced larger repair and reuse firms to send devices overseas, where bulk unlockings were legal but where costs were likely higher.

The bill passed by Congress effectively ends a year and a half of debate and industry back-and-forth on how to upend the Librarian of Congress' decision.

Jot Carpenter, who represents the wireless industry through the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) and had opposed the provision allowing bulk unlockings, responded to the news with lukewarm acceptance, calling to mind the voluntary efforts of the wireless industry to support consumer unlockings.

"Today’s action by the House moves us closer to alleviating any confusion stemming from the Copyright Office’s 2012 decision and we await the President’s signature on the bill to compete this process," Carpenter writes in his statement. "At the same time, it is important to note that CTIA’s members already committed to a set of voluntary principles that enable consumers interested in unlocking their devices to do so."

Nothing, however, is necessarily set in stone. The Librarian of Congress will again review in 2015 whether unlocking devices is permissible under Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. That section, Wiens stressed, is what needs to be rewritten in order to avoid further question marks surrounding unlockings of phones, tablets and other electronic devices.

"The fundamental issue is that the copyright law is throwing up all kinds of barriers to reuse and recycling and so until the underlying law gets changed we're going to see issues like cellphone unlocking come up again and again," Wiens stated.

Section 1201's original intention was to curb the pirating of DVDs by making it illegal to circumvent the technological protection mechanisms of devices — a standing that, in the eyes of Wiens and others, has become too far-reaching in influence.

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Wisconsin talks CRT options

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:38
Wisconsin talks CRT options

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 31, 2014

The state of Wisconsin has released a guidance document on what routes recycling firms can take to process CRT glass and satisfy manufacturer contracts.

And the document makes clear that firms participating in the state's E-Cycle Wisconsin program can't count landfilled glass — at hazardous waste facilities or run-of-the-mill solid waste landfills — as recycled glass.

While E-Cycle's Sarah Murray says the market for sending glass downstream has become increasingly constrained, traditional recycling outlets for the leaded funnel glass portion of CRTs remain available. According to Murray, leaded glass is either sent to smelters — Doe Run in Missouri and Glencore in Canada — or to the lone glass-to-glass recycling facility still taking U.S. CRT glass — Videocon in India.

Emerging processing options within the U.S., including Nulife in New York and Closed Loop Refining and Recovery in Ohio and Arizona, would be considered on a "case by case basis," Murray said, before being counted toward program pounds.

One option Wisconsin has decided can't be counted toward program pounds is glass used as alternative daily cover (ADC). ADC, Murray says, is disposal and not recycled or put to beneficial use — a position the document affirms.

"In Wisconsin, it is considered disposal if the glass is sent to a landfill, regardless of whether the glass is used as ADC, road base or other purposes within the landfill," the document reads.

That said, recycling firms in Wisconsin are permitted to dispose of treated glass at landfills — as ADC or otherwise — and hazardous waste facilities, as long as they follow a strict set of guidelines and don't count it toward any manufacturer contract.

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Wide world of e-scrap

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:36
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 31, 2014

E-scrap exports are in the spotlight in our semi-regular look at electronics recycling around the globe. Take a trip and read on for details.

One e-scrap firm in the U.K. — the Electrical Waste Recycling Group — says monthly CRT tonnages collected through municipal collections will be down by about 30 percent by year's end. According to Keith Patterson, group managing director for the firm, flat panel display (FPD) televisions are beginning to show up more and more in the waste stream, while CRT devices are beginning to decrease. It is not yet clear if other e-scrap firms in the U.K. are also seeing a similar trend.

The American Chemical Society has just released a study on e-scrap exports and has arrived at some pretty potent, if dated, data. According to the study, a quarter of e-scrap exported by developed nations in 2005 went to seven developing countries: China, India and five West African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin and Liberia).

French mobile phone network provider Orange has started construction on its fifth device recycling center in Africa. The latest facility will be located in the city of Abidja in the Ivory Coast and will serve as a focal point of the company's efforts to recapture, reuse and recycle a share of the continent's 500 million devices.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:33
Certification scorecard

July 31, 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.

United Electronic Recycling's facility in Carrollton, Texas has achieved ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 certifications.

The Chico, California facility operated by Computers for Classrooms, Inc. is now certified to the R2:2013 and RIOS standards.

Li Rising LLC d.b.a. Re-Teck, based in Grand Prairie, Texas, is certified to the following standards: OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and R2:2013.

E-Scrap News has added OHSAS 18001 and NAID AAA into its certification directory, as well as moved the directory online. If your firm recently completed these certifications, a CHWMEG audit or an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, R2, RIOS or e-Stewards certification, e-mail dleif@resource-recycling.com to be included in this section and in E-Scrap News' directory. The full directory is available at www.tinyurl.com/Certified-E-scrap.

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NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:30
NewsBits

July 31, 2014

Despite a flurry of recent closures in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Sims Recycling Solutions, the e-scrap recycling wing of publicly traded Sims Metal Management, appears to be standing pat. In a July 23 presentation, Sims' CEO Galdino Claro stressed that "no significant additional restructuring activities or charges are anticipated in the Sims Recycling Solutions business after FY14," a press release reads.

"But what happens when those devices go into disrepair — or worse, obsolescence — and their sleeker, faster successors go on sale, as part of the relentless cycle common among most major hardware companies?," Jenna Wortham asks in a New York Times article entitled, "Smart Garbage." The answer to that question, Wortham finds, is not entirely clear, while the rising tide of e-scrap, often in the form of not-so-old devices, continues to mount.

Urban mining start-up BlueOak has apparently opted to use plasma to recover precious metals from end-of-life electronics. While a request for an interview has not been returned as of press time, the unconventional move has at least one e-scrap precedent in the U.S.: Recovered Energy, an Idaho-based corporation, announced earlier this year it would process CRT glass with plasma arc technology.

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High costs continue to follow NYC disposal, recycling services

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:16
High costs continue to follow NYC disposal, recycling services

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 30, 2014

The city that never sleeps also never stops racking up disposal and recycling costs.

According to the latest data from the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), a little more than $1.6 billion was spent in 2013 on recycling and disposal activities.

The city spent $1.28 billion collecting and disposing of trash — 3.26 million tons of material was disposed of, at a cost of $392 per ton. The remaining $354 million went toward recycling of mostly packaging and printed paper (PPP) as well as bulk metal and plastic items — the city recycled about 540,000 tons of designated materials, at an expense of $656 per ton.

DSNY reported that, while tonnages for metal, glass and plastics were up in 2013, paper was down, thus the curbside and containerized recycling diversion rate was slightly down. Just 15.1 percent of that material was diverted during the year — about 3 percentage points short of the 18 percent goal noted by DSNY in the report and virtually identical to 2012's rate.

Note:  This story has been edited and updated to present more accurate data related to the collection and disposal of materials in New York City.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Delving into commodities markets

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:12
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Delving into commodities markets

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 30, 2014

The annual Resource Recycling Conference markets panel offers an in-depth analysis of critical pricing data and forecasts for recycled materials.

The expert discussion this year will focus on paper, plastics and glass. Shawn State of Pratt Recycling will explore the quality of incoming fiber supply, convergence of No. 8 news and residential mix paper bale grades and operational issues in cost-effectively separating commodities in MRFs.

Envision Plastics' Tamsin Ettefagh, meanwhile, will offer a critical look at the latest market trends for key plastic resins. And Rich Abramowitz of Strategic Materials, Inc. will call upon his 35 years of experience in the recycling world to reflect on the past, present and future of glass markets.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 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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Anaerobic digestors coming to Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:10
Anaerobic digestors coming to Massachusetts, Rhode Island

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

July 30, 2014

Amid widespread interest in diverting organics from the U.S. waste stream, three new anaerobic digestors are being planned in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Canadian firm Himark BioGas will lead the development and planning of three new facilities — two in Massachusetts and one in Rhode Island — through a partnership with NEO Energy. Massachusetts recently passed a food waste ban that has left the state searching to develop sufficient organics processing infrastructure — either through traditional composting or anaerobic digestion — and Rhode Island is weighing its own food conversion law.

Himark's CEO Evan Chrapko told Resource Recycling those developments opened the door for its first U.S. venture.

"It makes things a lot more straightforward for our financiers when the political or regulatory risk is clarified and comes down so firmly in favor of cleaning up the mess," Chrapko said. "There's a lot of untreated waste in both Canada and the U.S. and taking advantage of that — treating it as a resource instead of a waste — is what you see going on."

The Massachusetts sites will be built in Fall River and Millbury and the Rhode Island site will be located in North Kingston. Construction, Chrapko said, is expected to commence next year with each site processing mostly commercially-sourced material by 2016.

The topic of diverting organics from landfills has emerged in various state legislatures of late as key to developing a "green" economy and waste management ethos. In 2012 alone, the U.S. landfilled almost 35 million tons of food, federal EPA data shows.

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Group takes on Houston "dirty MRF" proposal

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:07
Group takes on Houston "dirty MRF" proposal

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

July 30, 2014

A Texas-based environmental group is taking aim at a plan in Houston to build a facility that will sort through trash for recyclable materials.

The Texas Campaign for the Environment, a noted and often vociferous voice for environmental activism in the state and beyond, has issued a report on Houston's latest waste management proposal. According to the group, it will do two things: "pose threats to public health and the environment" and "undermine effective waste reduction and recycling efforts."

To back up the claims, the group investigates the history behind mixed-waste processing facilities — or "dirty MRFs" — in the U.S. and charges that similar efforts have resulted in low recovery rates and an overreliance on incineration methods.

The crux of the processing complication, and a genuine one for the industry, comes down to contamination concerns. While the advent of single-stream recycling collection triggered contamination questions — with all recyclables going in one bin or cart, separating them at MRFs was initially a headache — the "One Bin for All" approach, as it's been dubbed in Houston, may make those single-stream challenges seem slight in comparison, Texas Campaign for the Environment asserts.

By allowing residents to include organic waste alongside recyclables, the group says recoverable materials, especially paper, will be adversely affected by moisture and residue — even if they're sorted successfully, materials that would otherwise be prime candidates for reuse in recycled products could be overly contaminated and thus not an appealing option for reclaimers.

The latest out of Houston, however, is that the city is moving ahead with its plans to pick from a series of proposals submitted in the past couple of months to build such a facility. Proponents of the plan, including Houston mayor Annise Parker, say technologies have improved over the years and immediate diversion gains will be reaped.

A similar debate is waging on in Indianapolis, where the city is in the final stages of approving a widely contested plan to build a $45 million facility funded entirely by private dollars. Officials there say it will work and point to another recently opened plant in Alabama as evidence that things have changed and the approach is one of the not-so-distant future.

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