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Plastics exports see 18 percent year-over-year gain

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:55
Plastics exports see 18 percent year-over-year gain

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 5, 2014

The most recent figures show exports of scrap plastics bounced back from 2013 levels.

March saw a rise of 13.8 percent from February 2014 export levels, with 397.04 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in March 2014. When matched against March 2013 levels – a time during which China's Operation Green Fence was almost at its peak – the volume of plastic scrap exports was also up, by 18.0 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in March, at 19.68 cents per pound, was flat, up by just 1.4 percent from its February 2014 standing. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 7.9 percent.

Through March, at 1.10 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was up 2.2 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.48 cents per pound, however, the average price through February was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices hold steady in late May

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:54
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices hold steady in late May

June 5, 2014

Relatively balanced supply and demand kept U.S. recycled PET flake and pellet prices stable in May.

The price for PET clear, high-grade flake hovered in the 60 to 65 cents per pound range from mid to late-May. Recycled PET pellet, clear FDA grade, ended May up a half cent per pound at 79 to 81 cents per pound.

In the spot prime bottle-grade PET market, product delivered Midwest via rail, dropped 1.5 cents per pound to 70 to 71 cents per pound in the second half of May due to over-supply of both domestic and import material. Prime PET prices in the U.S. are down nearly 10 percent, or 7.5 cents per pound, since the beginning of the year.

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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Japan uses 80 percent of its plastics discards

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:52
Japan uses 80 percent of its plastics discards

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

June 5, 2014

Japanese consumers and businesses used 10.2 million tons of plastics in 2012, reports the country’s Plastic Waste Management Institute. Some 80 percent of this material was either recycled, gasified or used as a fuel.

Japan relies heavily on nonrecycling recovery systems, as only 22 percent of plastics discards were mechanically recycled. A whopping 42 percent of plastic waste was incinerated to make power or heat.

About 12 percent was converted into fuels, including fuel used in cement making, and 4 percent was liquefied or gasified.

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:48
NewsBits

June 5, 2014

Coca-Cola has teamed up with an ad agency in China to create a campaign in which 16 different cap designs allow consumers to turn soda bottles into objects such as paint brushes and spray bottles after the drink is consumed. The 2nd Lives attachments are being offered for free to around 40,000 consumers in Indonesia and Thailand when they make their beverage purchases.

A young Dutch innovator, who recently developed plans for a modular cell phone, has launched an effort to bring plastics recycling into the garage of any handy consumer. Dave Hakkens' Precious Plastics offers open-source plans for easy-to-build machinery that opens the door to small-scale processing of commonly discarded plastic materials.

Recycling Reinvented, a group that advocates for more extended producer responsibility strategies, has issued a statement that "salutes" the move by Walmart and other corporate giants to inject capital into the national recycling infrastructure. But the statement also explains there are some limitations in the strategy.

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Sims Recycling Solutions closes New Jersey facility

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 14:53
Sims Recycling Solutions closes New Jersey facility

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

June 5, 2014

Just weeks after news broke Sims Recycling Solutions would be closing its Dallas facility, the firm confirmed it is also shuttering its Edison, New Jersey e-scrap processing site.

Steve Skurnac, Sims Recycling Solutions' president, told E-Scrap News the company had stopped receiving materials at its Edison facility June 1. The closure was tied to a changing marketplace and a need to consolidate operations, Skurnac said

"In response to advances in the electronics market, Sims has invested in new technologies and services such as mobile repair facilities and new on-site hard drive shredding," Skurnac said in a statement. "By consolidating the number of locations where Sims processes traditional electronic scrap, the company will be able to continue investing in cutting edge solutions to meet our customer’s ever-changing needs."

According to a database compiled by E-Scrap News, the Edison facility, opened in December 2010, was 93,000 square feet and employed 25 workers.

Material from Edison, Skurnac explained, will be making the 160-plus mile trip south to Sims' Baltimore-area facility for processing.

County officials in Middlesex, where Edison is located, first confirmed the closure with E-Scrap News. In 2013, the county collected nearly 3 million pounds of e-scrap – all of which was serviced by Sims' Edison facility, officials said.

County officials stated the facility would officially close July 7, 2014.

In addition to servicing the Edison community, Sims' New Jersey e-scrap facility serviced the metro New York City area, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, according to the company's website.

The news comes less than a month after the Dallas Business Journal revealed Sims Recycling Solutions, a division of the publicly traded Sims Metal Management, would be closing its Dallas facility and laying off 45 workers.

Another multi-facility e-scrap recycling firm, Creative Recycling Solutions, has also recently moved to close operations.

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E-Scrap 2014: A great chance to boost your brand

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:53
E-Scrap 2014: A great chance to boost your brand

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

June 5, 2014

E-Scrap 2014 is the must-attend conference for the electronics recycling industry, and by signing on as a an exhibitor and/or sponsor, you'll put your brand in front of hundreds of potential customers.

The 2013 conference attracted over 1,200 attendees from 43 states and 29 countries, and the tradeshow floor bustled with over 125 exhibitors. More than ever, it is important to not lose personal contract with your clients and prospects.

Sponsoring and/or exhibiting is the perfect opportunity to reach executives at original equipment manufacturers; generators of e-scrap; federal, state and local government officials; trade association leaders; e-scrap processors; and buyers of e-scrap parts and materials. The exhibit hall is filling up fast. Secure your spot today.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. Get all the latest information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring at e-scrapconference.com.

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Globally focused organization replaces R2 Solutions

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:52
Globally focused organization replaces R2 Solutions

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

June 5, 2014

The administrators of the R2 standard today introduced a new organizational structure that they say will help open the door to safer handling of used electronics in developing nations.

R2 Solutions, the group that up until now has administered the R2 certification, is dissolving to make way for an organization called SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International). John Lingelbach, who led R2 Solutions and is now SERI's executive director, said the R2 certification and all other R2 Solutions assets are being transferred to the new group.

"Our primary focus remains the R2 Standard – its administration and promotion," Lingelbach told E-Scrap News. "We will not be reducing the level of effort or service we put into the R2-specific work. Beyond this, having the standard housed in an organization that does more to advance responsible electronics recycling around the world will increase awareness and the stature of the certification."

The R2 certification is one of two major North American standards employed by e-scrap recycling organizations to verify their operations follow best practices in the environmental, health and safety (EHS) realm – e-Stewards is the other main industry standard. According to a SERI press release, more than 540 facilities in 17 countries currently hold R2 certification.

But while the vast majority of those R2 facilities are located in North America and other wealthier areas across the globe, the shift to SERI seems to have been driven in large part by a desire among Lingelbach and other R2 leaders to influence policy and practices in less-developed nations. The move also provides the funding structure to make such projects a reality.

The SERI website, which went live today, outlines projects the group is undertaking in Kenya and India, two nations that have not traditionally been pegged as e-scrap dumping grounds but which are generating large tonnages of old electronics and which don't have many formal reuse and recycling procedures in place.

The Kenya initiative is already underway, Lingelbach told E-Scrap News. SERI is working with two e-scrap companies in the African nation and working to analyze how their operations can be improved from environmental and worker safety perspectives. U.S.-based auditing firm Greeneye Partners is assisting on the effort.

In India, SERI is set to begin a partnership with Switzerland-based Sofies SA, a firm that helps bring environmentally focused practices into industrial applications. Sofies has a branch in the Indian city of Bangalore, and SERI's goal with the partnership is to develop EHS guidelines for small and medium-sized electronics recyclers in the country.

"Kenya has the only e-recycling facilities we are aware of in Africa, other than South Africa, that are already in a position to develop and utilize EHS management systems," Lingelbach said. "In India, we were approached about doing a project with smaller companies that want to do the 'right thing' but don’t have sufficient capital to get certified. We anticipate work in Nigeria and China, and potentially Ghana. We just haven’t gotten there yet."

Lingelbach said the immediate goal in India and Kenya will be establishing guidelines and procedures for processors. Rolling out the actual R2 standard in those markets may come at a later time. It's worth noting that three Indian companies already hold R2 certification.

Lingelbach also noted financial strategy played a major part in the decision to dissolve R2 Solutions and launch SERI. Both organizations were built as nonprofit groups, but R2 Solutions was classified as a 501(c)(4), a broad category and one which does not allow for charitable contributions made to groups to be tax deductible for the contributor.

SERI, on the other hand, was formed as a 501(c)(3) organization, which means it can accept funding from foundations. This fact will likely help SERI land funding for global initiatives.

"It is an important piece of the change because it will enable us to support financially the work that goes beyond administering and promoting the R2 Standard," Lingelbach said.

According to the SERI website, the group will also aim to advance e-scrap education in markets worldwide.

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Wide world of e-scrap recycling

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:51
Wide world of e-scrap recycling

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

June 5, 2014

A U.K. mobile device recycling firm expands, and a Reuters photo essay explores crude electronics processing in China. Those stories lead our global look at the industry.

A photojournalist from Reuters has set out to document the underground e-scrap trade in the outskirts of Beijing. In a series of photographs and an accompanying essay published on Wednesday, Kim Kyung-Hoon takes a look at Dongxiaokou, a town whose residents rely on repairing and salvaging discarded e-scrap seven days a week and without any safety protocols in place.

U.K. mobile device recycling firm Redeem announced it has purchased two Spanish companies, Mobilepoint and Insitu Moviles. In a press release, Redeem's CEO said the acquisition allows the company to expand deeper into Europe.

A recent study on the rising tide of e-scrap in Latin America cites data suggesting that by next year the region will account for 9 percent of the world's annual e-scrap generation. With the increase in supply of end-of-life devices, Latin America has also stepped up its recycling efforts, the study says, especially in the mobile device industry.

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PC shipments continue hobbled trajectory

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:50
PC shipments continue hobbled trajectory

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

June 5, 2014

With first quarter results in, worldwide PC shipment numbers appear to be in line with past projections.

According to new data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC), PC shipments during 2014 are expected to be down 6.1 percent compared with 2013 totals. Despite a somewhat resurgent mature market for PCs, the trend of consumers choosing tablets and smartphones, IDC says, continues to keep PC shipments down.

"The transition toward mobile and cloud-based computing is unstoppable," Loren Loverde, Worldwide PC Trackers' vice president," said in a press release. "PCs continue a slow transition toward touch and slim designs, even as tablet volume is expected to pass total PC volume in the fourth quarter of 2014 and on an annual basis in 2016."

The figures on shipments of PCs and other devices are relevant to the e-scrap industry because such statistics indicate what processors' material mix will look like several years from now.

To regain some semblance of growth, Loverde says PC manufacturers will have to take a page out of the tablet and smartphone design and interface formula. "To return to growth, the PC industry is going to need to accelerate the shift to lower-cost, thin, and touch-based designs, despite the challenges it has faced with these designs in the past," Loverde stated.

Global shipments of PC units are expected to fall to 296.3 million in 2014, with 2018 estimates suggesting shipments will come in at 287.3 million units.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:48
Certification scorecard

June 5, 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.

Cooks Mobile Shredding of Memphis, Tennessee; Crown Shredding LLC of Winter Haven, Florida; Safeguard Destruction Services of Fort Myers, Florida; Secure Document Solutions of Independence, Missouri; Secure Shredding, Inc. of Ft. Myers, Florida and Shred Works, Inc. of Oakland, California have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

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

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NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 06/04/2014 - 13:46
NewsBits

June 5, 2014

As part of a recent U.S. EPA initiative called the Federal Green Challenge, 400 federal offices and other work sites sent 1,756 tons of end-of-life electronics to certified recycling firms. The effort ran throughout 2013.

Electronics buy-back company Gazelle says consumers have sent in more than 2 million devices since 2007. The online-based platform -- offering consumers cash for their used electronics -- has paid out more than $170 million in the process, refurbishing and reselling devices abroad and generating $100 million in revenues in 2013 alone.

During its T-Mobile All-Star Fanfest festivities in Minneapolis next month, Major League Baseball will be working with the Minnesota Twins to host a mobile device recycling drive.

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Ontario report: Province is landfilling jobs across the border

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:41
Ontario report: Province is landfilling jobs across the border

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

June 4, 2014

A study investigating the economic potential of waste diversion in Ontario argues the province should focus on more than just lifting recycling rates — it also needs to stop sending so much material to the U.S.

The report, written by nonprofit research group The Conference Board of Canada on behalf of the Ontario Waste Management Association, extrapolated data from a number of other North American studies to determine that increasing Ontario's overall diversion rate (including residentitial and commercial sources) to 60 percent from its current 23 percent level would lead to an additional 13,000 full-time jobs in the province and increase GDP by $1.5 billion.

The research indicates curbing the export of waste would be a major driver in those economic gains. From 2003 to 2008, the amount of solid waste sent from Ontario to New York landfills increased more than three-fold, according to the report, from 250,000 to 800,000 metric tons. The report also says significant tonnages of recyclables end up being shipped to Michigan for disposal.

"[Policy-makers] should consider the fact that a substantial amount of recyclable materials is exported, rather than processed locally and used to supply domestic manufacturers," the report reads.

The study comes roughly a year after Ontario's environment minister first proposed a revamped policy called the Waste Reduction Act that, among other strategies, opened the door to the expansion of extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems in the province.

The study notes analysis of EPR implementation in other areas shows that those systems can benefit local economies as they increase the tonnages of diverted materials. However, the report also raises a concern about the economics of EPR, arguing that as producers are forced to cover the costs of collection and processing, consumers may end up confronting higher prices when they shop.

"If the resulting increases in prices is substantive," the report states, "it could lead to a reduction in consumption, which could have a negative impact on the economy."

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Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The latest on foodservice packaging recovery

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:40
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The latest on foodservice packaging recovery

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

June 4, 2014

Several years ago, the foodservice packaging industry launched the Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group to increase the recycling and composting of their products.

What progress has been made? At this year's Resource Recycling Conference, The Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Natha Dempsey will share the group's MRF-to-market approach and discuss projects undertaken to overcome the real and perceived barriers to recover more paper and plastic foodservice packaging. Highlights include the results of various food residue studies and a MRF survey on foodservice packaging acceptance. Dempsey will also detail innovative work being done to bolster end markets for recovered materials.

Be a part of this fascinating discussion and many others at Resource Recycling Conference 2014, 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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Is another EPR program headed to British Columbia?

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:38
Is another EPR program headed to British Columbia?

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

June 4, 2014

British Columbia's hotly debated, producer-led recycling program is only weeks into implementation, but already the seeds of another plan are being planted.

A group called StewardChoice last week announced the specifics of a new program, one which would aim to serve the roughly 100,000 multi-family dwelling units currently not serviced by B.C.'s just-launched extended producer responsibility (EPR) program, Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC).

"Ours would be an option for producers to secure their compliance with recycling regulations," Neil Hastie, development director and spokesperson for StewardChoice Enterprises, Inc., told Resource Recycling. By offering producer-funded services to multi-family homes that are not served by MMBC, Hastie says, the StewardChoice plan will not directly take away from MMBC's roster of participating producers.

"In a way, it will function as a complementary or parallel offering," said Hastie, who is a longtime member of Canada's recycling industry. "We do not ever expect it to be anywhere near the size of the MMBC — this would always be a relatively smaller entry into the packaging and printed paper (PPP) market."

Producers of packaging and printed paper in B.C. are required to fund the collection of at least 75 percent of the material that enters the waste stream each year. MMBC was developed to lead the charge, and it functions as a province-wide organization that represents producers and helps them reach collection goals.

The budding StewardChoice program, which gained inspiration from Germany, where producers have a variety of EPR programs to choose from, could get its start as early as 2015. A draft plan is set to be released later this month, followed by a public consultation period. Eventually, a revised plan will make its way to the Ministry of Environment for official approval as an EPR program for B.C., Hastie said.

A subsidiary of stewardship organization Reclay StewardEdge, StewardChoice estimates 20 percent of the roughly 500,000 multi-family dwelling units are without producer-funded collection.

MMBC's managing director, Allen Langdon, stressed that it was too early to make a judgment on the still-nascent proposal from StewardChoice, but added his group would "welcome lawful competition."

"We look forward to reading … the program plan, once published, and the outcome of the consultations," Langdon told Resource Recycling.

MMBC launched last month after facing opposition from various producer groups, including the newspaper, plastic and grocery industries.

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Programs in action

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:37
Programs in action

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

June 4, 2014

In this week’s assessment of local recycling initiatives, single-stream recycling is a major focus.

Several communities will switch to all-recyclables collection in the coming months. Charlottesville, Virginia begins its program in July when it will pick up residential materials every other week, using 95-gallon carts. The program will handle more materials than in the past, including the collection of all plastic bottles.

Naperville, Illinois will also move to cart-based single-stream service in September, with Republic Services doing the collection.

Durham County, North Carolina has seen recycling volumes jump 34 percent when single-stream service is offered. As a result, the county will add 7,000 more homes to the program.

Charleston County, South Carolina, meanwhile, has seen its recycling tonnage climb 63 percent in the past four years, due in great part by the county’s switch to fully mixed, cart-based service. Sonoco Recycling processes the materials, with residents paying a $99 per year solid waste fee for recycling.

Brookhaven, New York says volumes have risen 25 percent since implementing all-recyclables collection.

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Patent watch

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:35
Patent watch

June 4, 2014

Patent No. 8,733,682, which describes a shredder of scrap materials, was awarded to Lindner-Recyclingtech GmbH, which is headquartered in Spittal an der Drau, Austria.

A method of tracking recycling rollcarts and bins via RFID technology is the subject of Patent No. 8,738,423, awarded to Armonk, New York's International Business Machines Corporation.

Patent No. 8,735,457 was given to the Columbia Insurance Company, of Omaha, Nebraska, describes different methods and compositions of recycled PET resin.

A method of recycling magnets containing rare earths is the subject of Patent No. 8,734,714 awarded to the U.K.'s University of Birmingham.

TOMRA Systems, headquartered in Asker, Norway, was awarded Patent Application No. 20140147005, which concerns a method and apparatus of preventing fraud in reverse vending machines.

Nottingham, England's Chinook End-Stage Recycling Limited was given Patent Application No. 20140144043 which describes a method of processing solid waste via pyrolysis.

Jerry and Kathy Brownstein, from Issaquah, Washington, were given Patent Application No. 20140137738 which concerns a method of making air filters from post-consumer PET scrap.

A method of processing PET scrap with low impurity levels was given to two researchers from SABIC Innovative Plastics based in Evansville, Indiana and awarded Patent Application No. 20140148514.

Patent Application No. 20140147207 was given to West Jefferson, Ohio-based R. L. Parsons and Son Equipment Company, Inc. for a method of recovering and recycling roadway shoulder material.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database online.

Copies of patents can be ordered by number for $3 each from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1450.

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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:34
NewsBits

June 4, 2014

Recycling Reinvented, a group that advocates for more extended producer responsibility strategies, has issued a statement that "salutes" the recent move by Walmart and other corporate giants to inject capital into the national recycling infrastructure. But the statement also explains there are some limitations in the strategy. The brand owner plan, called the Closed Loop Fund, is based on zero interest loans given to municipalities, and Closed Loop administrators have pointed out municipalities will be able to pay back those loans through savings that come as diversion increases and landfill fees fall. But Recycling Reinvented says such logic doesn't add up in communities that contract out garbage collection to private firms.

At University of North Carolina, Charlotte football games this upcoming season, fans will get some much-needed recycling advice from a robot (cue herky-jerky dance moves). Developed by a group of engineering students, the RecycleBot stands three-and-a-half feet tall and will instruct fans to either recycle or compost their gameday food service packaging.

Despite the prevalence of metal theft legislation in all 50 states in the U.S., tracking their effectiveness is proving hard to do, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). ISRI recenlty partnered with the Council of State Governments (CSG) to study the current laws on the books and found that no state is properly compiling the data necessary to fully analyze what impacts are being made.

In the latest iteration of Keep America Beautiful's "I Want to be Recycled" campaign, the national group has released an arcade-style video game that can be played online. "Super Sorter" makes you, the gamer, the head of a busy materials recovery facility as various materials arrive in need of sortation. Get the proper equipment located at strategic spots on the line or else materials will go unrecovered, revenues will drop and it'll quickly be game over.

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