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Europe recycled 65 billion PET bottles in 2013

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:55
Europe recycled 65 billion PET bottles in 2013

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Sept. 5, 2014

With demand for PET packaging on the rise, Europe captured the equivalent of 65 billion PET bottles for recycling last year, a new report shows.

PET-industry group Petcore Europe released 2013 numbers this week, estimating that 65 billion PET containers were diverted from landfills during the year. That total equates to roughly 1.8 million tons of PET plastic, a 7 percent climb from last year's totals. It represents 56 percent of overall generation.

"The demand for PET as the packaging material of choice continues to grow, penetrating new markets with innovative applications," Roberto Bertaggia, Petcore Europe chairman, said. "The extraordinary ability of PET to be recycled and reused into a wide variety of end uses is part of this success story and is helping towards the movement to a circular economy in Europe."

According to Bertaggia, capacity remains for more PET to be recycled throughout Europe as long as "improved and standardized collection and sorting processes" are put in place.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices increase

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:50
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PET prices increase

Sept. 5, 2014

Prices for prime PET are stronger and recycled material is following suit in early September.

Prices for U.S. spot prime PET, bottle grade, were up 2 to 2.5 cents per pound in August due to increased buying activity and reduced PET production following a PTA feedstock plant outage in South Carolina and subsequent force majeure. Prime pricing is around 78 to 79 cents per pound in early September.

Recycled PET FDA-sanctioned clear pellets increased half a cent per pound at the end of August to 80.5 to 81.5 cents per pound FOB Eastern U.S. and are now seen at 81 to 82 cents per pound. PET end-users, anticipating a tighter prime market in coming weeks, have been buying more recycled material.

For a free trial to the Weekly Recycled Plastics 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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Plastics not behind Madison move to end food scraps pilot

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:46
Plastics not behind Madison move to end food scraps pilot

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Sept. 5, 2014

Madison, Wisconsin has put a halt on an initiative to bring food scrap collection to all city residents, but one official there says plastics contamination isn't the holdup.

Since 2011, a composting pilot project for food scraps has serviced 500 homes and six businesses in Madison, and the plan was to gradually expand the program as the city built an anaerobic digester to eventually service all of Madison. But Mayor Paul Soglin recently decided the digestor was too costly to focus on this year, with other competing items taking a front seat.

The city provides separate seasonal yard debris and leaf collection services in addition to running a handful of drop-off sites for the material. Those services will not be affected.

George Dreckmann, the city's recycling coordinator, told Plastics Recycling Update the food scrap pilot program will be suspended now that the digester has been put on hold. He said the decision was driven by the digester plans, not contamination challenges the city began to face with non-compostable plastics getting into the organics stream.

"What we were looking at mostly was non-compostable film and bags — there was some cutlery in there but not a lot," Dreckmann said. "And we found that by shredding the material and then running it through a trammel with a one-inch screen, we were able to get out the vast majority of the non-compostable plastic."

Dreckmann added that initial composting in Madison "showed this is going to work" and any program, Madison's or another city's, would face basic contamination challenges. "You just have to live with that as a trade-off for participation sometimes," Dreckmann noted.

The program had fed a digester in Oshkosh, Wisconsin since 2011 and was in line for an additional investment and expansion this year.

Initial work on building a digester in the Madison area was set to begin in 2015, with construction of the facility commencing in 2016 and citywide service starting sometime in 2017.

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:43
NewsBits

Sept. 5, 2014

A plastics recycling startup in Pennsylvania has been awarded a $737,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Zzyzx Polymers is planning to use the funds to propel research into a new technology the company is developing, which, if all goes as planned, will enable plastics recycling "without the need for extensive cleaning or sorting," a press release states.

With the ever-heightening global focus on waste plastics ending up in oceans, a Croatian company thinks it's come up with a solution. EcoCrotec has developed plastic film that is "marine biodegradable". The company is marketing its largely bio-based product to cruise lines, hotels and resorts.

Opponents to a bottle bill expansion in Massachusetts have launched a "No on Question 2" group. With a November ballot vote nearing and early signs indicating public support for a broader bottle bill in the state, "No on Question 2" has reportedly amassed a powerful cast of members. Members of the group include Coca Cola, HP Hood, Nestle Waters, Polar Beverages, the Massachusetts Food Association and Massachusetts Beverage Association, the American Beverage Association and recycling hauler and processor E.L. Harvey and Sons.

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Bill Caesar leaves Waste Management

Resource Recycling Magazine - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:27
Bill Caesar leaves Waste Management

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Sept. 4, 2014

Waste Management's top recycling executive is parting ways with the firm after a tenure that saw early financial gains and late hurdles.

Bill Caesar, president of WM Recycle America and WM Organic Growth, is leaving the company this month, a Waste Management representative told Resource Recycling. The move is tied to a corporate reorganization publicly traded Waste Management is currently undertaking.

"As part of our broader effort to align our corporate functions with the strategic priorities of the company and to better support the needs of the business, we’re doing a bit of restructuring of the teams that support the recycling business, a business that continues to be a very important part of our overall portfolio," said Toni Beck, WM corporate spokesperson. "Given this, Bill Caesar has decided to leave the company mid-September. As leader of both the company’s recycling business and its portfolio of investments in new technology and services businesses, Bill’s disciplined and focused leadership has paid tremendous dividends and we wish him much success as he moves on to new opportunities."

Caesar joined Waste Management in 2010 as the company's chief strategy officer and, at the time, recycling revenues were soaring. Reflecting in large part the volatility of recycling markets in recent years, the company's performance in the sector was erratic during Caesar's time with the company.

According to the company's annual financials, revenues from the recycling business in 2010 totaled $1.17 billion, signifying a major jump from 2009's $741 million in revenues. In 2011, revenues were even higher, reaching $1.58 billion.

Caesar took over as WM Recycle America president in January of 2012. That year, after four consecutive years of gains, revenues fell to $1.36 billion. In 2013, with Caesar still at the helm, revenues improved, coming in at $1.48 billion but failing to reach 2011's record highs.

Throughout Caesar's time with the company, Waste Management increased its number of mostly single-stream materials recovery facilities (MRFs) throughout the country, a trend underscored by the January 2013 acquisition of Greenstar Recycling and that firm's dozen MRFs.

In November of 2013 Caesar gave an extensive interview with Resource Recycling, noting the recycling side of Waste Management was taking notable financial hits because of China's Green Fence restrictions on scrap imports.

The company has not named a replacement for Caesar, and it has not announced any further recycling wing-specific cuts as part of the reorganization.

Caesar was a key force behind making Waste Management a founding sponsor of the annual Recycling Innovators Forum, which rewards "inventors and innovative organizations with game-changing ideas on how to advance recycling." [Ed: Resource Recycling's parent company, Resource Recycling, Inc. is also a founding sponsor.]

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Flat tablet shipments in mature markets hold back growth

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 22:03
Flat tablet shipments in mature markets hold back growth

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

Global tablet shipments in 2014 are falling short of industry expectations.

Despite earlier reports of double-digit percentage point growth, tablet shipments around the world this year are expected to increase by just 6.5 percent and total 233.1 million units, according to the latest from research firm IDC. The firm had originally expected growth of at least 12 percent while another forecaster, Gartner, projected increases of nearly 40 percent.

These numbers indicate the future waste stream of tablets will be slightly smaller than previously expected.

IDC's tablet category also includes "2-in-1" devices, which are tablets that double as laptops.

The apparent hold up on year-over-year growth, IDC analysts now say, comes down to flat tablet shipments to mature markets. After 2013 shipments to North America and Western Europe grew by 25 percent, this year's numbers suggest shipments won't grow at all.

Shipments to the rest of the world, meanwhile, have continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. Expectations for 2014 "rest of the world" numbers show tablet shipments growing by 12 percent after increasing a whopping 88 percent in 2013.

IDC's tablet research director, Jean Phillippe Bouchard, says that growth trend is encouraging news and a sign that "there is still a good appetite for this product category."

That appetite is expected to feed growth going forward. IDC predicts 2018 will see tablet shipment growth in North America, Western Europe and the rest of the world.

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E-Scrap 2014: Secure your spot in the exhibit hall

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:59
E-Scrap 2014: Secure your spot in the exhibit hall

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

With just over a month left before the 2014 E-Scrap Conference, only a handful of exhibitor spots remain in the trade show hall. Act now to ensure your organization has a place at the center of the e-scrap industry.

Exhibiting is the perfect opportunity to reach industry decision-makers, including executives at original equipment manufacturers, generators of e-scrap, government officials, trade association leaders, e-scrap processors, and buyers of e-scrap parts and materials. Save time and money by connecting with them all in one location.

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 make the most of this year's conference. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.

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Creative Recycling Systems enters bankruptcy

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:51
Creative Recycling Systems enters bankruptcy

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

With a multimillion dollar lawsuit on its plate, Creative Recycling Systems has entered into bankruptcy and decided to close or sell all of its e-scrap locations.

After an extensive review of Creative's holdings, the company's receiver, Robert Swett, determined that the only potentially profitable — and sellable — operations were in Florida and North Carolina. The company has operated an e-scrap processing facilities in each of those states.

A separate office building in Florida has also been identified as an asset to package with the others in a potential sale, Jay Verona, Swett's legal counsel, told E-Scrap News.

The company's remaining processing facility, located in Palmetto, Georgia, and numerous other storage and office sites have already been or will be closed, Verona confirmed.

"As for the rest of the leases, we've filed motions to reject those leases," Verona said.

The company's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was approved by a Florida bankruptcy court judge Sept. 3, court documents show.

Verona could not provide an estimate of how many jobs will be lost as a result of the anticipated closings.  Creative had been dual-certified to both the e-Stewards and R2 standards.

A loan of $1 million has also been requested from the plaintiff in the case, Regions Bank, to "operate the company in the short term along with the other revenues that the company generates," Verona explained. Regions Bank is suing Creative and related affiliates for $18.7 million. Swett was appointed a receiver for the company in July.

Swett has not been available to discuss what each inventory revealed or how much material the company has amassed — and will need to process. One former Creative employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the company has more than 5,000 tons of CRT glass it will need to manage.

Rumors of uncertainty surrounding Creative's future have swirled ever since the Regions Bank lawsuit emerged and plans to layoff 74 employees in Florida followed. In recent weeks E-Scrap News has reached out to officials in every state where Creative has had a location, with numerous sources noting interruptions in service but few having a clear sense of whether or not the company would continue operating.

In North Carolina, a state where Swett thinks Creative might still have attractive assets, service disruptions have been going on for more than a year, Rob Taylor, who heads the Local Government Assistance Team at the North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, told E-Scrap News. After abruptly opting out of most municipal collection programs last year, Creative held on to contracts in Mecklenburg County, Wake County and Moore County as well as with the city of Durham.

But this summer, service to those clients was also cut off, Taylor said, leaving a backlog of material to be cleaned up and a handful of important municipalities scrambling to identify new partners.

As for the reason, Taylor ventured an educated guess that Creative was outbidding its competitors in North Carolina — namely Electronic Recyclers International, Synergy and E-Cycle Secure — by putting in the lowest bids to OEMs required to fund recycling efforts in the state and then even offering municipalities money for their CRT-dominated e-scrap stream.

"Their offer was always an orange in a basket of apples," Taylor said. "Maybe they were hoping there'd be a better quality stream with less CRTs."

Meanwhile state officials up and down the East Coast, Creative's primary swath of business, have had a hard time reaching the company, especially in states where service has appeared to stop altogether. "I am concerned since the state’s primary contact has not responded to my requests for information to-date," one official wrote just days before the company filed for bankruptcy.

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CRT processor gets key green light

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:45
CRT processor gets key green light

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

With an air pollution permit in place for a New York operation, a U.K.-based CRT glass recycling firm says it's bringing its smelting technology to the U.S.

Representatives from Nulife Glass, led by Simon Greer, informed E-Scrap News earlier this week the company has received final approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to build and operate a leaded glass smelting furnace at a facility in Dunkirk, New York.

That furnace, which has been in operation in the U.K., will be Nulife's first in the U.S. and the company says it has plans to expand beyond New York.

"Nulife Glass is presently in negotiations for additional sites for processing and melting glass in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio," Greer told E-Scrap News. "The only restriction on Nulife's processing capacity will be the speed at which it can open new sites and that is only restricted by the rate at which suppliers can deliver glass."

As for supplying the site in New York, Greer said, "Key stakeholders in the supply chain managed, controlled and audited by the manufacturers, government and inspection organizations" have indicated they will have ample glass to get the Nulife operation going. The company website suggests the furnace "will have the capacity to process more than 200 million pounds [100,000 tons] of CRT glass." The site does not say whether that figure is an annual capacity.

Any additional processing capacity would provide help for firms looking for CRT recycling outlets. While estimates vary widely, somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 tons of glass enters the U.S. waste stream each year while actual maximum processing capacity, including international options, hovers around 200,000 tons.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:41
Certification scorecard

Sept. 4, 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.

Merit ePartners, a nonprofit corporation located in Stockton, California is now certified to the following standards: e-Stewards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013. The group offers job training and services for incarcerated youth.

Bayaud Enterprises of Denver; Goodwill Data SHIELD of Milwaukee; H & R Contractors, Inc. of Staunton, Virginia; Paper Dragon of Grand Island, Nebraska; Proshred Security of Richmond, Virginia; recordSHRED, Inc of Oakland Park, Florida; SecurShred of South Burlington, Vermont; Shred-Ex, LLC of Colchester, Vermont; and United Document Destruction and Storage of Reading, Pennsylvania 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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E-Scrap 2014: Form factor guidance

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:36
E-Scrap 2014: Form factor guidance

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 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, an intriguing session 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.

This form factor discussion is just one of many platforms the conference offers attendees who want to better understand where our industry is headed and how to most effectively navigate a landscape riddled with both challenges and opportunities. Book your spot today and ensure your firm’s long-term competitive edge.

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. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.


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NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:30
NewsBits

Sept. 4, 2014

Ever wonder what your gently used iPhone 5 could get you on the trade-in market? A quick internet search shows a mint condition, 64GB iPhone 5 on Verizon could bring in as much as $160 from ecoATM, $180-190 from Gazelle or $225 in trade-in credits from Apple.

Speaking of trade-ins, ecoATM, the kiosk-based, automated service, announced it has collected 3 million devices since its launch in 2008. That total has been reached in large part thanks to a busy 2014, which has seen 1 million devices processed, the majority of which, the company reports, are the iPhone 4 and 4S.

UNICOR, the federal penitentiary jobs operation, operates seven e-scrap processing plants nationwide. Prisoners working for the quasi-public firm handled 39 million pounds of electronics in 2013, the latest annual data shows.

Reuse pioneer Close the Gap has officially marked its 10-year anniversary with the release of its 2013 annual report detailing the group's efforts and impact to date. Since 2003, 326 European companies have donated almost 400,000 "computer assets," which Close the Gap has used to drive nearly 400 projects in 54 countries. The group says approximately 1.5 million people have been affected by those projects, many of which center on reusing valuable computer equipment and thus "bridging the digital divide."

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