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PetroChem Wire: Tight supply drives recycled PS higher

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:59
PetroChem Wire: Tight supply drives recycled PS higher

Feb. 27, 2014

HIPS mixed color regrind was sold as high as 52 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast in the first half of February, up 4 cents per pound from January.

GPPS flake prices are also up an average of 3 cents per pound in early February, with mixed color material selling recently at 38 cents per pound delivered to Midwest plants, and some other business confirmed transactions completed at just a few cents under that level. In the pellet market, HIPS white sold so far in February at 73 cents per pound FOB, up 3 cents per pound from January.

In the prime polystyrene market, HIPS was steady in the first two weeks of February at $1.12, but was up 6 cents per pound in January.

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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Attention, innovators: Prime funding opportunity awaits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:57
Attention, innovators: Prime funding opportunity awaits

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Feb. 27, 2014

The deadline to submit proposals to compete in the 2014 Recycling Innovators Forum is fast approaching.

Those interested in having their idea considered for the Forum have until April 30 to submit proposals. The Forum is seeking the top ideas in how to advance recycling, including new plastics processing or collection methods, improving recyclable quality and other areas. The individuals behind the top 10 ideas will be asked to present them to a panel of judges and an assembled audience of approximately 200 recycling professionals.

The second annual Recycling Innovators Forum is a competition to seek out the highest-return, most actionable new ideas to move recycling forward and is sponsored by Alcoa, the American Chemistry Council, Coca-Cola Recycling, Resource Recycling (the parent company of this publication) and Waste Management. The competition will be held on Sept. 15, the day before the start of the annual Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, and will award two $20,000 prizes to the top two of the 10 Forum finalists.

For more information about competing in, or attending, this free event, visit www.recyclinginnovators.com.

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Plastics Recycling 2014: Come discuss the post-Green Fence era

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:56
Plastics Recycling 2014: Come discuss the post-Green Fence era

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Feb. 27, 2014

Join the China Scrap Plastics Association on Monday, March 10 for its Green Fence Forum, including presentations on impacts of the Green Fence on the Chinese market, data analysis on the import of scrap plastics into China and an open discussion about the repercussions of the wide-ranging regulatory effort on the global scrap plastics industry.

If you have any questions about the pre-conference forum or the China scrap plastics market, please contact dp@replas.org.cn.

Don't miss Plastics Recycling 2014, to be held March 11-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit www.plasticsrecycling.com.

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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:54
NewsBits

Feb. 27, 2014

Add Vermont to the list of states considering legislation to limit use of plastic bags. Robert Hartwell, a Democratic state Senator and chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, has introduced a bill that would apply a 10-cent fee on all single-use bags sold at retail establishments, including plastic bags.

Industrial packaging company Mauser and its subsidiary the National Container Group (NCG) have announced the opening of a plastics recycling center in Erkelenz, Germany. The new facility will generate almost 4,000 recycled polyethylene annually.

A company in Millwood, West Virginia is gearing up to begin making recycled plastic lids for commercial metal waste bins. Technology Plastics was founded by the owner of Star Plastics, which will supply the startup with plastic and share its current operating space until Technology Plastics moved into a place of its own.

Alternative toy maker Green Toys announced it has recycled more than 21 million plastic milk jugs for use in its extensive line of toys since launching in 2008. All of the company's packaging is made with 100 percent recyclable corrugated boxes.

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Fuel efficiency guidelines reach recycling industry

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:34
Fuel efficiency guidelines reach recycling industry

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

Stricter fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks could have ripple effects in the recycling industry.

In remarks at a Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, President Barack Obama announced the U.S EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) would work on the new standards "to take us well into the next decade."

No specific fuel efficiency targets were announced in the president's statement. But more details should emerge in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, to be released by March of 2015, with finalized standards issued in 2016 and going into effect in 2019.

Some recycling professionals have been critical of earlier efforts by regulators to boost fuel efficiency in the commercial realm.

A first set of standards, which went into effect this year, required recycling, yard debris and garbage trucks – belonging to the "vocational" category of trucks – to turn toward low rolling resistance tires. The change, according to Chaz Miller of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), flew in the face of a National Academy of Sciences study that questioned the value of the new tires for trucks making frequent stops, including haulers.

"Needless to say, EPA and [DOT's] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chose to make the use of low rolling resistance tires the only requirement for vocational tires in the first rulemaking," Miller, who serves as NW&RA's director of policy and advocacy, said. "I remain amazed at the indifference of EPA and NHTSA to the realities of vocational trucks."

Long haul or tractor trailer trucks, including trailers bearing recyclables, were also required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent for 2018 models.

According to a document recently released by the Obama administration, several "advanced technologies" will be considered by EPA and DOT in the next round of fuel efficiency guidelines, including "improved tire rolling resistance." Improved fuel efficiency guidelines, similar to those introduced for long haul trucks, could also be considered for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks.

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Plastics Recycling 2014: Recycling from single-stream sources

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:33
Plastics Recycling 2014: Recycling from single-stream sources

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

Balancing collection volume with quality is tough, and with single-stream curbside programs on the rise throughout the country, many MRFs and downstream processors are facing new challenges. How do collectors, recycling facilities and plastic processors at all stages of the value chain source, sort, process and sell plastics from single-stream?

Plastics Recycling 2014 will offer a session delving into the issue. With a specific look at single-stream collection and plastics processing in North Carolina and the Southeast, Scott Mouw of the North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach, Susan Albritton of Sonoco, and Scott Saunders of KW Plastics will trace the plastics recycling process from curbside commingled collection, to MRF, to plastic recycling facility.

Don't miss Plastics Recycling 2014, to be held March 11-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit www.plasticsrecycling.com.

Attendees are also invited to come early and stay late for some great additional events. On the afternoon of March 10, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) will host a technical forum. The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) will hold its winter membership meeting on March 13. And the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Environmental Division will hold the Global Plastics Environmental Conference March 12-14. Go to www.plasticsrecycling.com for more information.

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How I Spent My Grant: Awareness and zombies in Georgia county

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:29
How I Spent My Grant: Awareness and zombies in Georgia county

by Suki Janssen, Waste Reduction Administrator, Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division

Feb. 26, 2014

Here's our first installment of "How I Spent My Grant," a feature that takes a look at the ways recycling programs translate funding into actionable ideas. Does your municipality have a grant implementation success story? Email details to news@resource-recycling.com.

 

Municipality: Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Solid Waste Department

Grant: Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) Program 1: Matching Education grant ($5,000) and Program 2: CVP Test Kitchen grant ($10,000 and $15,000 marketing and creative support from CVP); awarded in summer 2013.

Implementation:

Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Recycling Division was selected to test traditional advertising using such outlets as print, radio and outdoor advertising to increase curbside recycling in the ACC Urban Service District (USD).

The ACC Recycling Division worked with CVP and DMC Agency LLC to create a marketing campaign around the idea of "Recycle MORE" and the www.RecycleMOREACC.org website. The MORE logo was used on five billboards, multiple ACC Transit buses (both inside posters and partial bus wraps), ACC Solid Waste Department truck wraps (both curbside trash and recycling trucks along with the ACC Recycling Division pick-up truck), and on T-shirts and plastic drink tumblers.

In addition to the traditional marketing pieces, the ACC Recycling Division held a two-hour Recycle MORE Day at a community recycling drop-off site located in Athens-Clarke County during the test period (more on the period below). This event hosted a live radio remote and offered an outlet for community residents to recycle all traditional materials plus MORE (nontraditional materials like medicine, batteries and bulbs). Participants at this event received Recycle MORE T-shirts and tumblers as a special thank you.

For three months, ACC Recycling Division measured curbside recycling rates for both inside the USD and in the General Service District (GSD). The GSD was used as the control group and didn’t see the MORE marketing pieces.

During the three month test period (August to October 2013) the curbside tonnages were as follows: GSD – 659 tons for 11,125 residents (118.47 pounds per resident) and USD – 536 tons for 8,500 residents (126.11 pounds per resident).

During the test period ACC realized a 5 percent increase in incoming tonnage from the previous three-month time period and a 3 percent increase from the same three-month period during the previous year.

Additionally, once the test period was over, the ACC Recycling Division expanded the MORE campaign to promote the placement of the new single stream pedestrian recycling bins in downtown Athens. There were 32 recycling bins “married” to 32 existing pedestrian trash cans. The recycling bins were created with the assistance of RecycleAway.com and feature easy-to-empty compartments, rain caps, green color and colorful stickers to differentiate them from the trash containers.

Finally, the ACC Recycling Division created a 60-second public service announcement promoting the proper use of the downtown recycling bins and recycling MORE. The ACC Recycling Division piggy-backed on the mainstream zombie craze (and the MORE campaign) and had staff members dress as zombies and take over the downtown for the making of the zombie PSA: It featured mindless zombies trashing recyclables in the downtown district instead of recycling. The PSA was unveiled just before Halloween and the same week as the season opener of the AMC show "The Walking Dead." The PSA was featured on local cable channels including AMC, Comedy Central, FX, History Channel, MTV, SyFy, Cartoon Network, VH1 and our local government station. To view the PSA, click here (click on Recycle MORE … Zombies!).

In summary, ACC Recycling Division was able to leverage its resources along with the original grant monies to create a fun and timely marketing campaign to reach a diverse community. The ACC Recycling Division staff encourages everyone to Recycle MORE so we are spared from the Zombie Apocalypse.

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Haitian recycler awarded Clinton Foundation grant

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:28
Haitian recycler awarded Clinton Foundation grant

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

A Haitian recycling center is getting a boost from a former president's foundation.

Sustainable Recycling Solutions will receive $250,000 from the Clinton Foundation, the nonprofit group established by Bill Clinton, to focus recycling efforts on the nation's capital, Port-Au-Prince.

"This is a big deal," the former president told reporters. "It will clean up Port-au-Prince. It's good for the environment. It will stop the clogging of a lot of places in the city."

According to the Associated Press, Sustainable Recycling Solutions was formed in 2012 by a group of investors and aid workers. The company pays hundreds of Haitians to collect recyclables, which are used in the manufacture of new products.

The Waste Atlas suggests the country, with more than 10 million people, has an effective recycling rate below 1 percent, with all waste going toward "unsound disposal."

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Paper group battles all-out digitization

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:27
Paper group battles all-out digitization

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

As the federal government moves toward doing more of its business online, one group has gained some political traction by arguing for "paper options."

While stopping short of opposing the move toward digitization altogether, Consumers for Paper Options has brought up the needs of two societal groups: seniors and those without Internet access. According to the group's website, 30 percent of the U.S. population is without Internet "access" and, therefore, is reliant on paper communication from the government.

The shift away from paper over the last two decades has had a major impact on recycling programs and materials processors across North America as once-dependable revenue streams generated by recovered paper have shrunk considerably.

According to a Feb. 16 Washington Post article, money is also on the mind of Consumers for Paper Options – the Post points out the organization is funded, in large part, by the paper industry. The article links the group to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), one of the industry's largest trade groups, which assisted Maine Rep. Michael Michaud, a Democrat, in successfully removing language from a recent bill that would have digitized prescription information.

The government's position, in essence, is to cut down on costs and waste, while opponents stress the industry has made sustainability strides, especially through recycling. According to the AF&PA, paper recycling has reached 65 percent in the U.S.

Social Security statements and tax forms are among the major issues Consumers for Paper Options is tackling.

In a sign the group has made some successful political inroads, last month's budget deal required the government to start sending physical, paper copies of annual Social Security statements to the country's future retirees.

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Recycling Innovators Forum offers spotlight for problem solvers

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:26
Recycling Innovators Forum offers spotlight for problem solvers

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

Community engagement is one of recycling's most persistent challenges. From small collection depots, to state-of-the-art MRFs, the quality and volume of recyclable materials depends on the everyday choices made by individual consumers.

This is just one of the areas in which creative minds in the recycling industry think there is room for improvement. At last year's inaugural Recycling Innovators Forum (click here for a feature on the event), the winning idea included a mobile app, designed by Earth911 that helped consumers gauge the recyclability of different items. This year, ideas to boost consumer engagement are again attracting interest ranging from single inventors, all the way up to teams backed by larger organizations.

The second annual Recycling Innovators Forum is a competition to seek out the highest-return, most actionable new ideas to move recycling forward and is sponsored by Alcoa, the American Chemistry Council, Coca-Cola Recycling, Resource Recycling (the parent company of this publication) and Waste Management. The competition will be held on Sept. 15, the day before the start of the annual Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, and will award two $20,000 prizes to the top two of the 10 Forum finalists.

For more information about competing in, or attending, this free event, visit www.recyclinginnovators.com.

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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:24
NewsBits

Feb. 26, 2014

Environmental groups in Houston have descended upon a citywide plan to transition its waste and recycling program to allow residents to throw everything from a half-eaten sandwich to an aluminum can into one bin for collection. Once collected, the contents would be automatically sorted at a new "dirty" materials recovery facility, but environmentalists argue the plan gives up on residents doing their part and will hurt the value of recyclables.

Of the more than 10 million searches conducted through Earth911's innovative recycling directory, aluminum cans, motor oil and Christmas trees were the three most looked-up topics, leading the directory's top-13 list in 2013. The listings also provide recycling options for a host of products.

Mattress retailers in Connecticut are urging lawmakers to reshape the state's mattress recycling law to include a consumer recycling fee at point of sale. The change would replace fees retailers are currently required to pay to help fund the manufacture-run recycling effort for the bulky products.

A new online video gives visitors unprecedented access to Sims Municipal Recycling's 11-acre recycling facility in Brooklyn, New York. Sending a GoPro video camera through the sorting system, the Business Insider video shows the journey material takes on its way to getting sorted and baled.

Aerospace company Boeing and Kaiser Aluminum have teamed up to develop a closed-loop aluminum recycling program. The partnership will aim to recycle 22 million pounds of Boeing's aluminum scrap during the 2014-2015 production period, providing the company with recycled aluminum for use in aerospace sheets and plates.

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