ResourceRecycling.com RSS Feeds

Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The Closed Loop Fund

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:59
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: The Closed Loop Fund

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sept. 3, 2014

The groundbreaking Closed Loop Fund is headlined by Walmart and aims to invest $100 million in recycling infrastructure projects. The goal is to spur private and public funding for transforming the recycling system in the U.S.

Ron Gonen, RecycleBank founder and former New York City recycling czar, is a co-founder and CEO of the Fund, and he'll take the stage at the upcoming Resource Recycling Conference to talk about the Fund's big plans.

In his presentation, Gonen will elaborate on how the Fund hopes to drive recycling to the next level through innovative financing models, explain why infrastructure and scale are necessary to make projects economically feasible, and explore in-depth the link between demand, markets, recycled content and consumer behavior.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

Waste Management announces cuts

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:57
Waste Management announces cuts

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Sept. 3, 2014

Waste Management has initiated a "voluntary staff reduction plan" and sources say the move will not spare the company's recycling wing.

The country's largest waste and recycling company notified staff of the plans in a letter dated Aug. 22, stating severance packages would be made available to those employees who choose to leave the company.

Toni Beck, WM's lead company spokesperson, said the move was part reorganization at the publicly traded firm.

"This realignment is focused on ensuring our corporate functions are clearly aligned with the strategic priorities of the company," Beck said in a statement sent to Resource Recycling. "Unfortunately, this realignment means some positions will be eliminated, so we are being as fair as we can be and offering employees in the corporate functions an enhanced separation package to voluntarily leave the company."

While Beck said division-specific impacts were not yet known, sources have indicated that the recycling division at Waste Management will be reshuffled as a result of the cuts.

Little is known as to the extent of the cuts or when they are likely to occur. The Houston-based firm made a similar announcement in 2012, and approximately 800 jobs were cut, according to reporting by the Houston Business Journal.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

Houston leader says dirty MRF not definite

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:54
Houston leader says dirty MRF not definite

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sept. 3, 2014

Houston may not ultimately implement its controversial One Bin for All system, a plan that calls for residents to toss garbage and recyclables in a single curbside cart for later sortation.

Speaking on a panel at last week's WasteCon conference in Grapevine, Texas, Houston's director of solid waste said the city remains "in the midst of evaluation," and he said Houston continues to move forward on a separate, single-stream recycling collection rollout that would be bolstered if the city decides to table the one-bin approach.

"We know the technology is out there [for one-bin sorting], and we know there are concerns in the market about the quality of the material," said Harry Hayes, Houston's chief operating officer and solid waste chief. "That is going to play into the decision. If it's one-bin or advancing single-stream, we will grow recycling in Houston."

Houston's consideration of a one-bin system has grabbed the attention of many industry members over the last two years. If such a plan does become a reality, Houston will be by far the largest municipality in North America to adopt the all-in-one strategy and would follow in the footsteps of Indianapolis and Montgomery, Alabama.

Houston is the nation's fourth largest city, and Hayes said the city provides solid waste service to 423,000 households.

In March of 2013, Houston was awarded $1 million from the Bloomberg Development Mayors Challenge to move ahead on the one-bin initiative, which would necessitate a materials recovery facility that can separate recyclable materials from waste. Such facilities are sometimes called dirty MRFs.

In July of this year, the city announced it had closed a request for proposals period for One Bin for All and noted it had received five bids from entities interested in helming the program.

In his remarks last week, however, Hayes said the city is not obligated to choose any of the proposals, and he said he and his staff see themselves as general investigators of the feasibility and economic viability of the single-bin approach. The knowledge they glean in the process, he said, could be shared with other municipalities mulling their own options.

"Whether our city goes to one-bin or not, we will put together the key decision points everyone else will use," he said. "There's an unbelievable amount of work we've done. The bedrock will be there for all solid waste systems around the country."

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Madison shelves anaerobic digester plan

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:51
Madison shelves anaerobic digester plan

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Sept. 3, 2014

Madison, Wisconsin has put a halt on an initiative to bring food scrap collection to all city residents.

Since 2011, a food scrap collection pilot project 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 digester was too costly to focus on this year, with other competing items taking a front seat.

"The mayor has decided he will delay the program at least a year," George Dreckmann, the city's recycling coordinator, said. "In our conversations during our budget discussions he indicated that he did not think we could afford building a digester for the next five years unless there was some money from other sources."

While contamination issues arose during the pilot program, Dreckmann said the mayor's decision was "strictly financial" and that initial food composting in Madison "showed this is going to work."

With construction set aside for an indefinite period of time, the city has also decided to halt its pilot program at the end of this month. 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 was set to begin in 2015, with construction of the facility commencing in 2016 and citywide service starting sometime in 2017.

The city will continue to run a separate collection program for yard debris and leaves.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Grant watch

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:48
Grant watch

Sept. 3, 2014

Thanks to a $213,606 grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, residents of Tuscaloosa, Alabama will be able to recycle glass curbside starting next year. Adding a glass shredder at the local recycling plant has been high on the city's list of recycling priorities for almost 15 years, so when the 2014 grant came through, a good chunk of it was used to fund the equipment upgrade. Previously all glass went to landfill due to the distance between Tuscaloosa and the nearest glass recycling plant.

The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling has announced 2014 grants of up to $1,000 for local college and university recycling efforts in New York state. The application deadline is Oct. 3, and grants are available for projects aimed at "initiating, improving, or expanding source reduction, reuse, or recycling programs on campus," a press release states. It is the second consecutive year the grants have been given out by the association.

Morehead State University has been awarded a 2014 Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant. The grant will go toward outfitting all collegiate athletic facilities on Morehead's campus with 25 recycling bins. It is the ninth year Coca-Cola and KAB have collaborated on the bin grant program — this year alone will see 4,500 bins installed on campuses throughout the country.

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.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: Judges announced

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:45
2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: Judges announced

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sept. 3, 2014

The slate of judges has been finalized for the second annual Recycling Innovators Forum, which will be co-located with the Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans in less than two weeks.

All judges for this year's forum have deep ties to the recycling industry, and they will be responsible for deciding which two bright ideas will be awarded a combined $40,000 in funding. The judges will hear eight presentations total in the final round of the competition, which is open to the public and will be held Sept. 15 at 1:00 p.m.

The following experts will make up the judging panel: Robert Bylone, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center; Stacy Katz, Waste Management; Norm Lisson, Coca-Cola Recycling; Scott Mouw, North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service; Will Sagar, Southeast Recycling Development Council; and Jon Stephens, Avangard Innovative.

The 2014 Recycling Innovators Forum will take place the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 15 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside during the first day of the Resource Recycling Conference. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception where judges and Innovators Forum presenters will be on hand to answer questions and develop industry contacts.

To learn more and register for the Forum, click here.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:39
NewsBits

Sept. 3, 2014

Officials in St. Paul, Minnesota appear determined to hear bids next year from firms and groups interestested in taking over city's trash and single-stream recycling program. St. Paul has been at a a standstill with longtime service provider Eureka Recycling in recent months due to stagnant recycling rates and, according to the city, significant residential fee increases. For its part, Eureka says its latest offer was far more reasonable than the city has been willing to admit.

Research from the National Center for Atmospheric Research suggests that more than 40 percent of the world's trash is burned each year. That approach to waste management, research authors say, is causing the release of a emissions significantly contributing to climate change, with past emissions estimates falling 10 to 40 percent shy of reality.

The industry-backed Carton Council has released a new study on the impact of recycling policies on driving recycling rates nationwide. Taking a look at three basic approaches — recycling policies, disposal bans and pay-as-you-throw service fees — the group found that the best approach varies by community, with each approach proving valuable when employed properly and well-matched with a given area and population.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

Resource Recycling Magazine - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:21
California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Aug. 28, 2014

In a surprising twist, California's bag ban bill has passed through the state Assembly.

After an initial Assembly vote Aug. 26 appeared to be four votes shy of the 41 needed to pass, legislators continued to debate the measure this week and eventually the bill was granted reconsideration.  A rare revote today saw 44 votes registered in support of the bill, which now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

Senators have to pass the bill by Aug. 31, when the California legislature officially concludes.  If passed, Gov. Jerry Brown would have until Sept. 30 to sign off on the measure.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, bans plastic checkout bags throughout state while imposing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper, compostable or reusable bags.  The measure also secured $2 million in competitive state loans to help bag makers transition to manufacturing thicker reusable bags.

Mark Murray, executive director of pro-ban group Californians Against Waste, says the bill passed a "tough hurdle" in moving through the Assembly and has the support needed to pass through the Senate.

"We’re counting the votes and we need 21, but we have 22," Murray told Resource Recycling sister publication, Plastics Recycling Update.  "I feel pretty good."

The bill, which Murray earlier predicted would pass through both the Assembly and Senate this week, has faced heavy opposition from the plastic bag industry and allies alike in the paper industry.  Plastic bag makers have long contended a statewide ban would cause jobs to be lost, while the paper industry has lobbied against the 10-cent charge the bill levys on paper, compostable and reusable bags offered at checkout.

In a strange turn of events, the San Jose Mercury News blew the lid on a fictitious Latino advocacy group, Familias Latinas de California, created by ban-opponents as part of a late push to urge California legislators to oppose the measure.

 

 

California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:05
California bag ban makes late push through Assembly

By Bobby Elliott, Plastics Recycling Update

Aug. 28, 2014

In a surprising twist, California's bag ban bill has passed through the state Assembly.

After an initial Assembly vote Aug. 26 appeared to be four votes shy of the 41 needed to pass, legislators continued to debate the measure this week and eventually the bill was granted reconsideration.  A rare revote today saw 44 votes registered in support of the bill, which now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

Senators have to pass the bill by Aug. 31, when the California legislature officially concludes.  If passed, Gov. Jerry Brown would have until Sept. 30 to sign off on the measure.

The bill, which was introduced by Senator Alex Padilla, bans plastic checkout bags throughout state while imposing a minimum 10-cent fee on paper, compostable or reusable bags.  The measure also secured $2 million in competitive state loans to help bag makers transition to manufacturing thicker reusable bags.

Mark Murray, executive director of pro-ban group Californians Against Waste, says the bill passed a "tough hurdle" in moving through the Assembly and has the support needed to pass through the Senate.

"We’re counting the votes and we need 21, but we have 22," Murray told Plastics Recycling Update.  "I feel pretty good."

The bill, which Murray earlier predicted would pass through both the Assembly and Senate this week, has faced heavy opposition from the plastic bag industry and allies alike in the paper industry.  Plastic bag makers have long contended a statewide ban would cause jobs to be lost, while the paper industry has lobbied against the 10-cent charge the bill levys on paper, compostable and reusable bags offered at checkout.

In a strange turn of events, the San Jose Mercury News blew the lid on a fictitious Latino advocacy group, Familias Latinas de California, created by ban-opponents as part of a late push to urge California legislators to oppose the measure.

 

 

The new iPhone's impact on the trade-in market

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:33
The new iPhone's impact on the trade-in market

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

With Apple's iPhone 6 waiting in the wings, trade-in companies are saying price inquiries for slightly older models are on the rise.

Both NextWorth and Gazelle have reported significant increases in the amount of quotes requested for used iPhones as the anticipated mid-September release date of the iPhone 6 nears. NextWorth says quote requests for iPhones were up nearly 200 percent compared to last year, while Gazelle says quotes are up about 50 percent, Computerworld reports.

Apple's iPhone 6, said to feature an ever-coveted larger screen, is rumored to be slated for a Sept. 19 release date and, if quote requests are any indication, consumers appear eager to leave their gently used iPhones behind for the new gadget.

Mark Bowles, CEO of ecoATM, said while his company has also seen increases in the number of consumers checking in to see how much their iPhone is worth, trade-in volumes won't rise until the iPhone 6 is in stores. "Certainly, there is a vastly increased volume of price inquiries in the industry and consumers gear up early to see what they might get," Bowles told E-Scrap News. "We are experiencing that as well. But a significant rise in actual selling of devices doesn’t occur until the day the new iPhone is actually available and consumers can actually flip their phone."

If trade-ins do, in fact, increase with the release of the new iPhone, it would embolden longstanding views that U.S. consumers are quick to leave behind phones in working order for the flashiest devices on the market. That tendency has led, at least in part, to the success of companies like NextWorth, Gazelle and ecoATM, who offer to buy used phones and resell them for a profit overseas.

"The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," recently signed into law by President Barack Obama, should further reuse companies' business by allowing them to bulk unlock phones — paving the way for data sanitization, resale and reuse — without needing permission from wireless providers.

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

 

E-Scrap 2014: The latest on the CRT crisis

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:31
E-Scrap 2014: The latest on the CRT crisis

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

Discussion of downstream options for CRT glass — and the associated pricing — has consumed the electronics recycling industry for the past year, and at E-Scrap 2014, the CRT debate will get its due treatment.

To help clarify the current situation and anticipate where it's headed, the conference will offer a full rundown of the North American processors still standing and those hoping to get in on the notoriously narrow-margin market. Distinguishing "established" and "emerging" operations, as well as pointing out who's amassing stock versus who's actually processing it, the presentation will provide attendees with a complete picture of the CRT landscape.

Whether you're running a collection program inundated with old TVs or trying to find downstream processors you can trust, this valuable session will serve as both education and encouragement.

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.


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

How one Texas facility tries to beat the heat

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:27
How one Texas facility tries to beat the heat

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

Step out onto the massive processing floor at ECS Refining in Mesquite, Texas, and the first thing you notice is the air, which on an August morning feels like 100-degree soup. It’s not exactly the ideal environment for manually dismantling e-scrap for 10 hours.

ECS managers say many potential employees don’t make it through the initial three weeks of training, but they note those that can handle the rigors of CRT de-manufacturing and other tasks are actually able to thrive at the Dallas-area facility that spans 250,000-square-feet.

A number of unique efforts made by the company help workers weather the conditions in a facility so large that air conditioning is not an economic or effective option.

First is the schedule. ECS line workers start at 5:00 a.m. and work until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, a time frame that allows workers to finish up before the hottest part of the day.  Owing to the four-day work week, the facility's 50 or so line workers also benefit from three-day weekends.

In addition, workers are taught the warning signs of heat stress during trainings. And each morning, managers stock hydration stations in every area of the processing space. "There’s Gatorade and water in every department," said Jessica Urizar, the company’s EH&S and lean manufacturing administrator, during a tour of the facility for attendees of this week's WasteCon trade show. "They can walk off the line every time they need to grab a drink."

Depending on the job task, employees often must put on protective layers such as Kevlar arm sleeves and heavy masks. But some apparel does have body temperature built into its design. Urizar notes many employees wear gel-lined vests that are made to stay cool. Workers are also required to remove all of their gear during every break (two 20-minute breaks and a 40-minute lunch), and they are encouraged to take at least one of their breaks in an air conditioned space.

Overhead fans and stationary fans are also located throughout the building. Mist generators, like those seen on outdoor patios at Dallas’ fancier restaurants, aren’t part of the equation, however.

“We thought about it,” said Urizar. “But with all the dust that accumulates, they get clogged up. Then keeping them clean becomes a whole job in itself.”

Executives at ECS, which also operates a large processing facility in California, say the Texas facility takes in 150,000 pounds of material daily and moves out a corresponding 150,000 pounds. That equates to 22 million to 24 million pounds annually, a number that the company wants to boost. Managers say they are looking to add a second shift — 12-hour stints that would run each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

That would mean another crop of employees, who will have to learn quick to cope with the North Texas temps.

“This is tough work and the environment is not for everyone,” said Urizar. “But we’re upfront about that in the orientation. People know what they’re walking into.”

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

 

PC shipments outpace expectations

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:24
PC shipments outpace expectations

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

It appears PC shipments in 2014 aren't quite as lackluster as first thought.

While not exactly rosy, the latest estimate from the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggest global PC shipments in 2014 will total 303 million. That's a 3.7 percent decrease compared to 2013, but outperforms past IDC estimates that pegged shipments to fall by at least 6 percent.

The major driver of the better-than-expected figures is a growing mature market for PCs, the IDC reports. The mature market for PCs is set to grow by 5.6 percent during the year, the highest growth since 2010.

"Programs to reduce PC prices, such as Windows 8.1 with Bing, have helped to improve PC shipments in some segments," says Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers, in a press release. "Coupled with a shift toward more mobile PCs, the market has seen a quickened pace of innovation and a focus on price points."

Tracking shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones helps provide a snapshot of what the future e-scrap waste stream will look like. It now appears we'll be seeing more PCs down the road than first thought, although long term growth forecasts, IDC says, remain highly uncertain.

"The prospects for significant PC growth in the long term remain tenuous, as users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices," the research firm notes, with 2018 shipment estimates coming in at just above 291 million units.

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

Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:22
Certification scorecard

Aug. 28, 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.

E-Waste Experts, Inc. of Bristol, Pennsylvania has achieved ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 certification.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining of Hoboken, Belgium is certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.

Absolute Data Shredding of Norman, Oklahoma; Info Dog Security LLC of Spencer, Iowa; and River Mill Data Management LLC of Columbus, Georgia 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.

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

NewsBits

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:09
NewsBits

Aug. 28, 2014

Kenya's East African Compliant Recycling Center has recycled roughly 65 tons of e-scrap since launching in Machakos last December. Thus far, the company has been able to pay community members as much as $2 per used CRT computer, reselling valuable commodities from a wide range of electronics to companies abroad. While significant in spirit, it appears the operation will need to be supported by a number of additional and larger operations to handle the electronic waste stream in Kenya — according to U.N. calculations, 2012 saw almost 50,000 tons of e-scrap generated in Kenya, a total that does not include devices imported into Kenya from developed countries.

With the city of Charleston, West Virginia and the surrounding Kanawha County down one e-scrap recycling center, the County Solid Waste Authority has compiled a list of options for residents to take their old and end-of-life electronics. Beyond the standard takeback services offered at retailers, including Best Buy, Staples and Radioshack, the County hosts three free e-scrap drop-off events during the fall while Charleston also offers curbside pick-up of electronics through the city. For more, visit the Kanawha's spiffy recycling website.

News reports continue to suggest that e-scrap is posing a major environmental and human health challenge in India. The latest, a study released by New Delhi-based Toxics Links, shows a direct link between the informal e-scrap sector in Loni and Mandoli and soil, water and air pollution — while e-scrap generation is on the rise within India, the study also points to "a significant volume of waste received from some developed countries" as compounding the country's current challenges.

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

.

.