Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 1 day 14 hours ago

Poll: U.S. drivers slow to break for refuse trucks

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:59
Poll: U.S. drivers slow to break for refuse trucks

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 24, 2015

American drivers are tempted to speed around waste collection trucks more than any other kind of service vehicle, according to the National Waste & Recycling Association.

About 40 percent of drivers admitted they were tempted to speed around a truck when one is stopped in front of them. Far fewer people said they would consider speeding around school buses (8 percent), police cars or fire trucks (3 percent), ambulances (2 percent) or other service vehicles (9 percent).

The online poll was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of NW&RA.

“Americans need to know that when working around inattentive motorists, collecting waste and recyclables can be dangerous,” Sharon Kneiss, NW&RA's president and CEO, stated in a press release. “Drivers need to slow down to get around garbage trucks.”

The poll found that about one-third of Americans slow down around garbage trucks, but far more hit the brakes around ambulances (77 percent), police cars (76 percent), fire trucks (72 percent) and school buses (69 percent).

The association’s "Slow Down to Get Around" campaign aims to promote legislation to protect waste workers, according to the association. Alabama, Florida, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin currently have the laws in place and other states are considering them.

The poll was conducted online Nov. 11-13, 2014, and it surveyed 2,012 adults.

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A tumble and a turnaround in 2014 export markets

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:57
A tumble and a turnaround in 2014 export markets

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 24, 2015

When it comes to exported scrap materials, the stories for 2014 were the collapse of the ferrous market and the plastics rebound from China's Operation Green Fence.

Numbers for December 2014 are now available, which gives us the opportunity to look at 2014 exports as a whole.

December saw a 3.0 percent drop month-to-month from November 2014 export levels for scrap plastics, with 359.47 million pounds of the material exported. When matched against December 2013 levels (358.13 million pounds), the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by 0.4 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in December, at 19.19 cents per pound, was down from November 2014 levels by 7.7 percent. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 1.5 percent.

Year-to-date (YTD) figures for scrap plastics showed strong gains. With 4.79 billion pounds exported for 2014, the volume of recovered plastics sent across U.S. borders was up 13.7 percent from its Green Fence-influenced full-year 2013 figure. At 19.79 cents per pound, however, the average price for 2014 was down by 3.0 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports continued to see a small rebound in 2014, with 19.11 million metric tons exported, a small 1.3 percent increase from levels through December 2014. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper for the full-year 2014 was also flat, down just 1.1 percent when compared with the standing through 2013.

Ferrous metal scrap exports showed strong declines for 2014, with 15.32 million metric tons exported for the full year, amounting to a sharp 17.1 percent decrease from 2013 full-year levels. At $402 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also slightly down – 1.8 percent from ferrous scrap exports figures through 2013.

Lastly, the 3.79 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through December 2014 equated to an 8.3 percent decrease from 2013. At 76 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through 2014 was also down by 4.2 percent YOY.

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How can California reach its 75 percent recycling goal?

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:54
How can California reach its 75 percent recycling goal?

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

March 24, 2015

California has released an extensive report on the state's recycling activity and infrastructure as it looks to hit a 75 percent recycling rate goal by 2020.

According to the report from California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the governmental body overseeing recycling activities throughout the Golden State, Californians recycled and composted roughly 50 percent of the waste they generated in 2013. That rate, while one of the highest in the nation, has remained essentially flat since 2010.

The state has determined per capita waste generation per day is at 10.7 pounds, including construction and demolition debris. To hit the goal, a maximum of 2.7 pounds per capita can go to disposal, the report indicates.

"The 75 percent goal is aspirational in nature, but without setting that goal, what do you have to shoot for?" said Mark Oldfield, communications director at CalRecycle. "It's certainly doable ... the report encapsulates where we are today."

California's statewide recycling rate goal, established in 2011, is the highest in the country. Florida has also set a 75 percent recycling rate goal for 2020 but counts various practices outside the traditional recycling arena, including waste-to-energy, as recycling.

Of the 73 million tons of material generated in California during 2013, about 27 million tons were recycled. An additional 9.6 million tons were composted.

The remaining half of the waste stream, CalRecycle estimates, either went toward landfilling or other "disposal-related" activity, such as alternative daily cover at landfills.

Oldfield noted two factors could sufficiently push California's recycling growth: the development of statewide recycling infrastructure and greater demand among domestic manufacturers to make use of recovered commodities.

"The key here is both creating an incentive for various materials to be collected for recycling and then creating a further incentive for the remanufacturing of the materials that are collected," Oldfield said.

Based on permitting documents, CalRecycle estimates about 1,400 recycling facilities are located within the nation's most populous state. The state's 161 materials recovery facilities are operating at only 42 percent capacity, CalRecycle determined.

California organics processors handled about 20 million tons of material, including agricultural organics, during the year.  Organics recovery operations in the state have capacity to take on an additional 6 million tons annually, the report shows.

California manufacturers absorbing the state's recycled feedstock supply, however, are essentially at their limit with recycled glass, paper and plastics.

"Ideally, the materials that are used in California and then put through the recycling collection systems in California, would be recycled and remanufactured into new products in California," Oldfield said. "At present, we don't have that manufacturing capacity to handle all of that material and … a lot of it ends up being exported."

According to CalRecycle's count, there are 16 glass product manufacturing sites in the state, processing 1 million tons of recycled glass per year, with capacity to handle 100,000 tons more.

On the paper side, California's six paper and paperboard operations consume 220,000 tons of recycled paper, putting them essentially at full capacity.

The plastics manufacturing sector, meanwhile, operates 33 facilities and consumes 68,000 tons of recycled plastics annually. It has room to consume an additional 3,000 tons.

Without sufficient domestic demand, exports account for the majority of California's recycling activity, the report shows.

Of the 27 million tons of material the state recovered, 18.6 million tons were exported, most often to China, South Korea and Taiwan. According to a 2013 report from CalRecycle, California's domestic recycling industry could stand to add 58,000 jobs if the state cut out exports altogether, while another 25,000 jobs would be created for neighboring states.

"Once the material leaves our ports, there's no mechanism by which we can track it," Oldfield explained. "We don't really know what becomes of it and getting better data would be ideal."

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Resource Recycling Conference: You can't afford to miss it

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:48
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: You can't afford to miss it

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 24, 2015

The Resource Recycling Conference is the must-attend conference for the recycling industry's most influential policy leaders, CEOs and government officials. No other conference offers attendees the same opportunities to network with clients, prospective partners, vendors and top materials management decision-makers all in one location, saving you precious time and travel expenses.

Collaborate with leading industry groups including:

 

  • American Beverage Association
  • American Chemistry Council
  • American Forest & Paper Association
  • American Institute for Packaging and the Environment
  • Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers
  • Carton Council
  • Closed Loop Fund
  • Curbside Value Partnership
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Keep America Beautiful
  • National Recycling Coalition
  • National Association for PET Container Resources
  • Product Stewardship Institute
  • Recycling Innovators Forum
  • ReTrac Connect
  • State recycling organizations

 

Don't miss this opportunity to add your voice to the industry's most pressing conversations. For more information, go to rrconference.com.

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Recycling access increases for liquid-containing cartons

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:39
Recycling access increases for liquid-containing cartons

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 24, 2015

As liquid packaging cartons have increased in popularity, so too have opportunities to recover the containers.

A new survey commissioned by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) shows an estimated 72 percent of the U.S. population in 2014 had access to either curbside or drop-off recycling for liquid packaging cartons, up from 38 percent in 2010.

Of all 12 categories of paper and paperboard measured, the liquid carton segment had the largest percentage point increase.

Overall, the report found 96 percent of the U.S. population had access to some form of paper and paperboard recycling, either curbside or drop-off. That was up from 87 percent in 2010.

“Access to paper recycling in the U.S. continues to increase – which helps to recover valuable resources, extend the useful life of fiber and make new products,” said AF&PA's president and CEO, Donna Harman, in a press release. “In addition, we’re pleased to see significant increases in access to recycling for different paper grades.”

The survey project team believed part of the access increase in 2014 can be attributed to an underestimate in previous years. That’s because nearly 2,900 of the communities responding in the latest survey that they have access to paper recycling failed to respond four years prior, according to the survey report. Their total population was nearly 30 million people.

The paper and paperboard sector aims to exceed a 70 percent recovery rate by the year 2020, and access to either curbside or drop-off programs is an important component of that, according to the press release. The recovery rate was 63.5 percent in 2013, according to AF&PA.

The survey was conducted by professional services firm Louis Berger and Leidos.

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NewsBits

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:36
NewsBits

March 24, 2015

A Los Angeles city official has proposed a series of actions to combat the proliferation of trash on city streets, including establishing a street cleanliness rating system, adding more trash cans to sidewalks, greater enforcement of dumping laws and revamping the street-sweeper program.

Keurig Green Mountain has released a single-use, coffee-containing plastic pod that it says is recyclable. The K-Mug pod is made from polypropylene and can be separated from the lid and filter for recycling, the company announced.

Companies working in recycling and packaging design received Supplier Sustainability Awards from AT&T, the company announced. Among the suppliers to AT&T that won awards were an e-scrap recycling company, a waste and recycling efficiency consulting company and a packaging designer.

San Francisco leaders voted to approve an extended producer responsibility law providing residents access to drug take-back sites. The Product Stewardship Institute announced the passage of a law that requires pharmaceutical companies finance and manage collection and safe disposal of unwanted drugs.

A program that has collected nearly 15,000 tons of used clothing for recycling has launched its 2015 campaign. Clothing retailer H&M and not-for-profit organization DoSomething.org have teamed up with actress Victoria Justice for the second-annual Comeback Clothes campaign, through which anybody can bring used clothes to H&M stores for recycling and receive a 20 percent discount.

The U.K. government is helping to fund a pilot project to collect flexible laminated packaging from households and recover the aluminum portion using microwave-induced pyrolysis technology. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the trial could lead to widespread adoption of a recycling program for the materials.

A mixed-waste materials recovery facility is slated to begin construction in Scotland, the first such facility of its kind in the U.K., according this article. Metals, paper and plastics will be removed from the waste stream by a MRF, and the rest will eventually be burned to produce electricity.

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Industry and supplier news

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:29
Industry and supplier news

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 24, 2015

A new app called “My Waste” tells Santa Monica, California residents about the recycling and disposal options for more than 1,800 materials. The app is part of a plan to divert 95 percent of materials from landfill by 2030. For more, click here.

Composting advocates and professionals in Virginia have established the Virginia Composting Council, the fourth regional chapter of the U.S. Composting Council. For more, click here.

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Exide shuts down Los Angeles-area plant

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:42
Exide shuts down Los Angeles-area plant

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 17, 2015

Exide Technologies has reached an agreement to close its Vernon, California lead acid battery recycling plant and admit wrongdoing, in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution.

The "non-prosecution agreement" (NPA), announced last week by the U.S. attorney's office in California, ends years of controversy and heated debate surrounding the facility.

"The reign of toxic lead ends today," Stephanie Yonekura, acting U.S. attorney, said in a press release. "After more than nine decades of ongoing lead contamination in the City of Vernon, neighborhoods can now start to breathe easier."

Vernon is located just south of downtown Los Angeles.

According to the announcement, Exide will pay $50 million to close and clean up the site as well as 216 nearby homes. In the NPA, the company admits to producing and failing to contain numerous toxins into the surrounding environment and community, including lead and arsenic.

Exide, which is in the process of filing for bankruptcy, will be permitted to continue its operations elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad. The company operates battery recycling plants in Canon Hollow, Missouri and Muncie, Indiana and in Spain and Portugal.

In announcing the closure, Exide noted the decision was made to close the plant after the state made it clear it "would likely deny Exide's Part B hazardous waste facility permit application." The company says once the bankruptcy has been approved and the site in Vernon cleaned, it will be able to retain some 10,000 employees worldwide.

According to the company website, Exide recycles more than 400 million pounds of lead per year.

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Republic Services to add processing capacity

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:39
Republic Services to add processing capacity

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 17, 2015

The nation's second largest door-to-door recycling collector plans to substantially boost its processing capacity.

Republic Services, which operates 60 materials recovery facilities (MRFs), spent $20 million in 2014 to boost its capacity by 170,000 tons per year, according to its sustainability report. Republic handled nearly 5 million tons last year, with paper representing 72 percent of sales and plastics totaling 5 percent.

The company will add an additional 150,000 tons per year in MRF capacity through 2018.

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No tonnage boost in first year of St. Paul single-stream

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:37
No tonnage boost in first year of St. Paul single-stream

By Bobby Elliott and Jared Paben, Resource Recycling

March 17, 2015

Despite a switch to single-stream collection a year ago, St. Paul, Minnesota has seen its recycling activity remain flat. The lack of growth seems to be a factor of lightweighting trends in packaging, a lack of markets for glass and continued reliance on bins.

Officials in St. Paul have announced city residents recycled 20,028.6 tons of material through traditional curbside recycling services as well as multi-unit recycling, drop-off and cleanup events in 2014. That's down about 1 percent from 2013's total of 20,484.2 tons.  According to the city's calculations, curbside recycling totaled 15,868 tons in 2014, compared with 16,111 tons in 2013.

In April of 2014, the City switched to a single-stream program. It had been a longtime champion of the dual-stream collection system in which fiber and containers were sorted into different bins by residents.

"Our numbers have been fairly flat for five years or more," Kris Hageman, the environmental coordinator for St. Paul's Public Works Department, told Resource Recycling. "We had a significant drop in glass, and other materials are being light-weighted, so it's all part of the picture."

In 2014, 4,244.5 tons of glass were recycled, more than 20 percent below the 5,392.7 tons of glass recycled in 2013. Had glass recycling remained on par with 2013, recycling would have increased in 2014.

According to Hageman, the city's primary glass recycling partner, eCullet, closed its St. Paul operation in August 2014.

While the St. Paul location of Strategic Materials stepped in to recycle some of the city's glass, Hageman said "they were not able to absorb everything that had been going to eCullet."

Another major factor in the flat tonnages appears to be the fact that St. Paul's switch to single-stream did not come with the usual transition from bins to larger carts.

"I do think it is unique to St. Paul," Hageman said of the use of bins in the single-stream program. "When most communities switch from dual stream or multiple stream to single-sort, they're jumping to the carts right away … and they do see at least an initial big increase in tons."

According to Hageman, the high cost of switching from 14-gallon bins to 96-gallon carts has made for a delayed transition. The estimated cost for the project is $4 million.

Cody Marshall, who serves as a project manager for the Curbside Value Partnership, suggested the switch to carts, as well as education and outreach, is crucial in driving growth for recycling programs.

"Just transitioning to single stream can decrease collection costs for muncipalities, but they typically won't realize large increases in tonnage until they incorporate cart-based collection for all homes while providing strong education," Marshall said.

Minnesota's switch to carts likely will not come before 2017, when a new recycling and waste hauling contract will go into effect. Hageman said once the contract is in place the multi-million dollar investment in carts will be spread "over a three-, five- or seven-year period."

Tim Brownell, co-president of the city's current contractor, the nonprofit group Eureka Recycling, said his organization had hoped to see carts out on streets earlier. “We're disappointed we were unable to move over to carts this year,” he said. “That had been the plan and trajectory that we were all working on.”

He pointed to additional nuances behind the flat tonnage numbers. For one thing, he said, some materials did see growth.

In 2014, the weight of plastics collected at the curb increased dramatically. With the switch to single-stream recycling, Eureka Recycling began accepting plastics Nos. 4, 5 and 7, in addition to the plastics Nos. 1 and 2 it previously accepted.

And, while the switch to single-stream increased the residual rate from about 0.9 percent to 1.6 percent, the new rate was still minimal, meaning residents get the message about which items are recyclable, he said.

According to Brownell, the continued migration toward lightweighting also resulted in increased volumes – evidenced by Eureka's need to deploy additional trucks after the switch to single-stream – but not higher weights.

Hageman of the Public Works Department stressed the City would now be focusing "beyond traditional recycling methods," such as public space recycling, organics collection and construction and demolition debris recovery.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: The tools to boost your local program

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:32
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: The tools to boost your local program

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 17, 2015

Are you charged with managing and growing a municipal recycling system? Be sure to head to Indianapolis in late September for the industry's top MSW recycling conference, which will be loaded with sessions and workshops aimed at optimizing local programs.

The Curbside Value Partnership will be on hand offering valuable training via an ancillary event that is free to conference attendees. In addition, a conference session is set to feature some of the industry's top minds discussing on-the-ground strategies to curb contamination.

Switching from bins to carts. Developing effective outreach communication. The latest in state and local recycling data collection. All this and more will be investigated in-depth in Indianapolis. Make sure you are part of the conversation.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 is scheduled for Sept. 28-30, 2015 at the Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.


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Will Hawaii's Big Island usher in a mixed-waste MRF?

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:29
Will Hawaii's Big Island usher in a mixed-waste MRF?

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 17, 2015

The company behind a $50 million mixed-waste materials recovery facility proposed in Hawaii claims it will divert 70 percent of materials to recycling, composting and waste-to-energy.

BioEnergy Hawaii LLC is proposing to build the facility near Kailua-Kona, on the west side of the Big Island.

The proposed facility would accept municipal solid waste and divert the majority of it from the West Hawaii Sanitary Landfill, extending the life of the landfill, according to a press release. The landfill is owned by the county and operated by Waste Management. Project backers say it aligns with the county mayor's goal of extending the life of the landfill.

The project still faces significant hurdles: An environmental review hasn't been conducted and a lease for land hasn't been finalized. The mayor of Hawaii County, Billy Kenoi, told West Hawaii Today that the project faces a number of federal and state regulatory challenges as well as county permitting and land-use procedures.

The facility would be financed with private equity, but it has the support of a $100 million special purpose revenue bond issued by state government, according to BioEnergy Hawaii.

BioEnergy Hawaii's parent company is Pacific Waste, Inc., a local waste hauler.

“We have lived and worked on the Big Island for almost 20 years, and as members of the community we all share a responsibility to care for the land,” Kosti Shirvanian, Pacific Waste president, stated in a press release. “This project will transform our waste into a resource and make a positive contribution to our community and our environment.”

The facility will separate recyclable materials for resale on the commodity market, according to the company. Organic materials will be treated through an anaerobic digestion process to produce compost and biogas. Other materials, such as mixed papers, textiles, low-value plastics and woods, will be processed into an engineered fuel, which can be burned to produce energy.

The company also plans to encourage local haulers to upgrade their trucks to using the locally sourced bio-compressed natural gas, reducing the island's dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“Given our Island's limited land area and freshwater resources, recycling and waste diversion are a priority, as it is in much of the industrialized world,” a BioEnergy Hawaii representative stated in the press release.

Construction is currently scheduled to begin in summer 2016.

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Patent watch

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:26
Patent watch

March 17, 2015

Bridgestone Corp. of Tokyo has developed a novel method for recycling tires and given Patent No. 8,905,100.

Patent No. 8,905,338, describing a construction and demolition debris crushing and sorting device, was awarded to Tyrone, Great Britain's Terex GB Ltd.

Cranbury, New Jersey-headquartered Innophos, Inc. developed an asphalt recycling optimization process and was given Patent No. 8,906,152.

Tokyo's Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. was given Patent No. 8,926,793 for a method of creating pulp from recovered fiber materials using smaller, less energy-intensive equipment.

Ricoh Company, Ltd., also of Tokyo, was awarded Patent No. 8,929,780 for a method of recycling toner-containing printer and copier cartridges.

Frank W. Delfer from Incline Village, Nevada was given Patent No. 8,930,280 for a take-back system of collecting materials for recycling via an in-home postage meter.

Fort Lupton, Colorado's Golden Aluminum, Inc. developed a method of recycling used beverage container aluminum material and was awarded Patent Application No. 20140363332.

A method of recycling scrap materials using electronically tagged plastic bags is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140365381 was awarded to a team of researchers led by David Borowski, based out of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Patent Application No. 20140367292, which concerns a smart lid for recycling and trash bins, was given to New Buffalo, Michigan-based National Cart Marketing, LLC.

Tokyo-based Seiko Epson Corp. was awarded Patent Application No. 20140374047 for a paper recycling method and device.

Recycled Asphalt Shingle Technology, based in Brentwood, New Hampshire, was awarded Patent Application No. 20140373749 for a method of recycling asphalt shingles.

An apparatus for crushing glass to aid in its recycling is the subject of Patent Application No. 20150001324, given to Mariestad, Sweden-based Nordic Recycle Group AB.

San Francisco-based Compology, Inc. has developed a new waste and recycling management system, where a sensor notes what is in one's trash can and routes recovery vehicles based on the can's wastes' composition and was given Patent Application No. 20140379588.

St. Paul, Minnesota's Andrew J. Archer was awarded Patent Application No. for a screen separation device that rotates on a single drive shaft.

Patent Application No. 20150033961, which describes a compaction device for recyclable containers, was given to Paderborn, Germany's Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH.

Oakland, California's Ecologic Brands, Inc. has developed a kind of container made of recycled fiber pulp containing a thin-film liquid-containing vessel, and was awarded Patent Application No. 20150034588.

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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Wide world of recycling

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:22
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 17, 2015

A major city in China is starting to offer subsidies to recycling operations so they will move to collect more low-value recyclable material.

The government in the Chinese city of Guangzhou has begun paying subsidies to recycling enterprises so they will have an incentive to take in and process lower value materials. The effort is part of the a strategy to raise the recycling rate by 10 percent in the 13 million inhabitant city in the southern part of the country.

Political leaders in Wales have hinted at introducing policies to increase coordination and data systems within the nation's recycling collection efforts. Wales has already given itself a 70 percent recycling rate target for 2025.

Leaders in the Australian state of VIctoria, which includes the city of Melbourne, have indicated they are moving toward instituting a landfill ban on used electronics. The nation already has legislation in place that requires electronics manufacturers to help fund a country-wide e-scrap recycling system, though the details of that program are currently under review.

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NewsBits

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:20
NewsBits

March 17, 2015

State and federal investigators have found “substantial wage and hour violations” at beverage container recycling facilities in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley area, according to a press release. CalRecycle and the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division have inked an agreement to work together to crack down on illegal labor practices within the industry.

A bill in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would again allow municipalities to charge “reasonable and necessary fees” to fund their recycling programs. House Bill 755 would reverse a court decision that stated municipalities can't charge the fees because state law doesn't expressly say they can.

In a letter published in the Indianapolis Star over the weekend, the leader of the Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) offered some updates on the battle over a plan to build a mixed-waste MRF for the city's refuse. Carey Hamilton of the IRC writes that during a recent court hearing on the issue, a city representative noted the plan is centered on the disposal of solid waste. Hamilton says this a reversal from the city's earlier comments that framed the Covanta facility as a method to boost recycling. She also says the MRF is not yet a done deal.

In lighter news out of Indy, a woman who has been dubbed “The Can Lady” is raising money for city schools and teaching children about recycling at the same time. RTV6 News featured Mary Stumpp in a recent report.

No radical changes are necessary to improving plastics recycling; instead, what the sector needs is greater participation rates in existing programs. That's the view of Harry Floyd, program coordinator of Virginia's Clean Fairfax Council. In a blog post on The Hill political news site, he called for sensible action to improve the amount of plastics that get recycled.

The U.S. has had an on-again, off-again love affair with recycling, which has been shaped by technology, markets and public relations. So writes John Timmer, science editor at Ars Technica.

The operator of a San Jose, California-area landfill, recycling and composting center is forming a coalition to address odor-issues in the area, a representative said. Republic Services of Santa Clara County also says its landfill, which it is looking to enlarge, is not to blame for many of the area’s odor issues.

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Industry and supplier news

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 07:11
Industry and supplier news

March 17, 2015

Howell, Michigan-based battery recycling company Battery Solutions has hired Alexander Nitsche as its chief financial officer. He previously served as CFO at Schuler Inc., a metal-forming equipment company. For more, click here.

QRS Recycling of New Albany, Indiana will move a single-stream recycling processing operation across the Ohio River to Louisville, Kentucky. The company will retain a metals recycling operation in New Albany. For more, click here.

MaryEllen Etienne, executive director of the Reuse Alliance, is leaving her post with the organization to fill the CEO role at the Reuse Institute.


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Ad campaign encourages recycling of bathroom products

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 22:47
Ad campaign encourages recycling of bathroom products

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 10, 2015

More than half of respondents to a recent survey said they aren’t sure which bathroom items can be recycled. In addition, the survey found only about 10 percent of American households put recycling receptacles in the bathroom.

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the Ad Council want to change that.

The two nonprofit organizations have teamed up with Unilever to launch a public information effort aimed at educating adults about which bathroom items can be recycled. Using public service announcements and digital outreach, they’ll target the nearly half of adult Americans who aren’t recycling items including shampoo bottles, toilet paper rolls or toothpaste boxes.

A new survey shows that 45 percent of Americans have recycling cans in their kitchens, compared to 10 percent who have them in their bathrooms, according to a press release. More than half of respondents also said they have a lack of knowledge about which items can be recycled in the bathroom, and nearly half said they don’t think about recycling in the bathroom.

“As a society, we’ve come a long way in increasing recycling in the kitchen, but now it’s critical that we carry that progress into the bathroom,” KAB President and CEO Jennifer Jehn stated in a press release.

The effort is a new phase in the “I Want To Be Recycled” communications campaign, originally launched in 2013. The campaign website, which includes information on recycling and an online MRF game, can be found here. The efforts target adults who are sporadic recyclers with access to curbside pickup, according to a project fact sheet.

The online survey, conducted by ORC International, was conducted Feb. 12-15, 2015, among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,032 adults, according to a press release.

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Ohio eyes more recycling data

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 22:43
Ohio eyes more recycling data

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 10, 2015

Ohio is making a push to gather more recycling data from commercial and industrial sectors.

In partnership with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio EPA has launched a statewide initiative targeting businesses to provide more detailed recycling data to their local solid waste districts. In years past, getting data from commercial and industrial sectors in particular has been "challenging" for Ohio's 52 solid waste districts, the agency says.

By partnering with business groups in the state, Ohio EPA is hopeful it will receive more data from commercial and industrial sources.

"On the local level, we really want to develop the relationship between the solid waste management districts and the businesses within those districts," Ohio EPA spokesperson Dina Pierce told Resource Recycling. "There are things that the local districts can offer, especially services, and this hopefully gets them to get to know each other a little better."

According to Pierce, the state met its residential and commercial recycling rate goal of 25 percent in 2013 but fell short of the industrial recycling rate goal of 66 percent.

More detailed data for 2014 will give the state "a truer understanding of how we're doing," while also providing more data on the most commonly recycled materials in Ohio, Pierce said.

To help districts reach businesses and industries this time around, Ohio EPA has launched a page on its website to streamline the data reporting process. According to a press release, the survey takes 15 minutes to complete.

The survey is another example of states attempting to arrive at more complete recycling data. Georgia is in the midst of a similar campaign, while Texas, a state known for how little is known about its recycling activity, has established its first-ever recycling rate.

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Recycling industry can expect more shipping troubles

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 22:39
Recycling industry can expect more shipping troubles

By Jerry Powell, Resource Recycling

March 10, 2015

Due to several factors, the cost of moving recyclable material by truck is expected to rise – and securing a trucker may become harder.

Demand for long-haul trucking is being aided by the low cost of diesel fuel. In times of more typical fuel prices, if you wanted to move a container to or from a pier, intermodal shipping (employing both trains and trucks) is cheaper after about 500 miles. Now, with sharply lower fuel costs, truckers can move freight cost efficiently up to 750 miles from the pier. This comes at a time when we have more freight to move. For instance, intermodal freight volumes rose five percent last year while truck tonnage increased three percent. Some analysts expect truck tonnage in 2015 to rise faster than intermodal trade.

Even though demand for trucking is rising, we do not have enough drivers to move this freight. The American Trucking Associations says we need 35,000 more drivers to meet demand. This labor shortage has several causes. Current truckers are old (age of 55 on average) and retirement levels are high. Too, when the economy improves, eligible workers choose jobs that keep them at home and look askance at employment, such as trucking, that takes them away from their families.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Updates from major initiatives

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 22:31
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Updates from major initiatives

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 10, 2016

In the last year, the industry has seen two major corporate-backed efforts form to help municipalities push their recycling programs forward. At the 2015 Resource Recycling Conference, attendees will get an up-close look at how those public-private partnerships are progressing.

Ron Gonen of the Closed Loop Fund and Keefe Harrison from the Recycling Partnership will both take to the stage in Indianapolis to explain the initial steps their respective projects have made. These sessions will help articulate the ways corporate dollars are affecting America's national diversion landscape and will give recycling professionals an inside look at how key funding decisions are being made.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 is scheduled for Sept. 28-30, 2015 at the Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Head to rrconference.com for all the latest on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.


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