Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 18 hours 28 min ago

Aleris sells aluminum recycling assets

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 22:12
Aleris sells aluminum recycling assets

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

Aleris, the global aluminum company, has sold its recycling and specification aluminum alloy business to publicly traded Signature Group Holdings for $525 million.

The Aleris division operates 24 plants in North America and Europe. This includes aluminum recycling facilities in 10 states, with a presence as far west as Idaho and as far east as West Virginia. In addition to buying scrap aluminum, Aleris is a toll processor that serves a number of scrap aluminum suppliers. This includes the processing of used aluminum beverage cans.

With the sale, Aleris will now concentrate on its larger global rolled aluminum products business, which supplies metal to the construction, automotive and aerospace industries.

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No movement for HDPE bottle recycling rate

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 22:08
No movement for HDPE bottle recycling rate

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

A study released by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) shows the 2013 recycling rate for HDPE bottles was 31.6 percent, identical to the 2012 rate.

The figure was identified in the "National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report," which is produced annually by the two industry groups.

Earlier this month the national PET bottle recycling rate was announced, and that figure grew by 0.4 percentage points in 2013 to reach 31.2 percent. According to the ACC and APR, PET and HDPE bottles account for roughly 96 percent of the U.S. plastic bottle recycling rate. With HDPE flat and PET up a hair, it is not surprising that the groups found the overall plastic bottle recycling rate grew by 0.4 percentage points in 2013, to 30.9 percent.

Looking at the PET and HDPE figures together, a number of trends can be ascertained.

First, exports of plastic bottles have been down sharply compared with previous years. Exports of HDPE dropped last year 19 percent compared with 2012, to 163 million pounds. On the PET front, exports were at their lowest level in 10 years.

The overall volume of plastic bottles collected as well as the overall volume available both rose in 2013. The nation is using and collecting more of these containers than ever before. Collection of plastic bottles grew by 120 million pounds in 2013, up 4.3 percent, to 2.906 billion pounds.

However, while overall resin consumption is rising, per capita resin use has yet to return to its peak, which came in 2007. Because of continuing effects of the economic recession and trends toward lightweighting among product manufacturers, per capita resin figures have grown slowly in recent years. Per capita resin use grew by 2.3 percent last year, "a welcome increase after five years of little or no growth," according to the report.

On the reclaimer front, HDPE capacity utilization rose to 72 percent in 2013, up from 68 percent the year prior. The PET report issued last week indicated reclaimers' plant utilization rate for all PET feedstock was also approximately 72 percent, an increase of 9 percentage points from 2012.

Finally, the average of reported yield values of HDPE bales to clean HDPE pellets in 2013 was 81.4 percent, up slightly from 81.3 percent in 2012. The PET report stated national yield rates for that material ranged from 75 percent for deposit bottles to 69 percent for curbside material and 77 percent for California CRV.

According to the HDPE report, "The yield situation is different for recycling HDPE and PET bottles. For PET bottles, the labels are not recovered as PET while for HDPE bottles labels may be recovered as HDPE. Contamination in bales of HDPE bottles and PET bottles presented an ongoing challenge to reclaimers."

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Coca-Cola Recycling closing shop

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:56
Coca-Cola Recycling closing shop

By Jerry Powell and Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

The beverage container recycling arm of The Coca-Cola Company – Coca-Cola Recycling – is "winding down," the company today confirmed.

When asked for comment, Sheree Robinson, communications manager for Coca-Cola North America, said "yes, we are winding down Coca-Cola Recycling, LLC" and offered the following statement:

“The Coca-Cola Company’s current goal is to lead the industry in packaging sustainability including PlantBottle, reducing our packaging footprint and increasing recovery, and using recyclable materials. In the U.S., we will continue to work more directly with our value chain to increase the use of recycled materials. As the industry is evolving, we no longer need to directly engage in the buying and selling of recyclable materials. We are excited about the opportunities this will create and remain committed to broad-based sustainability initiatives in North America.

Coca-Cola remains committed to using recyclable materials in our packaging and advancing recycling. We are restructuring how we procure recyclable materials and will focus on developing our sources of supply. Coca-Cola will continue to work with our suppliers, customers and the industry to increase recycled content in our packaging.”

 

Coca-Cola Recycling was active nationwide in the recovery and marketing of aluminum and PET beverage containers. On the aluminum side, the firm purchased used beverage cans (UBCs) for conversion into can sheet. Some of the firm’s UBC buyers were formerly employed by Anheuser-Busch in a similar arrangement designed to help control can sheet prices. Several UBC suppliers to Coca-Cola Recycling expect this side of the operation to continue for a short period due to existing supply and melting agreements.

Some observers say that the UBC market will become very interesting in the coming months. "What will Alcoa and Novelis do now, given the demise of their joint buying system [Evermore Recycling]?" said a West Coast supplier to Coca-Cola Recycling. "Will they become more active?”

Industry players say Coca-Cola Recycling was a central player in the UBC market and did not overpay for cans. “But they were always competitive,” one mid-size seller said.

Other aspects of Coca-Cola Recycling do not garner such positive reviews. The firm made what turned out to be an ill-advised investment in a PET reclamation plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Not only was the plant’s technology untested, the firm had an ambitious goal by wanting to produce food-grade recycled resin solely from curbside-collected PET bottles. A competitor in the Southeast said recently at a meeting of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers that "Coke’s refusal to use some deposit-grade containers doomed the plant."

In addition to seeking curbside-collected containers, Coca-Cola Recycling also targeted out-of-home cans and bottles. Until the recent decision to end the program, the company's Reimagine Beverage Containers recycling centers employed reverse-vending machines to provide vouchers to consumers using the machines. Nonetheless, after four years, the system was only able to capture about 25,000 containers per day and recently the company stated that "the pilot program is ending and we are closing the centers while we perform a detailed analysis of the results and determine our course of action moving forward."

The company also noted its ongoing support of its Recycling Bin Grant Program which it partners with Keep America Beautiful, pointing out that it "has placed more than 238,000 recycle bins in communities and customer locations across North America since 2008."

Robinson further pointed out that the company joined the Walmart-led initiative, the Closed Loop Fund, "to help provide more Americans with access to recycling infrastructure, while decreasing the materials deposited in landfills."

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Delaware compost facility closed over odors

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:38
Delaware compost facility closed over odors

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

Regulators in Delaware have forced the shuttering of Wilmington-based Peninsula Compost Company, noting the firm caused an "undue burden on the quality of life" of nearby residents.

The closing order was issued last week by David Small, secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNERC). The agency stated Peninsula Compost was taking too long to process material and was also storing more material than it had been allowed under permitting. Those issues as well as fires, contamination and a number of other problems prompted the action, the agency indicated.

"Peninsula Compost Company has placed an undue burden on the quality of life of residents in the City of Wilmington, parts of the City of New Castle and part of New Castle County – particularly those living in close proximity to the facility due to frequent uncontrolled odors," Small stated. "The company has been unable to maintain compliance with DNREC’s Beneficial Use Determination permit."

Peninsula has been operating with a state-issued permit since 2009 and processed around 115,000 tons of material annually.

DNERC says despite the action, state regulators want to continue to promote composting and other waste diversion initiatives. "We remain committed to aggressively pursuing recycling opportunities to preserve our landfill capacity, create jobs and reduce our reliance on raw materials to manufacture products,” Small said.

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Patent watch

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:34
Patent watch

Oct. 30, 2014

Berkeley, California's Intellergy, Inc. was given Patent No. 8,858,900 for a process and system for converting waste to energy "without burning."

Patent No. 8,862,495 was awarded to Swisscom AG from Zollikofen, Switzerland for an app-based recycling reward system.

Robert William Carlile, Jr. and Rodney Sewell, from Santa Ana, California, were awarded Patent No. 8,800,781 for a new type of disc for a disc screen sortation device for MRFs.

Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd., from Tokyo, Japan, was awarded Patent No. 8,807,438 for a RFID tag to be utilized for marking recyclable materials.

Patent No. 8,808,592 was given to Euroline S.r.l. from Maserada Sul Piave, Italy for a device that shreds asphalt for recycling.

A method for the processing and recovery of organic materials via anaerobic digestion is the subject of Patent No. 8,809,038, awarded to Recology, Inc., of San Francisco.

Shervin Moloudi, from Los Angeles, was awarded Patent No. 8,810,361 for a smart lock for trash and recycling containers.

Patent No. D711,610 was given to Austin, Texas' Balcones Resources, Inc. for the design of an ornamental recycling bin.

A manufacturing method for controlling the value of containers to maximize container recycling is the subject of Patent No. 8,813,463, given to Allen Berte of Algona, Iowa.

A method for recycling reclaimed asphalt pavement is the subject of Patent No. 8,814,464, given to Western Emulsions, Inc. from Dana Point, California.

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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Latest export numbers show more scrap ferrous declines

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:29
Latest export numbers show more scrap ferrous declines

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

The first seven months of 2014 showed a rebound from Green Fence-era levels of scrap plastics exports, but ferrous scrap exports still show strong declines year-over-year.

Through July 2014, the most recent month for which figures are available, 8.84 million metric tons of ferrous scrap were exported, a 20.5 percent decrease from levels from the first seven months of 2013. At $405 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also down – 2.5 percent from ferrous scrap export figures through July 2013.

Scrap plastics exports, meanwhile, saw a 2.5 percent decline from June 2014 export levels, with 395.16 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in July 2014. When matched against Green Fence-influenced July 2013 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 19.5 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in July, at 19.63 cents per pound, was up by 1.4 percent from its June 2014 standing of 19.36 cents per pound. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 3.9 percent.

Through July, at 2.72 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was up 15.0 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.66 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first seven months of 2014 was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports saw small improvement for the first seven months of 2014, with 11.24 million metric tons exported, a 1.5 percent increase from levels through July 2013. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper through June was also relatively unchanged, up just 0.2 percent when compared with its standing through the first seven months of 2014.

Lastly, the 2.14 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through July 2014 equated to a 8.6 percent decrease from the first seven months of 2013. At 76 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through July 2014 was down 4.3 percent YOY.

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NewsBits

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:23
NewsBits

Oct. 30, 2014

In its third-quarter earnings report, released Oct. 29, Waste Management showed year-over-year earnings gains from its recycling operations, despite continued price declines in the OCC market. The company, which saw overall revenue and net income fall slightly, attributed the recycling boost to contamination-mitigation efforts and changes to its customer rebate structure.

Following the lead of MRF operators in other pockets of the nation, Rumpke is reaching out to residents and media in an effort to try to curb contamination of loads headed to its facility in Cincinnati. The company says contamination levels are five times higher than what was expected.

In other industry news out of Ohio, state regulators have criticized parts of a waste management plan put forth by Medina County officials. Regulators say the county, which is currently in the final stages of choosing a MRF operator contractor, inflated its waste diversion rate.

A women's prison is Vermont was recently labeled a recycling and composting "trailblazer" for achieving state-mandated waste diversion goals a year ahead of schedule. Resource Recycling recently published an article on recycling in prisons that can be read ">here.

In its first year of single-stream recycling collection, the City of Minneapolis reported a 25 percent waste diversion rate, a notable increase for a municipality that had a 16.5 percent rate as recently as 2011. City officials also say worker injuries declined after the switch to single stream.

 

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PET bottle recycling rate holds steady in 2013

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:36
PET bottle recycling rate holds steady in 2013

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

A recent report shows the U.S. PET bottle recycling rate was 31.2 percent last year, a slight rise from 2012's 30.8 percent mark.

The recycling rate was determined by a pair of industry groups and announced in a report made public last week.

In 2013, 1.798 billion pounds of PET bottle material was collected for recycling, an 80 million pound increase from the previous year. Representatives from the groups behind the study – the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) – note those collection increases were a product of upticks in material from states with bottle deposit legislation, as well as continued growth in single-stream and commercial recycling programs, which brought more PET into materials recovery facilities (MRFs) nationwide.

The total volume of bottles available for recycling in the U.S. also rose from 2012 to 2013, increasing by 178 million pounds to 5.764 billion pounds.

The study also notes that due to reduced demand for mixed plastic bales brought about by China's Green Fence policy (which hit its peak in 2013), "MRFs may have been incentivized to move materials from mixed resin bales to PET bales."

The trend toward lighter and smaller bottles among beverage makers is again noted as a factor holding back recycling rate growth in the PET arena. The report also indicates some states with developed curbside recycling programs reported declines in total weight collected.

China's Green Fence also seems to have made an impact on the tonnages of PET bottle material exported from the U.S. Roughly 469 million pounds of collected material, or 26 percent, was exported in 2013. That's the lowest volume since 2004 and the lowest by percentage of total collection since 2000.

U.S. reclaimers, however, increased consumption of U.S. bottles by 17 percent, compared with 2012.

"Despite very real challenges for PET recyclers due to limited supply and decreasing bale yields, this report shows a maturing, entrepreneurial industry that continues to innovate and find new material sources and process efficiencies," said Scott Saunders, APR chairman and general manager at KW Plastics Recycling Division. "Notably, domestic recyclers are contributing more than 790 million pounds of material back into U.S. production of new PET packaging; this is a significant demonstration of domestic closed loop manufacturing."

Over the past decade, U.S. PET bottle recycling rates have climbed each year. The 0.4 percentage point climb between 2012 and 2013 is the second-smallest increase the industry has seen in that time frame. The only time it was smaller was between 2010 and 2011, when the rate went from 29.1 percent to 29.3 percent, according to figures supplied in the most recent report.

Between 2011 and 2012 the rate increased from 29.3 percent to 30.8 percent.

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Los Angeles gets $50 million trash-sorting MRF

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:32
Los Angeles gets $50 million trash-sorting MRF

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

A multi-million dollar mega MRF opened this week in the Sun Valley area of Los Angeles, and it will aim to divert recyclables in the commercial and multifamily waste stream.

The MRF, run by Athens Services and expected to process 1,500 tons of material per day, cost a reported $50 million to plan, permit and build. It will process commingled waste and recyclables – functioning as a mixed waste processing facility, or "dirty" MRF – from commercial businesses, apartments and condominium complexes in and around the Sun Valley area.

The company website states that the facility is 80,000 square feet and "a first of its kind in Los Angeles." The equipment was designed manufactured and installed by Bulk Handling Systems and also features Nihot air and NRT optical technologies. More than 100 workers have been hired to work at the facility and wages will range from $12 to $20 per hour.

The city's website notes "some areas within the County of Los Angeles utilize commingled collection," allowing residents to forgo source separation.

The Sun Valley neighborhood, which is part of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, is roughly 10 square miles in size and has a population of just over 80,000.

Athens has run another mixed waste processing operation at its City of Industry, California MRF since 1996 and is in the final stages of bringing a similar facility to Irwindale, California.

Various cities, including Houston and Indianapolis, have recently been looking into the approach as a way to boost recovery efforts within their municipal solid waste streams. Montgomery, Alabama opened a MSW-sorting MRF this year.

Many industry critics claim these facilities don't produce a clean-enough recyclable material stream from the trash and organics and have called for continued source-separation of recyclables.

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Shipping group suggests hike rates for exports to Asia

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:29
Shipping group suggests hike rates for exports to Asia

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

A group of major container shipping companies recently announced plans to increase the recommended rates for shipping recyclables and other low-margin materials to Asia.

The move from firms in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) Westbound group was announced Oct. 8, and it comes in response to price trends that carriers say were not sustainable.

“Many base cargo rates in the westbound transpacific market are approaching levels that do not justify carriage, especially when you take into account offsetting destination costs such as equipment cleaning and repair and local delivery,” Brian Conrad, TSA-Westbound executive administrator, said in a press release announcing the recommended rate increases.

TSA-Westbound is advising minimum rates of $300 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Los Angeles/Long Beach, and $750 per FEU for all-water U.S. East and Gulf Coast shipments. The new rates go into effect Nov. 1 and are recommended by the group for shipments of recovered paper, hay, and metal and plastic scrap to China base ports.

TSA-Westbound's announcement noted more increases are expected in December "and beyond," and they come roughly a year after TSA-Westbound announced a similar rate increase recommendation.

For a number of years, companies exporting scrap materials to Asia have been able to secure cheap shipping on vessels that had brought goods from China and other Asian nations to the U.S. and were searching for cargo to haul on their return voyages. Shipping companies say soft demand and rising costs in recent years have forced them to set new minimum rates.

TSA-Westbound is made up of the following firms: APL, Ltd.; China Shipping Container Lines; CMA-CGM; COSCO Container Lines, Ltd.; Evergreen Line; Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.; Hapag Lloyd AG; Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd.; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Maersk Line; Mediterranean Shipping Co.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha (N.Y.K. Line); Orient Overseas Container Line, Ltd.; Yangming Marine Transport Corp.; and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

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Glass buyer eCullet done in New Jersey

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:27
Glass buyer eCullet done in New Jersey

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 14, 2014

One of America's largest glass processors has closed its Northeast outpost.

The Camden, New Jersey facility of California-based eCullet has not been operating "for some time," a recent court document states. Sued by its Camden landlord for leaving behind "vast quantities of trash" at the location, eCullet says it is now "negotiating with a potential buyer for the equipment at the Camden Property and other properties" to finance the cleanup.

It is unclear whether any of the company's other properties – with two in California and additional hubs in St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon – have closed or will close in the near future.  The company's lawyer, Jason Halper, and president and CEO, Craig London, did not return requests for comment.

Melinda Beer with CalRecycle told Resource Recycling, "I don’t have anything to report," with regard to the two California sites of eCullet.

The firm has been a proponent of "glass-to-glass," or "bottle-to-bottle," recycling and was able to secure as much as $38 million in investments back in 2011. Historically, recycling old bottles into new ones has been time-intensive, complicated and costly, but eCullet has sought to push forward color sortation technology.

If the Camden equipment sale goes through, the company plans to put roughly $700,000 toward removing 20,000 tons of material it has amassed at its Camden site. In the court document, Halper stated removal charges are expected to cost $35 per ton.

The landlord lawsuit filed against eCullet was remanded to a lower New Jersey court earlier this month.

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NewsBits

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 23:24
NewsBits

Oct. 14, 2014

The City of Boulder, Colorado and nonprofit recycling group Eco-Cycle have launched a unique effort to get businesses in the municipality to boost their materials diversion efforts. Residents have been given recycling cards that they can hand off to the businesses they frequent – the cards offer praise for the establishment's recycling activity or encourage them to do more. City statistics show businesses in Boulder currently divert 28 percent of their waste, a figure that is far below the residential recycling and compost rate of 60 percent.

In an effort to highlight the extensive use of disposable coffee cups, the Canadian group Binners' Project recently offered 5 cents for each one of the products turned in during a one-day rally in Vancouver. The effort collected 55,000 cups, which were brought to a local recycling facility.

After a string of late-summer fatalities at U.S. recycling facilities, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has declared Oct. 15 Safety Stand-Down Day and is encouraging firms and employees to dedicate time on that date to focus on safety education. "Since early August, we have suffered at least 11 fatalities and multiple critical injuries at facilities owned by, or associated with, ISRI members and at some non-ISRI member owned facilities," the group said in a press release. "This is a disturbing trend that must be stopped."

A large residential and research development planned at Cambridge University in the U.K. is slated to feature an underground holding system for recyclables. The plan calls for 450 subterranean bins that will serve roughly 3,000 homes, and the receptacles will be outfitted with sensors that allow haulers to track material levels at each site.

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Massachusetts (ready or not) rolls out organics ban

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 23:09
Massachusetts (ready or not) rolls out organics ban

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

The Boston Globe Magazine recently ran an in-depth look at how state agencies and commercial food scrap generators are scrambling to develop the necessary infrastructure to support a statewide organics landfill ban that went into effect this month.

The story highlights the on-the-ground struggles that can come with implementing a massive organics shift.

First, the facts. The Massachusetts organics landfill ban that went into effect Oct. 1 applies to businesses and institutions that generate at least 1 ton of food scrap material per week. Approximately 1700 such entities exist in the state. According to the Globe landfill tipping fees in the Bay State run between $75 and $90 per ton, and fees for organics processing are roughly 20 percent lower.

Capacity has emerged as one of the key organics issues yet to be solved. The current annual capacity of licensed composting and anaerobic digestion facilities in the state is only about half of what the ban is expected to divert. Regulations around opening new processing locations (and fears about their profitability) have kept new development slow, but "Massachusetts has recently announced several programs to kick-start the business, including offering grants and low-interest loans, as well as access to land at two state prisons," the article states.

The state also hoped to begin implementing a biogas program at a site operated by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The initiative's potential is described as "blockbuster" by one official, but its pilot phase has been stymied by a nearby community that has refused to allow tanker trucks holding the diverted material to regularly roll through its streets. Officials are now aiming to push ahead a barge-based transportation effort.

The Globe makes clear the long-term benefits of the now-enacted ban can be huge. But food scrap generators, administrators and processors are still in the midst of finding ways to make the process work in a cost-effective manner. "This year," the story explains, "the race has been on to sort it all out."


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E-Scrap Academy 2014: Expand into electronics recycling

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 23:07
E-Scrap Academy 2014: Expand into electronics recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

Jumping into the electronics recycling business can be daunting, but e-scrap newbies now have a crash course to help them make the right moves from day one. At the inaugural E-Scrap Academy, beginners will learn how to maximize profit margins in the e-scrap space as well as get all the basics on material markets and operating best practices.

The creators of the annual E-Scrap Conference have launched E-Scrap Academy to help usher in the next wave of industry professionals. Established experts will show attendees the most important facets and tools of the business, opening the door to informed business decisions and quick growth.

E-Scrap Academy 2014 will be held Oct. 23, 2014 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. Head to www.e-scrapacademy.com for more information on this unique event.

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Closed Loop Fund to move fast on initial projects

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:58
UPDATED: Closed Loop Fund to move fast on initial projects

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

The leader of the $100 million Closed Loop Fund says the initiative's submission period will officially open next week, and by the end of this month, administrators will begin reviewing proposals.

Ron Gonen, CEO of the Closed Loop Fund, spoke Monday on a webinar organized by the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center. He said his group's website, ClosedLoopFund.com, will go live on Oct. 15 and at that point parties interested in submitting proposals to nab funding will be able to do so.

He added that Fund decision-makers will be meeting Oct. 29 to discuss the first crop of proposals and to start determining which will receive financing from the group.  Fund representatives will then be meeting on a quarterly basis to review and greenlight more submissions.

"We're looking to be aggressive and put carts out on the street and help MRFs advance recycling," Gonen said.

The Closed Loop Fund, which was announced in April, is backed by Walmart, Procter & Gamble and several other giants in the consumer packaged goods realm.  On Monday, Gonen also confirmed Colgate-Palmolive recently joined the list of backers, and he said he expects more corporate entities to be joining soon.

Those companies say they have struggled to consistently source enough recovered material to meet their recycled content goals.

Using contributions totaling more than $100 million from those corporate partners, the Closed Loop Fund will over the next five years be making zero interest loans available to municipalities looking to finance projects that can significantly bolster diversion rates and bring more material into the market. Gonen has mentioned a number of example initiatives that would fit the Fund's parameters, such as transitions from bins to carts, construction of new MRFs and anaerobic digestion development.

On Monday, Gonen said he envisions most loans to be in the $500,000 to $5 million range, and he said the loans are open to municipalities and business entities throughout North America as well as the Caribbean.

While municipalities will be eligible for zero interest loans, any loans from the Fund to business groups would be subject to interest rates. Gonen noted those interest rates would be "below market."

Note: An earlier version of this story stated Closed Loop Fund administrators would this month be choosing initial projects to finance. Closed Loop Fund has since clarified that it will be reviewing submissions at the Oct. 29 meeting but will not necessarily be making final funding decisions at that point.

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Resolute Forest Products sells recovered paper assets

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:55
Resolute Forest Products sells recovered paper assets

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

A major international consumer of recyclable paper has sold its fiber collection and processing assets.

Resolute Forest Products has sold its paper recycling arm – known as AbiBow Recycling – to EWJ International, an affiliate of Jordan Trading, the longtime player in the recovered fiber business.

The transaction includes 16 processing centers. However, paper packing plants in Boston and Thorold, Ontario were not included in the deal, and Resolute is expected to separately sell these operations.

According to a RISI story (subscription required), Jordan sold the business to processors immediately after buying. The company "is not in the collection and processing business and didn't want to compete with our suppliers," a Jordan official said.

The agreement calls for EWJ to supply fiber to Resolute mills in Georgia, Ontario and South Korea.

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Wide world of recycling

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:53
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

Comparing recycling rates across the U.K. just got a whole lot easier, and Novelis opens a massive recycling center in Germany.

U.K. waste management firm SITA has released an interactive map detailing county-by-county recycling rates in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Most recycling rates in the region fall between 30 and 60 percent, with just a few counties below or above that range. SITA has also released specific maps for London and some other cities.

Aluminum maker Novelis has officially unveiled its $258 million recycling center in Nachterstedt, Germany. Novelis says the new facility will process up to 440,000 tons – or 400,000 metric tons – each year. Novelis CEO and president Phil Martins has stated the move represents a shift "from a traditional linear approach to an increasingly closed-loop model."

Despite steady recycling rate increases in recent years, the Welsh city of Cardiff saw its recycling rate fall by 2 percentage points in 2013, new figues show. Going from 52 percent in 2012 to 50 percent during 2013, Cardiff will need to increase recycling going forward to avoid stiff fines of as much as $33 million and meet a government-mandated 75 percent recycling rate target.


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Bottle bill debate shines light on recycling access

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:51
Bottle bill debate shines light on recycling access

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

With roughly a month to go before voters in Massachusetts decide on whether to expand their state's bottle bill, interest groups on both sides of the debate are turning up the heat and offering two distinct vantage points on the convenience of recycling in the state.

Thus far, opponents of the push to add a nickel deposit on water and many other non-carbonated plastic beverage containers have spent a reported $7.8 million to paint the move as unnecessary and costly in a pair of TV ads and wider media campaign. Proponents, meanwhile, have contributed roughly $525,000 into the "Update the Bottle Bill Coalition" and attacked deep-pocketed, "big soda" companies for allegedly misleading the general public leading up to the Nov. 4 vote.

"The purpose of these ads is to trick voters and scare them into voting no," Janet Domenitz, executive director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, said in statement. "I expect the next thing their ads will say is that the cow jumped over the moon."

One specific issue the two groups have ">butted heads on is the percentage of residents with access to curbside recycling. In the TV ads, the anti-expansion camp argues that access has reached 90 percent. Update supporters have countered that claim by suggesting that less than half of Massachusetts' cities and towns ‒ 47.5 percent ‒ have access to "easy, walk-outside-your-door curbside recycling."

Both groups claim that access directly correlates with recycling rates. If the access is high, the thinking goes, a bottle bill expansion wouldn't be necessary, but if the access is low, that expansion could get more containers in the recycling stream by putting a nickel bounty on them.

So which side is right? According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), which openly supports the deposit addition, "nearly all Massachusetts cities and towns offer their residents the opportunity to recycle." But just 25 percent of water and non-carbonated beverage bottles are getting recycled through those opportunities, MassDEP figures show.

The groups on both sides of the bottle bill debate are expected to continue to ramp up their efforts to reach Massachusetts voters in the next month.

The ads produced thus far from the "No on Question 2" campaign can be viewed here. The official pro-expansion response, conversely, can be viewed here.

For the past decade, Massachusetts has wrestled with the idea of expanding the state's beverage deposit system. A Boston Globe poll in August found strong support for the ballot measure, which is also supported by Gov. Deval Patrick, while the latest poll found a healthy majority of voters ‒ 58 percent ‒ stating they would like to keep the bottle bill as is.

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ReuseConex 2014: A global community comes together

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:47
ReuseConex 2014: A global community comes together

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 7, 2014

The fast-approaching ReuseConex conference in Austin, Texas offers materials management professionals the unique opportunity to meet and learn from a wide array of individuals pushing the reuse market forward.

Speakers, exhibitors and attendees include city planners, economic development leaders, reuse entrepreneurs, green builders, creative reusers, reusables manufacturers, sustainability consultants, venture capitalists and environmental educators. Recycling coordinators for corporations, institutions and government agencies will also be on hand.

ReuseConex2014 is taking place Oct. 23-25 in Austin, Texas at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown and is hosted by Reuse Alliance and the City of Austin. For more information, head to www.reuseconex.org.

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NewsBits

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 22:37
NewsBits

Oct. 7, 2014

A Denver-based company called Higher Standard Packaging has launched a line of 100 percent recycled HDPE containers for, you guessed it, marijuana. Nearly 300,000 pounds of legalized pot is expected to be sold in Colorado this year alone, and Higher Standard says it has successfully developed the first FDA-approved, recycled packaging for the drug.

Prompted by states beginning to consider extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs, the Aluminum Association has shared its thoughts on the approach in a post entitled "Extended Producer Responsibility: Common Sense Policy for Common Sense Solutions." While making clear that "the aluminum industry does not have a formal position on EPR," the post does provide a list of things to take into account before making producers of packaging responsible for the collection and recycling of their products. The domestic recycling rate for aluminum cans has largely stayed flat in recent years – at around 54 percent.

Ad sales at the seven trade publications serving waste and recycling can be a good indication of general market conditions in those sectors, and an analysis by Resource Recycling of the first three quarters of 2014 shows continued sluggishness. Ad sales at the seven periodicals dropped 4 percent in the first three quarters of this year. That said, well over half of the falloff can be attributed to the large slump in sales at just one periodical – Waste360, which had ad placements down by 24 percent. This follows a 30 percent drop at the publication in 2013. Four periodicals saw a rise in ad sales, but sales growth was minimal among these magazines. While Resource Recycling had the largest growth, it was a mere 3 percent.

The former president of recycling at Waste Management has become CEO of WCA Waste Corporation, the Texas-based firm announced. After leaving Waste Management last month, Bill Caesar will take control of WCA and focus "on executing a successful long-term growth strategy and building WCA into a leading non-hazardous waste services company," according to a press release. Before entering the waste management industry in 2010, Caesar had worked for 13 years as a principal at consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Officials in Napa Valley, California have indicated their pursuit of greater diversion totals will also lead to higher program costs. Currently in negotiations for a new waste and recycling contract to take effect in 2017 and last for 12 to 14 years, the City expects the overall cost to exceed $250 million and increase the municipal diversion rate from roughly 65 percent to its 2020 goal of 75 percent.

The incentives-based recycling tech company Recyclebank has recently marked its 10 year anniversary and CEO Javier Flaim has reflected on the past decade in an article on Greenbiz.com. You can read it here.

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