Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 22 hours 11 min ago

Resource Recycling Conference 2015: A networking hotbed

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:48
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: A networking hotbed

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 17, 2014

"This was the best networking conference I've ever attended." That was the feedback offered from one industry executive at the close of this year's Resource Recycling Conference, and the upcoming edition will offer the same opportunities for key connections.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015, scheduled for next September, will be attracting top industry decision-makers to Indianapolis for a full slate of education sessions as well as a number of co-located events, including the National Recycling Coalition's annual members meeting and Re-TRAC Connect workshops. The array of programming simply cannot be found at any other North American recycling gathering.

If you want your municipality or firm to be part of the conversations shaping the future of materials diversion and sustainability, mark your calendar now for Resource Recycling Conference 2015.

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


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Arkansas finds glass market – and higher recycling rate

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:45
UPDATED: Arkansas finds glass market – and higher recycling rate

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Dec. 17, 2014

Arkansas' annual review of recycling performance shows the state has increased its recycling rate to 39 percent. And a surprising material is fueling the growth.

Representing a 4 percentage point increase from last year's rate, the 2014 rate, covering July 2013 through June 2014, was buoyed by new markets for glass in the state, a report from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) states.

According to the latest figures, glass recycling increased by 166 percent in 2014. A total of 9,352 tons of glass went toward recycling during the year compared with 3,513 tons in 2013.

"We haven't had a market for it in so long," Robert Hunter, recycling and marketing manager at ADEQ, told Resource Recycling . "And now we have a market that's providing free transportation and no costs to the communities, so it's being added to curbside programs."

Hunter said a Kansas City company, Ripple Glass, is taking mixed glass from the state and using much of it in the production of new bottles and fiberglass.

"We don't have to do anything but put it into bunkers and load it into trailers, which are provided for free and picked up," Hunter said.

Metals and paper recycling activity was also up in Arkansas during the most recent fiscal year.

During the year, 1,494,092 tons of metal was recycled in the state. That total is nearly 20 percent higher than the 2013 total of 1,246,734 tons.

On the paper side, recycling volume came in at 239,777 tons, up about 27 percent compared to 2013's recovery of 189,078 tons of the material. Cardboard, newsprint and the "other" category, including rolls of paper, consumer board and paper board, all saw sizable year-over-year increases.

Plastics, with poly pipe recycling down due to lower demand from the agricultural industry, was the only major category to see decreases in 2014. PET, HDPE and LDPE plastics all saw increases in diversion during the year.

Overall landfilling fell 5 percent, coming in at 3,265,463 tons, while recycling was up 13 percent, reaching 2,086,820 tons. Waste generation was slightly up during the year at 5,352,283 tons.

Note: An earlier version of this story inaccurately stated Arkansas' overall recycling volume for the year was 1,086,820 tons. The volume was actually 2,086,020 tons. Resource Recycling regrets the error.

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Industry spreads diversion tips alongside cheer

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:43
Industry spreads diversion tips alongside cheer

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 17, 2014

As the gift-giving season heats up, recycling advocates are making their case for a waste-conscious holiday.

A new poll conducted by ecoATM suggests 74 percent of Americans would like to reduce their waste generation this season. In addition, 8 percent of survey respondents said they are avoiding "holiday excess," including wrapping paper, ribbons and packaging.

Citing U.S. EPA data pointing to average household waste generation increasing by 25 percent during the holidays, Republic Services has released a national Holiday Recycling Checklist advisory. Republic reminds residents to keep items like bubble wrap, packing peanuts and "anything on the Christmas tree" out of the bin.

What to do with your end-of-life Christmas lights? Well, the answer varies depending on where you live in the U.S., but communities across the country, including municipalities in Wisconsin and Kentucky, are taking a proactive approach in encouraging residents to bring in their used Christmas lights for recycling at select stores and drop-off locations.

The U.S. EPA has put together a series of tips to cut down on holiday waste. Click here to read through them and don't forget to check out Resource Recycling's annual holiday gift guide for some recycled content gifts with pizzazz.

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Grant watch

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:40
Grant watch

Dec. 17, 2014

A $1 million competitive grant has been awarded to a California plastics recycling firm, according to the Turlock City News. The grant from CalRecycle’s Recycled Fiber, Plastic and Glass Grant Program will enable Peninsula Plastics Recycling to recover nearly half of the byproduct created from its current recycling process and recycle it into landscaping material.

Four Indiana companies that recycle materials including metals and discarded wood will receive grants from the state’s Recycling Market Development Program, according to the Associated Press. The state is awarding grants ranging from $125,000 to $175,000 to the following companies: GreenCycle of Indiana, Technology Recyclers, Petoskey Plastics and Reflective Industries. They will use the grants to buy equipment, and the companies receiving the grants agreed to commit nearly $2.9 million to their operations.

E-scrap processing in Arkansas received a shot in the arm with three state grants totaling $200,000, according to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. The state awarded the following grants: $100,000 to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, $50,000 to the city of Texarkana and $50,000 to Esco Processing and Recycling. Goodwill Industries will use the funding for development of an operations center in Little Rock. Texarkana will use its grant to help expand its e-scrap collection center. Esco Processing and Recycling of Rogers will use the money for collecting and processing cathode ray tubes.

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Resource Recycling print edition: Complete your collection

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:37
Resource Recycling print edition: Complete your collection

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 17, 2014

A longtime industry firm is doing some holiday office cleaning and has the last 20 years worth of Resource Recycling print magazines available for anyone willing to pay the cost of shipping the stacks. If you're interested in having hard copies of two decades of industry analysis, send an email to news@resource-recycling.com Hooray for print media!


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NewsBits

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 14:26
NewsBits

Dec. 17, 2014

Waste Management, the world's largest waste and recycling company, reiterated recent contamination concerns in its 2014 sustainability report, released this week. Much of the report's opening letter from CEO David P. Steiner is dedicated to struggles confronting the company from a lack of consumer education and the changing mix of materials headed toward MRFs. The report indicates WM increased recycling volumes to 15 million tons in 2013 (up from 12.9 million tons in 2012) but saw drops in recycling's percentage of overall company revenue. "For our recycling business to remain sustainable," Steiner writes, "we need to address the economics of recycling."

Details are emerging on how Richmond, Virginia will be leveraging its assistance from the Curbside Value Partnership-backed Recycling Partnership. Assuming City Council approves the plan, the City will be distributing 6,000 carts to residents in early 2015, and the effort will be fully funded by a $420,000 Recycling Partnership grant. In September, the Recycling Partnership announced its first three partner cities would be Columbia, South Carolina; Florence, Alabama; and Richmond.

Ontario consumers will have more options for recycling their used paints, under a plan approved by Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) on Dec. 10. The plan by Product Care Association will increase the number of places where consumers can drop off paint and coatings, according to WDO. It also will provide for recycling of additional materials, including non-pesticide marine coatings and all paints and coatings in aerosol containers. The industry will have until June 2015 to implement the new program.

The state-run Washington Correctional Industries has used cheap inmate labor for mattress recycling, undercutting the labor-intensive business in the private sector, a Seattle Times investigation has found. A small Tacoma-based mattress recycling company that hires recovering addicts, the disabled and former inmates was nearly driven out of business by the competition, the newspaper reported.

Greensboro, North Carolina has found that most of its residents don’t understand which materials are recyclable, and about one-fifth of the items tossed into recycling bins are waste, the News & Record reports. Additionally, about 37 percent of households don’t even participate in the program. Those conclusions were drawn from city research, as Greensboro works to update its 30-year-old recycling program, focusing on ways to better communicate with residents and increase recycling rates.

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Delaware reaches 42 percent recycling rate

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:52
Delaware reaches 42 percent recycling rate

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 9, 2014

Delaware managed to increase its recycling rate to 42 percent in 2013, a boost that has a lot to do with legislation, according to Gov. Jack Markell.

"Four years after adopting a comprehensive and practical plan, we have dramatically increased recycling in Delaware, generating significant economic and environmental benefits while reducing waste management costs,” Gov. Markell said at a press conference announcing the 2013 rate. “By educating the public, supporting businesses and enhancing services statewide, our recycling rates will continue to grow and we’ll keep Delaware moving forward.”

In 2010, the state moved to mandate single-stream recycling collection for residents of single and multi-family homes, restaurants and businesses, by requiring waste haulers to provide recycling containers.

The Universal Recycling Law also included a temporary 4-cent fee paid by retailers on most glass and plastic containers. That fee system funneled approximately $6.7 million into the state-run Delaware Recycling Fund, which used the additional capital to award grants for recycling and waste reduction programs. The fee requirements expired on Dec. 1.

Delaware, which has a population of about 900,000, has nearly doubled its recycling rate since 2006. The 2012 recycling rate was 40 percent.

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Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Meeting and learning

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:50
Resource Recycling Conference 2015: Meeting and learning

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 9, 2014

Several pre-conference workshops and events will be available in conjunction with the sixth annual Resource Recycling Conference, allowing attendees to get even more value out of North America's leading municipal recycling gathering.

The extra education opportunities include: GRRN Zero Waste Training, the National Recycling Coalition Annual Membership Meeting and Board Meeting, the third annual Recycling Innovators Forum, Re-Trac Connect Training and more.

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 is taking place Sept. 28-30, 2015 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, Indiana. Registration opens next month. Check rrconference.com for information on attending, exhibiting and sponsoring.


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Recycling Industries Coalition opposes "dirty MRF" concept

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:48
Recycling Industries Coalition opposes "dirty MRF" concept

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 9, 2014

A newly formed group of recycling organizations and stakeholders is weighing in on the effects of mixed waste processing on recycling.

"Coalition members know that a facility processing waste and recyclables mixed together, known as a dirty MRF, will not improve and may harm recycling," the policy statement from the newly formed Recycling Industries Coalition (RIC) reads. RIC is made up of recycling stakeholders from across the country and initially formed to combat an Indianapolis project centered around a mixed waste processing facility, or dirty MRF.

While that facility was eventually approved by city officials, RIC "continues as a way to educate policy makers, local officials and the community about the potential negative consequences of multi-material processing facilities," the group writes in an official release.

Mixing solid waste and recyclables, according to RIC's official policy statement on the approach, "will severely degrade them to the point that they will only be usable for incineration, landfilling or energy recovery, which is not recycling."

RIC members include a number of large industry groups and stakeholders, including: American Forest & Paper Association, Glass Packaging Institute, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Knauf Insulation, Newark Group, Owens-Illinois, Inc., Paper Recycling Coalition, the Steel Recycling Institute and Waste Management.

The group's position has been supported by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) as well.

"NRC supports the policy adopted by the RIC in highlighting concerns with the implementation of dirty MRFs," an NRC post states. "The NRC agrees with concerns with dirty MRFs that RIC highlighted and other concerns. Instead of relying on dirty MRFs, NRC urges communities to implement best practices for the separate collection of recyclables."

While the mixed waste processing approach is not new, it has seen a resurgence in interest among some U.S. cities looking to boost relatively low recycling rates. Beyond the Indianapolis project, a $35 million mixed waste processing facility for residential waste opened earlier this year in Birmingham, Alabama. Houston has also continued looking into the merits of the "all in one bin" approach. According to equipment maker Bulk Handling Systems, which has released a six-part video series on the issue, mixed waste processing has evolved significantly and can now effectively separate recyclables from a mixed municipal waste stream.

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Scrap export stats show mixed bag

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:46
Scrap export stats show mixed bag

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 9, 2014

The most recent figures on exports of most scrap materials show decreases year-over-year in both volume and price, though scrap plastics continue to bounce back from Green Fence-influenced levels.

Exports of scrap plastics in September 2014, the most recent month for which data is available, dropped from August levels, but overall scrap plastic exports are still up from 2013 through the first three quarters of 2014.

September saw a steep 9.2 percent month-to-month decrease from August 2014 export levels, with 403.40 million pounds of scrap plastics exported. When matched against September 2013 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 18.3 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in September, at 20.86 cents per pound, was up slightly from its August 2014 standing by 1.9 percent. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, however, the price was up by 5.9 percent.

Year-to-date (YTD) figures for scrap plastics showed strong gains as well. With 3.57 billion pounds exported through the third quarter of 2014, the volume of recovered plastics sent outside of U.S. borders was up 16.7 percent from its YTD 2013 figure. At 19.90 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first nine months of 2014 was down by 2.3 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports continued to see small improvement through the first nine months of 2014, with 14.27 million metric tons exported, a slight 1.2 percent increase from levels through the third quarter of 2013. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper through September was also flat, down just 0.3 percent when compared with its standing through the first nine months of 2014.

Ferrous scrap exports continued to show strong declines YOY, with 11.58 million metric tons exported through September 2014 amounting to a sharp 19.4 percent decrease from levels through the first three quarters of 2013. At $407 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also slightly down – 0.9 percent from ferrous scrap exports figures through September 2013.

Lastly, the 2.83 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through September 2014 equated to a 6.8 percent decrease from the first nine months of 2013. At 77 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through September 2014 was also down by 4.0 percent YOY.


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Celebrate the season with recycled materials

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:19
Celebrate the season with recycled materials

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Dec. 9, 2014

The December issue of Resource Recycling's print edition once again features a rundown of gift-worthy products made with recovered plastic, paper or other commodities. Take a peek at some of the latest offerings from American Apparel, TerraCycle and others that allow you to spread some cheer while supporting the industry.

See the full spread here. And happy holidays from all of us at Resource Recycling.

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NewsBits

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 11:13
NewsBits

Dec. 9, 2014

Chinese recovered paper imports in the first 10 months of 2014 fell 6.5 percent to 25.1 million tons, according to a recent report from RISI. Suppliers of old corrugated containers from Europe, Japan, North America and other regions saw Chinese demand slump 6.2 percent in the ten-month period to 14.2 million tons. Mixed paper purchasing by Chinese mills, however, rose slightly, by 240,000 tons.

The extended producer responsibility advocacy organization Upstream (formerly known as the Product Policy Institute) is making changes at the top. Bill Sheehan, the group's founder and long-time executive director, recently announced he is reducing his role with the group and handing the leadership reins to Matt Prindiville, the group's current associate director.

Manchester, Connecticut has launched a textile recycling program, which allows residents to drop off used clothing at a transfer station in the town. The effort is a partnership between Massachusetts-based Bay State Textiles, Inc. and the Central Connecticut Solid Waste Authority.

A Massachusetts musician is looking to finance a new album using a unique model: She's gathering bottles and cans to turn into cash through the state's deposit program.

Speaking of redemption programs, Oregon's system will soon be adding its 11th Bottle Drop site. The new location, slated to open Dec. 18, will be the first in the Portland city limits. BottleDrop locations use mechanized sorting and allow residents to quickly drop off bags of redeemable containers – the applicable cash redemption total is added to a user's account within two days.

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