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Category Archives: Top stories

How the use of robotics is evolving at MRFs

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AMP Robotics tandem gripper.

A leader with AMP Robotics says artificial intelligence has changed how robotics can be incorporated into MRFs. | Courtesy of AMP Robotics.

A recycling facility operator and a robotics company say artificial intelligence is providing materials recovery firms with much-needed data to analyze changes in the recycling stream. That’s in addition to sortation improvements.

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Our top stories from 2020

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Sorted plastics at a recycling facility.

Readers last year were drawn to news that Brightmark is seeking over 1,000,000 tons of difficult-to-recycle plastics for chemical recycling. | hiv360/Shutterstock

Economic uncertainty and operational changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic affected virtually every business sector in 2020, and the recycling industry certainly felt the impacts. But materials recovery professionals were also navigating ongoing volatility in commodities markets, heightened awareness of plastics management problems, and much more.

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Recycling operators sound off on packaging EPR

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Sorted household recyclables.

Packaging EPR programs are currently in place in parts of Europe, Canada and elsewhere, but to date, this system hasn’t reached the U.S. | Skylines/Shutterstock

Extended producer responsibility for a wide range of recyclables is gaining steam around the country. Haulers and MRF operators say it’s critical that these proposals are crafted well – both to preserve what already works and allow for much-needed changes.

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Judge: Connecticut MRF to remain open during legal appeal

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Court gavel resting on a book on a desk.

The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA) insisted chaos would ensue if Republic Services shut down the MRF, which sorts and markets hundreds of tons of recyclables each day. | Tiko Aramyan/Shutterstock

A Connecticut court has ruled that Republic Services can’t terminate a contract and shut down a MRF while the company’s dispute with a recycling authority is appealed.

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Lawsuit takes aim at Walmart’s plastic recycling labels

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Greenpeace sign on a brick building exterior.

A lawsuit from Greenpeace seeks to force Walmart to change its labeling and conduct a “corrective” advertising campaign. | nitpicker/Shutterstock

Environmental activist group Greenpeace this week accused Walmart of falsely labeling items as recyclable and asked a California court to compel the retailer to stop making the claims.

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Mapping out the recycling firms that received PPP loans

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Businessman signing checks at a desk.

A Resource Recycling analysis shows that 1,116 companies identified as “materials recovery facilities” and 4,300 companies identified as “recyclable material merchant wholesalers” received Paycheck Protection Program funds this year. | NIKCOA/Shutterstock

Over $850 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds flowed to MRF operators and recyclables trading companies this year, according to data released following a court order.

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