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SWANA urges China to delay implementation of import restrictions

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 12:12
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has submitted comments to the World Trade Organization urging China to delay implementation of its waste import restrictions scheduled to take effect in early 2018. SWANA’s request is included in its response to the November 15 Notification from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).

SWANA’s comments highlight the significant impact China’s waste import restrictions have already had on municipal solid waste recycling programs in parts of the U.S. and Canada, urging the Chinese government to suspend the implementation of the restrictions until no earlier than January 1, 2022.

“With 2018 nearly upon us, recycling programs from coast to coast are being adversely affected by China’s actions,” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “Plastic film is being warehoused, recyclables in Oregon are going to landfills and the uncertainty created by China’s actions has created a significant disruption. While we call on China to postpone implementation, we also call on recycling companies and local governments to ensure they are generating high-quality material that satisfies legitimate environmental concerns. This may require investment in additional equipment or personnel, slowing down the line and increasing and improving education to residents and business.”

The proposed 0.5% contamination standard for waste imports was proposed without seeking input from any foreign stakeholders and is not based on any internationally accepted standard or specification. SWANA requests that MEP explain the basis for the carried-waste 0.5% contamination standard.

“The proposed contamination standard is not practical to achieve even at the most state-of-the-art facilities in North America,” Jeff Murray, SWANA’s international president, says. “While modifications to the collection, sorting and processing of mixed residential recyclable materials can improve the quality of the feedstock produced, it will be unable to achieve the levels the Chinese have proposed. The proposed implementation schedule is unfair, and we are seeking more time to assess potential changes and what standard can be achieved.”

SWANA’s comments express strong support for China’s efforts to protect and improve their environmental conditions. In their comments, SWANA also requests the Chinese government meet with industry stakeholders from the U.S., Canada and other exporting countries to develop a mutually satisfactory carried-waste contamination standard and a timeline for implementation in order to help China achieve its overall environmental health objectives.

“China’s actions are affecting recycling operations throughout Canada, and I am very pleased that SWANA is taking the lead raising concerns with the WTO, China and the Canadian government,” Allen Lynch, SWANA’s Canadian representative, says. 

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Philadelphia recycler creates aggregate from mixed glass

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 10:01
A business recently opened a plant in the former Eddystone locomotive factory in Philadelphia to turn municipal curbside glass into a lightweight construction material, a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer says. AeroAggregates LLC opened the plant in early 2017.

AeroAggregates creates foamed glass aggregate from the curbside mixed glass. The report says the aggregate resembles crushed rock and serves a similar purpose as crushed rock in construction projects, but the manufactured material weighs 85 percent less than stone.

The report says that European municipalities use a form of AeroAggregates product in road building and bridge abutments, where a heavier fill material—such as the traditional stone—would compress soft soils or crush underground utilities. Foamed glass also has insulating qualities and can be used in green roofs and gardens.

Archie Filshill, chief executive and cofounder of AeroAggregates, says in the report researchers from Drexel University in Philadelphia and Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, are developing a concrete using the foamed glass aggregate that can be used in nonstructural applications, such as poured concrete floors.

According to the report, the glass is crushed into a power and mixed with silicon carbide, then passes through a 60-foot-long 180-degree-Fahrenheit kiln. The silicon carbide produces carbon bubbles and makes the mixture rise while melting. The process takes around 40 minutes. The material then cracks into two-inch pieces while cooling.

Each kiln produces 80,000 cubic yards of the material per year using 12,000 tons of mixed glass, the report says.

Filshill, cofounder and company President Thomas McGrath and Robert Schoen, chief financial officer, have pitched using the material to several state highway engineers. The report says that so far, transportation departments in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and New York have given preliminary approval. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) has already used the material for a reconstruction project at the Navy Yard and plans to use it in a ramp project.

AeroAggregates has a contract to supply 30,000 cubic yards of its material in 2018 for a bridge project in Kearny, New Jersey, the report says.

The company says in the report it is ordering a second kiln that will be installed in early 2018. The kiln was financed by Closed Loop Partners, New York City, through an investment fund underwritten by $100 million in corporate money. 

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Metalico names new president, CEO

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 08:47
Metalico Inc., headquartered in Cranford, New Jersey, has announced Michael J. Drury has been named president and chief executive officer and Carlos E. Agüero has been promoted to vice chairman of the board. The leadership changes are effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Drury succeeds Agüero in his new positions. Drury currently is the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Chung Sheng Huang, Metalico’s chairman of the board, says, “The board unanimously concluded that Mike is the right choice to lead Metalico. Since he joined Metalico 20 years ago, Mike has demonstrated that his strong industry knowledge coupled with his decisive, results-oriented management style are an effective combination. These traits will help Metalico to achieve its future goals.”

“We look forward to his valuable contributions as he leads Metalico to future success,” he continues. “We also want to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to Carlos for building and leading Metalico over the past 20 years.”

Agüero adds, “I am confident that Michael will apply his extensive management experience, superior work ethic and unshakeable integrity to lead Metalico to be bigger and better in the years to come.”

Drury has been an executive vice president since Metalico's founding in 1997. He has been involved in operations, acquisitions, finance, budgeting and business development. He brings a broad based and unique skill set to his new position, says Metalico.

Agüero, founder of Metalico, was instrumental in taking an idea and building Metalico into the company it is today, the company says.

“Metalico employs more than 450 people, operates 25 locations, sets the standard for supplier trust and service in its markets, and delivers consistent quality products to its consumers,” the company says.

Metalico Inc. is a recycler of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal with facilities, including three automobile shredders, in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New Jersey and Mississippi.

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Komatsu Southwest adds Sennebogen material handlers to lineup

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 08:28
The new dealership for equipment by Komatsu, Rolling Meadows, Illinois, serving New Mexico and west Texas is adding material handlers manufactured by Sennebogen, Stanley, North Carolina, to its flagship line. Grant Adams, president of Komatsu Southwest, has been leading a program to grow the company’s scope of equipment and services.

“We’ve always enjoyed success working with industry leaders and we’re very pleased to have Grant and the Komatsu Southwest team representing us in the region,” Constantino Lannes, Sennebogen president, says.

Adams says that he had planned to add Sennebogen into his product mix from the outset. Prior to taking his appointment to open Komatsu Southwest, Adams held senior positions with other Sennebogen dealers on the east coast.  “When I came out west, I knew that Komatsu and Sennebogen were a great fit,” Adams says. “I started a dialog with Constantino right away. Komatsu is on the job anywhere there’s a material handler. They work well together.”

“Representing Komatsu and Sennebogen together along with our roadbuilding and all our attachment lines, we’re able to offer a complete equipment and service package to key customers in any sector,” Adams says.

As well as supporting current Sennebogen customers in the territory, the Komatsu Southwest sales and service team plans to build its business in scrap, recycling and waste facilities, quarries, log yards and sawmills, demolition, as well as in pipe-handling applications for the oil and gas industry.

“For many of these customers, a material handler is the keystone piece of equipment in their production process. By offering them a premiere product with Sennebogen, we are well-positioned to surround their key machine with a complete range of related rolling stock, plus the right attachments to deliver a complete solution,” the company says.

Komatsu has committed to building inventories in the four branches under Adams’ watch. Through this past year, they have more than doubled the investment in equipment, parts inventories, tooling and training at these locations. “Sennebogen parts are already in stock and machines for sale and rent are on their way,” Adams says.

Komatsu Southwest operates locations in Albuquerque, Farmington and Carlsbad in New Mexico, as well as El Paso, Texas. “In the last year, we’ve gone from 12 technicians to a total of 36 today. With Sennebogen’s support and training programs, we are investing very heavily in factory training for all of our staff,” Adams says. “We’ll also have a Sennebogen product specialist on our sales team to assist our representatives in advising their customers on their material handling applications. It’s a great fit all the way round.”

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JCB expands Canadian dealer network

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:38
Savannah, Georgia-based JCB North America has added Westcon JCB, headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan, to its growing North American dealer network. Wastecon will sell, rent and service JCB equipment from branches in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“Westcon is continually looking for new product lines, and we are pleased to now represent JCB construction products in Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” says Brian Brown, president and CEO of Westcon Equipment. “We plan to build the business on the basis of our tried-and-true formula of customer service and customer relationships.”

Westcon Equipment has sold and serviced heavy equipment in south central Canada since 2004. Westcon JCB initially will carry JCB backhoes, excavators, skid steers, compact track loaders, telescopic handlers, wheel loaders, Access aerial work platforms and rough-terrain forklifts.

Westcon JCB also will sell and service two new JCB machines that were launched at ConExpo 2017: the Teleskid, the first skid steer with a telescopic boom, and the Hydradig wheeled excavator/tool carrier. Used equipment acquired via trade-ins and rental fleet sales also available.

“With a reputation for outstanding customer service and integrity, Westcon Equipment is the ideal partner to help JCB grow its market share throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba,” says Christian Baillie, JCB North America vice president of construction equipment dealer sales. “Since entering the equipment sales and rental market more than a decade ago, Westcon has continued to grow and develop a loyal customer base.”

Baillie adds, “We look forward to working with them and helping their customers discover how JCB machines can improve productivity and profitability.”

From its North American headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, and at 21 other manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, China, India and Brazil, JCB manufactures a range of more than 300 products for customers in 150 countries. 

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Kroger joins Sustainable Packaging Coalition

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 06:14
Grocery retailer Kroger Co., headquartered in Cincinnati, has joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), Charlottesville, Virginia. The SPC is a membership-based collaborative striving to advance sustainable packaging. Kroger joins more than 130 brands, manufacturers, government officials, academics and organizations in the SPC.

The SPC is a project of nonprofit GreenBlue. The coalition says it uses an objective life cycle-based approach to provide thought leadership and bring its members together to strengthen and advance the business case for more sustainable packaging.

Kroger says it has committed to driving improvements in the sustainability of packaging across its Our Brands private-label products. As part of its 2020 Sustainability Goals, Kroger has committed to optimizing 100 percent of its product packaging by increasing recyclability, reducing excess packaging and increasing certified virgin fiber sourcing, among other things, during the next three years. 

“Kroger is pleased to join the Sustainable Packaging Coalition,” says Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s group vice president of corporate affairs. “Our membership in this coalition is an important part of Kroger’s vision for achieving Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, a key component of how we are living our purpose driven by our Restock Kroger Plan. We look forward to collaborating with other brands, packaging manufacturers and other stakeholders to drive positive change in packaging sustainability.”

“By joining with others who share this passion, we can all work together to create new packaging solutions that have a lasting, positive impact in the environment we all share,” says Gil Phipps, vice president of Our Brands. “This new partnership is another step in our journey and will help us accelerate our commitment to introduce more sustainable packaging.”

“Kroger has such an important relationship to packaging supply chains around the globe,” says SPC Associate Director Adam Gendell. “We look forward to sharing our commitment to make packaging more sustainable.”

 

 

 

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NGR celebrates its installation number 1,000

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:25
(Photo, left to right: Josef Hochreiter, CEO of NGR and Alfred S. Teo, CEO of Sigma Group.)

Feldkirchen an der Donau, Austria-based Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH (NGR) says it has delivered its 1,000th plastics recycling machine to long-time customer Sigma Plastics Group at a location in New Jersey in the United States.

“For more than 15 years, the globally known Sigma Plastics Group has put its trust in recycling machines from NGR,” the company indicates in the news release announcing its milestone. In December, NGR’s machine number 1,000 was delivered to a Sigma plant in New Jersey, the company states.

Founded in 1996, NGR designs and makes size reduction and extruding machinery for plastics recyclers.  The company indicates it has expanded its global reach and now has several customer centers in the U.S. and Asia. During the past two decades, more than 1,000 machines have rolled off its assembly lines, including more than 100 machines in 2017.

Lyndhurst, New Jersey-based Sigma is one of the largest privately-owned film extrusion companies in North America, with more than 5,000 employees and an annual processing volume of more than 1 million tons. Its product range includes packaging film, stretch film, merchandise bags, garbage bags and garment bags.

Sigma Group currently has more than 40 NGR recycling machines in use, according to NGR. “We count on solutions from NGR because each system efficiently recycles all of our plastic waste and because we can rely on their excellent service,” says Alfred Teo, CEO of Sigma. “The NGR support team works actively with all of our plants to ensure that our machines are running smoothly.”

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Upstate-Weitsman announces western region promotion

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 20:17
Owego, New York-based Upstate Shredding – Weitsman Recycling has announced that after six months working as the general manager for its Ben Weitsman of New Castle (Pennsylvania) division, George Ostendorf has been promoted to corporate vice president of its western region.

In his newly appointed position, Ostendorf will be responsible for overseeing and managing all operations and employees at Ben Weitsman of New Castle (including its retail yard and shredder), plus locations in Jamestown, Irving, Allegany, Hornell and Rochester in New York.

Ostendorf will be involved in all aspects of the operation of those six Weitsman facilities, including working to improve and enforce all company policies and practices, a news release from Upstate Shredding indicates.

“In his brief time with the company thus far, Mr. Ostendorf has demonstrated and in-depth knowledge of the industry as well as a commitment to excellence in all areas of the business,” says Adam Weitsman, CEO of Upstate Shredding – Weitsman Recycling. “He brings with him an excellent record of maximizing profitability, as well as cultivating and managing productive workforce teams -- skills he’s proved through his work with us and formerly at Metalico.”

Adds Weitsman, “I’m confident his leadership will poise our western locations for maximum success and efficiency, which will ultimately help position the company to further expand its feeder yard footprint further into Western New York and Pennsylvania as well as eastern Ohio.”

“I am honored to be a part of a company that is well positioned for growth and expansion throughout the Northeast,” says Ostendorf. “I have enjoyed the challenge of building the New Castle location into one of the top scrap recycling facilities in the region, and look forward to helping the other locations in the western region perform to that same level.”

Upstate Shredding – Weitsman Recycling operates 17 scrap processing locations in New York and Pennsylvania. The company will process more than 1 million tons of ferrous and 125,000 tons of nonferrous scrap metal in 2017. 

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Graphic Packaging International invests to modernize Macon mill

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 09:54
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority (MBCIA) have announced that Graphic Packaging International (GPI), an Atlanta-based company in the design and manufacturing of packaging for commercial products, will invest $136 million in the modernization of its paperboard Macon mill.

GPI employs more than 1,330 employees in Georgia, and the Macon mill investment will help retain more than 460 manufacturing jobs. The Macon mill makes unbleached kraft paperboard used in packaging for the food and beverage industry.

“Georgia has a rich history in manufacturing, and many strategic assets that enable companies in this industry sector to find success here and abroad,” says GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “GPI’s decision to modernize its operations is a testament to our state’s position as a global leader in the industry, and we are excited to see the company flourish in Macon.”

GPI’s investment will enhance its capability by adding a curtain coater, automate certain processes, and upgrade the water, generator and air systems to improve the mill’s environmental profile.

“After a thorough analysis of our manufacturing needs and the available local resources, it was clear that Macon–Bibb Country was ideal for this capital investment,” says Michael Doss, president and CEO of GPI. “A number of factors influenced our decision, including the facility location; access to a diverse, educated and skilled local workforce; and our relationship with Macon–Bibb County and the state of Georgia.”

“I’m delighted Graphic Packaging is investing in its plant here and making a commitment to be a part of our community for many years to come,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert. “Our location in the state and country makes us a prime location for companies to be successful and expand.”

GDEcD says Georgia successfully competed against other states to win this investment. GDEcD regional project manager, Candice Scott, represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with Stephen Adams at MBCIA, Central Georgia Technical College and GDEcD’s Workforce Division.

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ISRI seeks nominations for 2018 Design for Recycling Award

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 08:33
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has announced it is accepting entries for the 2018 Design for Recycling (DFR) Award.

The DFR Award is ISRI’s highest award given annually to the most “outstanding contribution to products designed with recycling in mind,” ISRI says. It recognizes proactive steps made by manufacturers who have actively incorporated DFR principles into products and processes.

“Effective recycling really begins at the point a product is first conceived,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “The Design for Recycling Award recognizes companies, designers and manufacturers with clearly established mindsets that stand above others when producing products that can be recycled both safely and efficiently. When their product reaches the end of life stage it can be recycled in a manner that benefits the environment and the economy.”

ISRI inaugurated the award more than 10 years ago. Previous winners include Cascades Fine Papers Group, Coca-Cola Recycling Co., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dell Inc., LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, and the 2017 winner EcoStrate SFS.

To be eligible for ISRI’s DFR Award, a product must be designed/redesigned and manufactured to:

  • contain the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable;
  • be easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures;
  • be cost-effective to recycle whereby the cost to recycle does not exceed the value of its recycled materials;
  • be free of hazardous materials that are not recyclable or impede the recycling process;
  • minimize the time and cost involved to recycle the product;
  • reduce the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components; and
  • have a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment.

Interested parties can enter online here before the Feb. 23, 2018, deadline. Applicants will be notified by March 16, 2018. The winner will be officially recognized at the ISRI 2018 Convention and Exposition, April 14-19 in Las Vegas.

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UK company adds Max-AI robotic sorting technology

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 06:16
Green Recycling, an industrial and commercial waste company based in Essex, U.K., has purchased a Max-AI AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) unit to increase recovery of recyclables without adding additional manual labor at the company’s commercial and commingled dry recyclables material recovery facility (MRF) in the Essex town of Maldon. Green Recycling is the first company in the U.K. to invest in this technology, which had been installed in three U.S. MRFs prior to this installation. Green Recycling’s Max-AI AQC will be operational in the first quarter of 2018, according to a press release issued by BHS and Green Recycling.

Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), which launched the technology in 2017, says the Max-AI AQC incorporates an AI-powered vision system to identify recyclables and make decisions, along with a robotic sorter that picks items and places them into chutes. The artificial neural network technology mirrors the neural framework of the human brain to identify recyclables in a manner similar to that of a person. When the recyclables have been identified by the vision system, a robotic sorter then does the picking, the company says.

At Green Recycling’s facility, equipment is used to open bags and collect plastic film and old corrugated containers (OCC). Screen and air separation technologies then segregate material. The Max-AI AQC follows this equipment, working on the recovery line to capture card, news and pams, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) natural, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and wood.

The Max-AI AQC intelligent vision system is trained using a process called deep learning and can immediately identify various recyclables, according to BHS. Max-AI AQC also is capable of making various decisions, including prioritizing the picking order based on size, value and location, directing the robotic sorter to pick and place the recovered end products into chutes.

BHS says the Max-AI AQC can make approximately 65 picks per minute, a productivity rate that would require Green Recycling to source and employ staff in two manual sorting positions, positions that are difficult to fill because of the nature of the job.

When the new equipment is in place, Green Recycling will be able to run this section of the recovery line with no human sorting at all, BHS says.

Rob Smith, managing director at Green Recycling, says, “We believe that this technology will revolutionize MRF operations, and we’re excited to be the first to introduce it here in the U.K. Our aim is to deliver a flexible and efficient recycling process to our customers, and we’re always on the lookout for the latest technology to further automate and improve our process. We believe we have found it with Max-AI AQC. Not only is the technology capable of sorting up to six different end fractions in one location, but it is also adjustable should the material or markets change and will deliver significant operational improvements. We can’t wait to put Max to work!”

Jamie Smith, general manager at Green Recycling, says, “With the addition of Max-AI to our team, not only will we significantly improve our recycling efficiency but more importantly we will shift job specification to a technology-based outlook. While the perception would be to replace human sorting, here at Green Recycling it will actually be creating opportunity with a new technology based position for a brand new member of staff.”

BHS appointed Steve Almond to the position of sales consultant for the U.K. and Ireland earlier this year.

“I wanted to represent the Max-AI product line because I believe that this technology is a game changer for my customers,” Almond says. “MRF operators consistently face challenges when humans have direct contact with the waste stream: staffing problems, high labor costs, health and safety risks and management and performance-related loss. I’m looking forward to delivering this unit and helping a valued customer overcome these challenges and increase operational performance.”

He adds, “Green Recycling has opted to embrace innovation and as the first in the U.K. to introduce this technology; I’m confident that the investment will be as successful for the company as it is noteworthy.” 

The Max-AI AQC can be viewed in operation at https://youtu.be/2gjUpDnJrZA

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ISRI says more chaos is likely to result from China’s enforcement actions

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:50
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, issued an alert to its members dated Dec. 11, 2017, updating them about its recent meetings in Beijing with Chinese and U.S. government officials and its industry association counterparts. The association also offers guidance to its members regarding implementation of China’s new import rules.

The alert, which is signed by ISRI President Robin Wiener and Chair Mark Lewon of Utah Metal Works, Salt Lake City, explains that China is facing “a serious environmental crisis,” and the country’s central government has prioritized cleaning up the country’s environment. “Their focus is not on any one industry but across all sectors of the country's economy regardless of the impact on jobs and production,” the alert states. “A wide-ranging series of actions—including closures, aggressive enforcement and the tightening of environmental controls—are being implemented in industries as far ranging as agriculture coal, oil and recycling.”

The association says the actions are coming from the highest level of the Chinese government and little time and few resources are being given to the country’s government agencies charged with developing and implementing these rules to ensure they “get it right.”

The alert reads, “The Chinese are struggling to distinguish between what is waste (that they do not want in their country at any cost) and valuable resources, i.e., scrap (that they understand is needed as feedstock for Chinese manufacturing). And in their rush to meet President Xi Jinping's directive to develop rules to prevent ‘foreign waste’ from entering their country, they have created terms and standards inconsistent with the global trade.” ISRI adds, “During our meetings it was clear that there is little understanding within the Chinese government of the chaos they have created.”

The association says AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) is unprepared to implement the bans on mixed paper and postconsumer plastics Jan. 1, 2018, adding that representatives from the agency “could not answer questions as to the meaning of the terms. Thus,” ISRI concludes, “the likelihood of individual inspectors at the ports understanding what they are inspecting—and what they are looking for—is very low.”

While ISRI says the Chinese government is listening to what it has to say on the matter, “they have limited time and ability to take in all the comments.”

ISRI notes that a working group comprised of officials from the U.S., Canadian, U.K., E.U., Australian, New Zealand and Japanese embassies in Beijing are coordinating strategy and speaking to the Chinese government on behalf of the recycling industry. “We briefed this group last week and were very pleased with the concerns expressed by each and their joint commitment to provide support,” the association says.

According to the alert, ISRI “attempted during our meetings to get clarifications to the Chinese government’s definition of ‘carried waste,’ the specific scope of paper and plastics to be banned and the specific timing that these actions will come into force. For ‘carried waste,’ it is very clear they do not want imported trash but are confused as to how to define what is trash and what is not. Beyond that, the government does not know the answers to our questions, which included very specific examples of grades that are typically exported to China. Furthermore, they have not fully prepared for the implementation of the regulations, and we believe even more confusion and inconsistency is yet to come.”

ISRI suggests that its members be vigilant when loading to avoid including dirt, wood, concrete or other materials or even recyclables that do not belong in that particular load. The association also advises including more photos and thoroughly documenting the condition and contents of shipments before export. It also tells its members to expect rejections. “We anticipate a greater number of rejections of material before and after shipping, and it will not necessarily be related to scrap quality but unfortunately on misunderstandings by inspection officials as to what they are looking for.”

ISRI encourages its members to keep records of their experiences, including reasons given for rejections, and to share this data with the association.

“As to next steps, comments to the World Trade Organization are due this week,” ISRI notes in the alert. “Based on what we now know, we are rewriting our comments to include very specific information about the industry, including specifics on the various grades of scrap traded globally, suggestions on quality standards and detailed questions to try to get as much clarity and guidance as possible.”

ISRI adds that members are welcome to submit comments by the Dec. 15 deadline, adding, “There is a specific process to do this, so please feel free to reach out to Adina Renee Adler for guidance if you are interested in doing so.”

Adler can be contacted at aadler@isri.org

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Law firm investigates Republic Services

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:53
Former Attorney General of Louisiana Charles C. Foti Jr., a partner at the law firm of Kahn Swick & Foti LLC (KSF), Madisonville, Louisiana, has announced that KSF has commenced an investigation into Republic Services Inc., Phoenix.

Republic Services, together with its subsidiaries, provides nonhazardous solid waste collection, transfer, recycling, disposal and energy services for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in the United States and Puerto Rico. KSF says its investigation is focusing on whether Republic Services’ officers and/or directors breached their fiduciary duties to Republic Services’ shareholders or otherwise violated state or federal laws through its action or inaction regarding corporate mismanagement, wrongdoing or waste.

“If you have information that would assist KSF in its investigation, or have been a long-term holder of Republic Services shares and would like to discuss your legal rights, you may, without obligation or cost to you, call toll-free at 1-877-515-1850 or email KSF Managing Partner Lewis Kahn at lewis.kahn@ksfcounsel.com,” KSF says in a press release announcing the investigation.

KSF is a law firm focused on securities, anti-trust and consumer class actions, along with merger and acquisition and breach of fiduciary litigation against publicly traded companies on behalf of shareholders. The firm has offices in New York, California and Louisiana.

 

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Colgate-Palmolive adds How2Recycle Label to its packaging

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:44
Products from New York-based Colgate-Palmolive will include the How2Recycle Label as part of the company’s goals to make its packaging more recyclable and incorporate recycled content. Colgate-Palmolive owns household brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, Tom’s of Maine, Softsoap, Suavitel, Irish Spring, Ajax, Murphy Oil Soap and Speed Stick.

“We're thrilled a company with such large international reach is committed to communicating accurate, harmonized recycling instructions on package,” says Caroline Cox, project associate with How2Recycle, which began in 2008 as a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Charlottesville, Virginia. “We're excited to welcome Colgate-Palmolive to the How2Recycle labeling program and helping millions of individuals to recycle more and better.”

Colgate-Palmolive will introduce the label first on packaging for Suavitel fabric conditioner, Softsoap Earth Blends hand soap and bodywash, Hill’s Pet Nutrition treats, Murphy Oil Soap cleaner and Ajax dish liquid.  

“People rely on Colgate-Palmolive not only to provide them with great products but also to be transparent with the information we provide,” says Anne Bedarf, packaging sustainability manager for Colgate-Palmolive. “Encouraging consumers when it comes to recycling is a natural fit that supports our corporate commitments to sustainability.”

Colgate-Palmolive also is a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, an organization of companies, government officials and academics working to harness the power of industry to make packaging more sustainable. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is a trademark project of GreenBlue, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials.

Companies interested in joining the How2Recycle program can visit www.how2recycle.info/join or contact how2recycle@greenblue.org.  

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Illinois EPA removes used tires in East St. Louis and St. Clair County

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:22
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Alec Messina has announced that tire removal actions in the Metro East St. Louis region have been completed. The Illinois EPA says these actions are part of its efforts to assist local governments in providing and maintaining a healthy environment by removing used tires from public and abandoned properties.

“This program is a success thanks to the coordinated efforts of our local government partners,” Messina says. “These collections are necessary to remove the hazards of used tires from our communities.”

In total, more than 288 tons—nearly 23,000 used tires—were collected in St. Clair County. The St. Clair County Health Department sponsored a tire collection event at an Illinois Department of Transportation property in Lebanon. Monroe County Highway Department and Monroe County Road District brought collected tires to this location.

A separate collection area was set up in East St. Louis to assist that city with its collection. In East St. Louis alone, 162.76 tons of used tires were collected, the Illinois EPA reports.

Government entities participating in the St. Clair County Collection included Belleville, Cahokia, Caseyville, Caseyville Township, Centreville, Centreville Township, Columbia, Dupo, Englemann Township, Fairmont City, Fairview Heights, Fayetteville Township, Freeburg Township, Illinois Department of Transportation, Lebanon Road District, Marissa, Mascoutah, Millstadt Township, Monroe County Highway, Monroe County Road District, New Athens Township, Prairie DuPont Levee District, Shiloh, Smithton Township, St. Clair County, St. Clair County Clean Sweep, St. Clair County Highway, St. Clair County Road District, St. Libory, Sugar Loaf Township, Swansea and Washington Park.

Units of local government assist in the coordination of the collections, which allows the Illinois EPA to collect and properly dispose of the tires that have been collected from public properties, including roadsides, public parks and abandoned sites.

Through the Used Tire Program, used tires are properly disposed of at a registered, commercial used tire processing facility in Illinois. Some tires are retreaded and reused, while others are recycled into a variety of products and uses. Most of the collected tires are processed into a high-energy fuel supplement known as tire-derived fuel and are burned in power plants, industrial boilers or cement kilns for energy recovery.

The Illinois EPA's Used Tire Program is funded by a $2.50 per tire fee that consumers pay when purchasing tires at retail.

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Arconic divests its Latin America Extrusions business

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:43
Arconic Inc., headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, has announced the divestiture of its Latin America Extrusions (LAE) business, which operates primarily in Brazil, to a subsidiary of Hydro Extruded Solutions AS, Norway.

The business is part of the company’s Transportation and Construction Solutions segment. Following customary regulatory and anti-trust reviews, the ownership of LAE will be transferred to a subsidiary of Hydro Extruded Solutions AS. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

The divestiture is part of Arconic’s continued drive to streamline its business portfolio, reduce complexity and further focus on its higher-margin products and continuous profitable growth, according to the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, Arconic says it will receive approximately $10 million in cash for the LAE business, subject to working capital and other adjustments. As a result of the transaction, Arconic will recognize a restructuring-related charge representing the loss on sale of approximately $40 million after-tax, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2017, as referenced in the company’s third quarter Form 10-Q filing. The charge primarily relates to the noncash impairment of the net book value of the business. The charge is a special item and will not impact adjusted earnings per share.

Working in close partnership with its customers, Arconic says it works to solve complex engineering challenges to transform the way people fly, drive, build and power.

Hydro is a fully integrated aluminum company with 35,000 employees in 40 countries. In addition to production of primary aluminum, rolled and extruded products and recycling, Hydro also extracts bauxite, refines alumina and generates energy. The extrusion business, former Sapa, was fully acquired by Hydro in October 2017, and is a world leader in innovative aluminum solutions.

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American Zinc Recycling LLC announces investment by Glencore

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:26
Pittsburgh-based American Zinc Recycling LLC (AZR) has announced that a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Glencore plc has purchased a 10 percent stake in its wholly owned subsidiary American Zinc Recycling Corp.

This investment has been made in connection with the restart of operations at AZR Corp.’s Mooresboro Zinc Refinery in Mooresboro, North Carolina. Additionally, the company says the investment furthermore involves a commitment by Glencore to purchase and a subsidiary of AZR Corp. to sell all of the zinc metal produced at the Mooresboro Refinery for a period of 10 years after commencement of production.

In connection with the investment, the board of directors of the company has approved a capital spending plan to put the Mooresboro Refinery into full production. Following the completion of the strategic investment, AZR says that this capital spending plan is well-funded.

Transaction highlights include:

  • Glencore to take up a 10 percent stake in AZR Corp.
  • Subsidiaries of Glencore and AZR Corp. have entered into a technical services agreement and consultancy agreement pursuant to which Glencore will provide, among other things, engineering and project management services directed at accelerating the restart of the Mooresboro Refinery.
  • A subsidiary of Glencore and AZR Corp. also have entered into an off-take agreement for a term of 10 years, whereby Glencore has committed to purchase and AZR Corp. to sell the full metal output of the Mooresboro Refinery at prevailing market rates, commencing upon the successful restart of the Mooresboro Facility.
  • AZR Corp. and a subsidiary of Glencore also have entered into a separate short-term zinc calcine off-take agreement.
  • Glencore will be entitled to appoint one member of the board of directors of AZR Corp.

“This transaction represents a major step forward in our advancement of the Mooresboro project,” says Rodrigo Daud, CEO of AZR. “We are pleased to have attracted the commitment of a world-class operator like Glencore who shares our ambition to advance the project rapidly into production. Glencore’s zinc process engineering and general project execution expertise will enhance our own ongoing activities aimed at rapidly restarting production at Mooresboro.”

Chris Eskdale, head of assets for Glencore Zinc, adds, “Glencore is pleased to be deploying its technical and commercial expertise to work in this unique partnership with AZR, both at Mooresboro and across the AZR group.”

BMO Capital Markets is acting as exclusive financial advisor to the company and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP was retained as legal advisor.

The Mooresboro Zinc Refinery uses a solvent extraction process to produce special high-grade zinc and alloys by processing waelz oxide and other zinc-bearing secondary materials. Waelz oxide sourced from the company’s other facilities will provide the primary feed for Mooresboro. The Mooresboro Refinery uses low-cost, environmentally friendly processes to selectively refine valuable metals. The company is currently working on the restart of the Mooresboro Refinery.

AZR Corp. is a leading recycler of electric-arc furnace dust. Its parent company, AZR, also owns The International Metals Reclamation Co. LLC, a leading recycler of metals-bearing materials and a leading processor of nickel-cadmium batteries in North America; Zochem Inc., a zinc oxide producer located in Brampton, Ontario; and American Zinc Products LLC, the owner and operator of the group’s Mooresboro, North Carolina, facility.

Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities. The group’s operations comprise around 150 mining and metallurgical sites, oil production assets and agricultural facilities. Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, oil and food processing sectors. The company also provides financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities. Glencore’s companies employ around 155,000 people, including contractors.

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Central ShopRite reports reverse vending benefits

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:05
James Haines, the third-generation owner of Vassar, Michigan-based grocery store Central ShopRite, says his store has benefited for two decades by using Tomra reverse vending machines to comply with Michigan’s “bottle bill” requirements.

Haines, who has been running the grocery store for 23 years, says when the bottle bill container deposit system went into effect in Michigan, it became a greater challenge to ensure the handling of dirty bottles and cans did not contaminate the store’s perishables. Haines says he spent countless hours writing to his state representatives to communicate how to best recycle products in Michigan.

However, when Central ShopRite installed Tomra’s reverse vending machines (RVMs) in 1997, it changed the way the company handled recycling at the grocery store. “Since using Tomra RVMs, especially the T-90s, there is no need for a separate room for recycling, since the system is so clean,” says Haines.

“The machines are in the front entrance of the store now, so it’s the first thing people see when they walk in,” he comments about the four T-90 models he now has. “The T-90s are truly impressive with their sleek look and interactive touchscreen, providing customers with a fun user experience.”

As an added investment in his store’s bottle return area, Haines had a trench installed that provides a constant flow of hot water along the front of the machines. The trench captures any excess liquid from the beverage containers as people insert them, further contributing to what he considers a clean and attractive recycling experience for his customers.

Haines also says he is a fan of Tomra’s customer recycling loyalty program, “Tomra Makes Change” (part of Tomra Connect digital solutions), because it encourages people to recycle and has brought new customers to the store.

“The recycling loyalty program has given our store a competitive edge,” Haines comments. “Customers started coming in to use our reverse vending machines and now [they] do their shopping with us.”

He concludes, “Our goal is to continue to grow the program by promoting it on the TVs we have connected to the T-90s, and through our store signage. Moving forward, we plan to utilize statistics and demographics and create fun videos that drive and grow the program to both existing and new customers.”

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Bolder Industries receives Colorado grant

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 23:29
Boulder, Colorado-based Bolder Industries has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Waste Tire Market Development Fund of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

At its Maryville Carbon Solutions (MCS) facility in Missouri, Bolder Industries makes products from end-of-life tires, including Bolder Black, which it describes as a carbon black alternative that can exceed performance expectations in some applications. Carbon black is a powder processed from heavy petroleum that reinforces rubber products and is used primarily in tires.

Bolder Industries indicates it will use the funds to develop specialty applications for Bolder Black in rubber goods by creating and testing custom compounds that offer unique performance characteristics. Such compounds can allow rubber manufacturers to develop new products or improve existing ones, according to the firm.

“We now have empirical evidence that Bolder Black delivered a new level of performance across a wide variety of rubber goods, which is a first in the reclaimed carbon world,” says Tony Wibbeler, CEO of Bolder Industries. “This means we have a solid market advantage and the ability to collaborate with rubber industry partners to reach new and exciting places.”

Carbon black reclaimed from tires has mostly been viewed as a sustainable and cost-effective substitute in rubber and plastics manufacturing, the company indicates in a news release. However, Bolder Industries claims it has now demonstrated performance benefits from the use of its carbon black alternative in custom compounds used to make several rubber products, including conveyor belts, fluid industry diaphragms, agriculture harvesting equipment and forklift tires.

Bolder Industries indicates it expects to complete the funded research effort in early 2018 and will then bring its new compounds to manufacturers of rubber hoses, belts, diaphragms, roofing materials, non-passenger tires and black masterbatch pigment additives. 

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SRS reaches settlement with DTSC

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 14:47
Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS), a leading provider of global information technology asset disposition (ITAD) services, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) have reached an agreement to resolve issues resulting from Summary of Violations (SOVs) issued following August 2011 and March 2015 site inspections at the SRS facility in Roseville, California.

The settlement relates to large-scale indoor electronics shredding operations that were previously conducted at the facility. SRS says the settlement consists of a $275,000 civil penalty and a payment of $125,000 to reimburse DTSC for its costs incurred in this matter.

“Long before the settlement was reached, Roseville had promptly addressed any issues identified by DTSC and as of last year no longer operates the Roseville shredder,” SRS says.

DTSC says the violations include, but are not limited to, the illegal treatment, storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste containing mercury, copper, lead, nickel and zinc, among other compounds, and failure to operate its facility in a manner to minimize the release of hazardous waste.

“Compliance with hazardous waste laws is critical in protecting public health and the environment, and we take these violations very seriously,” says Keith Kihara, chief of DTSC’s Enforcement and Emergency Response Division.

As is typical of all DTSC court-approved settlements, DTSC filed a complaint after settlement was agreed-to, as a means of lodging the settlement Stipulation with the court. The Stipulation settles all the claims made by DTSC in that complaint. While Sims agreed to settle this matter through the Stipulation, it did not admit to any of the allegations or claims made in the complaint or Stipulation. Most of those claims related to dust, either “baghouse dust” collected from the shredding process or fugitive dust that was present in the air around the shredder, SRS explains.

Based on prior DTSC concurrence going back to 2007, SRS says the Roseville facility assumed it was entitled to manage the baghouse dust as an “excluded recyclable material” based on the valuable recoverable metals that are contained in the dust. According to DTSC, it subsequently changed its interpretation of the recycling provisions and withdrew the earlier approval, but it did so without advising Roseville. DTSC also asserted that the use of an atomized water misting system to control temperature and remove residual dust from the air around the shredder violated a prohibition against the addition of water to the “treatment” (shredding) process.

Steve Skurnac, president of SRS, says, “All issues have long since been resolved and SRS has since moved on from that Roseville shredder-based business.”

SRS is a global leader in electronics reuse and recycling. As a part of Sims Metal Management Ltd., the world’s leading publicly listed metal and electronics recycler with headquarters in New York and Sydney, SRS 20 years’ experience in IT asset disposition (ITAD) and mobile device refurbishment and recycling services either directly or through acquired businesses. Sims provides disposition services for all types of retired electronic equipment to local, national and global customers in every business sector including data centers, health care, financial service and technical organizations.

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