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Updated: 1 hour 8 min ago

Hongqiao's cuts to aluminum production capacity may be less extensive than expected

3 hours 2 min ago
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has introduced a number of reforms that are targeted at the aluminum sector, including requiring a 30 percent curtailment in primary aluminum smelting capacity during the winter heating season from November 2017 to March 2018. Additionally, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) plans to curtail production at smelters without operating licenses. The goal of these actions is to reduce smog while decreasing excess aluminum production.

In response to the planned production cuts, which will reduce the ongoing global supply surplus that has suppressed prices, Chinese aluminum prices reached a per-ton price of more than 17,000 yuan, or $2,581.74, in August, which is a six-year high, according to an Oct. 17, 2017, report from Reuters.

However, according to the same report, the cuts will be less severe than originally anticipated, as China Hongqiao Group no longer needs to cut output by 30 percent this winter.

“The prospect of supply cuts in China has roiled markets, particularly in the eastern province of Shandong, home to several smelters including Hongqiao, which will shoulder 80 percent of the winter cuts, according to Wood Mackenzie analyst Ami Shivkar,” Reuters reports.

But the order issued Friday, Oct.13, by the city of Binzhou, home to Hongqiao, is less strict than originally expected, requiring the closure of 900,000 metric tons of annual capacity during the winter, CRU consultant Jackie Wang, who is based out of the company’s Beijing office, tells Reuters.

Binzhou’s plans take into account illegal smelters that the company has closed already, according to the report. This amounted to 2.68 million metric tons of capacity by the end of July.

Reuters reports that CLSA analyst Victor You, based in Hong Kong, had calculated that a 30 percent reduction in Hongqiao’s production would equal nearly 2 million metric tons.

London-based CRU says China has 45 million metric tons of annual aluminum smelting capacity, according to the Reuters report. The country produced more than half of the 59 million metric tons of annual global primary aluminum production in 2016.  

Prior to the news regarding Hongqiao, a Reuters survey of six consultancies and brokerages the week of Oct. 8 showed that up to 1 million metric tons of aluminum could be cut during the winter heating season in northern China.

“That works out at as much as 3 million [metric tons] on an annualized basis and is on top of the 3-4 million [metric tons] of annual capacity estimated to have closed permanently this year as part of a crackdown on facilities built without necessary permits,” Reuters reports.

 

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Call2Recycle upgrades collection containers

5 hours 50 min ago
Call2Recycle Inc., a consumer battery stewardship organization based in Atlanta, will include a flame retardant liner in its U.S. battery collection containers. This new feature is part of the organization's Charge Up Safety! initiative with the goal of furthering the safe collection, transport and recycling of consumer batteries.

When certain types of batteries reach their end of life, they may still retain a residual charge that can present a safety risk if not handled properly. The Call2Recycle program will include the flame retardant liner in all its battery collection boxes as an extra layer of protection during collection, transportation and recycling.

"Safety is a core tenet of the Call2Recycle program," Carl Smith, Call2Recycle CEO and president, says. "As the premier battery recycling program, we are continually improving safety policies and practices to ensure we protect both people and the environment. This liner is an additional step we are taking for the safety of consumers, sorters, collection sites, transporters and processors who handle used batteries."

The patent-pending liner is made of a dry polyester fiber and provides an additional level of defense should a thermal event occur during the battery recycling process. The liner is manufactured from used plastic bottles and is both reusable and recyclable. Call2Recycle says, when applied with the program's guidelines, the liner can limit the potential for flames to escape from a battery box in the event of a thermal runaway or ignition of materials.

The flame retardant box, manufactured for Call2Recycle's use, has been independently tested, and can withstand up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Call2Recycle will begin fulfilling boxes with this liner to all collection sites across the U.S. in the coming weeks and to Canada in early 2018.]]>

Electrode shortage affects steel industry

5 hours 51 min ago
Tight electrode supply and elevated pricing could reduce steel production and increase mill costs, according to Hector Forster, senior editor at S&P Global Platts.

In his “The Barrel Blog” post dated Oct. 17, 2017, Forster writes that spot electrode pricing has increased tenfold in some cases. A reduction in steel output related to shortage of the raw material is “a real fear," he adds. 

The shortage stems in part from Chinese coal mines being shut or idled for environmental and safety-related reasons and from the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the U.S. Gulf Coast. These situations have affected petroleum coke output used in needle coke, which goes into the electrodes, Forster writes.

Merchant pig iron and direct-reduced iron (DRI) or hot-briquetted iron (HBI) may benefit as a result of the shortage, he says.

U.S. pig iron imports are the highest they have been since the financial crisis of 2007-08, Forster notes, and Russia and the Ukraine are now the largest seaborne pig iron suppliers, supplanting Brazil.

“The broad market consensus seems to be that electric arc furnace (EAF) mills which charge scrap and metallics are affected more due to demand for larger electrodes produced via needle coke from petcoke,” he writes.

“Smaller and medium-sized EAF furnaces may make do with smaller electrodes from coal-based needle coke,” Forster adds.

The post quotes Clinton, Pennsylvania-based Continuous Improvement Experts Managing Partner Jeremy Jones as saying smaller EAF producers rely more on electrodes from the spot market and not long-term contractual supply, and spot prices have risen.

According to Jones, ferrous scrap charged with pig iron and DRI/HBI can allow for reduced electrode consumption, but the results can be variable.

“Iron ore and scrap prices falling in September and electrode shortages gaining prominence, a holiday early October in China prevented bigger trade flow in markets such as pig iron and billets, traders said last week,” Forster writes. “The market may reach deadlock for a further few weeks, a pig iron trader said.”

 

 

 

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Worldsteel releases its Short Range Outlook 2017/2018

8 hours 32 min ago
The World Steel Association (Worldsteel), Brussels, has released its October 2017 Short Range Outlook (SRO), which forecasts that global steel demand will reach 1,622.1 million metric tons in 2017 and 1,648.1 million metric tons in 2018.

Excluding China, the association forecasts global steel demand will reach 856.4 million metric tons in 2017, an increase of 2.6 percent, and 882.4 million metric tons in 2018, an increase of 3 percent.

Worldsteel says China closed most of its outdated induction furnaces in 2017, a category that was generally not captured in official statistics. With induction furnaces closing, demand from this sector of the market is now satisfied by mainstream steelmakers and is captured in the official statistics in 2017. Consequently, the nominal growth rate for steel demand in China increased to 12.4 percent, or 765.7 million metric tons. Disregarding this statistical base effect, Worldsteel says it expects the underlying growth rate of China’s steel demand for 2017 will be 3 percent, which will make the corresponding global growth rate 2.8 percent.

T.V. Narendran, chairman of the Worldsteel Economics Committee, says, “Progress in the global steel market this year to date has been encouraging. We have seen the cyclical upturn broadening and firming throughout the year, leading to better-than-expected performances for both developed and developing economies, although the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and Turkey have been an exception.”

He continues, “The risks to the global economy that we referred to in our April 2017 outlook, such as rising populism/protectionism, U.S. policy shifts, EU election uncertainties and China deceleration, although remaining, have to some extent abated. This leads us to conclude that we now see the best balance of risks since the 2008 economic crisis. However, escalating geopolitical tension in the Korean peninsula, China’s debt problem and rising protectionism in many locations continue to remain risk factors.”

In 2018, Narendran says Worldsteel expects global growth to moderate, mainly because of slower growth in China, while steel demand in the rest of the world will continue to maintain its current momentum.

“So, world steel demand is recovering well, driven largely by cyclical factors rather than structural. The lack of a strong growth engine to replace China and a long-term decline in steel intensity due to technological and environmental factors will continue to weigh on steel demand in the future,” Narendran adds.

Advanced and developing economies are showing stronger economic momentum this year, Worldteel says. Confidence and investment sentiment are improving in a large part of the world, despite some financial market volatility and growing concern related to stock market overvaluation.

Additionally, global trade is gaining momentum despite worries about rising protectionism and talks of rearranging existing free trade agreements, the association says.

The U.S. economy continues to exhibit robust fundamentals supported by strong consumer spending and rising business confidence, according to WorldSteel’s analysis. Concern about tensions within the EU over migration policies is receding and the EU economic recovery is broadening. Japanese steel demand is showing better-than-expected performance benefitting from the government stimulus package, improving exports and preparations for the 2020 Olympic games.

On the other hand, South Korea’s steel demand is suffering from high consumer debts, weakening construction and a depressed shipbuilding sector, while escalated tension around the North Korean nuclear weapons threat poses a serious and highly unpredictable risk.

With these generally favorable developments, Worldsteel says it expects steel demand in the developed economies to increase by 2.3 percent in 2017 and by 0.9 percent in 2018.

The Chinese economy, which has been gradually decelerating, increasingly is supported by consumption, while investment continues to decelerate. However, the association says, government stimuli, particularly a moderate boost to the construction program, contributed to increased gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2017.

WorldSteel says it expects China’s steel demand to increase by 3 percent in 2017, an upward revision over its previous forecast. The recent closure of induction furnaces will lead to a one-off jump in measured steel use in 2017 to 12.4 percent, the association adds.

The outlook for China’s steel demand in 2018 remains subdued, according to Worldsteel, showing no growth over 2017 as the government resumes and strengthens its efforts on economic rebalancing and environmental protection.

Developing countries are benefitting from the global recovery and to economic reforms at varying degrees, Worldsteel says. The reform agendas in many developing countries such as Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and India are expected to enhance their growth potential over time.

India had a slowdown in economic activity in 2017, but Worldsteel says accelerating government reforms are expected to bring about a better investment environment leading to growth in the coming years. Investment activities remain driven by government initiatives, while private sector investment remains restrained because of leveraged corporate balance sheets.

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, especially Vietnam and the Philippines, remains a high growth region, while more mature economies, such as Thailand and Malaysia, are showing slower growth, the association says.

In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) steel demand is expected to strengthen in 2017-2018, with Russia, in particular, likely to maintain its slow recovery.

WorldSteel says it expects Turkish steel demand to resume growth momentum in 2018.

The MENA (Middle East North Africa) region’s outlook has suffered from low oil prices, geopolitical strife and high inflation and would benefit from reconstruction efforts once the major conflicts are ended, the association says.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continue to struggle with low oil prices, and countries in South America have been slow to benefit from the recovery in the global economy. In Brazil, continuing depressed construction activity has held demand recovery back in 2017, but a stronger recovery is expected in 2018, Worldsteel says.

Steel demand in the developing economies, excluding China, is expected to grow by 2.8 percent in 2017 and by 4.9 percent in 2018.

The association says the construction and machinery sectors likely will benefit from improving investment sentiments, while the automotive sector might moderate.

The construction sector in the developed economies, which had been slow to recover from its collapse after the 2008 economic crisis, is showing more positive signs in the residential and commercial sectors because of rising incomes and improving investment sentiments. Worldsteel says infrastructure investment, which has driven steel demand in developing countries, likely will get additional support from the developed world’s infrastructure renewal initiatives.

The global automotive sector is reporting strong performance in 2017, with especially strong performance in Turkey and Mexico. However, in the U.S. and China, the auto sector could moderate and this trend is likely to extend to other countries in 2018.

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Dutch firm adds plastic recycling capacity

13 hours 50 min ago
Hengelo, Netherlands-based Rodepa has commissioned an additional washing line for the treatment of post-consumer plastic scrap. Rodepa bills itself is one of the leading plastics recyclers in the Benelux countries, providing LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and PP (polypropylene) regrind. It is a sister company of De Paauw Recycling, mainly exporting to Asia.

The company’s first such plant has been in operation for approximately 16 months. As was the first plant, the additional plant will be manufactured and delivered by Germany-based Herbold Meckesheim GmbH.           

The new plant’s input capacity is up to 10,000 metric tons per year if PE (polyethylene) and PP film and rigid plastics are recycled.

The overall Rodepa system consists of a shredder with a downstream contaminant separation system, a friction washer, a wet granulator, a separation step, drying and air separation. The treated material is granulated in-house or sold externally as regrind.

Herbold Meckesheim says its “highly efficient washing process in friction washers and the wet granulator; the convincing wear protection concept; and the very good cooperation during the manufacture of the first plant” caused Rodepa to opt for Herbold as the supplier of its second system.

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Global Recycling Day website launches

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:37
The countdown has started for a new international awareness day taking place March 18, 2018, that is dedicated to securing the future of the planet through recycling.

The initiative was kicked off at the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling’s (BIR’s) 2017 World Recycling Convention in New Delhi Oct. 16, 2017, with the launch of the Global Recycling Day website, www.globalrecyclingday.com, and of social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by Ranjit Baxi, president of the BIR.

The first ever Global Recycling Day will highlight the need to conserve water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals and celebrate the power of the newly termed “seventh resource,” the goods we recycle every day. The new initiative is the brainchild of Baxi, who announced his vision for a day dedicated to recycling at the inauguration of his presidency at the BIR’s 2015 Dubai, United Aram Emirates, convention.

The day encourages people to think again about what is thrown away, seeing not waste but opportunity. 

Global Recycling Day will be a day focused on action aimed at a global approach toward recycling and calling on world leaders, international businesses, communities and individuals to make seven clear commitments in their approach to recycling, BIR says.

These commitments are:

  • focusing on international legislation and agreements;
  • boosting free and fair trade of recycling materials across the globe;
  • educating, from the grassroots up, the public on the critical necessity of recycling;
  • agreeing to a common language of recycling;
  • making recycling a community issue, supporting schemes and initiatives which help households and businesses provide seventh resource materials for repurposing;
  • working with the industry to encourage design for recycling in the repurposing of materials, reducing waste and integrating end-of-life planning at design stage; and
  • supporting innovation, research and initiatives that foster better recycling practices and technology.

The biggest mission of Global Recycling Day is to make the world focus on recycling for 24 hours and for people to change at least one habit, BIR says.

Baxi says, “Primary resources, as we all know, are finite.  It is our collective duty, across the globe, to preserve, respect and make the best use of virgin resources.

“Climate Change is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time, and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators. It is a growing crisis with economic, health and safety, food production, security and other dimensions. It is therefore imperative to promote a sustainable solution which will turn this challenge into an opportunity.”

The Global Recycling Day website has three key messages: learn, sign and do. Visitors to the site will can learn about the recycling industry, how to support recycling initiatives at a personal and community level and more about the seventh resource; sign a petition at change.org to show world leaders the change that is needed to make recycling a truly global concern and do by joining in the day of action on March 18 and sharing good practice on social media.

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PopScrap.com receives Built for NetSuite verification

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:08
PopScrap.com Inc., Kelseyville, California, a leading provider of cloud-based compliance applications for the scrap metal industry, says it has partnered with NetSuite Oracle, a San Mateo, California-based provider of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM), financial / enterprise resource planning (ERP) and omnichannel commerce software suites.

PopScrap.com, operating as WeighPay, received Built for NetSuite verification Oct. 1, 2017. The complex integration process combines the strengths of both cloud-based companies, enabling the largest global scrap metal processors to seamlessly manage all business processes, spanning compliance based scale transactions, complex inventory processes to the consolidation of financials for multinational corporations, according to PopScrap.com.

Built for NetSuite is a program for NetSuite SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) partners that provides them with information, resources and a method to verify that their applications and integrations, built using the NetSuite SuiteCloud Computing Platform, meet the latest NetSuite standards and best practices. The Built for NetSuite program is designed to give NetSuite customers additional confidence that SuiteApps have been built to meet these standards.

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Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference 2017: The finer points of contracting

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 14:27
Michael Timpane, who works out of Florida as a principal and vice president of process optimization and material recovery for RRS, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, cautioned attendees of the Contracting Control workshop during the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference on many points related to municipal recycling contracts, including education enforcement, which he said is the hardest thing to do in a contract.

He also urged material recovery facility (MRF) operators to fix their floor pricing based on their profits rather than on their costs and to base their minimum performance on the presence of available recyclables in the incoming material stream and not on the total tonnage of incoming material, which will include nonrecyclables. “If based on inbound materials, you are never going to get to your number,” Timpane said.

Regarding single-stream MRFs, he said they “clean to minimum standards” but “have a hard time getting to maximum standards.”

Timpane said the average residue rate for single-stream MRFs is 18 percent, with residue increasing with programs’ permissiveness.

He advised performing regular audits at a frequency of once or twice annually to refresh a MRF’s revenue basis. Haulers, MRFs and communities need to enforce what is allowed in the stream based on these audits, Timpane said. 

MRFs are not considered part of the recycling service, he said, though they are necessary to get incoming material into a commodity state. Contracts should take the price of these cleaning services into account, Timpane suggested. To be successful, recycling needs to be based on a fee-for-service model, he added.

While recycling collection costs increased to $6.20 per household from $3.50 per household in eight years, Timpane added that recycling collection only accounts for 30 percent of a resident’s overall garbage bill.

The composite average price for recyclables was $71 per ton as of October 2017, he said, declining from an average price of $104 per ton in May. Timpane added that commodity pricing declines 1.3 percent per year naturally, according to data from the World Bank, based on improvements in extracting and substituting.  

Contracts should include funding for education enforcement, he said, adding that “municipalities are the only ones that can enforce education.” Contracts should have a clause specifying this, he added. “Community based social marketing best way to do this,” Timpane suggested. This has nothing to do with social media, however, which he said offers little value.  

He also advised that contracts include the right to reject material and refuse service at the MRF. This is important when excessive contamination or dangerous materials are present. Contracts should define unacceptable materials and what to do with them, Timpane added. Such clauses are “rarely used but essential,” he said, and can even encompass unsafe driver behavior.

Timpane suggested including language in contracts that specifies quarterly or more frequent meetings. He added that the MRF operator should provide feedback on quality, volume and markets.  

He also said contracts should specify inbound and outbound material specs and minimum grades to be made.

While contracts commonly include language related to force majeure disruptions, Timpane said acceptable instances should be spelled out and should include market disruptions, work stoppages and changes to law, say as pay as you throw and deposit systems.  

Additionally, he advised setting limitations on tours and other special services, which can interfere with the efficient operation of the facility.

Timpane reminded attendees that municipal recycling contracts “do not run by themselves.” Instead, he said, they take maintenance in the field, at the office and with customers. He advised attendees to “talk to your customers a lot,” and urged them to make that extra call.

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference was Oct. 11-13 in Chicago. 

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Mobileye Shield+ System is designed to prevent collisions between trucks and pedestrians

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:52
The Mobileye Shield+ System from Rosco Collision Avoidance, Jamaica, New York, is the latest technological advancement for preventing collisions between vehicles and vulnerable road users (VRUs) including pedestrians and cyclists.

According to Rosco, VRUs often are not seen by the waste truck operator due to large blind spots around the vehicle, especially when making turns. Waste truck operating conditions demand the highest level of awareness by the vehicle operator. Shield+ is designed to increase awareness and safety for the driver and VRUs around the waste truck to prevent collisions.

Shield+ yields simple left, center and right alarm interfaces that communicate audio and visual alerts to drivers based on the directional location of the VRU and the potential for collision. Whether a straightaway or turn, the smart vision multisensor system is tuned with sophisticated algorithms and years of Mobileye experience to filter out VRU proximity that is not at risk, while detecting and tracking VRU proximity and course. Utilizing an intelligent vision sensor. Smart vision sensors on the front and sides of the truck track possible collision courses and alert the driver in time to avoid or lessen incident severity. Features include:

  • assists large vehicle operators to prevent collisions with vulnerable road users;
  • assists decision makers by providing invaluable real-time big data on dangerous intersections;
  • provides constant update of near crashes with pedestrians and cyclists;
  • identifies exact geo-location of incidents; and
  • provides real-time big data on dangerous intersections.

The optional “intelligent” external alert system will send an audible alert to VRUs around the vehicle to ensure they are aware that the bus is within the vicinity and maneuvering around them. The alert will only sound when Shield+ detects an imminent collision between the vehicle and a VRU. This “intelligent” or smart technology alert reduces noise pollution and helps prevent VRUs from “tuning out” excessive alerts that sound at every turn.

like a bionic eye, the system identifies a diverse and extensive variety of potential dangers on the road, such as vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. The distance and relative speeds of these objects are continuously measured to calculate the risk collision. Even lane markings and traffic signs are detected! When danger is imminent, visual and audible alerts warn the driver to make necessary corrections in sufficient time to avoid potential collisions or mitigate their severity.

The vision multisensor system provides drivers with alerts when pedestrians and cyclists are in the danger zones on the side of the waste truck as well as the front. Often times, says Rosco, pedestrians will dart out between cars to cross the street and into a driver’s blind zone. Shield+ can minimize such safety concerns. The addition of the pedestrian and cyclist side-sensing makes the driver aware of pedestrians and cyclists in the waste truck’s path, before an incident occurs, giving the driver time to react and take corrective action. These alerts can help save lives and your organization’s safety program.

Components include: three driver alert displays, two windshield mounted smart sensors and two exterior camera housings with smart sensors.

The Shield+ Telematics System can locate and pinpoint potential “hot spots” on driving routes. The company says a vast majority of collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists proved to be preventable with the right technology. More information is available at www.roscoca.com

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Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference 2017: The importance of collaboration

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:28
Pictured above, from left: Jim Keefe, Mike Pope, Pamela Oksiuta, Bill Rumpke and Jim Frey

For recycling to be successful, the entire supply chain must work together. This was the opinion expressed by the panelists who participated in the Future of Recycling keynote during the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference. The event, which was organized by the Recycling Today Media Group, took place in Chicago from Oct 11 to 13.

Bill Rumpke, president and CEO of Cincinnati-based waste and recycling firm Rumpke, said ensuring participation among the entire supply chain is a “huge issue” for the recycling industry.

Packing producer Sonoco has a “vested interest” in getting the packaging it produces, which ranges from plastic thermoform containers to Pringles cans, back for use as raw material in its facilities, said Mike Pope, president of Sonoco Recycling, Hartsville, North Carolina. He added that the only material recovered from material recovery facilities (MRFs) that Sonoco does not use in the packaging it produces in glass.

Jim Frey of RRS, Ann Arbor, Michigan, who served as co-moderator of the session along with Jim Keefe, publisher of the Recycling Today Media Group, said consumer packaged goods (CPGs) companies and brand owners increasingly are a part of the recycling industry.

Representing that link in the chain was Pamela Oksiuta, senior director of global sustainability at SC Johnson, which is based in Racine, Wisconsin. She noted that unlike most CPG companies, SC Johnson is a family company. “We don’t have to answer to Wall Street,” she added. “We can go beyond what is expected.”

Oksiuta said the company prioritizes sustainability and transparency. “We want consumers to know what we are doing and how we are doing it.”

As of early October 2017, she said SC Johnson had 17 zero-waste-to-landfill facilities.

Oksiuta said SC Johnson is interested in using as much postconsumer recycled plastic in its packaging as possible. To that end, she added, the company would like consumers to be able to recycle its Ziploc products at the curb. Only 2 percent of bags are taken back to the store for recycling, Oksiuta added. She believes this rate could be increased if the product could be accepted for recycling at the curbside. She acknowledged that adding Ziploc products to curbside recycling programs won’t occur over the short term but will instead take roughly a decade.

Oksiuta said 60 percent of communities must be able to recycle these products at the curb before SC Johnson can legally make that claim. To facilitate this goal, she added that SC Johnson was seeking more end markets for bags collected curbside to generate demand for this material.  

Rumpke said better collaboration throughout the supply chain is necessary, particularly on the plastics side, to increase recycling, particularly as packaging streams change.

While he said material recovery facility (MRF) operators must build plants that are “adaptable” to the market and to the changing material stream, adding that Rumpke has built its MRFs in such a way, he said he would rather have a conversation with brand owners about changes to the packaging stream before these packages start hitting the market so changes can be addressed proactively.

“Collaboration is key as we look at types or formats of packaging,” Pope said. “It can’t be one-off effort.”

While Rumpke said many people believe recyclables placed at the curb for collection have high value, they may not have enough value to cover collection costs much less processing costs. He added that larger containers and improved routing efficiencies are necessary to keep recycling affordable for communities.

Oksiuta said there is value in having people understand their responsibilities when it comes to recycling, prompting Rumpke to add that communities need to “go after” education.

Regarding processing-related issues, Rumpke said MRF operators “have to do a better job.” He added that his company is in it for the long term, saying it offers a “total waste solution model.” Rumpke noted his company’s approach to glass processing as an example. The company operates a glass processing plant in Dayton, Ohio, which it opened after recognizing the need for additional processing of MRF glass in the area.   

He added that the market will be developed by companies that think long term about recycling.

Regarding National Sword, China’s customs crackdown on the quality of imported recyclables, and its implications for the recycling industry, Pope said, “Ultimately, we see this as a short-term issue.” He added that the recycling industry “will figure this out.”

In an effort to improve the quality of the commodities it recovers for recycling, Rumpke said his company is “looking hard at robotics,” with plans to add the technology to its MRFs in the near future. He added that robotics “won’t replace employees” but instead will “help us clean up material a little better and more consistently.”

While not all brand owners care about recycled content commitments, Pope said, they do have a role to play. However, he added that government mandates in this area would have “unintended consequences.”

All things being equal, Oksiuta said consumers will choose recycled-content packaging. On the part of brand owners, she said many have made strong commitments to use recycled content, adding that recycled material shows less volatility in pricing over time than virgin material.

 

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BTB PET-Recycling says Starlinger recycling system has responded to changing bottle stream

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:58
Above: Richard Wüllner of BTB, Christian Lovranich of Starlinger) and Andrzej Zajontz of BTB.

BTB PET-Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, Bad Salzuflen, Germany, recycles polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles back into bottles, processing 20,000 tons of PET input material from the German bottle return system PETCYCLE annually. The company was founded in 2006 and has operated a Starlinger recoSTAR PET 165 iV+ since 2007, presently with six SSP (solid state polycondensation) reactors.

BTB PET-Recycling employs from 30 to 35 people and produces food-safe PET regranulate for use in the production of beverage bottles. The company has a positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion for its recycled PET (rPET). In addition, BTB PET-Recycling is certified to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 50001:2011.

Changing market requirements call for flexibility and constant adaptations, Starlinger says. Over the last 10 years, there have been massive changes in the design of PET bottles. They have become lighter and/or their walls have become thinner (causing the bulk density to change significantly), and they may contain additives (acetaldehyde and oxygen blockers).

According to one of the managing directors of BTB PET-Recycling, Andrzej Zajontz, the Starlinger recycling line is insensitive to variations in input material. Parameter adjustments can compensate for these changes, thereby ensuring consistent regranulate quality.

To keep the machine up to date from a technical point of view, upgrades are provided on a regular basis, Starlinger says.

The recycler emphasizes the machine’s ease of operation, allowing for swift training of new personnel, and Starlinger’s service.

Christian Lovranich, head of process engineering for Starlinger’s recycling technology division, has provided support to BTB PET-Recycling from the very beginning and is proud of the line’s high uptime. He says, “The machine achieves an uptime of 95 percent. This means that the output has far exceeded the client’s expectations.”

Service of the machine has been optimized to minimize downtime; the line has to be stopped only for certain maintenance work, such as a knife change, according to Starlinger.

The modular design of the Starlinger line at BTB PET-Recycling offers advantages. By adding an additional vacuum SSP reactor, the capacity can be extended easily, allowing for continuous growth, the equipment provider says. BTB owner Richard Wüllner reports that the company increased capacity by adding one SSP reactor in 2013 and in 2015 to meet the growing demand for food-safe regranulate. In addition, upgrades were made in the areas of washing, bottle sorting and flake sorting. A further increase in capacity is planned for the near future, Starlinger says.

The company’s regular investment in the recycling line shows the recoSTAR PET at BTB PET-Recycling is far from being outdated and instead is well-equipped for the next 10 years, Starlinger says.

Starlinger Recycling Technology is a division of Austria-based Starlinger & Co. GmbH. Starlinger PET recycling systems produce food-safe rPET and are approved for use in food applications by many brand owners as well as by various national and international authorities. The worldwide sales and service support network and technical consulting service help customers to achieve optimum results in the manufacturing process.

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Clynk receives $22.5K grant from Maine Technology Institute

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:05
Clynk, South Portland, Maine, has received a $22,500 one-year grant from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) to commercialize investments made in its processing capacity, with the goal of increasing processing volume. The accelerator grant allows Clynk to better position itself to attract new bottle redemption states and partners within those states, according to the company. The technology used in its processing centers enables the company to target consumers within the 10 U.S. bottle bill states, or roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population.  

Founded in 2006, Clynk is a bottle redemption service, using patented technology to process more than 900 million containers since its inception. Clynk says it offers a bag-drop system at retail that eliminates waiting in line, manual count and material separation and also reduces fraud. The company allows consumers to create a personal account, accumulate a balance and use funds at their discretion (for cash, groceries or electronic donations to local charities. The company currently operates in Hannaford Supermarkets in Maine and New York and has licensed technology in Oregon and in New Brunswick, California.

Clynk says it has doubled in size over the last two years and is poised to do so again. Enabled by a prior MTI Development Loan, it has instituted technology upgrades designed to improve capacity in advance of making a push for more volume.

Clayton Kyle, Clynk CEO, says “Since the early days of Clynk’s evolution, MTI has been a valuable partner, providing grants and loans that have been integral to our growth. Maine is lucky to have a resource like MTI.”

Through this expansion, Clynk says it will provide more Maine jobs and further encourage development of technical and operational skills at its South Portland headquarters. The company currently employees more than 100 processors, drivers and office personnel in South Portland. Customer acquisition outside of Maine will create advancement opportunities for Maine employees in the form of operations managerial roles, expert advisors to new locations, roving resources, additional customer service roles, and additions to sales, marketing and information technology (IT) functions all based in Maine.

MTI Accelerator Grants are intended for companies that have received development loan and/or federal R&D funding, including SBIR/STTR (Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer), awards to support commercialization and business development capacity-building activities that are required to advance new technology to market. Eligible companies use these grant funds to support commercialization and business development (capacity) activities. Eligible project activities work to advance the new technology to market and to firmly establish or increase the scope and sustainability of the business enterprise. This MTI grant funding is intended to increase the competitiveness of the company by providing funds directed at products/services commercialization, business and management team development and company organization.

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AMUT Group to display at Ecomondo 2017

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 08:33
AMUT Group’s Recycling Division will present its washing plants for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics as well as it urban and industrial waste sorting equipment at Ecomondo in Rimini, Italy, Nov. 7-10, 2017.

On display will be the Turbo Washer TW 800 model. This machine washes and purifies plastic using centrifugal force, the company says.

During the centrifugal process, dirty water, sand, paper fibers and soil flow through the basket holes, whereas plastic flakes are retained. Available in different models, the TW 800 is the biggest available from AMUT and is suitable for processing up to 6,000 kilograms per hour (kg/h, or 13,200 pounds per hour [p/h]) of PET, 4,000 kg/h (8,800 p/h) of HDPE and 1,500 kg/h (3,300 p/h) of low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

The company also will display its MPC is a ballistic separator designed to sort paper and cardboard, AMUT says.

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Lidl US partners with How2Recycle Label

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 08:27
Lidl US, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, which launched its first stores in the United States in June, is the newest member of the How2Recycle program. The U.S. division of the Germany grocery store chain joins more than 90 companies that use the How2Recycle label to inform customers how to recycle a variety of product packaging types.

Lidl currently operates 38 stores in five states along the East Coast with plans to open up to 100 stores by the summer of 2018.

“Lidl is proud to partner with How2Recylce to help our customers recycle and reduce waste,” says Boudewijn Tiktak, chief commercial Officer at Lidl US. “Running efficient operations and reducing waste are important company principles at Lidl because they enable us to be better stewards of the environment while lowering our operational costs so we can drive prices down for our customers.  By including How2Recycle labeling on our packaging, we are proud to help our customers facilitate better recycling in their own lives.”

Lidl will be using the How2Recycle label on its private label food products. The How2Recycle Label, a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition formed by GreenBlue, Charlottesville, Virginia, seeks to make recycling simple by communicating instructions for how to dispose of every packaging component. 

“Retailers like Lidl are uniquely poised to make a significant impact towards encouraging correct recycling behavior when they join How2Recycle,” says Kelly Cramer, senior manager at the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the creators of the How2Recycle Label. “Applying the How2Recycle Label to their private label packaging means they’re providing consistent recycling messaging across a wide variety of packaging formats and materials and embedding accurate recyclability claims into the store experience. We look forward to seeing How2Recycle on the private label packaging of this flagship European grocer as they begin their US expansion.”

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

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Eriez hosts 2017 Business Conference

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 06:54
Eriez, a supplier of separation technologies, hosted its 2017 Business Conference at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, which is where the company is headquartered, in early October. The two-day event celebrated Eriez’s 75th anniversary and attracted more than 120 attendees, including top Eriez executives, management personnel and members of the company’s engineering team, as well as representatives from Eriez field sales offices around the globe, according to the company.

“With some of our brightest minds under one roof, we set out to discuss strategies to expand and improve our product lines, streamline operations and position the company for future growth,” says President and CEO Tim Shuttleworth. “The event also gave our extended Eriez family a chance to celebrate the company’s ongoing success, highlight our extraordinary people and commemorate our company’s 75-year anniversary.” 

The 2017 Business Conference kicked off with speeches from Eriez chairman, president and other key executives. Kelly Riggs, a well-known sales and leadership coach, delivered the keynote address. The group also toured the Eriez headquarters plant and Wager facility in Erie and participated in social events.

The second day of the conference included educational roundtables and an evening reception where a number of attendees were recognized for their achievements and service. World-renowned illusionist and Erie native, Bobby Borgia, entertained the crowd.

To further commemorate its 75th anniversary, Eriez says it will release From Pioneer to World Authority in Separation Technologies, an update of a book the company published in 1992 to chronicle the events and people that shaped Eriez during its first 50 years in business. This new edition will cover the company’s entire 75-year history through photos and stories about its product breakthroughs, business practices and employee culture, the company says.

More information about Eriez’s history, global presence and management team is available at www.eriez.com/About.

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Republic Services CEO honored with Responsible CEO of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:40
Republic Services, Phoenix, has announced Don Slager, president and CEO, is the recipient of CR Magazine's 2017 Responsible CEO of the Year – Lifetime Achievement Award. The prestigious recognition is given annually to a CEO whose vision and pioneering spirit has led to significant achievements in corporate responsibility practices over the course of their career. The award was presented last night during the Responsible CEO Awards dinner at the MGM National Harbor, near Washington as part of the Corporate Responsibility Board's Commit!Forum conference, Oct. 11 and 12, 2017.

Slager was selected among a group of finalists by a panel of independent judges comprised of previous Responsible CEO Award winners. Finalists for the Award were nominated by members of the corporate responsibility community, based on a nominee's significant achievements spanning a career in corporate responsibility practices, including employee relations, environmental impact and sustainability, human rights and philanthropy.

"I am humbled by this recognition," says Slager. "But, this is an honor that belongs to the entire Republic family. What we do every day — collecting, hauling and managing the nation's waste while providing simple solutions to our 14 million customers — is dynamic and demanding. It requires us to be relentless and reliable, always pursuing excellence, from responsible landfill operations to continued innovation at our recycling centers, and from a cleaner, quieter fleet to fulfilling our commitment to landfill gas and renewable energy projects. That's why this award is so significant — it's recognition of our entire team for always choosing to do the right thing, for our customers, communities and the environment."

"Today's business landscape requires CEOs to maintain a balance between their commitment to investors and shareholders and their desire to ensure that the company's daily actions exceed the requirements and responsibilities of corporate citizens," said Dave Armon, publisher of CR Magazine. "Our panel of past Responsible CEO winners applauded Don Slager for leading by example throughout his career – driving innovation and creating a culture of sustainability and purpose for employees, customers and the communities where Republic Services operates."

Slager became CEO in 2011, and has 30 years of experience in the solid waste industry. Under his leadership, the company has experienced steady financial growth while earning notable recognition for corporate responsibility achievements. Republic was recently named to the Forbes America's Best Large Employers list, as well as the Ethisphere Institute's World's Most Ethical Companies list. The company has been named to both the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices' — World and North America indices — for the second consecutive year, and CDP's (Carbon Disclosure Project) Global Climate A List and the Supplier Climate A List. In addition, Glassdoor recently rated Slager among its 100 Highest Rated CEOs, based on anonymous and voluntary employee reviews.
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Waste Management changes recyclable routes in Washington

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 07:55
a report by the Daily Record News says. In July, the Chinese government cracked down on importing 24 kinds of material, including certain types of unsorted paper and plastic.

Kittitas County Solid Waste Director Patti Johnson says in the report that the crackdown includes items such as yogurt containers and pizza boxes, which will affect areas like Seattle.

Currently, materials brought to Kittitas County transfer stations are hauled to Woodinville, Washington by WM, then transported to Seattle for final shipment to China. Now, Johnson says WM will be sending recyclables to Spokane by the end of the year without any change in cost to the county.

The county is also scouting locations for its Ellensburg transfer station that serves customers from Elk Heights to Vantage. The current location has limited space and continuous issues with flooding, the report says. County officials are evaluating proposed sites at a cement plant, Bowers Field Airport and near Tjossem Road. Kittitas County officials are accepting public input online and during meetings.

The report says the county is also undergoing improvements for its septic waste screening process and is facing some challenges. Johnson says in the report that the county currently accepts 1.2 million gallons of septic waste per year and must develop a nearby water supply to help clean the bar screen that septic waste flows through.

The report says the screen’s holes are 3/8 inches wide and adequate water is needed for an improved processing time.

County commissioners have suggested trucking water in from neighboring counties and drilling new wells.]]>

Cartridge World starts printer exchange program

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 07:26
Cartridge World, a supplier of ecofriendly printer inks and toner cartridges based in McHenry, Illinois, is providing business owners with a solution for their old, unwanted printers that need an upgrade with its new printer exchange program. The program allows business owners to obtain a new printer without worrying about the tech waste of their current device.

In Cartridge World's printer exchange program, business owners can obtain new printers at no cost in exchange for their outdated, unwanted printers. Participants in the program must buy their toner from Cartridge World and will also receive complimentary printer maintenance for their leased printers. The program, available through Dec. 31, offers options to participants to recycle, move to another location in the business or donate their old printers to a charity.

Cartridge World says it will review each business and its printing needs individually to ensure they are receiving the right printer when looking to upgrade. The printer exchange program is a part of the company's Why Buy a Printer Program that was launched in early 2017.

"As a global brand, we're aware of the impact that tech waste is having on the environment and want to offer a solution that not only benefits our Earth, but also the business owners who participate and the surrounding communities," Mark Pinner, CEO of Cartridge World North America, says. "With the holiday giving season quickly approaching, this is the perfect time to launch our printer exchange program. The program allows for businesses to obtain new state-of-the-art printers while allowing the old printers to be donated or recycled to those in need."

More information about Cartridge World's printer exchange program is available at b2b.cartridgeworld.com/printer-exchange.]]>

Machinex upgrades equipment at Boulder County, Colorado, MRF

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:42
Machinex Group, Plessisville, Quebec, has supplied equipment for a major upgrade of the container line at the Boulder County, Colorado, material recovery facility (MRF). The upgraded system has been processing material since the end of August 2017 and has its official ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 12, 2017.


The facility, which processes 25 tons of material per hour, receives over 45,000 tons of recyclables from single-stream collection per year. The county decided to modernize is container line to maximize recovery on plastics and decrease manual sorting. To meet the customer’s needs, Machinex has provided two MACH Hyspec optical sorters. The first one ejects polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP), while the second one ejects high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and mixed plastics. A Machinex eddy current separator also was installed upstream of the optical sorters to sort aluminum cans.

Chris Hawn, CEO of Machinex Technologies Inc. (MTI), the U.S. division of the group, says, “There are multiple equipment manufacturers in this plant so this is another example that Machinex is not afraid and is always ready to perform major retrofits or upgrade existing systems that don’t have Machinex equipment in the first place.”

Rick Kattar, recycling operations analyst at Boulder County says, “We are pleased with the superb performance of Machinex and its subcontractors with regard to the recent MRF processing system upgrades. It is with great pride that we accomplished the retrofit upgrades with little operational disruption and a keen awareness of the importance of working in partnership to achieve our goals.”

He adds, “Machinex worked diligently to maintain a transparent action plan that always engaged the county and its operator, EcoCycle, throughout the duration of the project. The county has been especially pleased with the customer centric approach Machinex has employed to assure our clear understanding of the challenges, as well as ready solutions if required.”

Machinex has designed and installed more 350 turnkey facilities in partnership with leading MRFs in Canada, the United States, Europe and Oceania.

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Henkel expands adhesive recycling program

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:08
Henkel, a manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and functional coatings such as the Loctite brand headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, and TerraCycle, Trenton, New Jersey, are adding light cure adhesive technologies to their adhesive recycling program.

Henkel, in partnership with TerraCycle, began to offer a recycling solution for anaerobic adhesive packaging in 2016. Through the program, Henkel customers can purchase a postage-paid recycling box they fill with used Loctite adhesive containers and send to TerraCycle for processing. TerraCycle will thermally treat the containers and turn them into new plastic products.

“As a company with a strong commitment to sustainability, we think this is a great way to offer an environmental solution to our customers,” Simon Mawson, senior vice president general adhesives, North America, says. “We hope they will appreciate the option of recycling used Loctite containers instead of sending material to landfills and incinerators and use it to achieve their own sustainability targets.” 

Henkel aims to reduce its products’ environmental footprint at every stage of the product lifecycle by 2030. The adhesive recycling program aligns with that initiative, the company says.

“We broke new ground with our Henkel partnership, as it was the first time we recycled this category,” Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO, says. “With the continued development of this successful program, we hope it will be an ongoing eye opener to an industry that has previously not had an option to recycle adhesive containers.”

Interested companies can contact their local Loctite distributor or visit www.na.henkel-adhesives.com/recycleloctite for more information.]]>

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