News from Recycling Today

Subscribe to News from Recycling Today feed
Recycling Today RSS
Updated: 52 min 45 sec ago

TransAct Energy signs 10-year waste supply agreement in Guadalajara, Mexico

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:00
TransAct Energy Corp., San Antonio, Texas, has announced it has signed a 10-year waste supply and disposal agreement with Hasars SA de CV to process its municipal solid waste (MSW) collections from the Tlaquepaque region of Greater Guadalajara in Mexico.

Through TransAct's wholly owned subsidiary, Puebla ZEWOP1, S de RL de CV, the company has now secured the feedstock for its first Zero Emissions Waste Optimization Plant (ZEWOP) to be constructed in Mexico. The plant will be able to process 481,800 metric tons annually of which Hasars will supply the same, until Dec. 31, 2027, the company says.

"We finally have our feed-stock and can move forward," says TransAct CEO Rod Bartlett, "After years and several attempts to secure a binding agreement in Mexico from a credible source, we have finally succeeded. This is the cornerstone upon which we build this plant and the company. Now we can secure a site on which to build the ZEWOP and move forward with the presale agreements to complete on the required capital."

"Hasars sees TransActs ZEWOP as the future of waste management in Mexico and the world," says Adrian Orozco Gardenas, managing partner of Hasars. "We are genuinely excited about having the MSW we collect optimized rather than placed in a landfill.

Hasars S.A. de C.V. is a privately held company with 30 years of experience in the integral management of municipal, industrial and commercial solid waste.

TransAct Energy Corp. is a Nevada organized company that owns proprietary technology ZEWOP which is designed to take MSW and produces multiple products without any residuals returning to the environment. These by-products include 18 different product streams including potable water, fuels, heavy metals, scrap metals, aluminum, glass, waxes, sugars and carbon which may be resold back into the marketplace at a profit.

The company says it intends to develop its ZEWOP technology in conjunction with municipalities globally who are facing waste-management growth while trying to alleviate environmental impacts.


California governor signs carpet recycling bill

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 07:46
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1158 into law Oct. 14. According to a previous news release on, the state legislature passed the bill in mid-September 2017.

The bill requires carpet manufacturers to submit a carpet stewardship plan that meets specified requirements from the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). A coalition of local governments, environmental, public health, carpet industry and union organizations supported the legislation.

The legislation says manufacturers must achieve a 24 percent carpet recycling rate for postconsumer carpet by Jan. 1, 2020. Manufacturers can partner with carpet stewardship organizations to create their plans and achieve compliance with the new law. The bill says plans must include quantifiable 5-year goals and annual goals that will be reviewed by CalRecycle starting Jan. 1, 2020 and every three years after.

The bill also creates an advisory committee, appointed by the CalRecycle director, the speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules, that would provide comments and recommendations on carpet stewardship plans and requires manufacturers to incorporate the committee’s recommendations and comments into any updated plans.


APR launches program to expand market demand for recycled resin

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 07:30
The Washington-based Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) has announced the launch of its Recycling Demand Champion Campaign, a new program designed to expand market demand for recycled resins and to improve plastic recycling in North America.

The APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign aims to increase the use of polyolefin (polypropylene or polyethylene) postconsumer resin (PCR) by focusing on “work in process” (WIP) items used in manufacturing, such as trash cans, pallets and tote boxes.

Demand Champions sign a letter of intent to identify and use these WIPs in their facilities and to require PCR content in them. As the program adds more participants, this will increase the demand for postconsumer recycled polyolefins, the APR says.

“This program will drive demand for broad specification PCR produced from mixed residential plastics,” says Liz Bedard, director of the APR Rigid Plastic Recycling Program. “We have identified potential end markets for PCR in WIP durable goods such as crates, tote boxes, cans, pails, drums, trash or recycle bins, pallets, transport packaging and other items.”

APR President Steve Alexander says, “We know there are increased environmental and economic benefits that come from recycling, but only if the materials recycled are made into new products or goods. Any company looking to catalyze those benefits can have a positive impact on the recycling system by directing those recycled resins into WIP goods that they are already purchasing on a regular basis.”

The association says it will work to expand participation in this program in partnership with brand owners, retailers, trade organizations and other members of the recycling value chain. “We welcome any company to join the Demand Champion program,” Alexander says.

“This program is open to anyone in the industry,” says Steve Sikra, chair of the APR Rigids Committee and associate director of solid waste management, the Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), Cincinnati. “APR has the tools and connections to make the use of PCR straightforward in these WIP items. Let's use this as a platform to advance PCR use.”

The initial Recycling Demand Champions are Berry Global, Campbells Soup Co., Coca-Cola North America, Envision Plastics, Keurig Green Mountain Inc., KW Plastics, Merlin Plastics, Plastipak/Clean Tech Inc., P&G and Target Corp. Participating companies will regularly report progress updating their increased use of PCR in these areas, so positive impacts expanding and increasing the use of PCR may be anonymously aggregated and collectively reported, the association says.

“The initial participants represent a starting point,” Alexander says. “We began approaching companies in the past several weeks, and have been greatly encouraged by the response. Now that the program has been launched, recruitment efforts will accelerate, and we anticipate announcing a broader group of participants of companies of all sizes and industry focus at the Plastics Recycling Conference in February," he says, referring to the event organized by Resource Recycling that will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, Feb. 19-21, 2018.

“This program represents a critical step in expanding the use of PCR in the marketplace,” he continues. “It represents a major shift in the paradigm of major brands and manufacturers in identifying an expanded menu of options for the use of recycled material in a broader array of products.”

Target recently became the first major retail member of APR, completing the association’s engagement across the full supply chain of materials: MRFs, equipment suppliers, recyclers, converters, consumer brand companies and retailers. Signing on to the APR Recycling Demand Champion Program builds on the five sustainable packaging goals that Target announced earlier this year.

Tom Busard, president of Clean Tech, Plymouth, Michigan-based Plastipak’s recycling affiliate, (, and former chair of the APR Board, says, “As both a container manufacturer and plastic recycler, we are uniquely positioned to understand the impact of this program from both the supply and demand side of the industry.” 


Jabil’s Memphis, Tennessee, plant achieves R2/RIOS certification

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 07:05
Petersburg, Florida-based Jabil Inc. has announced that its Environmental Technologies business unit achieved the Responsible Recycling (R2) and Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) certifications for its electronics recycling and recovery facility in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jabil’s Memphis location also recently achieved AAA certification from the National Association of Information Destruction, Phoenix, for plant-based physical destruction of computer media.

Jabil provides electronics design, production and product management services to global electronics and technology companies. Offering complete product supply chain management from facilities in 29 countries, Jabil provides solutions to customers in a broad range of industries. Jabil currently has more than 100 locations on five continents.

“We’ve seen strong demand from our customers to add an electronics recycling capability that is both transparent and environmentally friendly,” says Andy Priestley, Jabil global business units senior vice president. “We hope to have additional facilities around the globe certified in 2018.”


Investment firm to purchase Strategic Materials

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 05:54
Littlejohn & Co. LLC, a private investment firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Strategic Materials Inc. (SMI), a leading environmental services company and the largest glass recycler in North America, from Willis Stein & Partners, Northbrook, Illinois, and London-based Vision Capital. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Houston, SMI recovers and processes postconsumer and postindustrial glass, operating a network of 47 facilities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The company’s end markets include glass packaging, fiberglass insulation, flat glass and highway safety beads, as well as the air blast abrasives industry. When used in container glass and fiberglass insulation production, SMI’s cullet results saves energy and reduces carbon emissions by up to 30 percent compared with using virgin materials.

“Strategic Materials is a market leader with a unique customer value proposition and several actionable growth opportunities,” says Brian Michaud, a principal at Littlejohn. “As recycled product demand and sustainable manufacturing practices have become a priority for numerous markets worldwide, we believe Strategic Materials is at the forefront to meet those product needs and services on a much larger scale. We are excited to partner with Denis Suggs and his team to support SMI’s growth objectives.”

Denis Suggs, president and CEO of SMI, says, “This is an exciting new chapter for our company. Littlejohn has deep expertise in helping industrial companies reach their full potential, and we are pleased they have recognized the opportunities in our business. Littlejohn’s investment is a strong endorsement for SMI and our employees and will further advance the Strategic Materials Operating System (SMOS), which is rooted in continuous improvement, strategic growth and relentless execution. We also thank our former partners, Willis Stein and Vision Capital, who enabled us to grow our domestic footprint and enhance our product offerings with multiple acquisitions.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in November 2017, Littlejohn says.

Moelis & Co. LLC and Houlihan Lokey Inc. are acting as financial advisors, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to SMI., while Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is providing legal counsel to Littlejohn.


Warsaw session provides latest information on China

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 00:38
The opening session of the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event, set for Nov. 7-8 in Warsaw, Poland, will offer presentations designed to offer attendees the latest updates on import restrictions being initiated in China.

Activities of China’s Ministry of the Environment (MEP) and directives issued by China Customs and other central government agencies have played a dominant role in demand for and pricing of many plastic and paper scrap grades and 2017—and are poised to do so for the rest of this decade.

The opening session of the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, is titled “Gateways and Barriers: The Export Situation I.” It will examine the increased inspection and customs scrutiny faced by paper and plastic recyclers trading with China, and how the industry is responding to the 2017 series of Chinese government directives.

Brian Taylor of the Recycling Today Media Group will offer a presentation created by Steve Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Company and president of the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA). The presentation is designed to present the latest information gathered by the CSPA on China’s plastic scrap import situation.

Existing and looming restrictions on mixed paper and other recovered fiber grades will be the focus of a presentation by Craig Robinson, the purchasing director of Cycle Link UK. Presenter Thijs Cox of Netherland-based Ciparo BV will provide the perspective of one of Europe’s longest tenured traders of recyclables with China. Cox, whose firm trades both paper and plastic scrap, lived in China for more than a decade and spent much of his summer of 2017 in the nation.

The opening session on Tuesday morning will be followed by one titled “Gateways and Barriers: The Export Situation II,” which will offer updates on paper and plastic scrap trading opportunities existing and emerging in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region and the Indian subcontinent.

Additional information on 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, including how to register, can be found on this web page.


Norexco seminar covers its scrap paper trading service

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 22:21
Kongsvinger, Norway-based Norexco ASA is hosting a one-day seminar on Nov. 23, 2017, in Oslo, Norway, to provide details on its scrap paper exchange-traded financial derivatives.

In July 2017, Norexco, which bills itself as “the only dedicated exchange offering services for the pulp and paper industry,” said it would soon begin “listing the most widely traded grade of recovered paper - old corrugated containers (OCC).” Norexco says, subject to regulatory approval, OCC will be listed from the beginning of 2018.

Once the listing is in place, Norexco says it will set closing prices, have tradeable prices on screen and open for block trades. “Ongoing consultations with the industry will determine product structure, indexes, settlement etc. Gaining essential support from major industrial participants will be of crucial importance to make OCC a liquid market,” the group states in a July 2017 news release.

“The international OCC market has historically been volatile,” says Stein Ole Larsen, CEO of Norexco. “In a volatile world with great challenges, we have been welcomed as a stabilizing factor. Our discussions with stakeholders so far indicate support for this listing. We believe that the paper industry should have the same opportunity to manage its price risks on a fully regulated marketplace, as other mature industries.”

The Nov. 23 seminar in Oslo takes place at the Holmenkollen Park Hotel and carries an attendance fee of €300 ($353). Speakers will include representatives from Norexco and other partners in the OCC listing effort.

Topics covered at the one-day event will include:

  • what drives commodity risk management toward exchanges and cleared futures;
  • risk documentation, risk mandate, trade execution and reporting, including different organizational set-ups in the derivatives sector;
  • “walking through a trade” on the Norexco exchange, including factors such as initial and variation margin as well as cash flow;
  • hedging: how a paper consumer can lock in a margin by using Norexco futures, including a look at how price exposure is reduced by using derivatives;
  • how to understand and segregate commodity and currency risk, via a live demonstration; and
  • what kind of market information and analysis is available via the Norexco system.

Those seeking more information or wishing to register can contact Norexco’s Anita Skjong via e-mail at, ideally before Nov. 9, 2017.

Norexco bills itself as a regulated commodity exchange specialized for the global pulp and paper industry. It offers trading in cash-settled financial futures, or instruments used to manage price risk for producers and consumers that also present a trading opportunity for commodity trading firms. 


ALBA Group building $70 million recycling plant in Germany

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 21:50
Berlin-based ALBA Group says it is building a new production plant for recyclable materials at Chemiepark Marl in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany.

The new plant is being built on a roughly 55,000 square meter (13.5-acre) parcel of land in the south of the Chemiepark Marl (Marl Chemical Park). ALBA Group says the plant will combine “state-of-the-art digital technology (Sorting 4.0) with the ALBA Group’s almost 50 years of expertise.”

The new plant will process lightweight packaging scrap from roughly 6.4 million people, meaning about 200,000 metric tons in total per year, says the company. At the end of the process chain will be raw materials such as secondary plastic resins “with the highest level of purity that are made available to industry, [which can] replace raw materials from primary sources that are running low,” says the firm.

“With our new plant we are not just a leader in terms of sorting technology in Germany and Europe, we are also well equipped to achieve the high-volume requirements of the new Packaging Act in Germany,” says Dr. Axel Schweitzer, CEO of ALBA Group. “With our investment we are clearly positioning ourselves for our German domestic market and a future of raw materials efficiency in Europe.”

“We are proud that we have been able to attract another internationally renowned company for our park with the ALBA Group”, says Dr. Jörg Harren, site manager of Chemiepark Marl. “With this we are not just expanding the varied range that we offer, but we will also be a flagship project in terms of recycling and sustainability. This makes our location more attractive.”

The construction of the plant in Marl, which will begin in late 2017, has a projected cost of more than €60 million ($70 million) and will be completed in a four-shift system. The commissioning of the plant is planned for the beginning of 2019.

Chemiepark Marl is one of the largest chemical sites in Germany, covering an area of more than six square kilometers (1,480 acres). It is home to facilities operated by Evonik Industries AG, its subsidiaries, and its affiliates, plus 12 other companies. Some 100 production plants are linked in what the park’s operators call “a tightly integrated material and energy network.”

The ALBA group brands ALBA and Interseroh have about 7,500 employees operating in Germany, other parts of Europe and Asia. With annual sales of about €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion), ALBA Group is one of the largest recycling and environmental services companies in the world.


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

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 11:29
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.



Call2Recycle upgrades collection containers

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 08:41
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

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 08:41
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.”





Worldsteel releases its Short Range Outlook 2017/2018

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 05:59
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.


Dutch firm adds plastic recycling capacity

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 00:41
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.


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,, 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 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.

]]> receives Built for NetSuite verification

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:08 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., 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

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.


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. 


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


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.



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.


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.