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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

ISRI asks China to better differentiate between scrap and waste

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 14:21
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has released its comments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to China’s notification of its intent to revise its Identification Standards for Solid Wastes General Rules. While ISRI says it supports the efforts of the Chinese government to protect the health and welfare of its citizens and the environment, the organization suggests improving the language in the draft standard to help properly identify scrap materials that are valuable commodities used as raw materials as distinct from waste that has no value or use.

The full text of ISRI’s comments is available here, but the association highlights a number of comments from the text below:

“ISRI supports efforts on the part of the Chinese government to develop guidelines for the identification of solid wastes, crafted in such a way as to promote environmental sound management of such wastes. … There is a need to distinguish scrap from waste within the standard, as well as in the underlying regulations and related notices issued by the Chinese, in order to better facilitate the legitimate trade of high-quality scrap commodities and at the same time prevent the improper trade of waste materials.   Unfortunately, the standard as drafted uses the term ‘solid waste’ inclusive of both trash and scrap, creating confusion and uncertainty within the U.S. and global recycling industry. …

“Simply put, scrap is not waste. Waste – often called 'trash,' 'refuse' or 'garbage'—is a material that has no value and is not wanted. Wastes are disposed of because they are no longer useful. In contrast, scrap—often called 'recyclable material' or 'secondary material'—is a valuable commodity sold in the global marketplace according to industrywide, globally recognized specifications as a raw material in lieu of virgin materials for manufacturing.  Worldwide, more than 800 million metric tons of scrap commodities are consumed each year. …

“ISRI’s 'Scrap Specifications Circular' contains several hundred specifications covering ferrous scrap, nonferrous scrap, glass cullet, paper stock, plastic scrap, electronics scrap and tire scrap. These specifications are used by industry members to facilitate the buying and selling of their materials and by customs officials for customs clearance purposes.  To that end, ISRI supports a ban on unusable waste that does not meet the specifications. …

“ISRI respectfully requests the Chinese government use more specific terminology in reference to recyclable materials in order to properly distinguish between high-value scrap commodities and waste.  This is an opportunity to incorporate such terminology in the standard and other rules and regulations under consideration by the Chinese government.”

The comments ISRI filed with the WTO are only one element of ISRI’s comprehensive effort to protect the interests of the recycling industry as China looks to impose significant changes on the movement of scrap into China, according to the organization. ISRI says it is holding high-level discussions with the U.S. government (both within the Trump administration and on Capitol Hill) and communicating directly with the Chinese government while also coordinating with its counterparts throughout the world and with the Brussels-based BIR (Bureau of International Recycling) to ensure a widespread global effort.


ISRI adds three to its board of directors

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 21:13
The Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has announced the election of three new directors to its board, in action taken during its summer 2017 board and governance meetings in July 2017.


The new directors-at-large, who will serve two-year terms ending in 2019, are David Borsuk of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Sadoff Iron & Metal Company, Adam Dumes of Middletown, Ohio-based Cohen Recycling, and Colin Kelly of Schnitzer Steel Industries, based in Portland, Oregon.


“The addition of David, Adam and Colin to ISRI’s Board of Directors brings added leadership and expertise that will help lead our organization over the next two years and beyond,” says ISRI President Robin Wiener. “I look forward to working with them and have no doubt that their variety of backgrounds and perspectives will add a wealth of knowledge to ISRI as a whole.”


Borsuk is currently the manager of industrial marketing and environmental affairs at Sadoff Iron & Metal Company. In addition to having been with that firm for 47 years, Borsuk currently is chair of the ISRI Audit Committee and Airbag Working Group. He also serves as a member of ISRI’s Circle of Safety Excellence Steering Committee.


Adam Dumes is a vice president at Cohen Recycling and CEO of Cohen Electronics Recycling, both located in Middletown. (The company was profiled by Recycling Today in April 2017.) He earned a B.S. in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He currently oversees the commercial side (buying and selling) of multiple Cohen products and services, including ferrous metals and electronics. Dumes also serves as the chair of ISRI’s State Sub Committee.


Colin Kelly is the corporate director of public affairs at Schnitzer Steel Industries. In 2006, after working for more than two decades in the restaurant and food service sector, Kelly joined Schnitzer as its government relations manager for the Northeast area. He works from Massachusetts for Portland, Oregon-based Schnitzer.


Plastic’s future in the spotlight at Warsaw conference

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 20:38
The year 2017 has brought rapid changes to the plastic recycling sector, causing it the be the topic of discussion at a session at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event.


In a session called “Plastic’s Bright Future (and Dark Cloud)” on the morning of Wednesday, November 8, four different speakers will offer their perspectives on both plastic’s continued growth as a basic material as well as its status as a target of environmental advocates in Europe and elsewhere—largely because of its unwelcome waste presence.


Three of the four speakers help manage companies that recycle or divert from landfill plastic scrap generated in Europe, while the other is the executive director of a Brussels-based trade group dedicated to maximizing PET bottle recycling in Europe. The four speakers are:


Many of the changes affecting Europe’s and North America’s plastic scrap sector have their roots in China. Those regulatory and policy changes will be the topic of 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe’s opening two sessions on Tuesday, November 7, titled “Gateways and Barriers: The Export Situation.”


In the “Plastic’s Bright Future (and Dark Cloud)” session, panelists will, in part, look at how China’s scrap import restrictions will likely lead to major changes in the way Europe processes and handles its plastic scrap.


In a commentary submitted to the Recycling Today Media Group, organizers of Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, Griffiths of Recycling Technologies, writes, “Why export [plastic scrap] at all? We could keep the economic value of this material at home, create the jobs to recycle it where it has been used and, in the process, gain certainty that our material is not exacerbating the plastic [pollution in the] ocean situation.”


All four speakers will tackle the topic of how and whether Europe is prepared to continue to collect and recycle plastic scrap, with or without China remaining as a major destination for the material.


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


Bangkok ferrous event seeks international delegates

Sun, 08/27/2017 - 19:39
The organizer of the 3rd Steel, Scrap & Raw Material Conference, to be held in Bangkok Sept. 11-12, 2017, says the event will be an international gathering that should be of interest to ferrous scrap traders and equipment makers from around the world.


Amit Hablani, the manager of business development for Raipur, India-based SteelMint, says some 300 delegates are expected at the event, which is being billed as one that will examine the global steel trade at a time when it “is staring at transformation.” Says Hablani, “On one hand Chinese scrap is threatening to alter global scrap trade dynamics; on the other hand, we have countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia [that] are riding the consumption wave.”


Hablani says the gathering of steelmakers from throughout Asia will make the September Bangkok event one with great opportunities for international ferrous scrap traders and equipment makers who supply machinery around the world.


“Global suppliers of both brokered scrap and processing machinery will have the chance to make new contacts from China, from the Indian Subcontinent and from the emerging steel powerhouse nations of Southeast Asia,” states Hablani.


Equipment makers and distributors, as well as traders, who would benefit from exhibiting at the event can find out more on this Web page.


On the programming side of the event, Brian Taylor of the Recycling Today Media Group will moderate a session designed to answer the question, “How will scrap supply dynamics shape up in 2017-2018?”


Other topics addressed on the 3rd Steel, Scrap & Raw Material Conference schedule include:

  • How will China impact the dynamics of the global scrap and steel market?
  • Will Pakistan become the second largest scrap importer in Asia?
  • Will Bangladesh double its steel consumption by 2022?
  • Will Southeast Asia remain import-dependent for finished steel, or increase its steel production?
  • What will be the impact of the new Indian metal recycling policy?
  • Can the scrap charge rate be increased in basic oxygen furnaces from the existing 18-to-20 percent to 50 percent?

Illinois passes bill exempting C&D debris from franchise waste agreements

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 15:01

According to the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA), Milwaukee, nine municipalities continue to have monopoly franchises with C&D grandfathered in, but this bill prevents others from including C&D materials. 

While the bill faced opposition from some landfill and hauling companies, the bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers. 

“This bill took our state chapter three years to get passed, but was worth the effort because it will help ensure an open marketplace for the flow of C&D materials to C&D recyclers in our state,” says Ken Hoving of Chicago-based Lakeshore recycling systems and CDRA Board Member and chair of the national organization’s legislative committee. Our efforts can also provide a blueprint for recyclers in other states to use to overcome the monopoly practices that block C&D recyclers access to recyclable debris that otherwise could go to the landfill.” 

An excerpt from the bill reads,” On and after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, a municipality with a population of less than 1,000,000 shall not enter into any new contracts with any other unit of local government, by intergovernmental agreement or otherwise, or with any corporation or person relating to the collecting and final disposition of general construction or demolition debris; except that this sentence does not apply to a municipality with a population of less than 1,000,000 that is a party to: (1) a contract relating to the collecting and final disposition of general construction or demolition debris on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly; or (2) the renewal or extension of a contract relating to the collecting and final disposition of general construction or demolition debris irrespective of whether the contract automatically renews, is amended, or is subject to a new request for proposal after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly.” 

The entire bill is available to read here.


RISI China event set for December 6-8

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 22:12
United States-based information services provider RISI has released additional details about its International Recycled Fiber and Containerboard Conference (RCP & ICC Conference), which will be held in Chengdu, China, Dec. 6-8, 2017. In its previous five editions, the event was known as the China International Recycled Fiber Conference (RCP Conference).


RISI says for the 2017 event it intends to “provide the latest information from upstream and downstream of the industry for participants [with] RISI’s authentic, timely and feasible data analysis on the recycled fiber industry.” The event also is being designed to “create opportunities to explore practical actions with business possibilities, and interpret and discuss in-depth the prospects of the recycled fiber industry,” says RISI.


RISI says it decided to reposition RCP conference by integrating its other international conference brand—the International Containerboard Conference (ICC)— to look at problems affecting recycled fiber, containerboard and corrugated paper “from a holistic perspective of industry development, covering macro-economy directions, Chinese government policy adjustments [and] the change of relationships between supply and demand and resulting market volatility trends.”


Throughout 2017, says the group, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has undertaken a series of steps to create new policies and measures regarding the importing of some recovered paper grades, in particular mixed paper.


“As mixed recovered paper imports may be prohibited and the effective supply of domestic scrap paper in China is insufficient, what are the impacts to domestic paper mills?” asks RISI, in what it says will be one of the key questions discussed at the event.


“Based on the current market hotspots, we will discuss a series of topics of common concern for the industry,” says RISI, saying these hot topics will be addressed by “industry experts, economic analysts and conference participants.”


More information on the RISI event, including how to register, can be found on this Web page.


Bridgestone offers new services to OTR tire customers

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 22:03
Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas Inc. has announced two free jobsite resources for customers in the construction, aggregates, mining and other severe-duty application sectors. The pre-shift inspection poster and video have been designed to provide “general guidelines to identify and report irregular tire, rim and wheel conditions early, lowering the lifecycle cost of OTR (off the road) tires,” says the company.


“OTR tires face some of the toughest conditions in the world, and at Bridgestone, we are committed to helping our customers work as safely and efficiently as possible – whatever the conditions,” says Rob Seibert, director of marketing for commercial off-the-road tires for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Whether through our state-of-the-art products or these educational resources, we always strive to deliver a comprehensive approach for our customers to manage their tire assets.”


Bridgestone recommends customers conduct daily pre-shift inspections and conduct frequent formal inspections using an integrated tire and rim management tracking system. Bridgestone TreadStat software features a mobile inspection app and offers customizable dashboards, designed to make it easier to record and upload inspection data for every tire in a fleet.


A regular tire inspection and maintenance program is crucial to safety and productivity, according to Bridgestone. The inspection poster and video provide guidelines to identify tire conditions before every shift, ideally preventing unplanned downtime. Those steps include:

  • Inspecting for irregular wear or flat spots in the tread and shoulder;
  • looking for any bulges or separations in the sidewall;
  • ensuring there are no cracks, splits, leaks or breaks in the beads;
  • examining rust or corrosion of components on the wheel and rim;
  • checking inflation levels and examining the tire for any loose or damaged valve stems; and
  • reporting any damage or issues immediately to a supervisor.


The pre-shift inspection poster and video are available for download in the United States and Canada via this Web page.


Bridgestone Americas is the U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp., one of the world’s largest tire and rubber companies. The company develops, manufactures and markets a range of tires for passenger, commercial and off-road vehicles.


Vermont county leads nation in thermostat recycling

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 08:22
Chittenden County, Vermont leads the United States in its recycling program for mercury-containing thermostats, according to a recent report from the Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC), Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, that measured county recycling efforts.

The Green Mountain State's Chittenden County collected 2,280 mercury-filled thermostats between 2012 and 2016. Minnesota captured second and third place, with Hennepin County finishing a close second with 2,274 thermostats, followed by Olmstead County with 1,901 units.

"Chittenden County is an example of what a community can do to recycle mercury thermostats successfully," says Ryan Kiscaden, executive director, TRC. "When you have a committed program, staff that understands the recycling process, and an informed and dedicated public that participates in recycling efforts, it demonstrates why they're No. 1."

The county has been conscious of the need for recycling for decades, according to Jen Holliday, compliance program and product stewardship manager for the county. "Our goal is to get our residents and businesses to keep hazardous materials out of the waste stream and to recycle as much as possible—including mercury-containing thermostats," she says.

The county maintains a fully staffed hazardous waste collection facility with four full-time employees and also have seven drop-off locations that collect mercury-containing thermostats throughout the county.

Chittenden County's geography is a plus in the collection process. It encompasses Burlington, the largest city in Vermont, representing about 25 percent of the state's population, according to Holliday. The state also mandates a $5 rebate for every thermostat that a contractor or consumer turns in.

Part of the success of their overall program is the culture of the residents, says Holliday. The county also has a broad and continuous educational and media relations program touting the benefits of recycling. It's not a hard sell in Chittenden County, which Holliday describes as a "progressive" area. "There are several Universities and Colleges in the county with lots of young, highly educated people who recognize the benefits of recycling," she says.

Community culture and geographic awareness contributed to Chittenden County's top finish, but its outreach program also played an important role.

CSWD maintains a robust recycling website offering collateral material on the subject to a broad spectrum of interested parties, ranging from consumers and businesses to communities, schools and haulers. From the site, individuals and businesses can download brochures and posters touting the need for and ease of recycling.

"Chittenden County's success in recycling mercury thermostats and other hazardous waste products is not only admirable, it serves as an example to other communities about how they might improve their collection processes," says Kiscaden. 


Republic Services to acquire ReCommunity

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 07:28
Republic Services Inc., Phoenix, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Charlotte, North Carolina-based ReCommunity Holdings II Inc., the largest independent recycling processing company in the United States. Republic says ReCommunity's assets and expertise will complement it's existing recycling collection and processing operations and will enable the company to meet its customers' growing demand for recycling in multiple markets.

The acquisition involves 26 recycling centers in 14 states, primarily in locations where Republic maintains a leading market presence. Combined, these facilities recover approximately 1.6 million tons of recycled commodities annually. The transaction also includes the assumption of multiple long-term municipal agreements with processing fee-based structures, which aligns with Republic's innovative recycling pricing model.

"We believe this transaction will enable us to meet growing customer demand for recycling services, while achieving one of our key sustainability goals," says Don Slager, president and chief executive officer of Republic Services. "Recycling continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of the waste stream, and our focus remains on investing in traditional recycling in select and prioritized markets where customers have demonstrated both a demand and a willingness to pay for recycling."

"Through the use of innovation and technology, ReCommunity has developed state-of-the-art recycling processing capabilities in select markets, enabling communities to recover valuable commodities from the waste stream and achieve their sustainability goals," says Dennis McGill, ReCommunity's chief executive officer. "With this acquisition, we are joining a company committed to the same environmental and community ideals and will be able to deliver a broader range of services to our customers."

As part of its Blue Planet sustainability platform, Republic has a goal of adding an additional 150,000 tons or more per year of recycling capacity by 2018. Republic currently operates 64 recycling centers nationwide which recover approximately 2.5 million tons of recycled commodities annually. 


NAFTA bashing has limited support

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 03:39
A poll commissioned by Toronto- and Chicago-based Livingston International Inc. indicates that many people in the United States see the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a contributing factor to the growth of the U.S. economy and the proliferation of high-skilled jobs during the past 20 years, and that they believe the focus of NAFTA negotiations should be modernizing the agreement, not withdrawing from it.


The poll was conducted online by the Harris Poll organization among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and over. Results from the survey indicate Americans seem to have put the trade deal in context with broader changes that have taken place in the economy, and do not seem to single it out as a principal cause of economic adversity.


Despite sometimes heated rhetoric around the subject coming from President Trump and others, only six percent of Americans believe the U.S. should withdraw from the agreement altogether. Almost half of Americans (45 percent) believe the trade deal has greatly influenced growth in the U.S. economy during the past 20 years and more than half (57 percent) believe a withdrawal from NAFTA is likely to result in a price increase on everyday goods.


“These recent data suggest Americans hold a measured view of NAFTA and would like to see the government take a balanced and sensible approach in the NAFTA negotiations,” says Daniel McHugh, CEO of Livingston International, a trade and freight consulting firm. “Americans recognize and understand that NAFTA has resulted in a variety of effects on the U.S. economy, most of which have been positive, and withdrawing from the agreement will likely lead to unwanted and unnecessary economic disruption.”


Among the survey’s chief findings:

  • 45 percent of Americans view NAFTA as contributing to economic growth in the U.S. during the past 20 years;
  • 43 percent believe NAFTA has contributed to the growth of America's knowledge economy (e.g., professional services, engineering, IT, etc.);
  • close to one in five Americans (17 percent) believes the U.S. should neither renegotiate nor withdraw from NAFTA, because it is already an effective agreement or because doing so will harm key industries;
  • about one in five Americans (19 percent) believes the U.S. made the right decision to renegotiate NAFTA because the agreement needs to be modernized; and
  • slightly more than one in 10 Americans (13 percent) believes the U.S. made the right decision to renegotiate NAFTA because the trade deal is unfair to America, but only six percent believe the U.S. should withdraw from the agreement.


Less than half of Americans (42 percent) see NAFTA as primarily responsible for the loss of American manufacturing jobs to workers in other countries, while 62 percent see it as just one of many factors contributing to the loss of those jobs. Some 56 percent of Americans and half of unemployed Americans (50 percent)—defined as those who are not currently employed full-time, part-time or self-employed—agree that technological advancements, such as robotics and automation, have played a greater role than NAFTA in the loss of American manufacturing jobs.


Even in the Midwest and Northeast, the areas most affected by manufacturing job loss, 65 percent and 58 percent respectively believe NAFTA is just one of many factors contributing to the loss of those jobs, and just more than half of Americans in both regions feel productivity-enhancing technologies have played a bigger role than NAFTA with respect to those job losses (56 percent in the Midwest and 55 percent in the Northeast).


The survey also suggests Americans understand the nature of the country's economy has changed substantially. Some 43 percent of Americans believe the trade deal has played an influential role in the growth of America's knowledge economy, while fewer than two in five Americans (38 percent) believe a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA would bring back most of the manufacturing jobs lost since NAFTA was signed.


“In many ways, these sentiments echo much of the feedback industry groups have already provided to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, namely that there is an opportunity to update or modernize NAFTA, but that there should not be a complete withdrawal or any extensive modification of the agreement that could dramatically disrupt business operations,” says McHugh. “With 14 million U.S. jobs dependent on trade with Mexico and Canada, alterations to NAFTA, such as changing the rules of origin for manufactured goods, could adversely affect employment and lead to the price of everyday goods going up.”


Fewer than one-third of Americans (32 percent) believe the U.S. has made the right decision to renegotiate NAFTA. Among that population, three in five (60 percent) believe it’s because the agreement needs to be modernized, while the remainder (40 percent) believe the trade deal is unfair to the U.S. At the same time, nearly one in five (17 percent) believes renegotiating or withdrawing from the deal is the wrong approach, either because it is already an effective agreement or because doing so could harm key industries.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Livingston International in late June 2017, polling more than 2,200 U.S. adults aged 18 and older.


ConExpo Latin America info available in October

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 21:43
The Expo Edifica event, taking place Oct. 4-7, 2017 in Santiago, Chile, will include among its display stands a large one devoted to ConExpo Latin America, which also will be held in Santiago, in October 2019.


The United States-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), which organizes ConExpo events around the world, says the Expo Edifica display will be “technology-focused and interactive” and will include a section focusing on the “evolution of the world’s first 3D-printed excavator.”


Visitors to the display stand also will be able to speak directly with ConExpo Latin America organizers to learn more about the equipment trade show’s October 2019 return to Santiago, says AEM.


“Keeping pace with technology is essential for today’s construction industry professionals so they are fully prepared to take advantage of current and future business opportunities,” says Fred Vieira, Latin America event manager for AEM. “ConExpo Latin America will return to Chile in 2019, and we invite all Edifica 2017 attendees to visit our stand to experience a preview of the technologies of tomorrow.”


AEM is an international sponsor of Expo Edifica 2017. The group says its display at the event will include:

  • “Tech Talks” spotlighting global trends including smart highways, smart safety wearables and smart jobsites, which includes the use of drones, robots and Microsoft’s HoloLens;
  • a “Future Jobs for the Construction Industry” display that looks at how as technology changes the construction site, jobs will evolve to keep up with these changes and demand new skills; and
  • a section with videos and storyboards that will spotlight Project AME (Additive Manufactured Excavator), or the creation of the what AME calls “the world’s first fully functional steel 3D-printed construction excavator,” and its debut in action at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 in March 2017 in Las Vegas.


AEM says it is committed to Latin America and “strongly believing in the long-term opportunities provided by public-private infrastructure investments in the region.” 


CMRA announces November 2017 event details

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 21:08
The China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) and its Recycling Metal Branch (CMRA) have announced Ningbo, China, as the site for the 2017 CMRA Annual Convention. The event will take place Nov. 7-9 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Ningbo.


The CMRA says the purpose of the convention, which has been taking place annually since 2002, is to

“serve the development of the global metal recycling industry.” The association says the 2017 event will “concentrate on industrial policy exchange, trade cooperation, technology docking and intelligence and capital importing. It promotes coordinated development of the industrial chain, and strives to create the most effective annual event for the global recycling metals industry.”


Sessions at the 2017 convention, says the CMRA, will “present [the] latest policy and development trends, new industrial opportunities, the development of international markets, capacity cooperation and opportunities under China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative and “hot spots” in the industrial chain, both upstream and downstream.


The provisional program for the November 2017 event also includes sessions focusing on pending foreign scrap import bans, sorting technology, environmental protection, military scrap, resource parks and the circular economy.


More information on the 2017 CMRA Annual Convention, including how to register, will be available soon, says the CMRA. 


International Automobile Recycling Congress organizer issues call for papers

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 11:32
Switzerland-based conference organizer ICM AG has announced a call for papers for the 18th International Automobile Recycling Congress (IARC 2018), which will be held in Vienna, March 14-16, 2018.

The deadline for the call for papers is Sept. 30, 2017. Submissions can be sent to

ICM AG says the annual event brings together 250 delegates to discuss and present news and challenges of the manufacturing and end-of-life vehicle (ELV) business, including car manufacturers, metal and plastic scrap traders, recyclers, shredder operators and policymakers from across the world. 

Topics to be covered include: 

  • challenges of the circular economy;
  • worldwide takeback schemes, quotas and challenges faced by original equipment manufacturers;
  • reuse and refurbishment related to data security;
  • best available recycling technologies;
  • recycling of precious and strategic metals;
  • country reports;
  • supply chain transparency;
  • methods for countries and electronics manufacturers to close the recycling loop;
  • standards, compliance regulations and controls within the sector;
  • business opportunities and models in emerging markets;
  • recycling of hazardous components such as batteries, lamps, LCDs and mercury; and 
  • safety standards for transportation.

In addition to these session topics, IARC 2018 features an exhibition area, cocktail receptions and a networking dinner. The congress also is organizing plant tours to Müller-Guttenbrunn - Metran and MBA Polymers Austria, Gebrüder Gratz GmbH - Gratz Recycling GmbH, G&S Metallwerk GmbH and ENAGES Energie- und Abfallverwertungs Gesellschaft m. b. H.


Unifi receives 2017 Paw of Approval from North Carolina Zoo

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 06:52
The North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina, has awarded Repreve manufacturer Unifi Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, its 2017 Paw of Approval, which highlights the company’s commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing. Repreve fibers are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles.

“We are honored to be recognized as good stewards of the environment throughout the Triad and beyond,” says Tom Caudle, president of Unifi. “At Unifi, environmental responsibility is more than just something we do. It is a major part of our culture, and we continually seek out ways to enhance our earth-friendly efforts.”

Inspired by the Polar Bears International organization, polar bear keepers at the North Carolina Zoo launched the Paw of Approval award in 2011 as a way to highlight and reward the Triad’s most earth-friendly businesses. Companies are nominated by zookeepers and then voted on by zoo guests.

North Carolina Zoo polar bear keeper Nicole Pepo says, "As an Arctic Ambassador Center, it's our great pleasure to celebrate local businesses for their leadership and for their commitment to helping us tackle climate change at a community level."

Since the introduction of Repreve Unifi says it has transformed more than 5 billion recycled plastic bottles into fiber for Repreve-based products. Production of Repreve conserves resources by offsetting the need to use newly refined crude oil, which is required in the production of virgin synthetic fibers. Repreve production also uses less energy and water and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared with making virgin fibers, Unifi says.

In addition to producing Repreve fibers, Unifi says it also bolsters its commitment to sustainability through several other initiatives:

  • Last year, Unifi opened its Repreve Bottle Processing Center in Reidsville, North Carolina, where Unifi cleans and chops recycled plastic bottles into small pieces called flake, which can then be transformed into Repreve fiber or chip for other products that can be made from recycled plastic, such as food-grade packaging, high-performance clothing, shoes and more.
  • Unifi drives change through a multistop, national mobile tour that travels the country educating individuals on the importance of recycling and what can be made from plastic bottles.
  • Unifi installed a 1-megawatt solar farm in Yadkinville, North Carolina, which allows the company to harness natural power to generate energy.

Cat introduces 988K XE electric drive wheel loader

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 06:33
Caterpillar, Peoria, Illinois, has released the new Cat 988K XE, which it says is its first wheel loader with a high-efficiency electric drive system. This 988K XE wheel loader joins the 988K and the recently launched 986K wheel loaders to provide customers with the most cost-effective loader for each application, Caterpillar says. Delivering high-production in all loading applications, the 988K XE is.

The new loader, which Cat recommends for demanding job sites where fuel efficiency makes a difference in the machine’s total cost of operation, features switched reluctance (SR) technology and leverages more than 15 years of Cat electric drive experience and more than four years of testing in a range of applications for proven reliability in the field. The C18 ACERT engine, mechanical dropbox, driveline and axles from the 988K remain in the electric drive machine for consistent, trouble-free operation, according to Caterpillar.

Offering increased truck loading and load-and-carry efficiency, the 988K XE increases efficiency by 25 percent overall and by up to 49 percent in face-loading applications as compared to the 988K, the company says. This reduces costs and helps operations reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. Additionally, according to Caterpillar production studies, the new loader delivers up to 10 percent higher productivity in load-and-carry applications.

The new Cat 988K XE loader offers a range of bucket capacities from 6.2 to 17 cubic yards. Rated standard and high-lift payload for the loader reaches 12.5 tons when working with face material and 16 tons with loose material. Advansys Series Ground Engaging Tools (GET) protect bucket components and reduce operating costs, Caterpillar says.

Cat electric drive technology found in the new 988K XE lowers overall maintenance costs while increasing engine life expectancy, the manufacturer says. Offering extended oil change intervals of 2,000 hours, the electric drive wheel loader uses 40 percent less powertrain oil.

The electric drive design increases engine life by up to 3,500 hours, extending time between powertrain rebuilds.

To assist with electric drive rebuilds, Caterpillar offers customers world-class service training material, backed by industry-leading customer support from the extensive Cat dealer network. Remanufactured drive motors, generators and inverters also will be available to reduce rebuild cost.

Slight changes inside the cab of the new 988K XE provide operators with the familiar functions and feel of the 988K, Cat says. The new loader offers a single speed range, so the machine efficiently operates without the need for gear shifting. New virtual gears help to control machine ground speed and deliver smooth direction shifts, according to the company.

The standard Cat Product Link offers remote data monitoring through VisionLink, so key personnel can stay informed of critical machine operating data. Fuel usage, payload summaries, scheduled service reminders, fault code alerts and various productivity reports are available to help improve machine management. Additionally, the onboard Vital Information Management System (VIMS) provides the operator with operating data, such as real-time fuel consumption and fuel efficiency via an interactive touch-screen display.

The Cat 988K XE loader also features technology solutions designed to increase operating efficiency and machine uptime. Cat Production Measurement (CPM) brings payload weighing to the cab, so operators can work more productively and deliver accurate loads with confidence. CPM offers advanced weighing modes, which assist with payload accuracy and increase loading cycle speed.

The Optional Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a fully integrated Cat feature, which enables operators to monitor tire inflation. Available through the VIMS display, the operator can quickly view each tire’s pressure and take action when needed to reduce wear and increase service life.


Ferrous scrap’s value outpaces iron ore

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 03:44
Hammersmith, United Kingdom based information service provider Kallanish Commodities says the price differential between ferrous scrap and iron ore has hit a record level in August 2017.


The firm says that in mid-August, the cost of imported, blended No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melting steel (HMS) shipped to Turkey “settled at almost $370 per metric ton CFR (cost and freight).” That represented a figure $293 higher than “the current transaction levels for iron ore [62 percent iron] imported into China,” says Kallanish.


That $293 differential checks in at more than $15 above the previous record level registered in May 2016, which was $277, according to Kallanish’s research.


The U.K. research house says that unlike the May 2016 situation, when the market reacted rapidly to the differential with a quick $100 per ton drop for scrap, “This year the fundamentals supporting the raw material prices seem to be stronger (both for scrap and iron ore).” However, adds Kallanish, “such a high differential is set to hit significantly the profitability and competitiveness of electric arc furnace (EAF)-based producers, forcing the scrap market to correct sooner rather than later.”


The analysis also refers to “steel prices globally [that] are continuing to recover, with increases registered across the globe, from Chinese hot-rolled coil to Brazilian flat products.” Adds Kallanish, “The market is set to enter the last month of the third quarter in high spirits [and while the fourth quarter] will bring mixed signals, a real decline in prices is not yet expected, and producers could well be able to end the year with selling prices [that are] firm.”


Tidy Planet helps fuel London airports

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 00:25
Energy recovery plants devised by Tidy Planet for delivery company DHL International Gmbh are now producing 25,500 kilowatts (kW) of heat per day from food waste generated at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports.


The technology debuted in November 2016, when Tidy Planet says Gatwick became the world’s first airport to begin disposing of food and catering waste onsite. In 2017, DHL and Tidy Planet will start to process Category 1 International Catering Waste. Previously, 2,200 metric tons of the “high risk” food and packaging materials from non-EU flights had to be sent to licensed hazardous waste incinerators for specialist handling.


Now, the biomass combustion systems can treat the waste safely and compliantly onsite, according to Tidy Planet, “reaping significant environmental benefits in the process.”


“The process begins with pre-sorted organic material being tipped from 600-liter (158-gallon) bins onto a conveyor,” says Tidy Planet’s managing director Simon Webb. “The input material then enters an Untha RS40 four-shaft shredder. Sitting at the front of the line, this machine liberates the organic materials and reduces them to a homogenous 20-millimeter (three-quarters-of-an-inch) particle size, so they can be optimally processed by downstream equipment,” adds Webb.


He continues, “The shredder includes an in-built foreign object protection mechanism, which means unexpected contaminants ranging from teapots to crockery and even metal drums can be processed safely and swiftly, without causing the machine damage.


“The material is then conveyed to our Gobi drying system, where it is exposed to high temperatures to create a powdered biomass fuel,” says Webb. “When it reaches a suitable moisture content of less than 10 percent, it is cooled [and then] a rotary screen sieves out any remaining plastic and foil packaging material.


“The removal of such plastic and foil – which is used in a neighboring energy-from-waste facility – means the result is a certified high-quality biomass fuel that powers DHL’s specially-developed biomass boiler. This heats enough thermal oil to operate the drying system, plus an additional 15,000 kW of energy for space and water heating in Gatwick’s wider buildings,” adds Webb.


Coupled with an onsite materials recovery facility (MRF), the technology is saving approximately £1,000 ($1,280) per day in fuel, transport and waste management costs.


DHL’s Flight Catering Centre at Heathrow was next to close the loop on its catering waste, with a slightly smaller plant that produces 7,500 kW of net energy per day. “There is an Untha organic waste shredder at the front of this DHL facility too,” says Webb. “This one is the RS30 fed via a 120-liter (32-gallon) bin lift. We designed this system so that it could tackle three metric tons per day, but it is comfortably handling five metric tons,” he adds.


“The design process itself took almost five years, part of which involved trials at Untha’s state-of-the-art test center,” Webb remarks. “However, once complete and patented, we knew we’d devised a solution capable of providing a sustainable solution for a number of high hazard commercial entities worldwide. We’re now in talks with supermarkets and food manufacturers through to hotel complexes and hospitals – enquiries have gone through the roof.”


The Tidy Planet managing director concludes, “It’s great to see such high demand for systems that maximize the value of limited resources. This is our single biggest potential for business growth since Tidy Planet was founded in 2001.”


BHS earns two 2017 SWANA awards

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:28
Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) says the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has announced it as the winner of two 2017 Excellence Awards for the best recycling systems built in North America.


BHS says it has been awarded for systems it designed, manufactured and installed in the United States, with one in California and the other in Florida. GreenWaste Recovery’s single-stream materials recovery facility (MRF) in San Jose, California, was named the Gold Award recipient by SWANA. The Silver Award went to the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) for the agency’s 25-tons-per-hour (tph) single-stream MRF in Pensacola, Florida.


Increased demand to process both commercial and residential single-stream products with increasing purity requirements prompted GreenWaste to add the company’s newest recycling system, says BHS. Designed to process 35 tph, the plant in 2017 averaged more than 50 tph with what BHS calls “exceptional process uptime.”


According to SWANA award application, “The system has exceeded all expectations, including throughput, recovery, purity and uptime. GreenWaste companies maximize value and diversion of the entire waste stream, processing C&D material and organics through anaerobic digestion (AD) and composting, mixed materials and single-stream. This single-stream MRF, GreenWaste’s newest and highest performing system, has redefined excellence. Featuring state-of-the-art technology, it is recovering 98 percent of recyclables while operating at 143 percent of its designed capacity.”


This is the second SWANA Gold Award for GreenWaste, having previously won the same award in 2008 for the company’s 40-tph mixed waste MRF, also built by BHS. The company has hired BHS to provide a major overhaul of that facility in 2018. The new system will be designed to double throughput and includes new technology to increase recovery and quality, including NRT and Max-AI technology for automated container sorting.


The ECUA partnered with Escambia County to go from planning to completion of their $10.7 million project in 18 months. The undertaking included construction of a 53,460 square-foot building and a single-stream recycling system. The partnership’s approach featured a process in which, according to the application, “the equipment, site development and operations schedules were compressed by overlapping the design, permitting, procurement, negotiations and construction.” According to the ECUA, the MRF, operated by BHS subsidiary Zero Waste Operations, is performing at a high level and exceeding financial targets. “The MRF is generating revenue that exceeds expectations and costs have been below the approved budget," the award application states. “The operational and economic performance of the MRF has exceeded the planned expectations.”


“We truly believe that our customers’ success is our success,” says BHS CEO Steve Miller. “We’re proud that our systems are exceeding expectations and providing positive financial results for our customers. GreenWaste and the ECUA are organizations that offer exemplary recycling programs, and it’s exciting for us to see them awarded for excellence by their peers.”


BHS customers Zanker Recycling and Athens Services won the SWANA Gold and Silver Excellence Awards in 2016. 


UK association advocates for reconsideration of policy in China

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:02
The Recycling Association, based in the United Kingdom, has called on the Chinese government to raise its proposed 0.3 percent contamination level on imported baled scrap paper, calling the new limit “unrealistic.”


In a consultation document provided by Chinese inspection body CCIC (China Certification & Inspection Group), The Recycling Association says it has been made aware that the Chinese government plans to reduce the current specified level of 1.5 percent to 0.3 percent by the end of 2017.


“In our response to the consultation given to us by CCIC, we stressed the unrealistic nature of the proposed 0.3 percent contamination level,” states Simon Ellin, chief executive of the association.


“We believe the 1.5 percent level for OCC (old corrugated containers), as set out in EN643 and currently required by the Chinese authorities, provides the correct balance of giving Chinese mills what they need while also allowing for realistic collection and sorting of materials,” adds Ellin.


A limit of 0.3 percent, says Ellin, “does not take into account the intrinsic nature of the material, with tape, staples, labels, plastic liners and wrapping potentially exceeding this level, even though these are easily removed by the mills as part of the recycling process. We have therefore asked the Chinese Government to reconsider the reduction to 0.3 percent.”


In its submission, The Recycling Association also asked for clarity on what is meant by the term “unsorted mixed papers,” and whether the proposed ban of importing this grade into China applies to all mixed paper grades.


It also asked for the Chinese government to reconsider the total ban on post-consumer plastics. The Recycling Association suggested that if the Chinese government is proposing to allow certain post-industrial plastic grades to be imported with a 0.3 percent level, then this level could also be applied to post-consumer plastics with no impact on the Chinese environment or human health.


In its submission, The Recycling Association warned that a ban on importing recyclable materials could lead to increased shipping costs on East-West routes from China, as shipping companies will look to compensate the loss of West-East revenue with higher fees to ship goods from China to North America and Europe. This, it warns, could have a significant impact on the Chinese economy.


The Recycling Association says significant quality improvements have been made by recyclers in the U.K., including through the association’s Quality First campaign. As a result, it asked for the Chinese government to give more time for the U.K. recycling sector to adapt to the new Chinese regimen. It suggested that the end of 2017 was too short a time scale for the implementation of this new policy without causing damage to the investment made in recycling infrastructure in the U.K. and elsewhere.


“We hope the Chinese government will listen to our legitimate concerns,” states Ellin. “At The Recycling Association, we are supportive of the Chinese focus on improving environmental standards and public health. But we also need to be given sufficient time, and realistic targets, so that we can help the Chinese government meet its environmental and health goals, without damaging an important part of its, and our, economy.”


The complete six-page response by The Recycling Association to CCIC and the Chinese government can be obtained by contacting The Recycling Association at


California Carpet Stewardship Program awards funds

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 14:34
Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE)'s California Carpet Stewardship Program has awarded grants of $10,000 each to five companies for its Cycle 1M Micro-Grants for Collections/Reuse Programs pilot. Funds were awarded for infrastructure projects and/or purchase of equipment that supports the operational logistics of properly collecting and/or reusing California postconsumer carpet (PCC) under a new or established program. Projects must be completed by the end of 2017, and are expected to support over 15 million net new pounds of collection annually.

Grantees include:

  • A-1 Planet Recycling, Chula Vista: To purchase four 40-yard roll-off containers for San Diego localized collection at retail sites.
  • Carpet Landfill Elimination And Recycling (CLEAR) Inc.: To purchase 20 sea containers for Sacramento localized collection at small and medium retailers.
  • Green Waste Recovery, San Jose: To purchase a MicroPHAZIR gun to identify PCC types more rapidly and increase throughput into the facility.
  • Napa Recycling and Waste Services: To purchase a rain/weather cover to increase PCC diversion by 30 percent.
  • Zanker Recycling, San Jose To purchase a rain/weather cover and cement pad at the Florin Perkins site in Sacramento to increase PCC diversion by about 33 plastic.

More information is available at the CARE grants webpage.