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Updated: 57 min 10 sec ago

SWANA launches online testing platform

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:46
Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, has announced the launch of its new online testing platform designed to allow solid waste industry professionals to take certification exams remotely.

The online testing function is available for all ten of SWANA’s industry training courses, allowing professionals to forego traveling to a SWANA testing center and take the exam at their own location via computer, tablet or mobile device.

“SWANA’s new online testing platform will revolutionize the access our members and industry professionals have to SWANA’s leading certification courses and exams,” Jeffrey Murray, SWANA president and associate and solid waste section manager at HDR Inc, says. “This new platform shows SWANA’s commitment to making it as convenient as possible to obtain and maintain solid waste industry certifications.”

The online testing platform will give professionals the option to take exams at any time and offers 48-hour pass/fail notification.

“From a teaching perspective, this new platform will provide students the opportunity to read through the content and take their time preparing for the exam, which will be extremely valuable in the learning, retaining and test taking process,” Tracie Bills, SWANA/CRRA Zero Waste course instructor and northern California director at SCS Engineers, says.

“Professionals without the budget or time to attend a training center will be able to test at their own locations when they otherwise may not be able to keep their training and certifications current,” Bob Perron, president of Guahan Waste Control, says. “It is exciting that more industry professionals will be able to take advantage of the unparalleled training offered by SWANA.”

To develop the new platform, SWANA partnered with Captus Press, one of Canada’s leading publishers of textbooks and online course resources.

To learn more about SWANA’s new online testing, visit swana.org/onlinetesting.
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Goodyear updates OTR tire website

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:20
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio, has completely overhauled its off-the-road (OTR) tire website, www.goodyearotr.com. Optimized for all devices, including mobile phones and tablets, and featuring updated search capabilities, the new site contains detailed information about:

  • Goodyear’s full portfolio of OTR products, including tires for mining, construction, quarry and port applications;
  • worldwide support capabilities, including its global network of manufacturing plants, dealers and distributors;
  • services, such as field consultations, tire surveys and more; and
  • management tools, such as the EMTrack OTR tire performance monitoring system, which is designed to track the performance of tires.

“The site’s navigation and functionality have been optimized to help users find the information they are looking for quickly,” Jose Martinez, senior digital and solutions manager for Goodyear, says. “To locate specific products, users can search by tire size and rim diameter and can drill down into other specs, such as individual tire features and benefits, load/inflation tables and warranties. Users also can compare features, benefits and specs of up to three Goodyear OTR tires at a time.”

The site’s dealer locator recognizes the user’s geographic location and automatically displays a list of and map to the nearest Goodyear OTR tire dealers in North America. “And users can contact Goodyear tire experts for consultation through the site,” Martinez says. 

In addition, the site contains information about Goodyear OTR tire technologies, plus a collection of videos, tips and best practices about OTR tire selection, maintenance and other topics.

“Goodyear’s goal is to help end users enhance their productivity while lowering their operating costs,” Martinez says. “Our newly revamped site will play an important role in helping achieve this. It’s one more valuable resource that we offer to mining, construction, quarry and port operations.”

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Novelis releases 2017 sustainability report

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 09:42
Aluminum rolling and recycling company Novelis Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, has published its sustainability report for fiscal 2017, detailing continued progress against the company's ongoing sustainability commitments and goals.

Novelis achieved key sustainability milestones two years ahead of target, according to the report, including increasing the use of high-recycled-metal content inputs to 55 percent and reducing its water usage to the fiscal 2020 target of 2.7 cubic meters per metric ton. “These sustainable gains were achieved during a record year of financial performance and are a result of increased operational efficiencies and technical innovation throughout the company’s 24 facilities around the world,” the company states in a news release announcing the report’s availability.

Novelis says safety remains a top priority for the company, with 2017 representing another record low in recordable safety incidents with 11 of the company’s 24 facilities seeing no recordable injuries. The company continues to evaluate process improvements and new safety measures with the goal of reaching zero injuries. The company says it also continued to curb its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the last fiscal year, reducing emissions by more than 21 percent from the baseline of 21 million metric tons of CO2. The waste to landfill and energy intensity rates increased over the last year and are key areas of focus for fiscal 2018.

“From operations within our company to how we partner with our stakeholders, safety and sustainability continue to be core to our business,” says Steve Fisher, Novelis president and CEO. “We have made great gains in this fiscal year and are ahead of target in some areas. Additionally, we remain resolute in our commitment to leverage our technical expertise and innovative capabilities to solve challenges at our facilities and promote sustainability throughout the manufacturing industry.”

Recycling aluminum produces 95 percent fewer GHG emissions and requires 95 percent less energy than primary aluminum production, the company notes. These properties enable Novelis to achieve lower GHG emissions and drive sustainable value across its business segments of beverage can, automotive and high-end specialties. For example, in the beverage can industry, Novelis recycles approximately 65 billion used beverage cans annually, returning them to store shelves in approximately 60 days. In the automotive space, Novelis says it helps customers achieve sustainability goals through scrap metal collection and recycling. In partnership with Ford Motor Co., 90 percent of its scrap was collected and recycled—enough to produce an additional 30,000 F-150 truck bodies per month.

The company says it made a number of other important achievements in 2017:

  • Novelis was honored with the inaugural Supplier Sustainability Award from Denso, a leading supplier of automotive components. The award recognizes Novelis’ leadership in all facets of sustainability across its operations, product lines and communities.
  • In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Novelis reclaimed 50,000 tons of aluminum scrap, which is equivalent to 200,000 Jaguar XE body shells, preventing 500,000 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
  • The global Novelis workforce supported 317 community projects and committed more than $4 million in support of global and local causes aligned with Novelis’ long-term focus areas of recycling, safety and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
  • The company is committed to having 100 percent of its employees CPR/First Aid Certified.
  • Novelis pledged $1 million to Habitat for Humanity International over the next five years, a 100 percent increase over its financial contribution during the previous five years.

For more information and to download the report, visit www.novelis.com/sustainability

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Eldan Recycling receives visit from Ecopneus SCpA

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 09:07
From left: Bjorn Laursen, product manager at Eldan Recycling;
Anton Sørensen, plant manager at Imdex A/S;
Giovanni Corbetta, managing director at Ecopneus SCpA;
and Toni Reftman, managing director at Eldan Recycling

In early September 2017, Giovanni Corbetta, managing director of Italy’s Ecopneus SCpA, the nonprofit company for tracking, collecting and processing end-of-life tires (ELT) created by tire manufacturers operating in Italy, visited Eldan Recycling A/S in Denmark. The purpose of the visit was to get an update on tire recycling developments and to discuss how production can be optimized. Eldan’s Managing Director Toni Reftman and Product Manager Bjorn Laursen attended the meeting, with Eldan’s Italian Agent Alessandro Silvestri of NME Srl.

Corbetta also visited Danish tire recycler Imdex A/S to see the new Eldan Tire Cleaning and Washing System in action. The system will improve the quality of end products by removing foreign objects such as stones, sand and snow from the tires in the initial phase of processing, the company says, and will reduce production costs in light of reduced wear on wear parts.

The Eldan Tyre Cleaning and Washing System will be launched at Ecomondo in Rimini, Italy, Nov. 7-10, 2017. The company will be at Stand N71 in Hall 5.

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BIR session examines the Indian scrap paper market

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 08:20
The Paper Division of the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) says it is organizing a diverse meeting for its plenary session scheduled for Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, at 3 p.m. at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi, as part of the BIR Word Recycling Convention Round-Table Sessions. Attendees will hear from four guest presenters on topics ranging from the Clean India Program, known as “Swachh Bharat,” to an appraisal of the global recovered paper markets.

Jogarao Bhamidipati, director at India’s Source Global Fiber Inc., will present on “How Swachh Bharat movement can help the Indian paper industry by improving recycled fiber collection.” Bahmidipati has helped to coordinate domestic scrap paper collection for Indian paper manufacturer ITC Ltd., Kolkata, India. He has been involved with ITC’s implementation of the WOW (Wealth out of Waste) campaign, a program launched in 2007 that aims to encourage recycling among school children, housewives, corporate employees and the public, as well as industries and businesses. Bahmidipati was named among the 50 most-influential people in the global paper industry by RISI in 2010 and was awarded the BIR Papyrus Award in 2009.

Pradeep Dhobale, director and operating partner in Springforth Investment Managers Pvt. Ltd., the investment management firm from Springforth Capital Advisors with locations in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, also will speak during the session. Springforth is a full-service midmarket investment bank founded by a group of finance professionals in partnership with industry experts in the areas of food, agriculture and logistics. Dhobale was nominated by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry as chairman of the Development Council for Pulp, Paper & Allied Industries. He is a past president of the Indian Pulp and Paper Technical Association and the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association and the founding president of the Indian School of Business, Centre for Executive Education Alumni Association, Hyderabad Chapter. He will speak on “The expanding state of Indian paper mills.”

SVR Krishnan is executive director and head of operations at Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd., Chennai, India, a company established by the government of Tamil Nadu during the early eighties to produce newsprint and printing and writing paper using bagasse-sugarcane residue as primary raw material. He has more than 33 years’ experience in paper and coated board manufacturing and application of paper and paperboard in the converting industry. Krishnan also has been involved with the Paper Board and Specialty Papers Division of ITC Ltd. for more than 23 years.

Also speaking will be Andreas Uriel, managing director at Uriel Papierrohstoffe GmbH, a Germany-based company specializing in processing recovered paper and packaging. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the paper recycling business, including rewind operations for processing damaged paper rolls.

The BIR World Recycling Convention Round-Table Sessions takes place Oct. 14-16, 2017 in New Delhi. 

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Minnesota counties enact new waste designation

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:30
Waste and recycling haulers in Ramsey and Washington counties in Minnesota will soon be required bring all the waste they have collected to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy Center in Newport, Minnesota.

According to a report in the South Washington County Bulletin, currently a portion of collected waste is taken to landfills by haulers. Under the amendment, recently passed by the Washington County Board, haulers must take all the waste into the recycling and energy center rather than to a landfill.

According to the article, the bump in volume at the recycling and energy center likely will mean waste from surrounding counties entering the facility will increase. Judy Hunter of the Washington County Public Health and Environment Division says the move is to ensure all waste after recycling from the two counties would be processed. Nonrecyclable material will be combusted.

These changes, Hunter told the newspaper, have been in the works since the Washington and Ramsey jointly acquired the facility. Haulers have already been notified of the change, and recycling at the facility is expected to increase.

According to a Washington County news release, the Washington County Board of Commissioners conducted a public hearing Sept. 12, 2017, to gather testimony on a county ordinance for waste designation. No residents spoke at the hearing. After the hearing was closed, the board adopted the ordinance.

The news release explains that waste designation is used in Minnesota law to allow counties to require all or a portion of solid waste to be delivered to a designated waste management facility. Designation relates to what happens to waste after it is collected – it does not affect who collects the trash or when it is collected.

Ramsey and Washington counties have submitted amendments to their respective solid waste master plans, and a joint waste designation plan was approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last year. The two counties have determined that designation is necessary to ensure that acceptable waste from the counties is managed in a manner that ranks higher on the state's waste management hierarchy. The Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board (R&E Board) and the counties have invested a significant amount of time and capital developing a comprehensive waste management program.

The R&E Board and the counties aim to designate waste to assure management of waste in accordance with the hierarchy, and to have certainty of a long-term supply, as well as flexibility to continue to improve upon the regional waste management system over time as new technologies or opportunities arise. State law requires, as part of the process to implement designation, a period of time to implement waste designation. Entering into negotiated waste delivery agreements with waste haulers for the voluntary delivery of all acceptable waste generated in the two counties is a preferred way to achieve more certain deliveries to the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center.

Waste designation is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

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NWRA appoints communication director

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 11:47
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, has announced Brandon Wright has joined as communications director effective Oct. 2, 2017.

Wright comes to the association from Maryland state government, where he was most recently chief of staff at the Maryland Department of Planning and served in a senior leadership role at the Maryland Department of Health with oversight of communications and policy development for 20 health licensing boards.

“I am excited to have Brandon join our team. I believe we will be a stronger organization with him on our communications staff as we look toward to improving how we communicate with our members and stakeholders,” says NWRA President & CEO Darrell Smith.

Wright has also served as communications director at the Petroleum Marketers Association of America and led communications efforts on several successful advocacy initiatives in Annapolis, Maryland.

“I look forward to working with Darrell and his team at NWRA to tell the story of an industry at the forefront of innovation and safety. I am glad I can be a part of it,” says Wright.

Wright lives in Annapolis with his wife and two children.

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Exclusive content: Taking a holistic approach

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 09:09
In early September, Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company, announced that it had recycled 100,000 tons of materials since 2013. The company says this milestone coincided with the 10th anniversary of the company’s Cox Conserves sustainability program, which has a goal of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2024.

Robert Fairey, senior director of energy procurement waste diversion, says the company has achieved this milestone in part because it takes a holistic approach to waste management. “We approach waste management as resource management, understanding that every material is a commodity and has a place in the market,” he says.

Across its divisions, Cox says it is engaged in projects to reduce consumption and recycle or compost materials. These efforts are diverting materials from landfills, decreasing consumption of natural resources and reducing the energy and emissions associated with manufacturing new products, according to the company.

Cox says it has invested more than $1 million in recycling projects. For instance, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, part of Cox Media Group, became the first U.S. newspaper to receive Gold-level certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Building Council in 2016. The same year, Cox launched nearly 40 new site-specific recycling and composting programs across the country.

In 2017, the company opened the doors to its Golden Isles Conservation Center, a facility that uses “an eco-friendly process to break down tires into their original components,” Cox Enterprises says. The center has the capacity to remove the equivalent of 5 tons of tires from landfills and waterways daily.

Fairey shares more details about the Cox Conserves program and the company’s recycling-related achievements in the Q&A below.

Recycling Today (RT): When did Cox first begin to prioritize sustainability and how have those priorities evolved over time?

Robert Fairey (RF): Cox Enterprises formally created Cox Conserves, our national sustainability program, back in 2007. The program focused on inspiring eco-friendly activities among our operations, employees, communities and customers. At that time, our operational goal was focused solely on carbon.

Our chairman wanted to make sure we were reducing our impact in every way possible, so we expanded our operational goals to include water and waste in 2014.

Our current goals are to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2024 and become carbon and water neutral by 2044.

RT: What materials represent the largest recycling opportunity for Cox across your operations? What kind of tonnages are we talking about?

RF: Cox Enterprises is a diversified company, so we operate across multiple industries, such as telecommunications, media and automotive services. This gives us a variety of opportunities and waste streams. To name just a few, we have paper, cardboard, food waste, e-waste, cables, car bumpers and tires. We recycle over 30,000 tons a year and look for out-of-the-box solutions and new technologies. 

We realized that our auto auction company touches about 80,000 tires each year. We brought a new technology over to the U.S. earlier this year that has the capability to recycle and repurpose the equivalent number. The Golden Isles Conservation Center breaks down the tires into their original components so they can be repurposed.

RT: How do you determine which recyclers you will work with in a given market or do you retain the services of a sustainability/waste diversion company that manages that for you?

RF: We went through an extensive process a few years back to find a waste management partner. We needed someone who could work with us in locations across the nation and across multiple types of materials and facilities. We have television and radio stations, newspaper printing facilities, call centers, data centers, auto auctions, warehouses, retail stores and traditional office space.

We have since been partnering with Rubicon (based in Atlanta) to recycle and repurpose materials our facilities.

Our employees also volunteer at ocean and river cleanups across the nation, and Rubicon has helped collect the materials at these events.

RT: Can you explain your holistic approach to waste management? How do waste reduction, strategic partnerships for e-scrap and customer engagement play into this strategy? Can you provide me with examples of benefits you’ve seen in each of these areas? 

RF: We approach waste management as resource management, understanding that every material is a commodity and has a place in the market. We partner with vendors who share our views on resource management and are committed to recycling both our e-scrap and other hard-to-recycle items, such as cables and cords, into the best end use markets. Our supply chains are also dedicated to the investment recovery process, where they focus on opportunities to reuse, repurpose and extend the life of our materials.

We look at every way possible to repurpose materials. We’ve also looked at ways to change behavior and make it easy for employees to participate. At our campus in Atlanta, we eliminated plastic water bottles and encourage employees to embrace reusable containers. We also had a “Say No to To Go” campaign to encourage employees to use dishes versus disposable containers in our cafeteria.

Our Cox Communications company has customer recycling collections for e-waste. Project TWIG (turning waste into growth) is one idea that I love. We recycle materials and then donate the money we receive back to nonprofits in the community. It’s a win-win.

RT: What are some of the issues/concerns you’ve had to overcome when it comes to e-scrap management?

RF: Privacy is important, so Cox partners with e-scrap vendors who adhere to stringent environmental, domestic de-manufacturing and privacy standards.

RT: What role does reuse and redeployment play in terms of managing e-scrap?

RF: This is a huge opportunity. We’re often able to redeploy equipment across our business units. For example, we harvest components during set-top box recycling for reuse in manufacturing new boxes.

RT: What solutions exist for different material streams that Cox produces in its operations?

RF: A Cox best practice is to implement single-stream recycling wherever possible.

We emphasize the use of takeback programs with our vendors who share our responsibility of engaging in sustainable practices. For example, our automotive auction business works closely with vendors to implement takeback programs for items such windshields, cores, bumpers and batteries.

We have also sourced a female-owned business to recycle litho plates, a unique waste stream from our newspaper business. 

RT: What return have you seen in terms of your investment in recycling and waste management?

RF: At Cox, we’ve always recognized that our sustainability program must be financially sustainable. In other words, successful resource management is both efficient and economically viable.

As a private company, we don’t share specific dollar amounts, but I can confirm that waste management has had a positive return.

 

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Schnitzer reports an increase in earnings per share for Q4 2017

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 08:10
Photo: Dreamstime

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., headquartered in Portland, Oregon, has announced preliminary results for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, ended Aug.31, 2017. The company says it expects fourth quarter earnings per share from continuing operations to be in the range of 62 cents to 65 cents. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of 60 cents to 63 cents. The company reported earnings per share of 59 cents for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 and adjusted earnings per share of 60 cents, both of which included a benefit of 21 cents per share from an insurance reimbursement of $6 million.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, Schnitzer completed the previously announced integration of its steel manufacturing and metals recycling operations in Oregon into a single operating segment, Cascade Steel and Scrap (CSS). The company’s Auto and Metals Recycling (AMR) performance now excludes the Oregon metals recycling operations as a result.

The company says AMR is expected to generate operating income in the range of $23 million to $24 million and operating income per ferrous ton in the range of $27 to $28 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, which compares favorably to operating income of $19 million and operating income per ferrous ton of $23 in the fourth quarter of 2016. Operating income per ferrous ton in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 was adversely affected by sharply higher ferrous market prices in August that led to increases in the cost of raw materials, compressing margins on shipments contracted earlier in the quarter, Schnitzer says. Average ferrous net selling prices are expected to increase approximately 25 percent compared with last year's fourth quarter, and ferrous sales volumes are expected to be approximately 7 percent higher, the company says. Average nonferrous net selling prices are expected to increase approximately 7 percent from the prior year quarter, and nonferrous sales volumes are expected to be 8 percent higher.

CSS is expected to generate operating income of approximately $8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, including a gain on sale of an Oregon metals recycling joint venture investment of approximately $1 million. This compares favorably with prior-year fourth quarter operating income for CSS of $3 million, which included an asset impairment charge of $2 million in the steel manufacturing operations. Operating performance in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 primarily reflects the benefits from higher shipments of finished steel products, an expansion of finished steel metal spreads and productivity improvements, including initial synergies from the integration with the Oregon metals recycling operations, the company says. CSS' average finished steel selling prices are expected to increase approximately 7 percent, and finished steel sales volumes are expected to increase approximately 20 percent compared with the prior year fourth quarter.

For fiscal 2017, total ferrous volumes, including external sales by AMR and CSS, and transfers to company steel mill, are expected to increase by 10 percent compared with fiscal 2016. AMR’s operating income per ferrous ton is expected to be $29 on a reported and adjusted basis for fiscal 2017 compared with reported operating income per ton of $8 and adjusted operating income per ton of $16 in fiscal 2016.

Consolidated financial performance in the fourth quarter is expected to include corporate expense of approximately $10 million, Schnitzer says, an increase compared with the prior year quarter primarily because of the $6 million insurance reimbursement in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. For fiscal 2017, the company’s effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 2.7 percent.

For the fourth quarter, the company says it expects to report operating cash flow of approximately $49 million. Total debt was $145 million as of Aug. 31, 2017, which is a reduction of $39 million, or 21 percent, compared with May 31, 2017. Debt, net of cash, was $138 million as of Aug. 31, 2017, which is a reduction of $31 million, or 19 percent, compared with May 31, 2017, Schnitzer says.

The company says it will report the financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. The webcast of the call and the accompanying slide presentation can be accessed on Schnitzer’s website at www.schnitzersteel.com/events. Tamara L. Lundgren, president and chief executive officer, and Richard D. Peach, senior vice president, chief financial officer and chief of corporate operations, will be on the call.

 

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Erema North America hosts Discovery Day

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 08:03
Erema North America Inc., Ipswich, Massachusetts, has announced the continued growth of plastics recycling in the United States and Canada was one of several topics discussed at the company’s Discovery Day, held Sept. 26, 2017, at its Ipswich tech center.

This year marks the first time the company hosted a Discovery Day at its North American facility. The “Circular Economy in Action” program featured sessions on a range of topics as well as a keynote presentation by the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics). In addition, the more than 100 attendees had the opportunity to interact with equipment demonstrations.

“Erema’s Discovery Day has already become established in Europe and the company has now held one for the first time at Erema North America in Ipswich, Massachusetts, under the title Circular Economy in Action,” Erema says in a news release. “Over 100 customers and interested attendees were given an insight into the latest technical developments emerging at Erema and discussed the current upswing of recycling in the North American plastics industry. Four Eremea recycling systems demonstrated live in action that plastic ‘waste’ has long since advanced to a secondary raw material.”

Martin Baumann, vice president of sales at Erema North America, opened the Discovery Day 2017 event, saying, “Not only the recycling industry, the entire plastics industry as a whole is experiencing drastic change.”

Erema says Baumann’s statement corresponds with the remarks made by Patty Long, executive vice president of Plastics, who, as keynote speaker, elaborated on the increasing relevance of recycling in the North American plastics industry.

Long says, “Members of the entire plastics industry are calling for more sustainable management of plastics through innovation and the creation of products that are designed for recycling, from inception to end use.”

In order to tap the full potential of recycling in the best possible way, Erema says it relies on increased and stable recyclate production quality with its systems. There are more than 650 Erema systems in operation in the U.S. and Canada, according to the company.

Baumann adds, “There is one aspect, however, which sets the USA and Canada aside from other markets, and that is their enormous growth potential. The change of thinking in the industry will without doubt be intensified by China no longer being an international customer for postconsumer waste plastic. As, unlike waste plastic, high-quality recycled pellets can still be exported to China, this represents a great opportunity for plastics recycling in North America.”

Erema adds, “The focus of the technical presentations was above all on the recycling of clean production waste and postconsumer recycling. The filter system is crucial, especially when recycling municipal postconsumer waste, to process heavily contaminated plastic to make high-quality recycled pellets. In connection with this, the new Erema business unit POWERFIL was presented for the first time. The proven melt filters are now also available as individual components for existing extrusion plants.”

Erema North America Inc. is a subsidiary of Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H, Ansfelden, Austria.

 

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Ikea introduces national mattress recycling program

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 07:42
Ikea U.S., Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, has introduced a national mattress recycling program.

The Swedish home furnishing company says the new program is keeping with its sustainability strategy of “turning waste into resources.” Ikea launched its People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy in October 2012. The strategy outlines moves the company plans to make to reach certain sustainability goals by 2020, including using 100 percent renewable energy.

The mattress recycling program includes old mattresses of any brand that are picked up when new Ikea mattresses are delivered, as well as all returned mattresses at Ikea stores.

“The goal is zero waste to landfill, with as much recycling as possible,” says Ikea.

“In keeping with our People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy, Ikea has decided to take a lead in turning waste into resources. We are committed to securing recycled materials while ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled—all contributing to a closed loop society,” says Lisa Davis, Ikea U.S. sustainability manager.

An estimated 18 million mattresses with box springs are disposed in the U.S. each year, resulting in approximately 50,000 mattresses a day ending up in landfills across America, the company says. Some of these mattresses are illegally dumped adding to great landfill waste. IKEA understands mattresses need to be recycled to conserve resources such as steel, foam, and wood that is able to be used in new products.

At a minimum, 80 percent of a mattress can be recycled, Ikea says. The fabric and foam can be turned into carpet underlay and the felt and cotton can be recycled into new felt and insulation. The wood is recycled into biofuel or other recycled wood products. The plastic and steel also are recycled.

In addition to the sustainability aspect of recycling mattresses, Ikea has created a community donation program, 5,000 Dreams, that focuses on supporting newly arrived refugee families in local Ikea store communities. Through three partner refugee organizations, Ikea says it has started to donate beds and bedding—5,000 in total in the next two years—to refugee families who are making fresh starts with their families. The three established refugee organizations are the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the International Rescue Committee and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

Ikea says the mattress recycling service is offered for a fee of approximately $25, except in California where the service is required to be offered for free by the state due to state regulations, and is offered in all stores. The company says there will be times throughout the year when this service is offered for free if shoppers are an Ikea family member. Mattress removal service is not offered via e-commerce.

Founded in Sweden in 1943, Ikea has more than 392 stores in 48 countries, including 44 in the U.S.

 

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PET recycling stream could accommodate up to 2 percent polyethylenefuranoate, APR says

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 07:29
The recent announcement by Amsterdam-based Synvina, a joint venture of Amsterdam-based Avantium and BASF, headquartered in Germany, regarding commercial production of polyethylenefuranoate (PEF), a new polyester condensation polymer, has led to industry discussion regarding its potential impact on traditional polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polyester used for making bottles, sheet and films for packaging.

Following the interim approval of the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP), the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington, and North American plastic recyclers would like to verify the claim that up to 2 percent of Synvina’s PEF would be compatible in the existing PET recycling stream.

The APR recommends the following evaluations:

  • the effect on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada compliance for blends of low levels of PEF in recycled PET;
  • the impact of beverage and food packaging made with PEF in states that have deposit legislation;
  • educational opportunities for material recovery facilities (MRFs) on strategies for sorting packaging made with PEF; and
  • creating new model bale specifications to include allowed levels of PEF.

Further testing to confirm whether low levels of PEF can be blended into recycled PET (RPET) without a negative impact on processing of RPET, as well as the leading products made from RPET, including bottles, thermoforms, strapping, sheet, textile and carpet fibers.

“We appreciate the fact that Synvina has shared their information with the industry,” says Steve Alexander, president of APR. “It is encouraging to have preliminary evidence that PEF might be included in the PET recycling stream at low levels. APR will be conducting further testing with Synvina to determine levels of compatibility with PET recycling over the next several months.”

Patrick Schiffers, CEO of Synvina, says, “We are committed to contributing to a circular economy with high-barrier packaging from Synvina's biobased PEF. The EPBP interim approval in Europe is a major milestone for us, and we will continue to work closely with our partners to further assess PEF's recyclability and the compatibility with the PET stream.”

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Novelis completes joint venture with Kobe Steel

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 06:59
Aluminum rolling and recycling company Novelis, headquartered in Atlanta, has completed the transaction for its joint venture with Tokyo-based Kobe Steel Ltd., a producer of aluminum rolled products. The Ulsan Aluminum Ltd. joint venture was formed when Novelis sold Kobe Steel its ownership interest in its Ulsan, South Korea, facility for $315 million. Novelis and Kobe Steel together own the Ulsan Aluminum facility, with each company remaining responsible for its own metal supply and commercial relationships, Novelis says in a news release announcing completion of the joint venture.

The Ulsan Aluminum plant is in the industrial hub of Ulsan, South Korea. It supports increasing demand for high-strength and lightweight aluminum for automotive and specialty products, including electronics and building materials, in Asia. The plant recently completed an expansion, adding a new three-stand hot finishing mill, as well as a pusher furnace and annealing furnaces. All 600 employees at the plant are now employed by Ulsan Aluminum. In addition, the transaction will generate cash proceeds to enhance Novelis’ strategic flexibility and reduce its net debt, the company says.

“This strategic partnership further supports Novelis’ continued commitment to growth in the Asian automotive industry and creates new capabilities to meet the increasing demand for aluminum sheet,” says Sachin Satpute, president of Novelis Asia. “Through an increase in operational efficiencies and process enhancements, this partnership will provide our global customers greater access to the numerous benefits of aluminum.”

As automotive sales continue to increase in Asia, Novelis’ interest in Ulsan Aluminum will remain a key part of its current Asian portfolio, which also includes the Yeongju facility in South Korea and the Changzhou facility in China, the company says.

“Ulsan Aluminum is committed to providing first-class rolled aluminum products and services to benefit our customers in the region,” says Jerry Quick, president and CEO of Ulsan Aluminum Ltd. “We will continue to operate with a high-quality and safety-first mentality and will support the local market with innovative aluminum products.” 

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ESAB makes donations to hurricane relief

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 20:09
Florence, South Carolina-based ESAB Welding & Cutting Products has announced that with every shipment of select products between now and Dec. 31, 2017, it will make a contribution to assist with rebuilding efforts tied to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

ESAB says it has selected sales of some of its highest volume products to tie into the donations, including Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 60i manual plasma cutters, the Rebel 215ic and 235ic welding machines and Victor Journeyman Edge, Journeyman 450 and Performer oxy-fuel outfits.

The company says donations tied to these products can ideally help it reach its donation goal of $250,000 as quickly as possible. More details on the effort can be found here

Contributions will go to Operation USA, a privately funded agency that has delivered more than $400 million in aid for relief and development projects, according to ESAB. Founded in 1979, Operation USA has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, including a 100 percent rating for accountability and transparency, says the firm.

In addition to the relief fund donation, ESAB says it is supporting distributors in the affected areas by “providing a core team that will manage expedited order processing, order acknowledgement and enhanced technical support.” ESAB says it also has sent teams of technical specialists to the impacted areas to support distributor efforts with their end user customers.

ESAB Welding & Cutting Products provides equipment and technology for welding, cutting and mechanized cutting and automation.

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Wastecon/ISWA World Congress 2017: Bringing plastics full circle

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 11:40
Pictured above, from left: Michiel De Smet, Rachel Goldstein and Gary Crawford

“Plastics have become the ubiquitous workhorse material of the modern economy: combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost, their use has increased twentyfold in the past half-century,” according to “The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing Action, a 2017 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “While plastics and plastic packaging are an integral part of the global economy and deliver many benefits, their archetypically linear, take-make-dispose value chains entail significant economic and environmental drawbacks.”

Panelists during the session The New Plastics Economy at Wastecon/ISWA World Congress in Baltimore in late September looked at efforts to increase the circularity of this material and the hurdles that must be overcome.

Michiel De Smet, a project manager for the New Plastics Economy at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, London, acknowledged the many benefits associated with plastic packaging, however, he added, “the system it operates in is broken.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched the New Plastics Economy initiative in 2016. It is a three-year project that the foundation is executing with the help of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation; its philanthropic funders, MAVA Foundation, Oak Foundation and players of People’s Postcode Lottery; its core partners, Amcor, The Coca-Cola Co., Danone, Mars Inc., Novamont, Unilever and Veolia; and participating companies, cities and governments across the value chain.

He noted that $80 to $120 billion in plastic packaging material value is lost to the economy annually because plastics are not being recycled. Additionally, one-third of this material is leaking into the environment, potentially ending up in the world's oceans.

De Smet said the goal of the New Plastics Economy is to “harness the benefits of plastic with better economic and environmental outcomes.”

According to the report, without fundamental redesign and innovation, roughly 30 percent of plastic packaging will never be reused or recycled. However, for at least 20 percent of plastic packaging, reuse offers an economically attractive option, while the remaining 50 percent can be recycled economically with focused efforts to redesign packaging and the systems for managing it.

De Smet said plastics recycling cannot be improved without addressing package design as well as collection and sorting issues.

To achieve these objectives, De Smet said dialogue among stakeholders, innovation in business models and a global plastics protocol will be needed.

“No one in the supply chain can do this alone,” said Rachel Goldstein, global sustainability director, scientific and regulatory affairs, for Mars Inc., headquartered in McLean, Virginia.

She said Mars is working toward 100 percent recyclability of its packaging by 2025. She added that Mars is partnering with other companies and organizations to improve recovery of its packaging.

Mars is focused on optimizing its packaging to reduce its carbon footprint over its lifetime, Goldstein said. However, she acknowledged that reusing packaging would be difficult for the company because of food safety issues.

Mars introduced its Sustainable in a Generation Plan in early September of this year.

According to the company’s website, “Our Sustainable in a Generation plan goes further than ever before by going beyond our direct operations. We believe that if we are to deliver on the Paris Accord and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we can only do so if we tackle a broken, extended supply chain system. By launching our new plan, we’re setting a new standard for responsible growth as a business.”

Gary Crawford, vice president of international affairs, with the French company Veolia, with U.S. corporate offices in Boston, noted that his company’s tagline is “resourcing the world.”

He added that Veolia “wants to move to being a major player in the industry” by integrating from collecting plastics for recycling through to pelletizing. This would give the company the ability to sell recycled flakes, pellets or ready-to-use recycled compounds.

Crawford noted challenges with recycled plastics that include collection capacity and feedstock insecurities. He said Veolia’s priority actions to enhance the use, quality and economics of recycled plastics are packaging design changes to improve recyclability, implementing best practices for collection and sorting systems, scaling up high-quality recycling processes, developing innovative sorting for postconsumer flexible films, boosting demand for recycled plastics and deploying adequate collection and sorting infrastructure.   

Policy measures could help to “prime the pump” for recycled content demand, Crawford added.

Wastecon/ISWA World Congress was hosted by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Wien, Austria, Sept. 25-27, 2017.

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SWANA honors 2017 Excellence Awards winners

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 10:54
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, has awarded several SWANA Excellence Awards. The awards program recognizes outstanding solid waste programs and facilities with environmentally and economically sound solid waste management practices. Winners demonstrate effective technologies and processes in system design and operations, worker and community health and safety, and successful public education and outreach programs. Programs also must demonstrate that they are fiscally and environmentally responsible through their compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations, says SWANA.

The 2017 awards honor programs and facilities in 13 different categories, spanning many facets of the municipal solid waste industry. Award winners represent the most innovative and dynamic organizations throughout North America as judged by their peers, says SWANA.

"The recipients of the SWANA Excellence Awards represent the best solid waste management practices in North America today," said David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. "Community leaders should be very proud of the valuable contributions that these projects provide to their citizens.”

The winners of the 2017 awards were honored during Wastecon/International Solid Waste Association World Congress Sept. 26 in Baltimore. The winners are:

Category: Communication, Education & Marketing Excellence Awards

Awareness Campaign

  • Gold (tie) - Western Placer Waste Management Authority, California, “One Big Bin” Campaign; Pitkin County Solid Waste Center, Colorado, “Talkin’ Trash“ Campaign
  • Silver - City of North Port Solid Waste Division, Florida, Creative Awareness Campaigns

Education Program

  • Gold - RecycleSmart — Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, California
  • Silver - Waste Management Youth Education, Washington
  • Bronze - OC Waste and Recycling Landfill Tour Program, California

Customer Experience Management (CEM) Tools

  • Bronze -City of Greenville Solid Waste Division-Recycling, South Carolina

Innovation in Communication, Education And Marketing

  • City of Charlotte, North Carolina, Healthy Communities Education Program

Category: Waste-to-Energy Excellence Awards

  • Gold - Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, Florida, Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility #2

Category: Collection & Transfer Excellence Awards

Collection Systems

  • Bronze -City of Baltimore Citywide Municipal Trash Can Program, Maryland

Transfer Station

  • Gold - Valley Vista Services Pomona Valley, California

Category: Planning & Management Excellence Awards

Integrated Solid Waste Management Systems

  • Gold - City of Toronto, Ontario, Long Term Solid Waste Management Strategy
  • Silver - County of Santa Barbara, California, Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division

Category: Landfill Gas and Biogas Excellence Award

  • Silver - OC Waste and Recycling Bowerman Power Project, California

    Landfill Management Excellence Award

  • Bronze -City of Toronto, Ontario, Green Lane Landfill

Category: Landfill Redevelopment Excellence Award

  • Gold - Niagara Region, Ontario, Landfill End Use Site Development
  • Bronze - City of Los Angeles, California, Lopez Canyon Environmental Center

Category: Sustainable Materials Management Excellence Awards

Composting Systems

  • Gold (tie) - Navy Whidbey Recycle In-vessel Composting System, Washington; and Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency Compost Operations, New York
  • Silver - Republic Services Pacific Region Compost (PRC) Facility, Oregon

Recycling Systems

  • Gold - GreenWaste Recovery Inc., San Jose, California, Materials Recovery Facility
  • Silver - Emerald Coast Utilities Authority Materials Recycling Facility, Pensacola, Florida
  • Bronze - Niagara Region, Ontario, Recycling Centre Improvements

Special Waste Management

  • Gold - Niagara Region, Ontario, Household Hazardous Waste Depots
  • Bronze (tie)- Lorain County, Ohio, Collection Center; and Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority, New Jersey, EPS Recycling Program
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Wastecon/ISWA World Congress 2017: Safety gets an assist from technology

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 09:32
It’s no secret that the waste and recycling industry ranks among the most dangerous industries in the United States. While some technology providers are hoping to help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that occur, they acknowledge that technology alone cannot solve the industry’s safety issues.

Tom Loutzenheiser, vice president of Preco Electronics, Boise, Idaho; Del Lisk, vice president of safety services for Lytx, San Diego; and Gary Mosier, vice president of national accounts for 3rd Eye, Katy, Texas, participated in a panel discussion during the Safety Super Session at Wastecon/ISWA World Congress, a combined conference hosted by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Wien, Austria, in Baltimore Sept. 25-27, 2017. David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, moderated the discussion.

He began the discussion by asking the panelists why they felt the waste and recycling industry was among the most dangerous in the U.S. Loutzenheiser said he believed it was because workers are navigating urban environments in some of the biggest trucks available.

“What other industry has their employees conducting their jobs in the flow of traffic?” Lisk asked. He also pointed to the difficult hours and long days employees work, which contribute to fatigue. Add to that the heat that employees can be working in, he said, and you have many factors that contribute a higher degree of risk.

Mosier also said that drivers are working “way too many hours a day” at many companies. He added that while automation would be key to reducing accidents in the industry, it was also necessary to reduce driver hours and hire better drivers.

“Humans have limitations,” Lisk said. “Technology can help to bridge those gaps.”

The panelists agreed that culture plays a significant role in safety, with Mosier saying that culture must start at the top, with buy-in from company and city leaders being essential.

Loutzenheiser said adequate training and support also are needed.

Lisk said there is a “he-man mentality” in the industry that must be addressed, adding that employees taking on things they shouldn’t because of the attitude that there are “no babies in this industry.”

Given tight budgets, it’s important for municipalities and companies to be able to see a return on their investments in technology that is intended to improve safety in the waste and recycling industry. Loutzenheiser said Preco uses usually see a return on their investments within two years.

Lisk cited the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, which saw a 250 percent return on its investment in Lytx’s technology in two years largely in light of a reduction in liability claims.

Mosier reminded attendees they have to use collision avoidance and behavioral analytics technology to benefit from it. “The ROI is dependent on you and your managers.”

In 2018, Wastecon will be in Nashville, Tennessee, in August, while ISWA World Congress will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October.

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Wastecon/ISWA World Congress 2017: The global waste and recycling landscape

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 08:08
A panel of CEOs from major waste and recycling companies in the United States, Brazil and China addressed topics ranging from recycling to waste to energy during Wastecon/ISWA World Congress 2017, a combined conference hosted by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Wien, Austria, in Baltimore Sept. 25-27, 2017.

Jim Fish, president and CEO of Houston-based Waste Management (WM); Steve Jones, CEO of Covanta Holdings Corp., Morristown, New Jersey; Sergio Pedriero, CEO of Estre Ambiental, Sao Paulo; and Chen Xiaoping, CEO of China Everbright International Ltd., Hong Kong, comprised the panel. Michael E. Hoffman of Stifle, headquartered in St. Louis, moderated.

Chen said China’s solid waste industry is valued at $100 billion. He added that the country’s recycling rate ranges from 2 to 3 percent, with roughly 40 percent of China’s waste headed to waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities in the country. He added that he sees China increasing its use of WTE as a disposal option considering the country’s scarcity of land and growing population, which stood at 1.38 billion people in 2016.

Pedriero said, like China, Brazil’s recycling rate hovers around 2 percent. He attributed the low rate to a lack of recycling infrastructure. However, he expressed hope that this would change as school children go through recycling education programs. Pedriero noted that Brazil recently installed its first large-scale mixed waste material recovery facility (MRF) in Sao Paulo. He said the plant, which features equipment from Germany-based Stadler, can process 500 tons of material per day.

Brazil is on par with the U.S. in terms of landfill regulations and waste management services, Pedriero said. However, he said the industry is likely one-third the size of the U.S. waste industry.

Despite strong legislation, he added that enforcement is lacking because recycling and solid waste infrastructure are lacking. As that infrastructure is built up, Pedriero said, “compliance and enforcement will follow.”

Concerning recycling in the U.S., Fish said the introduction of single-stream recycling helped the country to catch up “to some degree” with recycling in Europe. However, Fish added, this collection method has delivered a great deal of trash to recycling plants in addition to recyclables. He said education was needed to address this problem, adding that diversion is not the same thing as recycling.

Hoffman pointed out that China imports a good deal of recyclables from the U.S. and Europe. He asked Chen if there was an opportunity for that country to increase its internal recovery of recyclables. Chen said, yes, as the recycling system in China improves, the country should import less recyclable material from the U.S.   

Regarding the potential growth of WTE in the U.S., Jones said the amount of land we have in this country makes landfilling a less expensive option. While he said he could envision the expansion of existing WTE facilities in the U.S., new facilities likely would not be developed in the near future.

Fish offered numbers on the various disposal options. He said the average landfill cost in the U.S. is $20 per ton, while WTE costs $45 per ton and recycling, $70 per ton.  

When it comes to using data and technology to improve efficiencies in the waste and recycling industry, Fish said there is a scarcity of current and accurate information that can hinder that process. However, he said that when it comes to maintenance, the company is capturing data to use for predictive purposes, adding that he feels there is enough information to do that effectively.

Jones said the higher degree of facility automation requires technicians with higher-level skills.

Among the technology Estre Ambiental employs are GPS and route optimization software, Pedriero said. The company also encourages competition among its drivers that is awarded with additional compensation to improve effiency. 

In 2018, Wastecon will be in Nashville, Tennessee, in August, while ISWA World Congress will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October. 

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Development bank approves $550 million for Argentine infrastructure

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 01:44
The Washington, D.C.-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved two loans to Argentina worth a combined $550 million to finance construction projects in that nation.

A $200 million loan will help provide upgraded water and sanitation services in 10 provinces that are part of the Belgrano Plan.

The IDB loan has been designed to benefit more than 150,000 homes by building the infrastructure to increase access to potable water and sanitation services in these northern Argentina provinces: Catamarca, Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa, Jujuy, La Rioja, Misiones, Santiago del Estero, Salta and Tucumán.

Planned construction projects include groundwater extraction, surface water collection, potabilization plants, aqueducts, distribution networks, pumping stations with their respective electromechanical equipment, sewers, main and secondary collectors, and sewage fluids treatment plants and systems along with their ancillary works.

“Argentina is giving priority to increasing access to and improving the quality of water and sewerage services in the provinces covered by the Plan Belgrano,” IDB Project Team Leader Henry Moreno says. “This program will provide sewerage services to 19,000 homes and wastewater treatment services to 130,000 homes.”

Two loans worth a combined $350 million have been designed to enhance urban integration, social inclusion and education in the city of Buenos Aires via improvements in living conditions says the IDB.

More than 150,000 people will benefit from “urban infrastructure resilient to climate change and adequate spaces to live” in the Villa 31 section of Buenos Aires, as well as access to “a more equitable education system” in parts of the city.

Construction projects tied to the two loans include three new schools in Villa 31 for 1,100 students, plus upgraded living and work spaces in 550 structures and “deploying climate change-resilient urban infrastructure that will increase soil permeability and control buildings’ temperature,” says the IDB. Of the total operation’s resources, 64.5 percent will be earmarked for construction-related climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

The program also will finance plans to move the Buenos Aires Education Ministry to the Villa 31 area, creating a new hub designed to help integrate it with the rest of the city via the construction of a 30,000-square-meter (323,000-square foot) green building certified by the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) system.

Established in 1959, the IDB describes itself as a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients in the region.

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Data points show Texas-Mexico ferrous friendship

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 01:07
Economic and trade data point to steady and growing steel industry-related trade between the United States and Mexico, with the state of Texas being a leading player.

Becky Hites of Pittsburgh-based steel industry consultancy Steel-Insights LLC, in a mid-2017 presentation to the to the American Institute of Steel Technology (AIST) in Monterey, Mexico remarked, “The trade relationship between Texas and Mexico is worth nearly $200 billion per year,” and that “more than one-third of Texas’ exports go to Mexico, more than three times the next leading destination.”

NAFTA as currently configured means recyclers in Texas and other states within advantageous freight range can supply ferrous scrap to Mexico’s growing steel industry, which is heavily invested in scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) production. According to Hites, who cited statistics from CANACERO (a Mexican steel industry association), more than 14 million tons of the steel produced in Mexico in 2015 was via the EAF route, compared to about 6 million tons of basic oxygen furnace (BOF) output.

Trade data gathered by the Census Bureau U.S. Department of Commerce and published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows the Texas-Mexico connection specific to steel and scrap is strong.

In the first five months of 2017, Mexico was behind only Turkey as a destination for ferrous scrap exported from the United States. In those five months, some 718,000 metric tons of ferrous scrap valued at $189 million was shipped from the U.S. to Mexico.

Pertinent to Texas, Census Bureau data also shows the Laredo and Houston-Galveston customs districts as the busiest in the USGS Gulf Coast region for ferrous scrap shipped across the border in those five months. Those two customs districts shipped out 308,000 of the 479,000 metric tons that left the region, or 64.3 percent.

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