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Updated: 1 hour 6 min ago

Republic Services recognized as one of the world's most sustainable companies

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:14
Republic Services, Inc., Phoenix, announces that the company has been recognized with the Gold Class Award in the recently released 2018 RobecoSAM's Sustainability Yearbook, a comprehensive ranking of the world's most sustainable companies. The Sustainability Yearbook evaluates how companies across different industries incorporate economic, environmental and social strategies into their operations.

Only eight North American companies achieved this top-tier status, and Republic is the sole recycling and solid waste services provider to do so.

RobecoSAM's Sustainability Yearbook 2018 showcases the sustainability performance of the companies that were assessed for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index with scores in the top 15 percent or higher in their industry, which are awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze Class medals. The assessment for the 2018 Yearbook looked at 60 industries from 43 countries, with only 99 North American companies qualifying for inclusion in this year's Yearbook.

"We take great pride in our role as responsible stewards of the nation's recycling and waste materials," Don Slager, president and CEO of Republic Services, says. "We are honored that our efforts in this area continue to be recognized by trusted third-party leaders in sustainability. This Gold Class Award reinforces Republic's unyielding commitment to all aspects of sustainability, including environmental stewardship, social and economic impact and corporate governance."

"I congratulate Republic Services whole-heartedly for being awarded a Gold Class medal in the Sustainability Yearbook 2018," Aris Prepoudis, CEO at RobecoSAM, says. "The companies included in the Yearbook are the world's most sustainable companies in their industry, and are moving the environmental, social and governance (ESG) needle in ways that will help us realize the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."


AMM announces first ferrous shredded scrap futures contract settled

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 09:16
The American Metal Market (AMM) has announced a ferrous shredded scrap futures contract settled against AMM’s Midwest index has started trading on the Nasdaq Futures Exchange.

The contract recorded its first trade Jan. 12, 2018.

“The ferrous futures market can now minimize their pricing risks against a robust index that is trusted by both the financial and physical communities,” says Raju Daswani, CEO of the Metal Bulletin Group. “Key market participants have already started taking advantage of this unique hedging opportunity.”

AMM is a part of the Metal Bulletin Group, a price reporting agency serving the global metals and mining markets. The company says it has invested significantly to ensure the accountability and auditability of its prices, including an advanced pricing system and adherence to International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) principles, says Daswani. The company started publishing its Midwest ferrous scrap indices in 2010 and remains the benchmark for the North American ferrous scrap markets.

The new shredded futures contract will trade 15 months forward and be financially settled on a monthly basis against AMM’s Midwest shredded steel scrap index. The 10-gross-ton contract is offered electronically and via a voice broker from 7 p.m. EST Sunday to 5 p.m. EST Friday.

The contract is the result of a partnership between Nasdaq Futures Exchange and World Steel Exchange Marketing (WSEM), which aims to introduce and market steel and iron ore markets to global hedgers and institutional investors.

“WSEM and AMM provide market participants an efficient instrument to handle price volatility exposure and bring a higher level of price transparency to all marketplaces,” says Rick Beaman, vice president and head of Nasdaq Futures. “This is a welcome step in our expansion into new asset classes in 2018.”

WSEM CEO Mike Frawley adds, “We are exceedingly pleased to be partnering with NFX to deliver to the marketplace steel contracts that provide both principal and direct market access to the global trading community on a 22-hour-a-day basis.”

AMM says its prices already are the basis of another scrap futures contract. In 2012, CME Group Inc. launched its first U.S. ferrous scrap futures contract based on AMM’s Midwest Ferrous Scrap Index for No. 1 busheling.

Metal Bulletin Group’s prices underpin a number of other metals futures contracts worldwide, including the CME’s copper cif Shanghai futures contract and the exchange’s duty-unpaid aluminum premium contract. Metal Bulletin Group provides more than 2,000 independent price benchmarks and assessments for the global steel, nonferrous and scrap markets. Metal Bulletin Group is owned by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, the international online information, events and commodities price reporting business.


Sonoco to increase tube and core prices

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:39
The paper company Sonoco, headquartered in Hartsville, South Carolina, has announced it is implementing price increases for all paperboard tubes and cores in the United States and Canada by 8 percent. The increase is effective with shipments beginning March 1, 2018.

Sonoco most recently announced its plan to increase prices for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) by $50 per ton, effective with shipments in the United States and Canada beginning Feb. 19, 2018. The company says the URB price hike contributed to the increase in tube and core prices.

“This price increase is necessary due to the recent increases in uncoated recycled paperboard (URB), the largest input cost for tubes and cores,” says Doug Schwartz, division vice president of sales and marketing. “Furthermore, other inflationary pressures from rising adhesives, packaging, energy, labor and transportation costs underscore the need for this market-based increase.”

Sonoco says it is the largest producer of paperboard tubes and cores in North America, which are used to serve the paper, textile, plastic film, and tape and specialty industries. The company is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services.


Carton Council touts recycling success

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 08:07
The Carton Council of North America has reported that more than 62 percent of U.S. households can recycle food and beverage cartons through local recycling programs.

In January 2017, when the 60 percent access milestone was met, the Carton Council announced that it had the approval of the Federal Trade Commission to place the standard “Please Recycle” logo on cartons. Since that milestone, more than 2.5 million households have gained access to carton recycling, end markets for recycled cartons have expanded and new technology for sorting cartons was piloted, according to the organization.

“Last year built upon nearly a decade of significant growth in carton recycling,” says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America. “Not only did we continue to hit new milestones in household access, but this progress spurred increased consumer awareness, new industry collaborations and innovative technology and end market solutions to increase carton recycling efficiency.’’

The Carton Council formed in 2009 to increase carton recycling by helping develop an infrastructure for recycling aseptic and gable-top cartons used to package many food and beverage products, such as milk, juice, water, soups, wine and beans. At that time, 18 percent of households could recycle their cartons through local programs. Sixty-two percent access marks a 244 percent increase in access since 2009.

Currently, 13,300 communities across 49 states can recycle their food and beverage cartons. Of the 100 largest U.S. communities, 82 have access, including San Francisco and Grand Rapids, Michigan, both of which added cartons to their recycling programs last year.

When recycled, cartons are used to make office and writing paper, tissues, paper towels and sustainable building and construction materials.

The Carton Council attributes this success to:

  • Expanding end markets for recycled cartons—The ReWall Co., Des Moines, Iowa, which makes sustainable building materials out of recycled food and beverage cartons, doubled its manufacturing capacity in 2017 based on high demand for its products.
  • Bringing artificial intelligence to recycling—The Carton Council teamed up with AMP Robotics, Denver, to help maximize carton recycling by introducing artificial intelligence to the recycling industry. Two materials recovery facilities (MRFs), Alpine Waste & Recycling in Denver and Dem-Con Cos. in Shakopee, Minnesota, installed the AMP Cortex robot to sort cartons from other materials in the recycling stream. The robots continuously learn as they go and already have demonstrated success at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of carton recycling, says the Carton Council.
  • Collaborating with industry allies—Key to carton recycling growth is working with organizations across the industry to not only grow access, but to help educate about recycling. Collaborating with organizations like Keep America Beautiful and The Recycling Partnership have helped expand the carton recycling message.     
  • Bolstering consumer education—Following the launch of the Carton Council’s first national digital consumer education campaign in February 2017, two toolkits were launched to continue to drive education: one for communities and one for companies and brands. Both toolkits include engaging content and graphics that can be shared via websites, social media, newsletters and other platforms. 
  • Developing policy tools to improve recycling—Several tools were developed to assist local governments and others in developing and implementing policies that have been proven effective for improving recycling programs and increasing recycling of all materials.

“We recognize that building the infrastructure for carton recycling alone isn’t going to get people to recycle their cartons,” says Pelz. “We are looking at the full picture. This includes consumer education, engaging everyone in the supply chain, developing effective end markets, and leveraging new technologies so that carton recycling is economically and environmentally beneficial for all.’’

Building on the momentum and success of last year, the Carton Council says it plans to increase awareness of and access to carton recycling; continue to work with companies and brands to add the “Please Recycle” logo to their packaging; expand end market solutions; support the development of technology to make carton recycling more efficient; and continue working collaboratively across the industry to encourage the recycling of all packages.

The Carton Council is composed of four carton manufacturers: Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak, as well as an associate member, Nippon Dynawave Packaging.


TerraCycle acquires Air Cycle Corp.

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:56
TerraCycle US Inc., a company that specializes in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle postconsumer waste based in Trenton, New Jersey, has announced it has acquired Chicago-based Air Cycle Corp., a universal waste recycler for mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs, battery, ballast and electronic waste disposal.

"This acquisition marks an important step in our growth and diversification strategies," Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO, says. "Adding Air Cycle to TerraCycle's core business means that we can now offer, for the first time, the collection and recycling of products mandated for disposal by federal regulations, in addition to the voluntary programs we've had for over ten years."

Air Cycle will join TerraCycle's regulated waste business unit and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of TerraCycle US Inc. In its new capacity, the company will continue to offer lamp recycling products and services worldwide based on three recycling programs:

  • Bulb Eater—designed for facilities that dispose of large quantities of lamps, the Bulb Eater crushes spent fluorescent bulbs into small fragments and compresses the waste into 55-gallon drums. Each Bulb Eater unit is built around a filtration system that ensures both Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) compliance.
  • EasyPak recycling program—the program is an alternative for customers who generate smaller quantities of spent lamps, batteries, and/or ballasts. Available in a variety of sizes, the EasyPak boxes are shipped by customers, through prepaid UPS Ground transportation services to recycling centers for processing.
  • National Bulk Recycling—designed to offer nationwide bulk pick up and recycling services for companies with large amounts of intact lamps, ballasts, batteries, electronic waste and the crushed lamps generated by the Bulb Eater. Once the waste has been recycled, a certificate of recycling confirming the proper handling of the waste will be provided.

"Federal EPA regulations on fluorescent and mercury vapor lamps require nonresidential facilities to properly dispose of their lamps,” Bobby Farris, general manager of TerraCycle’s regulated waste department, says. "This acquisition puts the company in a unique position to meet those regulated waste needs, as well as offer our clients a vast range of other voluntary and customized recycling services."

The timing of this announcement coincides with TerraCycle US Inc. being qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue shares in a Regulation A offering to raise up to $25 million. The company will use the proceeds to expand its existing programs and acquire additional companies it believes will thrive within its broad array of recycling and consumer engagement services.


Electronics Recycling Association seeks business partners

Fri, 02/02/2018 - 07:45
The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA), a Vancouver, British Columbia-based nonprofit focused on recycling and refurbishing electronic waste, has announced it is seeking business partners in Montreal to donate their old electronics to supply to charitable organizations.

The organization recently opened a location in Montreal. In light of ERA’s grand opening in this province, the organization says it is reaching out to businesses interested in donating their unwanted e-waste. ERA says it currently has a limited amount of electronics available for donation to charities in Quebec and would like to increase its capabilities.

ERA also has locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Toronto.

“We have noticed a rapid growth in the number of donation requests from charitable organizations over the years,” says Bojan Paduh, founder and president of the ERA. “Technological devices have become a need nowadays more than a want. We need the internet in order to apply for jobs, keep in contact with family and friends, and to run our day-to-day businesses.”

ERA adds, “No longer will old computers be trashed, shredded and melted before being given a chance for a second life. ERA will work with individuals and corporations to reuse and refurbish computers, laptops and electronics, and donate them into the local communities in Montreal, Quebec City and all over the province of Quebec.”

Established in 2004, ERA accepts donations of unwanted computer hardware and other e-waste from companies and individuals.  



Novelis purchases assets from Constellium

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 22:41
Atlanta-based Novelis has signed an agreement with Constellium N.V. to acquire the north building assets of the Sierre plant in Switzerland for €200 million (US$250 million). That part of the plant had been leased and operated by Novelis since 2005.

With locations in 10 countries, Novelis is one of the largest producers of flat-rolled aluminum products and describes itself as the world’s largest recycler of aluminum. Constellium, with 24 manufacturing sites, designs and manufactures aluminum products primarily to the aerospace, automotive and packaging markets.

Constellium will continue to own and operate its cast houses, plate and extrusion manufacturing plants and other manufacturing assets at its Sierre location. As part of the agreement, Constellium and Novelis have agreed to enter into long-term production and metal supply agreements.

“We are pleased with this mutually beneficial outcome,” says Jean-Marc Germain, CEO of Constellium. “We remain focused on serving our customers, executing our strategy and enhancing financial flexibility.”

Lionel Thomas, Constellium Valais, Switzerland, region plant director, comments, “We are looking forward to a renewed partnership with Novelis in Sierre. We expect this agreement to allow for a more sustainable and efficient collaboration between Constellium and Novelis, and thus to benefit our companies, and the local community in which we both operate.”

The Sierre facility features an integrated system covering a process that includes casting single-alloy and multi-alloy ingots to finishing. In addition to hot and cold rolling mills, the plant operates a continuous annealing line and has laser cutting capabilities.


Battery recycling takes on added heft in Puerto Rico

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 20:40
With many Puerto Ricans having spent weeks or even months without electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the commonwealth’s dependence on and use of battery-operated devices grew significantly in late 2017 and early 2018. For battery recyclers, that means more material to collect on the island.

According to an online article from the Guaynabo, Puerto Rico-based El Nuevo Dia, a non-governmental organization has responded by developing a program to collect and recycle alkaline batteries in Puerto Rico.

The non-governmental organization Basura Cero [Zero Waste] Puerto Rico announced in late January it had developed a program to collect and recycle alkaline batteries, targeting in particular those used in the four months following Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017.

Basura Cero Puerto Rico Executive Director Jessica Seiglie, is quoted as saying, “Hurricane Maria and the lack of electrical service on the island have turned batteries into essential items, [so we have looked] for viable and accessible alternatives for their disposal.”

Among the locations cooperating in the organization’s effort to set up alkaline battery collection points are Walgreens, courts and non-governmental organizations, according to the online article.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also is cooperating in the effort, according go the El Nuevo Dia article, as a way to prevent batteries from contaminating the environment.

Ultimately, the collected batteries will be forwarded to a recycling company, according to Basura Cero Puerto Rico. The collection campaign will run through March 2019.


Sicon opens Technical Research Center

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 13:08
Germany-based Sicon has announced its new Sicon Technical Research Center (TRC) has opened in Hilchenbach, Germany.

Under construction for nine months, the company says the TRC features a wide selection of Sicon equipment for live demonstrations and trials. The exhibited equipment includes versatile airsifters, EcoShred size-reduction equipment and the Laser Sort LIBS (laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy) recovery system, among other machines, enabling a real-world demonstration of scrap and metal processing, the company says.                     

Located in the Rothaargebirge mountain-range, Sicon says the TRC is a located near a major interstate. Visitors can talk with the Sicon team and are consulted by its engineers throughout the testing procedures.

Sicon says, “The decision to invest into the new TRC has been recognized and confirmed by numerous positive feedback from visiting customers and partners. Sicon is looking forward to welcome you to Hilchenbach and the TRC.”

In other company news, Sicon says with rapid changes in the scrap market, new opportunities exist for nonferrous separation, including electric motor and meatball processing.

The company says in a statement, “Recent Chinese import restrictions overseas are now affecting the domestic market. Until now mostly paper and plastics were subject to harsher regulations, however, recent changes in foreign legislations now also target domestic metal markets. Although the new Chinese import restrictions have not yet shut down the scrap import, they have indeed made scrap exports to China more difficult and increased price competitiveness.

As a result, domestic scrap and metal traders increasingly process nonferrous metals supplying raw material to local nonferrous smelters. In fact, domestic processing of nonferrous metals is usually more lucrative than their export. The increase in the value chain correlates with higher and more secure marketability based on direct contact with end customers, which in return can lead to new business opportunities.

Input for nonferrous separation can be versatile, including meatballs, electric motors, transformers, radiators, mixed-wire and appliances.

Profitable processing requires a reliable partner with thorough understanding of the processing steps in order to design a system accordingly to individual specifications. General requirements include:

  • flexible system to process various material inputs;
  • end product quality has to meet pre-set requirements of buyers;
  • inexpensive operation costs to avoid revenue loss during market price volatility; and
  • heavy-duty build system and reliable service for consistent operations.

Sicon offers a variety of flexible processing systems for electric motors, meatballs and other materials handled by the scrap industry.


Cascades finalizes sale of its New York plant

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 09:50
Cascades Inc., Kingsey Falls, Quebec, has announced that it has completed the sale of the building and land of its Maspeth plant in New York for US$72 million. 

The company accepted an offer from a private buyer and will continue to use the facility until Dec. 31, 2018, the date the plant is scheduled to close.

In August 2017, as part of the modernization and optimization of its operations in the northeastern U.S., Cascades announced that it had decided to shut down the Maspeth packaging plant due to the physical limitations of the site. The volumes will be progressively redeployed to other Cascades units over the course of the year.

Charles Malo, president and chief operating officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging, says, “The reorganization of our activities in the region will be done gradually to ensure a smooth transition for our customers, thus continuing to reinforce our commitment and ability to act as a preferred partner in their ongoing development.”

The Maspeth plant opened in 1906, with Cascades acquiring it in 2001. The facility has 148 employees and manufactures corrugated products, including linerboard and corrugated medium, according to the Cascades website. Serving the metro New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania regions, the plant’s end users include the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibers.


GreenMantra Technologies adds new CEO

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 09:22
GreenMantra Technologies, a company that produces polymers from scrap plastics based in Brantford, Ontario, has announced it has named Jodie Morgan as its new chief executive officer.

Morgan brings experience in growing specialty chemicals, green technology and other high-value additive businesses to her new role at GreenMantra. She previously served as president for several companies, including Pinova Inc., a global supplier of renewable rosin and polyterpene resin innovations; Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals LLC, a multinational food ingredients company; and SPI Polyols Inc., a global manufacturer of specialty polyols and sugars.

Morgan has served on the board of directors of GreenMantra since early 2017 and worked in close collaboration with the management team to develop the vision and strategy for the business, the company says.

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead GreenMantra through its next phase of growth as we look to expand our existing polyethylene- and polypropylene-based specialty polymers business, as well as accelerate bringing to market our new styrenic polymers made from waste polystyrene,” says Morgan.

She is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in mechanical engineering and earned a master’s degree in business administration-finance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Morgan has served on the board of directors of numerous companies and is the former chairwoman of Visage, a global association of chief executive officers.

GreenMantra Technologies converts recycled scrap polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics, such as film, bottle caps and food containers, into high-value specialty polymers with uses in a broad range of industries. The company has developed new technology to convert scrap polystyrene (PS) into specialty styrenic polymers for use in inks, foam insulation and other applications. The company says it uses a proprietary thermocatalytic system and patented process to cost-effectively convert and “upcycle” scrap plastics, including hard-to-recycle materials such as grocery bags and film, into high-value polymers and other specialty chemicals. These materials have a broad range of applications in the coatings, plastics processing, adhesives, inks and roofing and paving industries.


Lego Group adds How2Recycle Label to its packaging

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 07:00
The Lego Group, Denmark, has joined the How2Recycle initiative, providing U.S. consumers with guidance and encouragement to responsibly recycle their Lego packaging. The first Lego boxes with How2Recycle labelling will be rolled out across the U.S. throughout 2018.

How2Recycle aims to promote recycling by reducing confusion through creating a clear, well-understood and nationally recognized label that enables companies to convey to consumers how to recycle a package.

By the end of 2018, more than 60 percent of new Lego boxes in the U.S. will feature the How2Recycle Label. The Lego Group says it aims to further extend the How2Recycle Label to nearly all new North American products during 2019.

“Every day at the Lego Group we strive to make a positive impact on the world for children, and work to play our part today in protecting the Earth’s finite resources for future generations,” says Tim Brooks, vice president of environmental responsibility for Lego.”

Brooks continues, “Lego bricks are designed to be reused and handed down through generations, but not everyone keeps their Lego boxes. Implementing the How2Recycle Label on Lego packaging is an important step in minimizing landfill through clear guidelines, encouraging consumers to responsibly recycle their packaging.”

Insights show many recyclable products and packages end up in landfill, as many consumers are confused about which items can be recycled, and how to sort them.

The How2Recycle Label is a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and is the first standardized U.S. recycling labeling system designed for consumers. It has changed recycling behavior among consumers since it launched on packages in 2012.

More than 60 leading brands, such as Campbell’s, Unilever, PepsiCo and McDonald’s, have added this labeling to their packaging. Several retailers such as Target and Walmart also are supporters, How2Recycle says, adding it to all their private label packaging and encouraging their suppliers to do the same.

The Lego Group says it already has taken several steps to improve the sustainability of its packaging. 100 percent of paper and cardboard used in Lego products and packaging is sustainably sourced and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the company says. The green box initiative reduced packaging size and improving transport efficiency, saving up to 10,000 truckloads to date.

Lego Group outlines its other sustainability efforts, including:

  • During 2017, the Lego Group celebrated achieving its 100 percent renewable energy target. Through investments in wind power, the energy used to make Lego bricks is now balanced by the production of renewable energy.
  • In June 2017, the Lego Group extended its partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), as part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing and supply chain operations, and promote global action on climate change.
  • The Lego Group has committed to make all products and packaging from sustainable materials by 2030, and has made progress in testing new materials, such as introducing sustainable paper pulp trays for the Lego advent calendar and reducing unrecyclable black plastic waste from going to landfill.

Eriez Metalworking Demo Truck kicks off tour in West Coast

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 06:49
A 32-foot demonstration truck from Eriez, Erie, Pennsylvania, is traveling across North America to train and educate customers and distributers. The diesel rig from Peterbilt, Denton, Texas, with a 24-foot equipment showroom, is starting off on the West Coast.

The Metalworking Demo Truck houses many of Eriez’ magnetic and vibratory material handling products as well as equipment from the company’s HydroFlow fluid recycling and fluid filtration lines. Demonstrations and workshops are tailored to assist participants in finding the material handling, fluid recycling and filtration equipment needed for their applications.

The rig serves as an interactive learning center that enables team members to customize drawings and fulfill other customer requests on-demand. The truck’s on-board database provides instant access to Eriez brochures, photos and video presentations.

The Eriez Metalworking Demo Truck has logged more than 130,000 miles since its 2014 maiden voyage, visiting 41 states and four Canadian provinces. Approximately 3,500 participants have climbed aboard over the course of the truck’s more than 1,000 visits.

Andrew Kloecker, Eriez’ manager of metalworking distributor sales, says that, in addition to demonstrating equipment on the truck, factory-trained staff can bring units inside customers’ facilities for analysis. “This mobile capability enables us to prove performance and show how Eriez technology can solve customers’ unique challenges,” he says. “For example, a fabricator can try out a range of SafeHold Lift Magnets to determine which one works best to move their steel parts, or a manufacturer can test their parts on a variety of Eriez conveyors to find the model best suited to their needs.”

To learn more about Eriez’ Metalworking Demo Truck and view a schedule of planned 2018 stops, go to To request a visit, contact Eriez and ask to speak with a metalworking team member.


Copper theft blamed for another fatality

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 01:06
A 47-year-old Cleveland resident is thought to have died from electrocution after cutting into a live power wire in an abandoned building. Police investigators told local media outlets copper theft was likely involved.

An online report from indicates the electrocuted man’s body was found at an abandoned building on the city’s east side.

According to the media report, as of Jan. 31, 2018, the medical examiner’s office had not yet determined an official cause of death, but police reports indicate he appeared to die of electrocution.

That same police report indicates the victim’s body was found by another individual who admitted he had entered the same building to look for potential scrap metal. The police document also states the dead man was found inside a room that had a “high voltage” sign on the door.

The report indicates the victim, who was named on the website, had previously “been convicted several times for breaking into buildings in order to steal items, including scrap metal, according to court records,” and it recounts a series of arrests dating back to 2005.

In late December 2017, the bodies of two electrocuted men were found inside a Detroit electrical substation, with police also making an initial determination that copper wire and cable theft was involved.


Fire strikes Sims California yard

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 18:54
Residents near the Sims Metal Management scrap yard in Richmond, California, were asked to stay indoors for about 12 hours as firefighters responded to a fire at the facility.

According to an online report from the Richmond Standard, a fire within a 20-foot-high pile of scrap metal was reported about 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

As firefighters worked to put out the blaze, they reportedly asked residents in several nearby neighborhoods to stay indoors, in a request that was lifted by about 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

On its website, Sims Metal Management refers to the Richmond location as having “processing capabilities [that] include baling, car crushing, shearing, mobile baling, tin compacting, torch cutting and wet car processing. The yard is equipped with [a] wet car detox station, baler, shears, torch cutters and mobile car crusher. Complementary services include container loading, overseas container loading, rail car loading, bulk/container ship loading and truck loading.”


NYC considers pay-as-you-throw program

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 09:22
New York City is considering a pay-as-you-throw program to reduce waste disposal costs, a report by CBS New York says. The proposed plan’s goal is to mitigate the $300 million cost of shipping waste from the Hamilton Avenue Transfer Station in Brooklyn out of state per year.

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has hired a consultant for $1 million to design the program. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, a pay-as-you-throw program charges residents for municipal solid waste (MSW) collection based on the amount they throw away, creating an economic incentive to divert recyclables and generate less waste.

According to the report, the city would charge single-family homeowners, renters and co-op and condo owners a price to dispose of their MSW. While the city has yet to determine a price, there are currently 1,200 other cities that charge resident $40 to $50 per month using different strategies.

Katheryn Garcia, sanitation commissioner, says in the report that some municipalities use cans, bags, tags or measure the amount of waste collected by a resident by weight. Garcia says in the report that, if the program is implemented, she could not promise a reduction in resident’s property taxes.

The consultant is expected to release a more formal proposal for the program within a year.


New York’s Plastic Bag Task Force issues report to combat waste

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 08:14
The chair of New York’s Plastic Bag Task Force, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, has issued the task force’s comprehensive report outlining eight potential solutions to address the “scourge of plastic bag waste” in the state. The report has been sent to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for consideration. 

Seggos says, “As states across the nation and world struggle with the environmental and financial costs of plastic bag waste, New York is developing a comprehensive solution. Under Gov. Cuomo’s direction, the New York State Plastic Bag Task Force has identified equitable, statewide solutions to address plastic bag waste and this report provides a menu of options to tackle this issue. I’m grateful to the co-chairs and task force members for their efforts and hard work to develop this report.”

Convened in March 2017, the Task Force was directed to study the growing issue of plastic bag waste and develop a comprehensive statewide plan to address the impact plastic bags have on the environment. The report is the result of an effort by Plastic Bag Task Force members, including elected officials, advocates and other key stakeholders. The report was informed by a roundtable discussion and comments DEC received from interested parties and an exhaustive review of actions taken elsewhere to address plastic bag waste.

Plastic Bag Task Force members are: 

  • Seggos;
  • Sen. Thomas O’Mara, New York State Senate;
  • Assemblyman Steve Englebright, New York State Assembly;
  • Stephen Acquario, executive director, New York State Association of Counties;
  • Marcia Bystryn, president, New York League of Conservation Voters?; and
  • Michael Rosen, president and CEO, Food Industry Alliance of NY Inc.?

The Plastic Bag Task Force’s report, which is available online, provides an overview of the problems caused by single-use plastic bags and reviews single-use plastic bag reduction measures undertaken in New York, the U.S. and internationally. These measures have included plastic bag fees, plastic bag bans, a combination of fees and bans, manufacturer responsibility programs, and education and outreach initiatives to consumers at the municipal and statewide level.

The report outlines these options to address plastic bag waste:

  • Strengthen and Enforce Existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act—Continue implementation of the existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act while increasing education, enforcement and reporting requirements.
  • Manufacturer Responsibility for Recycling of Single-Use Plastic Bags—Require manufacturers to fund and implement a program for the collection and recycling of single-use plastic bags.
  • Fee on Single-Use Plastic Bags—Institute a fee on single-use plastic bags.
  • Fee per Transaction for Single-Use Bags—Under this option, rather than a fee per bag, a single fee would be imposed for the use of single-use bags (i.e., a fee would be assessed whether a consumer received one bag or 10 bags).
  • Fee on Single-Use Plastic and Paper Bags
  • Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags—Implement a ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bags.
  • Hybrid —Implement a ban on plastic bags with a fee on the allowable alternatives.
  • Continue Existing Policies—Continue implementation of the existing New York State Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act.

In addition, the report notes the need for any approach taken to include an education and outreach campaign to make consumers aware of the problems with plastic bags for the environment and waste stream, encourage the use of reusable bags and how to properly recycle plastic bags, according to the Plastic Bag Task Force. As part of the education and outreach campaign, the report recommends providing funds to support the distribution of reusable bags with a focus on low and fixed income individuals. If the policy approach taken includes fees, the report suggests that any funding received by the state be dedicated to the Environmental Protection Fund.

Across New York, residents annually use 23 billion plastic bags. A significant number of these bags make their way into the environment, causing litter and damaging wildlife, which can be seen within waterways, along streets and in oceans and lakes, says the Plastic Bag Task Force.

“Moreover, these bags do not biodegrade, they persist for years,” says the Plastic Bag Task Force.


Henkel awards suppliers for contributions

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 07:24
Sustainability Award Beauty Care winner, Solvay, with representatives pictured from left: Ian McLean, Kamel Ramdani, Thomas Förster, Mick Holland, Emmanuel Butstraen, Sonia Renac, Niclas Wallén, Galder Cristobal and Jean-Pierre Marchand (Photo: Business Wire)


Henkel, a manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and functional coatings such as the Loctite brand headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, has presented 15 awards to its top suppliers for their best-in-class performances in 2017.

The awards were given at the 2018 American Cleaning Institute (ACI) Annual Meeting and Industry Convention, held Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 in Orlando, Florida. For the first time, Henkel awarded one winner and two second prizes for each of the five categories.

With a review of 2017 and a recap of Henkel’s 2020+ strategy, Thomas Müller-Kirschbaum, corporate senior vice president, R&D Laundry & Home Care, opened the award ceremony and welcomed more than 200 representatives of more than 30 major suppliers.

The awards presented include:

Clariant won the award as “Best Innovation Contributor Beauty Care 2017”

Thomas Förster, corporate vice president of R&D Beauty Care, explained the advantages of the newly developed Perlogen SF3000 by Clariant, a liquid pearlizing concentrate with 30 percent better efficiency when compared with standard pearlizers. Henkel Beauty Care applies this new ingredient in its shampoos for a silky shine that makes them appear richer, the company says.

The winners of the second prize include Ashland for novel cationic polymers with “excellent” care properties in styling and in hair care, Henkel says. Additionally, Symrise was recognized for its multicomponent formulation solution for high sunlight protection factor skin care creams combining skin protection with the benefits of a day cream.

Solvay honored as winner of the “Sustainability Award Beauty Care 2017”

For its sustainable guar initiative that has empowered 4,000 guar farmers in India, Solvay received the winning Sustainability Award for Beauty Care.

“Guar is a source of natural polymers used in home and personal care products,” says Förster. “We apply this sustainable ingredient in the Fiber Therapy technology of our Gliss Kur Hair Repair range.”

The second prizes went to Agrana for tailor-made, residue-free starches used in high-performing dry shampoos to reduce the usage of hot water, and to UPM Raflatac for its innovative RafCycle label liner recycling process, which converts scrap liner to pulp and paper, enabling Henkel to recycle 500 tons of scrap liner per year in its plants and to save more than 40 percent of energy and 10 percent of water in the paper production process.

IFF won “Best Innovation Contributor Laundry & Home Care 2017”

“To our new Suprême range of fabric finishers with fine fragrance perfume oils, IFF made a major contribution with the combination of multiphase capsule technology with substantive aroma-chemicals for a superior long-lasting scent experience,” says Michael Dreja, corporate director, Research Laundry & Home Care.

BASF was honored as a second prize winner for the joint development of a new high-performance ingredient for liquid laundry detergents with performance benefits in stain removal. Novozymes also received the award as a second prize winner for its enzyme technology for hand dishwashing detergents with Duo-Effect, removing fat, starch and burnt-in residues while keeping the sink clean, supporting this dishes and drain benefit with a highly convincing, strong visual demonstration, Henkel says.

DuPont won “Sustainability Award Laundry & Home Care 2017”

DuPont provided Henkel with a high-performance enzyme for best-in-class wash results in a broad range of detergents, Henkel says.

“DuPont’s innovative enzyme technology exhibits superior efficiency at comparably low dosage. This saves material, time and money and is a perfect example for sustainability contribution,” says Müller-Kirschbaum.

Second prize winners in this category were Sasol for a new raw material solution for efficient sourcing compatible with a broad product portfolio enabling efficient material management in Henkel’s production plants, as well as Evonik for a unique specialty ingredient for easy ironing that reduces wrinkles and ironing friction through the wash and by this reduces ironing effort, time and energy, Henkel says.

Novozymes is winner of “Best Supply Performance 2017” award

Henkel says key elements for outstanding supply performance are operational performance and best-in-class service combined with continued progress in risk management and supplier managed inventory.

“Novozymes pioneered in a joint transformation roadmap towards an interconnected supply chain,” says Thomas Holenia, corporate vice president of global purchasing, raw materials.

Second prize winners were Shell for excellent support during tight market situations and supply bottlenecks, Henkel says, and Stepan for its efforts to secure the supply of a complex portfolio with huge volumes


ERI names senior director of strategy and business development

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 07:18
ERI, Fresno, California, named Anna Marie Francello as its senior director of strategy and business development.

Francello brings more than 24 years of experience in real estate, corporate services, sustainability initiatives and environmental management with organizations from financial institutions to a cable and media company. She was most recently a senior vice president at Cablevision, reporting directly to the chief executive officer and overseeing the company’s corporate real estate and administrative services across more than 200 properties and supporting 15,000 employees, achieving service level enhancements and savings through automation and standardization.

“Anna Marie is a seasoned business development, corporate real estate and sustainability-focused executive recognized for her ability to successfully lead a diverse workforce across large portfolios and high-touch service areas, achieving significant operational efficiencies and service level enhancements, while executing cost containment strategies,” says John Shegerian, co-founder and executive chairman of ERI. “Her client-centric focus coupled with her more than two decades of experience in business process improvements, sustainability and environmental management and risk mitigation allow for her to drive innovative solutions that remain practical and aligned with ERI’s mission.”

Shegerian adds, “Anna Marie’s success in building teams and instilling dedication and accountability to team success comes from her keen focus on developing and retaining key talent. We are tremendously honored to have her join us and we’re confident that her input and contributions will be significant.”

Francello is a CPA and licensed New York real estate salesperson who started her professional career in public accounting with Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young, providing tax structuring strategies and due diligence in real estate. She expanded her corporate real estate experience by joining Newmark & Co. as the operations and reporting manager for the Global Accounts Group.

ERI bills itself as the nation’s leading recycler of electronic scrap and the world’s largest information technology asset disposition (ITAD) and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company. It is certified to demanufacture and recycle every type of e-scrap in an environmentally responsible manner. ERI processes more than 275 million pounds of electronic waste annually at eight locations.


Plastic scrap stockpiles reportedly growing in Utah

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 01:42
With China refusing to accept most forms of mixed paper and plastic scrap, stockpiles of the material appear to be building up in parts of the United States.

An online report by Salt Lake City, Utah-based KUTV ties the ban into overflowing recyclables dropoff sites in the Beehive State.

Recycling officials in Utah contacted by the TV station indicates China’s ban is “taking a toll on facilities” in the state.

An Ogden resident who drops recyclables off at a collection point near a landfill says the recyclables used to be barely visible “lowlands,” but now they are “hills.”

A recycling plant operator, also in Ogden, says household residents and municipalities providing guidance must work together to create less contaminated or commingled collection bins and storage bunkers. “We don't have a way to clean out containers, so it’s really important that the containers are clean when they are brought to the recycling yard,” David Rawson of Recycled Earth told KUTV.

A town mayor quoted by the TV station noted that while China is asking for shipments of paper and plastic scrap with less than 1 percent contamination, collected materials in Utah can consist of anywhere from 15 to 40 percent contaminants.

The Western United States may be feeling the effects of China’s bans and restrictions first among U.S. regions.

Earlier in January 2018, Phoenix-based Republic Services informed residents in Meridian, Idaho, that it would no longer accept Nos. 3 through 7 plastic packaging for recycling. In October 2017, Houston-based Waste Management indicated it would direct recyclables collected in parts of Washington State to inland locations rather than preparing them for Pacific Ocean shipment to China.