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Updated: 1 hour 12 min ago

E-Stewards Digital Equity program to provide computer access to those in need

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 06:22
Photo: Dreamstime

The electronics recycling and refurbishment certification program developed by the Seattle-based Basel Action Networke-Stewards, has revealed the e-Stewards Digital Equity (eDE) program. The program is designed to channel computer equipment from large corporations and institutions to needy individuals and communities across North America.

Despite the fact that education, jobs, job access and emergency services depend heavily on the internet and computing equipment, 1 in 5 persons in the United States still has no access to the internet, the organization says. Meanwhile, every year, thousands of working computers, printers and peripherals are removed from service and recycled.  

The new e-Stewards Digital Equity (eDE) program, scheduled to go live Jan. 1, 2018, will tap large corporate partners to donate working or repairable information technology (IT) equipment directly to e-Stewards Certified Refurbisher/Recyclers, who will refurbish them. The devices refurbished through this program will be sold to and deployed by city-led digital equity programs to provide digital access to low-income users at very low cost. “The e-Stewards program hopes to divert thousands of computers and peripherals each year via ethical refurbishment and get them into the hands of deserving students, families and organizations across North America,” the organization says in the press release announcing the initiative.

"Currently, far too many old computers, tablets, printers and monitors are being shredded or dumped overseas rather than refurbished and given a second or third life in the hands of people that need them the most," says Bob Akers, enterprise manager of the e-Stewards Electronics Recycling/Refurbishment Certification Program.

E-Stewards says, “By providing large enterprise companies with the assurance of careful management and refurbishment of their old equipment and an established, reputable channel to needy communities, the e-Stewards Digital Equity program will allow enterprise corporations to more easily engage in donating to ethical reuse for community good. E-Stewards Certification assures worker protections, data security [and] minimum specifications for tested and fully functional equipment, and prohibits the export of hazardous electronic scrap to developing countries.”

E-Stewards lists a number of benefits it says are associated with eDE:

  • Cities benefit by having low-cost, high-quality equipment.
  • Enterprises benefit from having their IT asset liabilities carefully managed while garnering excellent public relations.
  • E-Stewards Refurbishers/Recyclers benefit by expanding their market to another realm of asset management services while building fruitful community relationships.
  • The low-income recipient benefits by access to a new device experience at very low cost.
  • The environment benefits by lowering the carbon and toxics footprint from information technology use by giving longer life to resource-intensive products.

"We are looking forward to participating in this program and being able to be a part of the very real human stories about improving lives in our community while protecting the global environment," says Reed Kaiser of the University of Phoenix.

"Seattle welcomes this new e-Stewards initiative," says Chance Hunt, Seattle community technology manager. "As we work to tackle the digital inequity problem, we often find that the demand for quality low-cost computing equipment exceeds the supply. This public-private partnership could greatly improve this situation."

"It is extremely rewarding to see how lives change for the individuals participating in our Digital Equity programs," says Neil Peters-Michaud, CEO of Cascade Asset Management, an e-Stewards Certified Refurbisher headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. "It's a win for our customers, our company and the community."

The current list of eDE partners includes The National Digital Inclusion Alliance; HUD ConnectHome; EveryoneOn; Seattle; San Francisco; Madison, Wisconsin; Kansas City, Missouri; Old National Bank; American Family Insurance; iFixIT; Mobile Citizen; and University of Phoenix.

The current list of e-Stewards Refurbisher eDE founders includes Apto Solutions, Blue Star Recyclers, Capitol Asset Recovery Inc., Cascade Asset Management, eGreen-IT Solutions, ERI, EPC Inc., Friendly Earth, Global eWaste Solutions Inc., Kuusakoski US LLC and Sage Sustainable Electronics LLC.

E-Stewards says it is actively enrolling interested cities, e-Stewards Certified Refurbishers/Recyclers and enterprise donors and service providers as eDE partners. 

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ISRI proposes amendment to guidelines for MRFs' inbound curbside recyclables

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 05:55
During its fall meeting, scheduled for Nov. 6, 2017, the board of directors for the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) will consider amending ISRI’s scrap specifications to reclassify “clean, dry double-polycoat food packages” to better reflect how material recovery facilities (MRFs) characterize these inbound paper products in the recycling stream.

ISRI says the proposal reflects concerns within the recycling industry that by listing “clean, dry double-polycoat food packages” under “Additional Materials for Inbound Curbside Recyclables for MRFs” in ISRI’s “Scrap Specifications Circular” (page 64), it gives the impression that the material is preferred by MRFs. In reality, the material is not preferred and may be considered prohibitive by MRFs that need a secondary market for their materials to remain viable economic and environmental partners with the communities they serve, the association says. The amendment, if passed, would move “clean, dry double-polycoat food packages” to Paper (not preferred or may be prohibited) with examples (not inclusive) section of the inbound curbside recyclables guidelines.

This amended specification was previously approved by ISRI’s MRF Council, Plastics Division and Paper Division at the Summer Board & Committee Meetings. Per ISRI’s bylaws, the full ISRI board of directors will vote on it at the November meeting. The board may choose to adopt, amend or reject the recommendations of the divisions or table them pending further review.

More information about the rules governing the procedures from the addition, amendment or withdrawal of ISRI’s scrap specifications can be found in the “Scrap Specifications Circular.” To submit comments, recommendations or questions, please contact ISRI’s Joe Pickard at jpickard@isri.org. A 30-day open comment period follows the board’s vote.

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PRE says biodegradables in the recycling mix causing harm

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 00:30
Brussels-based Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) says the quality of recycled-content plastic film in Europe is being negatively affected by degradable plastics from Southern Europe.

Even what PRE calls “very low quantities” of degradable plastics that end up in plastic film scrap streams “have a significant, negative impact on recycled plastics,” says the group.

PRE singles out material streams in Southern Europe as posing a quality issue in films with recycled content production because of the higher share of degradable plastics. A trial done on 1,000 metric tons of equally purchased qualities of scrap from Northern European and Southern European suppliers showed “substantial quality discrepancies in the recycled film,” says PRE. The organization did not specify which nations were placed in either geographic category.

The tests were performed on recycled plastics made from scrap containing “98/2 post-consumer quality” converted into a film of 50-micron thickness. Extrusion worked normally with recycled plastics coming from Northern Europe. However, “holes and specks” occurred regularly in the film produced with scrap coming from Southern Europe, says PRE.

To understand the defects and ruptures of the film, samples were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, thermal analysis and via gas chromatography mass spectrometry. These analyses showed most of the degradation is coming from substances used in production of degradable plastics, says PRE, including starch, polylactide (PLA) and polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT).

“These tests show there is a big impact on the functionality of recycled plastics coming from Southern Europe waste film flows,” states PRE. “Therefore, it is necessary to develop separate streams not only for bio-waste but also degradable plastics in order to make sure that degradable plastics do not enter [scrap] streams of conventional plastics.”

The push toward increasing the use of degradable plastics is expected to make the problem more acute in the future, says PRE. The group is thus asking government agencies to assess the overall impact of degradable plastics on the conventional streams and to develop separate collection for both bio-waste and degradable plastics “in order to avoid putting in jeopardy the efforts of making plastics more circular.”

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SteelMint Scrap Conference: Hot news

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 21:10
Steelmaking technology vendors are competing vigorously to help steel producers pare down their operating costs and capital expenditure amounts, judging by presentations at SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia.

The long-booming economies of Asia are now yielding more ferrous scrap, and Gerald Wimmer of Austria-based Primetals Technologies says his company has developed technologies to help steelmakers in the region tap into the newly-abundant supplies of scrap.

Wimmer said China’s annual collection of ferrous scrap is likely to “more than double in the next 50 years” from its current level of 180 million metric tons per year. He said China’s central planners “know this” and have targeted a scrap usage goal of 20 percent by 2020, compared to a projected 11 percent in 2017.

Added Wimmer, “This will have an impact on the whole world and will affect the price.” He said that in September 2017, the now abundant amounts of scrap in China have led to ferrous scrap prices there that are some 600 Chinese yuan ($91) per ton “cheaper than hot metal.”

Steelmakers in China have responded positively to Primetals’ Jet Process, said Wimmer, which he called “a solution for basic oxygen furnace (BOF) operators” that can get them above the current 20 percent scrap charging ceiling and instead “allows up to 50 percent” scrap as charge. Wimmer said the technology has been tested at scale at a POSCO steel mill in South Korea.

Primetals also has a technology called Finex, said Wimmer, that allows steelmakers to use smaller iron ore fines in a more cost-effective manner compared to previously existing technologies.

Sridhar Rao, who works from Mumbai for Italy-based Danieli, described the evolution of Danieli’s electric arc furnace (EAF) micromill technology, which he says allows steelmakers to produce steel from scrap at facilities with a small footprint.

“Micromills make minimills smaller and more profitable,” stated Rao. He said the micromills use Danieli’s FastArc and FastCast technologies to continually charge scrap and engage in “endless casting and rolling” to create a process that goes from scrap to finished billets to a rolling mill to spooling lines, all in a relatively small facility.

Rao said customers in Greece, the United States and Egypt have worked with Danieli to build micromills with increasing capacities. He said the Egyptian mill is achieving 80 tons per hour of output, and that he foresees new Danieli micromills being built in the Middle East and Vietnam as possibly reaching the 100 tons per hour mark.

Simone Severo of Germany-based SMS Group GmbH gave an overview of that company’s ConDor technology, designed to improve safety and profitability at EAF mills. The ConDor automates processes at the slag door that can be “dangerous areas” at mills, said Severo.

The ConDor can protect workers from “splashes and reactions” during the scrap charging process and during other mill procedures traditionally carried out by workers driving forklift trucks. The ConDor can push scrap automatically through the slag doors with a ram driven by a hydraulic cylinder.

In addition to its safety features, Severo said the ConDor can minimize scrap loss and ties into the carbon injection process, meaning it can save up to 3 percent on electricity costs and lengthen the life of a mill’s electrodes.

SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia was Sept. 11-12 at the Avani Riverside Hotel in Bangkok.

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Speculators cooling on copper

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 19:36
Non-physical traders of copper began reeling in their optimism toward the red metal in mid-September 2017, according to one recent analysis of positions taken in the market.

Less money went toward bullish (higher future prices) positions in the period from Sept. 6-12 after several previous weeks of growing optimism, according to an online article posted by Investing.com.

What Investing.com calls “large metals speculators” traded a net positive 46,614 Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) contracts in copper in the week through Sept. 12, which Investing.com says marks a 2,251 contract reduction (4.6 percent) compared to the previous week.

The activity reversed a string of eight weekly gains for copper bullish positions, says Investing.com. Despite the reversal, however, net positive positions in the red metal have been above the 40,000 contract level for four straight weeks.

Investing.com also reports that according to unofficial market data, “Over the same weekly reporting timeframe, from [Sept. 6-12], the JJC iPath Bloomberg Copper ETN (exchange-traded note), which tracks the price of copper, closed at approximately $34.57, which was a fall of $1.12 from the previous close of $35.69.” That marks a 3.1 percent drop in the value of the ETN.

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Real Alloy to restart Kentucky UBC recycling facility

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 14:55
Real Industry Inc., Sherman Oaks, California, has announced that its Real Alloy Holding Inc. subsidiary is restarting its used beverage container (UBC) recycling operation at its Morgantown, Kentucky, facility due to increased customer demand and to fulfill a new contract.

The company says it plans to restart its UBC recycling operation in October 2017.

The UBC recycling operation has been idle since December 2015. On an annualized basis, Real Alloy says it expects to process approximately 50,000 tons at the Morgantown facility, which represents more than 6 percent of Real Alloy North America’s total annual volume. Cleveland-based Real Alloy Holding is comprised of the Real Alloy North America and Real Alloy Europe units.

Terry Hogan, president of Real Alloy, says, “We are excited about restarting the UBC recycling operation at Morgantown. The restart will bring approximately 30 people back to work at the facility and will result in higher equipment utilization with the higher production levels. We are currently ramping up the equipment and expect to be delivering the targeted volumes by the beginning of October 2017.”

Real Industry Inc. also has announced that it has retained Jefferies LLC, a global investment banking firm headquartered in New York, to assist in refinancing Real Alloy’s $305 million of senior secured 10 percent notes coming due in January 2019.

Kyle Ross, president and CEO of Real Industry, says, “Over the past few weeks, our senior management team has engaged in preliminary discussions with current and prospective investors regarding a potential refinancing of our senior secured notes. The leveraged finance market is in a strong position, and the company has engaged a team at Jefferies, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, to lead this process.”

 

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Liebherr USA celebrates opening of Lodi, California, sales and service center

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:33
Liebherr USA, Co., Newport News, Virginia, held an opening reception at its new sales and service center in Lodi, California, Sept. 12, 2017.

The event was at the facility located at 880 South Beckman Road, Lodi, California. Attendees included local customers and guests as well as Lodi city officials.

During the event, Liebherr USA, Co. showcased its newest technologies, product range and service capabilities across the United States for Mobile and Crawler Cranes and the Foundation Equipment divisions. Guests had an opportunity to tour the facility, operate the crane simulator, participate in the human power crane obstacle and view a variety of machines and components.

This new location will serve as the sales, service and repair facility for Liebherr USA Co.’s Mobile and Crawler Cranes and Foundation Equipment divisions in the western region. The opening of the Lodi location is the latest development in support of the manufacturer’s rapid growth in the United States under the newly formed mixed sales organization. The integration of the divisional activities allows Liebherr to expand and increase the presence of its diverse product portfolio in the U.S market and is a tremendous benefit to customers, providing access to Liebherr parts, services and equipment.

Established in 1949, the Liebherr Group is today a leading manufacturer of earthmoving equipment and a supplier of innovative user-oriented products and services in many other fields. The family-owned company employs more than 40,000 people in over 130 companies worldwide on every continent.

Liebherr’s product range covers earthmoving and material handling machinery, mining equipment, mobile cranes, construction cranes, mixing technology, domestic appliances, maritime cranes, aerospace and transportation systems, machine tools and automation systems as well as high-performance components for mechanical, hydraulic and electrical drive and control technology. Liebherr also operates hotels in Ireland, Austria and Germany.

The group’s holding company is Liebherr-International AG in Bulle, Switzerland, which is entirely owned by members of the Liebherr family.

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AMCS launches Analytics and Digital Engagement solutions

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:12
Boston-based AMCS, a leading application platform provider for the waste and recycling industry, today announced the release of two new key solutions on the AMCS Platform: AMCS Analytics and AMCS Digital Engagement.

AMCS says it is investing significantly in building a best-in-class cloud platform that will bring together their various capabilities and offerings into a scalable, enterprise-grade solution. This industry specific platform brings together the company’s six core solution ranges: Enterprise Management software, Mobile Workforce, Vehicle Technology, Intelligent Optimization, Digital Engagement and Analytics.

The AMCS Platform is driven by exponential demands from waste companies looking for integrated capabilities to digitize their business and is designed to automate, standardize and optimize all business processes from waste collection to recycling and material trading. The technical architecture is based on the most modern technologies and is built to handle the data and workload volumes of large enterprise customers, says the company. The open application programming interfaces (APIs) of the platform have been designed to allow the flexible and seamless integration of our solution into corporate IT architectures.

AMCS Analytics is a business intelligence (BI) service, including a large set of standard role-based dashboards based on AMCS’s many years of experience working with waste and recycling companies across the globe. AMCS Analytics is designed to eliminate the costly and time-consuming tasks of gathering diverse data and allows instant access to meaningful business insights, focusing on the data that can accelerate business performance and avoid revenue leakage. Whether located on-site or in the cloud, the industry centric and intuitive nature of the solution means that businesses of all sizes can benefit without the need for in-house teams, custom data transformations or external BI expertise.

AMCS’s Digital Engagement solution enables operators to better service customers online and build stronger relationships through social media, digital assistants and connected (IoT) devices. Customers will be able to contact their service provider when, where, and however suits them best. In turn, operators will greatly reduce call center traffic and benefit from a more streamlined, automated and lower cost communication channel. AMCS Digital Engagement solution also offers out-of-the-box customer e-commerce, supplier web portals and provides secure digital payment channels offering customers online payment.

“Today the largest waste companies in the world rely on AMCS Platform and thus depend on us to push the boundaries with every release, to ensure we're providing what they need to stay competitive," says Mark Abbas, chief marketing officer at AMCS. "With the expansion of the AMCS Platform, we are building on our strategy to empower our customers with an intelligent platform that will support the ongoing transformation to a more circular economy. Our solutions allow customers to digitize their businesses, enabling them to operate more seamlessly and efficiently.”

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DeKalb County, Georgia, appoints new sanitation director

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:19
Michael Thurmond, CEO of Georgia’s DeKalb County, has appointed Tracy Hutchinson director of the Sanitation Division. Hutchinson is the first woman to lead the division, which is the largest within the county’s Public Works Department.

Hutchinson Hutchinson joined the Sanitation Division in 2004 as assistant director of processing and disposal services. Since September 2016, she has served as interim director and is responsible for managing the division’s day-to-day operations, which include 641 employees and five operational areas. Hutchinson also oversees the Seminole Road Landfill, the only county-owned landfill in the state of Georgia.

DeKalb’s Sanitation Division serves more than 178,000 households weekly and leads the county’s environmental sustainability efforts, including the recently launched glass recycling program. The county says Hutchinson continues to bring positive attention and awareness to its sanitation efforts, vision and mission and was recently profiled in the August issue of the Kansas City, Missouri-based American Public Works Association (APWA) magazine, APWA Reporter.

Hutchinson is a 20-year solid waste industry veteran. Prior to joining the Sanitation Division, she was the first African-American female to serve in a senior management role within the engineering department at Waste Management Inc., headquartered in Houston. She was also the first female African-American president of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Georgia Chapter.

Hutchinson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Savannah State University, serves as an APWA Public Works Leadership Fellow and holds professional SWANA certifications in landfill operations, collection systems and recycling systems.

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Nucor board approves projects

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:46
Nucor Corp., headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced that the company’s board of directors has approved a steel bar micromill project and the expansion of either its Illinois or Ohio merchant bar operations. Nucor is considering five states in the Midwest and Southeast for the micromill project: Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Florida.

Nucor says its bar mills are a cornerstone of the company that have generated significant value in the past and are expected to do so in the future. The micromill project and the expansion of its merchant bar operations are part of Nucor's planned strategy for long-term profitable growth. By leveraging its existing operating abilities, these projects will maintain the company’s position as a low-cost producer and will allow it to better serve our customers, according to Nucor.

Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include carbon and alloy steel in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Co., Cincinnati, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous scrap, pig iron and HBI/DRI (hot-briquetted iron/direct-reduced iron); supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. 

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SteelMint Scrap Conference: Ebbs and flows

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 19:54
As in previous years, 2017 will yield changes in which nations are buying or selling the most ferrous scrap. According to speakers at SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia, held in September in Bangkok, eager buyers in several nations are ready to absorb the excess scrap of other nations.

Zain Nathani of the Mumbai-based Nathani Group of Companies commented that the European Union exported the most ferrous scrap in 2016, with some 17.8 million metric tons, followed by the United States, which shipped 13 million metric tons. Japan, said Nathani, was the third-largest exporter. Although China was a net importer in 2016, said Nathani, it’s possible it could join the list of 10 largest exporters in 2017, based on its recent trading activities with nations such as South Korea and Vietnam.

The largest importers of ferrous scrap in 2016, Nathani noted, were led by Turkey followed by Mexico, Taiwan and India. The global demand for ferrous scrap “is expected to be quite strong going forward,” he commented. Nathani said Pakistan and Bangladesh “will surpass India [in import volumes]—they’ll really be driving the South Asia market going forward.”

Nathani said Turkey will continue to be the world’s largest importer and, on the pricing front, “will be the price setter.” Buyers in India, he said, are at risk “of being completely priced out.”

Jayesh Jain of India’s MTC Group said that company is making investments, including the installation of an auto shredder, to increase India’s domestic collection of ferrous scrap. He said more than half of India’s growing steelmaking production is scrap-based, split between electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and induction furnaces.

With a national recycling policy being formulated that should encourage investment, Jain said MTC has plans “for at least 10” auto shredding plants. India also is producing a rapidly increasing number of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), Jain remarked.

Yogesh Bedi of India’s Tata Steel said that company is launching a recycling division—Tata Recycling—based in part to help execute the national recycling policy being formulated by India’s Ministry of Steel.

Bedi said India’s scrap industry currently is “very fragmented.” ELVs, said Bedi, are most often handled by an informal sector that uses environmentally unsound methods that also create health risks for workers and nearby residents.

Bedi said the anticipated new policy should include “norms” that must be followed by dismantlers and incentives for ELV owners to take vehicles to recyclers who follow these norms, rather than to the informal sector.

Market dynamics are different in Japan, according to Gaku Ito of Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which Ito described as Japan’s largest EAF steelmaker. Ito said from 1964 to the present, Japan has accumulated a sizable reservoir of ferrous scrap, and the nation has been a net exporter since 1991. “We now export 8 million metric tons per year,” he commented.

Thus, said Gaku, Tokyo Steel is investing to grow the market share for EAF production in Japan, which currently stands at 22 percent. Among the drivers for those investments is Japan’s commitment to the Paris climate change accord to limit carbon emissions. “Japan has to raise its [EAF] ratio to 80 percent by 2050” as part of that commitment, he said.

Tokyo Steel is developing and deploying technology to use lower grades of ferrous scrap, said Ito, and is planning to raise its EAF output from about 2 million metric tons in 2016 to 6 million by 2030 and 10 million by 2050.

SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia was Sept. 11-12 at the Avani Riverside Hotel in Bangkok.

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Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics collaborates to make trash bags from recycled plastic scrap

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:30
Midland, Michigan-based Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of DowDuPont Materials Science, through its participation in the Trash Free Seas Alliance, and in collaboration with flexible packaging manufacturer Bemis Co. Inc. and Canada-based converter Polykar Inc., have developed a trash bag made from postindustrial plastic scrap. The bags will be used to clean up beaches around the United States during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup event Sept. 16, 2017.

“As the largest provider of plastics in the packaging industry, Dow is a global advocate for resource recovery technologies,” says Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “We’ve taken on the challenge with Bemis and Polykar, alongside the Trash Free Seas Alliance, to increase postindustrial recycling and extend sustainable industrial practices to address a worldwide problem. We know that if we work together, we can find a way to recover plastic waste and use it to make an even a bigger impact on reducing marine debris.”

The recycled trash bags are opening doors for new, previously difficult-to-recycle packaging formats to enter the recycling stream, say the companies. To create the trash bags, Bemis collected the postindustrial plastic scrap and sent them to Polykar, which used its plastic recycling machines to combine the reclaimed plastics with Dow’s RETAIN technology. The resulting material is a recycled plastic resin, which Polykar used to manufacture the bags.

Dow and the other collaborators released a video detailing the process to manufacture trash bags, and reinforce their longstanding commitment to reducing marine debris. It can be viewed here.

Dow is a founding member of The Trash Free Seas Alliance, a global initiative led by the Ocean Conservancy, which unites industry, science and conservation leaders committed to identifying the causes and developing land-based solutions to prevent waste from entering the ocean seas. The coalition issued a report identifying the major pathways of plastic leakage into the ocean and solutions to properly concentrate and treat the plastic waste before it makes its way into the ocean.

“It’s an exciting step forward to be able to use recycled materials to collect and properly dispose of marine debris,” says Emily Woglom, executive vice president at Ocean Conservancy. “This work is just one example of the type of concrete solutions that we have identified and worked towards with our partners in the Trash Free Seas Alliance. Stopping waste before it ever reaches the ocean through proper waste management practices is key to solving this global problem.”

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics focuses on high growth market segments in flexible and rigid food packaging, secondary and tertiary packaging, personal hygiene and medical products, and adhesive applications. One of the largest polyethylene (PE) producers in the world, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics says it is a leading innovator and collaborator across the value chain on solutions for better packaging.

DowDuPont Materials Science, a business division of DowDuPont combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress.  DowDuPont Materials Science’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, industrials and consumer care, according to the company. DowDuPont intends to separate the Materials Science division into an independent, publicly traded company.

Headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, Bemis Co. Inc. is a major supplier of flexible and rigid plastic packaging used by leading food, consumer products, health care and other companies worldwide. Founded in 1858, Bemis reported 2016 net sales from continuing operations of $4 billion. The company says it has a strong technical base in polymer chemistry, film extrusion, coating and laminating, printing and converting.

Co-founded in 1987 by Elyse Damdjee and Aziz Karim, Polykar is a family business based in Saint-Laurent, Québec. The company began as a manufacturer of industrial garbage bags, and today has more than 100 employees and annual sales of $50 million. Polykar has become a leading Canadian manufacturer of PE film, certified compostable bags and bulk food packaging and has developed expertise in plastics recycling. The company holds ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004 certifications as well as the highest distinction (Gold) from Recyc-Québec’s ICI ON RECYCLE! program.

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CompuCycle Inc. adds electronics services management

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:19
CompuCycle, a Houston-based provider of end-of-life IT asset management services, has expanded its focus to work with local, national and global corporations for electronics services management.

The company says the purpose of this new approach is to fully manage IT assets for these organizations so that IT staff can devote their efforts to creating more efficient and streamlined internal processes, thus generating further revenue for businesses.

“CompuCycle will continue to uphold high standards across all aspects of our business as we develop programs and services designed to cater to the needs of our clients.”

As part of its new electronic services management, CompuCycle says it will offer the following services: IT asset inventory and deployment, on-site inventory and validation, on-site hard drive inventory and shredding, on-site mobile device inventory and data erasure, data center decommissioning, IT asset decommissioning and reinstallation, IT asset storage, lease return management and other services.

“CompuCycle was founded out of the need for secure, electronics recycling solutions,” says Kelly Hess, CEO of CompuCycle. “We remain committed to our mission of destroying our clients’ confidential data and ensuring customers’ product are managed and controlled professionally throughout the entire process, which is why we’ve decided to expand our services offering. This comprehensive approach of recycling and electronic services means IT departments can function more proficiently and businesses can become more profitable.”

Clive Hess, executive vice president of CompuCycle, adds, “CompuCycle will continue to uphold high standards across all aspects of our business as we develop programs and services designed to cater to the needs of our clients.”

In business for 21 years, CompuCycle has earned various certifications, including becoming Houston’s first R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) certified business in 2011. CompuCycle also received its ISO 14001:2004 accreditation for environmental compliance and was recognized for its dedication to occupational health and safety management, receiving a OHSAS 18001:2007 certification in 2014.

CompuCycle is an active member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, and served on the board of the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR), whose mission is to increase overall recycling rates throughout the state.

CompuCycle, a woman-owned business, focuses on refurbishing equipment for resale, reuse of components and environmentally responsible electronic recycling solutions for businesses.

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Andela Products sells glass pulverizer system to St. Barts

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:29
In July of 2017 St. Barts in the French Caribbean followed the example of several nearby islands and installed an Andela glass pulverizer to transform glass bottles into reusable aggregate, according to Andela Products, based in Richfield Springs, New York.

The company adds that Cumberland County, Tennessee; Dare County, North Carolina; Horry County, South Carolina; and Stutzman Refuse, South Hutchinson, Kansas, are among its North American customers that have developed glass recycling programs using the Andela pulverizer system.

The company supplies turnkey system packages with capacities ranging from 1 to 20 tons per hour. Each package includes Andela’s metering surge hopper, glass pulverizer, screening trommel, control panel and the necessary conveyors.

The Andela glass pulverizer system allows for the selective reduction of glass using patented flexible impactor technology, according to the company. This generates a sand or gravel glass product that can be handled safely, while any nonglass (paper labels, metal caps, corks, etc.) remain intact for further processing. 

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Diversified Plastics acquires Atlanta Rotomolding

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:03
Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI), a rotational molder based out of Latta, South Carolina, has announced its acquisition of Atlanta Rotomolding Inc., Decatur, Georgia. The purchase will facilitate the company’s plans to add more custom rotational molding services.

While DPI has offered custom rotomolding for years, the company says this expansion also allows it to increase its manufacturing of rotomolding products for other firms more efficiently and to provide better service.

In 2016, DPI added a 35,000-square-foot plant in Union Point, Georgia, giving it two facilities, as it expanded into manufacturing large waste dumpsters and recycling containers.

Equipment from Atlanta Rotomolding will move from Decatur to Union Point. It will be installed in a 15,000-square-foot building.

DPI says it will use its 35,000-square-foot facility in Union Point for manufacturing and production of new rotomolding products, while the 15,000-square-foot facility will be used for shipping and storage.

DPI makes custom and standard material handling carts and plastic storage containers, specializing in material handling carts for the industrial, textile, hospitality, laundry, agricultural and marine industries and in waste and recycling plastic containers for restaurants, sports venues and stadiums, apartment and condominium complexes and corporate offices.

The company’s products include bulk material handling carts, plastic utility carts, laundry carts, bulk containers, tote boxes, round containers, spring platform trucks, elevated carts, easy access carts, tilt trucks and more.

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BIR Plastics Committee session outlines opportunities in India

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 06:36
The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Brussels, hosts the 2017 World Recycling Convention (Round-Table Sessions, Oct. 14-16 at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave Hotel, New Delhi. At the plenary meeting of BIR Plastics Committee Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, chaired by Surendra Borad Patawari attendees have the opportunity to listen to representatives from Indian companies Reliance Industries Ltd. and Banyan Nation.

Guest speaker Rajesh Gauba is manager for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling and product sustainability at Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s most profitable and largest publicly traded company. Reliance Industries, a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, combines petrochemical, refining, oil and gas-related operations as its core business, with other divisions including cloth, retail, telecommunications and special economic zone (SEZ) development.

Gauba has been with Reliance for more than 20 years and, before his current assignment, headed the company’s Business Analysis Group for Polymer and Chemicals. He will be speaking on “PET recycling: Sustainability 'sweet-spot.’”

Guest speaker is Mani Vajipey is co-founder and CEO of Banyan Nation, which the BIR describes as “an informal sector-inclusive high-technology social venture” that aims to solve the problems in the Indian recycling value chain through technology innovations that encourage source segregation and maximize landfill diversion. Banyan Nation has changed the way India looks at plastics, recycling and waste management. Its mission is to produce cleaner, safer and cheaper plastic that compels brands to use more recycled than virgin plastic for their product and packaging needs.

Before founding Banyan Nation, Vajipey worked at Qualcomm Inc. in California on the design, development, testing and commercialization activities of mobile technologies for the Apple iPad and iPhone product lines.

He will deliver a presentation titled “Challenges and opportunities in the plastics recycling business in India.”

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ZenRobotics now sorts bags

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 06:06
Helsinki-based ZenRobotics says its ZenRobotics Recycler (ZRR) now not only sorts construction and demolition (C&D) debris but also offers a solution for municipal solid waste (MSW): bag sorting for source-separated MSW.

The company’s first step toward the MSW market is a ZRR that picks plastic bags weighing as much as 30 kilograms (66 pounds) by color. The ZRR also makes it easy to recover unopened bags from other loose municipal solid waste, the company says.

As a bag sorting application, a ZRR3 recovers up to 18 fractions in one spot in a single pass, using three successive arms, according to ZenRobotics. The system can do a positive, a negative or a hybrid sort, with throughput of up to 50 metric tons (55 short tons) per hour.

Furthermore, the company adds, a variety of other materials can be sorted with the same system at the same time. A ZRR3 with three arms can make up to 6,000 picks per hour.

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nejRkJH_1_8 to see the ZRR in action. 

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SteelMint Scrap Conference: Fewer ships at sea

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 01:51
The year 2012 may have marked a high tide for ship scrapping volumes, but vessel owners are still finding reasons to scrap portions of their fleets. According to one speaker at SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia, held in Bangkok in September, the average age of scrapped cargo vessels has grown increasingly younger.

Jamie Dalzell, who works in Singapore for obsolete ship broker GMS, said the frenzied buildup of cargo fleets in the opening decade of this century continues to yield numerous ships for recycling, and some of those ships conducted very few voyages.

“In 2016 we scrapped a 2010-built vessel,” said Dalzell, who added that the case was part of a trend in the sector. He said when he started in the ship dismantling industry about 20 years ago, “the average age of vessels used to be 30 years. Now, we are regularly scrapping ships that are 10 or 15 years old.”

In 2016 and 2017, the slumping energy sector has meant that tanker ships and offshore oil platforms have become more commonly scrapped, according to Dalzell. The capacity of the ocean freight sector in 2016, despite the recycling activity, still grew by 2.2 percent overall.

Dalzell said the majority of the world’s cargo vessel dismantling continues to take place in five nations: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Turkey. Activity in each of those nation’s has become “greener,” said Dalzell, thanks to operators seeking to comply with the Hong Kong Convention for environmental and worker safety standards.

Sanjeev Garg of United Arab Emirates-based Indicaa Group expressed less certainty than Dalzell that the volume of scrapped ships will remain strong into 2018. “The flow [of vessels to scrap] has come down; it is decreasing,” stated Garg.

He agreed that environmental and safety standards have improved rapidly, pointing to a big difference between “what ship breaking is now and what it used to be.”

Garg said the Indian subcontinent will remain a global leader in ship recycling because of the “gift of nature” that is the continental shelf along those nations’ coasts. The shelf enable gravity to play a role n easily tipping vessels so they can be dismantled.

SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia was Sept. 11-12 at the Avani Riverside Hotel in Bangkok.

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Hurricane Irma forces 2017 REW Conference to adapt event

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:48
The past week has been a difficult time for the state of Florida and many in the southeastern U.S. Relief agencies, governments, residents and industry continue the cleanup and rebuilding process as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Unfortunately, southwest Florida and Fort Myers, Florida, where the 2017 Renewable Energy from Waste (REW) Conference was to be held Oct. 2-4, was one of the areas most affected by the disaster. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, was scheduled to host a facility tour and give a presentation during the conference. 

The Recycling Today Media Group, the REW Conference organizer, has decided that because of the storm damage and ongoing recovery efforts, it will change the format to a virtual conference for 2017. This means attendees will be able to participate from their own offices virtually, avoiding travel to the affected region.

Attendees will have access to the same great educational sessions and will be able to interact with presenters. The REW Virtual Conference will be Oct. 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST.

“Our hearts go out to the families and businesses who have been affected by Hurricane Irma,” says Jim Keefe, publisher of the Recycling Today Media Group. “To show our support for the recovery efforts, we’ll be donating a portion of the proceeds from the 2017 REW Conference toward hurricane relief.”

Those who have already registered for the in-person event will be able to attend the virtual event. As well, anyone who had not registered for the in-person event but is interested in taking part in the online event can register here.

“It is a critical time in the waste industry,” Keefe says. “As natural disasters such as Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have produced an enormous amount of waste that needs to be managed, shifts in political policy and new import limitations in China also are having major impacts on the waste industry. Now more than ever, alternatives to traditional material outlets are being considered, and waste conversion is one of those options.”

The Recycling Today Media Group, a business unit of GIE Media, is the publisher of Waste Today, Recycling Today and Construction & Demolition Recycling magazines, as well as accompanying websites, e-newsletters and events. 

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NWRA submits comments to the World Trade Organization on China’s proposed scrap ban

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:28
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) submitted comments Aug. 31, 2017, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) of the People’s Republic of China. The Arlington, Virginia-based association joins other industry groups in making similar comments.

The comments state, “This ban will significantly impact the recycling industry in the United States as well as on the Chinese manufacturing that relies on these recycled materials. We respectfully request that the Chinese government reconsider this ban. Further, we support high quality standards for recyclable materials and support policies to achieve them. Ultimately, we believe that by using high quality standards, China ensures that its manufacturing sector has the raw materials needed to continue to produce goods while ensuring that the recycling industry remains viable into the future."

The comments also list “Items of Concern” detailing which specific materials the NWRA says would affect the health of commercial and residential recycling, including polymers of ethylene, polymers of propylene, other plastics and unsorted waste paper.

“These materials represent the residential and commercial recycling sector which our members support,” the comments state. NWRA cites “a significant amount of these materials are exported, mainly to China. In 2016, approximately 41 percent of paper recovered in the North America was exported, with about a quarter of recyclable paper collected in the United States exported to Chinese mills. Similarly, over 20 percent of post-consumer bottles and 33 percent of non-bottle rigid plastics from the U.S. were exported in 2015."

The comments also has sections that cover the uncertainty regarding the ban, support for high quality materials, recycling benefits, recycling benefits and problems resulting from this ban

NWRA provides the following recommendations:

    Enforce specifications for recyclable materials – NWRA supports bans on waste materials. However, the recyclable materials exported to China identified by the ban are valuable commodities that are used in the manufacturing on new products. We recommend that China enforce specifications on quality rather than outright ban these materials.

    Clarify definitions– NWRA requests that China clarify the scope of the ban so that we can understand exactly which materials are affected. Clear definitions and specifications for all materials affected are necessary to be able to disseminate information to recyclers for compliance. The lack of such definitions has led to significant confusion about what materials remain eligible for export.

    Delay the implementation – Should China elect to implement the ban, we request that the timeline be adjusted to allow for the development of alternative markets and solutions. Rather than implementing the bans by the end of the year, which could have a catastrophic impact on the United States’ recycling infrastructure, we request that the ban be implemented over a period of time. We recommend that the phase-out occur over a five-year period.

The full comments can be found here.

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