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Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

Finance news affecting secondary aluminum markets

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 00:46
Cleveland-based aluminum producer Aleris Corporation has announced the company’s planned acquisition by Zhongwang USA LLC will not proceed. Zhongwang USA is a United States-based firm set up by the chairman of China-based China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd.

In a news release announcing the end of the potential transaction, Aleris stated, “The merger was subject to customary regulatory approvals, including approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  In July 2017, CFIUS raised concerns about the transaction, and the parties withdrew their filing while extending the merger agreement to allow for additional discussions.” That extended agreement time lapsed on Nov. 12, 2017.

“While this is not the outcome we intended, we remain committed to our growth strategy and have made great strides over the past year in expanding our capacity and developing the capabilities required to meet the future demands of our industry,” says Sean Stack, Aleris Chairman and CEO. “This includes our automotive expansion project in Lewisport, Kentucky, which is beginning to serve customers.”

Since 2010, Aleris has been owned and controlled by a group led by investment funds within Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management LP, as well as certain funds managed by New York-based Apollo Management LP. “Our ownership group remains committed to Aleris and highly supportive of the company’s strategy,” says Stack.

He continues, “I am proud of our employees’ focus and accomplishments over the past several months and appreciate the support we’ve received from customers. Aleris remains well positioned for future growth, and we will continue to focus on serving our customers with excellence as we move forward.”

In the days prior to the Aleris announcement, shares in the holding company that owns secondary aluminum producer Real Alloy began dropping in value, falling to below 65 cents per share by Monday, Nov. 13.

The original assets that comprised Real Alloy were sold off by Aleris to an investor group in late 2015. Real Alloy also later acquired three plants formerly run by Beck Aluminum Alloys. The company currently has 17 production plants in North America and six in Europe.

As of mid-November, analysts and credit agencies were expressing concern about the ability of Real Industries (the holding company of Real Alloy) to keep its stock listed.


PPRCE 2017: Other cards to be played

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 00:27
Presenters at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event, held in Warsaw in early November, helped portray the emergence of India and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region as important destinations for Europe’s scrap materials.

Hrishikesh Vora of Mumbai-based Victory Creations and Paperworks, said capital is being invested in new and upgraded paper mills in India, and that the nation is about to experience “an unprecedented demand for scrap paper.”

He said the “Amazon effect” of increased boxes being shipped to individual homes has expanded to India, where Amazon “has become a household name,” according to Vora. Growth in that sector is spurred in part by India’s demographics, as a nation where 50 percent of the population is 25 or younger.

Vora said India is growing at a 7 percent annual clip as a consumer of finished paper, and the nation’s mill sector will need recovered fiber at a companion rate. “Today, there is tremendous interest in India; it is a land of opportunity.”

He said India’s paper production is being forecast to rise from 15 million metric tons produced in 2017 to 27 million tons produced in 2030. “With that growth, scrap paper will always be in demand,” Vora stated.

Vora said several Indian mills began “setting up supply chains” to bring in scrap paper tonnage from the United States in 2017, and that in 2018 it would be “very interesting in terms of how India will buy its scrap paper.”

Michael McManus of Indonesia-based Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) said that firm has observed how China’s restrictions on scrap paper imports are affecting the overall Asian finished paper market.

APP operates a recycled-content mill in Ningbo, China, and several mills in Indonesia that also consume virgin pulp. With China’s restrictions causing scrap paper costs to rise in that nation, “Costs are increasing in our China operations but are decreasing in our Indonesia operations,” said McManus.

With global supplies of recovered fiber being tight (even with China’s restrictions), McManus said he foresees “more integration with virgin fiber” in Asia in the form of paper machines that can be fed with varying ratios of virgin or recycled fiber. “There are plenty of things that haven’t been done yet” on that front, according to McManus.

Shailesh Gothal of Belgium-based Gemini Corp. described how that company has worked for the past several years to diversify its customer base for plastic and paper scrap to avoid being caught short by sudden regulatory changes in China.

He says Gemini’s exposure to China for the 1,400 containers it ships per month “is only 10 percent.” Said Gothal regarding the topsy-turvy conditions of 2017, “It was pretty easy for us to manage our business while China was closing.”

Gothal said emerging Asian markets such as Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia are likely to follow China’s lead on restrictions, however. “There will be pollution controls that will [curtail] these markets that are coming up,” he predicted.

He said he foresees “very little hope for mixed plastic” as a globally shipped commodity. “Sorted material has to improve, or they’re going to ruin the market for everything,” he stated.

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, organized by the Recycling Today Media Group, was Nov. 7-8 at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre.


Quebec MRF upgrades equipment with Machinex to improve quality

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 14:47
Machinex Technologies, Plessisville, Quebec, recently completed an equipment upgrade to the Recuperation Mauricie material recovery facility (MRF), near Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The purpose of the upgrade was to increase the system’s efficiency and the quality of the sorted material.

Machinex incorporated the new advanced equipment into the existing MRF. It includes a new ballistic separator to separate the packaging from mixed paper; two optical sorting units - one to sort the contaminants out of the mixed paper and the other to separate plastics in three categories: PET, HDPE and mixed. The old corrugated container (OCC) separator has been replaced by a new generation model, which Machinex says reduces the wrapping of the plastics around the components. Most of the glass fragments are removed at the beginning of the sorting line, thanks to the addition of a glass separator, and an Machinex eddy current separator removes aluminum cans.

"We are very proud to have realized this project of modernization at Recuperation Mauricie, because it is a long-time customer for Machinex with whom we built a relationship of trust,” says Pierre Paré, Machinex Group CEO. “The added high technologies will allow Récupération Mauricie to increase its productivity, but especially to improve the quality of its products."

Daniel Cassivi, managing director of the Group RCM and Récupération Mauricie, says he was impressed with Machinex team. “Throughout the project, we felt that people at Machinex were in control of the situation, which was confirmed by the resumption of the activities without delay according to the initial planning. We lived a positive experience at every level.”

Cassivi adds, “After only one week of operation, the upgraded system can produce a quality fiber good enough to sell to China, according to one of our brokers.”

Machinex a developer of sorting, waste management and recycling technology. It has designed and installed more than 350 turnkey facilities in partnership with leading MRFs in Canada, the United States, Europe and Oceania.


MH Equipment adds regional sales manager

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:27
MH Equipment, Chillicothe, Illinois has announced Isaac Yates has joined the company as a regional sales manager in the St. Louis and Scott City, Missouri, areas.

Yates joins the MH team after most recently working for Fairchild Equipment, Ham Lake, Minnesota, where he served as president over the West Division. Fairchild Equipment sells materials handling and warehouse equipment, forklift parts, certified training and other products.

Yates has more than 40 years of experience in various sales leadership roles. He has held executive positions at a number of companies, including Iveco Trucks of North America, Yale Materials Handling, Nordictrack, Jostens, New Standard Corp. and Rihm Kenworth.

MH Equipment President Jim Brake says, “MH Equipment in St. Louis is excited to welcome Isaac as our new regional sales manager. He brings great energy and many years of material handling experience to our sales team. It is clear that Isaac exemplifies the core values of our company and the future that we are building for our customers and employees.”

Started in Peoria, Illinois, in 1952 as one of the smallest Hyster forklift dealerships in the United States, MH Equipment has grown to become one of the largest material handling services providers in the U.S. In 1994, the company was purchased by current CEO John Wieland. The company has since grown from 50 employees to an organization comprised of multiple dealerships, more than 700 employees and 28 servicing locations throughout the Midwest. MH became a Yale equipment dealer in 2010 and currently has five locations serving the Erie, Pennsylvania; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; and St. Louis and Scott City, Missouri, areas.


MB-Sort employs Sesotec’s Varisort Compact sorting system

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:05
MB-Sort, Schoenberg, Germany, was established in August 2016 to provide contract sorting of various types of complex and technically problematic materials.

Every month MB-Sort recycles up to 200 tons of various mixed fractions. The company’s customers include recycling companies and manufacturers.

Among the tools MB-Sort employs for this task is the Varisort Compact system from Sesotec, also of Schoenberg.  

“In our own sorting line, the material must be sorted into different material groups or cleaned. Sesotec's Varisort Compact system is optimally suited for this task,” says Markus Burghart.

Material is fed into the Varisort Compact system using specifically adapted vibration feeders that ensure a homogeneous material transfer onto the full width of the high-speed belt conveyor, Sesotec says. The combination of infeed slide and belt conveyor eliminates form, weight and friction influences of the infeed material. At the end of the belt conveyor, the material is classified by means of corresponding sensors. After evaluation of the relevant information, high-speed valves are activated with a corresponding delay time for material discharge. Particles that must be separated are deflected from their original trajectory by targeted compressed-air blasts, falling into a separate shaft, Sesotec says.

The Varisort Compact CM+ recycling sorting system among others is used to sort shredded small electric/electronic devices, separating printed circuit boards, copper, aluminum and stainless steel and other metals from plastics. 

In multisensor operation, the C and M+ sensors are combined. The C sensor unit provides information about form and color, and the M+ sensor is responsible for metal detection. With this combination, a high metal purity can be achieved and a usable plastic fraction can be obtained, Sesotec says.

In metal recycling, the objective is to achieve correct sorting of the metal mixture consisting of aluminum, zinc, copper, brass, and stainless steel. Sesotec's Varisort Compact CM+ system ensures reliable recycling with purities of more than 98 percent, the company says.

For plastics processing companies, production scrap or regrind must be separated by color. Once recycled, these materials can be fed back into the production cycle again. With the C color detection sensor, the Varisort Compact system can be used for this task.


Olympus partners with Librestream Technologies

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 06:17
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas, has announced that it is now offering the Onsight platform from Librestream Technologies Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba, to provide additional functionality to its product portfolio. Using Onsight, Olympus customers in industries including aerospace, manufacturing and oil and gas can share live visuals from remote visual inspection (RVI) and nondestructive testing (NDT) instruments with remote experts for rapid decision-making in the field.

“Onsight complements the capabilities of the Olympus Scientific Cloud to deliver a rich collaboration experience,” says Karen Smith, senior vice president, strategy and marketing at Olympus. “The ability to instantly share visuals of the environment and from Olympus test instruments is important to our customers as they look for ways to leverage experts across their organizations. Librestream has over a decade of experience in remote collaboration, especially in low bandwidth environments, which is often where our customers operate.”

The Librestream solution includes Onsight Connect collaboration software and the Onsight 400R Collaboration Hub device to connect to Olympus videoscopes, ultrasound and other test instruments.

“Olympus is an innovator in the global scientific and imaging marketplace, and we are pleased to be working with them on a valuable IoT (internet of things) solution,” says Kerry Thacher, president and CEO, Librestream. He adds, “The Onsight platform complements the Olympus product capabilities by enabling remote collaboration across the Olympus RVI and NDT portfolio.”


PPRCE 2017: End of an era

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 02:02
For more than two decades, recyclers and traders around the world have been able to send paper and plastic scrap to China in loads that were far from containing one uniform material. That era is clearly coming to an end, according to presenters at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event, held in Warsaw in early November.

Craig Robinson of Cycle Link UK said a series of policy initiatives and announcements emanating from China had been “causing sleepless nights” for recyclers throughout 2017. Robinson said trade associations and manufacturers within China may ultimately influence that nation’s government to ease back some restrictions, but the nation’s central government is “determined to make this change.”

He said the closure of some mills will fit into a government strategy to decrease pollution and to rein in perceived excess capacity. When he visited China in July 2017, Robinson indicated paper mills at that time were given as little as two hours’ notice that environmental inspectors were on their way, and the inspectors “were checking everything” he indicated, all the way down to proper signage at facilities.

Subsequently, said Robinson, Chinese mills at times in 2017 sharply reduced their orders and “hurt Chinese mills’ reputation” in the European market. “We’ve become incredibly risk averse” he said of both sellers and buyers in Europe and Asia.

Robinson said he foresees more virgin pulp heading into China as a result, although OCC that can pass pre-inspection at a European port is likely to keep flowing.

As far as regulations within China, Robinson said his colleagues there tell him “nothing is confirmed until it is confirmed.” Speculation at the conference included a rumor that some of China’s largest mill companies may receive a waiver on a proposed 0.3 percent contamination level if they can demonstrate their mills are sophisticated enough to deal with contaminants.

Thijs Cox of Netherlands-based Ciparo BV said when China proposed its new restrictions to the WTO (World Trade Organization), it quickly agreed to them thanks in part to China using environmental regulation as its reason. However, member states have subsequently objected and “there is hope” that not all restrictions will stand as proposed.

Cox said that China recorded a 28 million metric tons per year recovered fiber deficit in 2016, and no matter how much effort it puts into additional domestic recovery it will be difficult to close that gap quickly.

Nonetheless, Cox said China’s government had good reason to introduce some of the restrictions, and 2017 likely marked “the end of an era” in terms of the ease of sending lower quality shipments to that nation.

Plastic scrap shipments to China have been even more severely affected in 2017, according to a presentation prepared by Dr. Steve Wong and delivered by Brian Taylor of the Recycling Today Media Group.

According to Wong, who is chairman of the Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Co. Ltd. and president of the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA), during some years this decade China has “absorbed more than 60 percent of world exports for plastic scrap.”

That came to a halt in 2017 with the National Sword port and facility inspection regimen, and is unlikely to return with the national government’s pending ban on imported post-consumer or residentially sourced plastic scrap.

As it has on the paper side, China’s central government says it intends to replace this material with domestic supply starting in 2020, according to Wong. To reach that target, he added, China will have to increase its plastic scrap recovery amount from 246 million tons in 2015 to 350 million tons by 2020.

Whether that supply is collected or not, any inbound material will not return in its former fashion. Wong noted that of the 24 items China has asked the WTO to allow it to ban at the end of 2017, eight of them are post-consumer plastic scrap grades.

Subsequently, both importers and shipping companies have eased back from these types of shipments starting as early as August 2017. Wong indicates it has created a “supply and demand imbalance situation to last for some time” and that “recycled pellet prices [are] climbing up continuously in China while [plastic] scrap prices outside China are moving the other way.”

A potential shortfall of some 7 million tons annually of recycled plastic materials in China is leading to opportunities for plastic scrap reprocessors to install capacity in nearby Vietnam and Thailand, according to Wong.

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, organized by the Recycling Today Media Group, was Nov. 7-8 at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre.


Associations respond to latest waste and recycling industry illness and injury data

Sat, 11/11/2017 - 08:37
Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, says it is pleased by the decline in the frequency of injuries and illnesses involving waste collection employees, but is concerned by the increase in injuries and illnesses for workers at landfills and material recovery facilities (MRF), based on the
U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2016 data, released Nov. 9, 2017.

The BLS data shows that private solid waste collection employees had a substantial decrease in their injury and illness rates, while both landfill and material recovery facility (MRF) MRF employees experienced increases in 2016. The solid waste collection employee injury and illness rate declined from 6.6 to 5.2 per 100 full time employees, the lowest level in more than a decade.

However, the 2016 injury and illness rate for employees at landfills increased to 4.9, where it was in 2014; this is an increase from the 2015 rate of 3.5, and is consistent with a spike in fatal incidents at landfills in the U.S. during 2016 as tracked by SWANA.

MRF workers had an increase in injuries and illnesses last year, going from 5.1 per 100 FTE in 2015 to 6.0 in 2016. MRFs also made the list of top 25 industries with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, restricted work, or job transfer, with a rate of 4.6.

“We are pleased by the decline in injury and illness rates among collection employees, and intend to review the 2016 and 2015 data to better understand the reasons for the decrease,” says David Biderman, SWANA’s executive director and CEO. “However, the increased injury/illness rates for landfill and recycling workers is troubling. Given the recent spike in fatal accidents this fall, SWANA will continue to be an industry leader in providing useful safety resources; nothing we do is more important.”

While the decline in the collection injury rate is a move in the right direction, SWANA has identified at least 13 fatal collection incidents in the U.S. in October 2017 alone, showing there is still much work to be done in order to keep workers safe and get waste collection off the list of top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

“SWANA’s Safety Ambassador Program is one of the ways that SWANA keeps safety a top priority for members at the chapter level, throughout the United States and Canada,” said John Tilton, SWANA’s South Carolina Safety Ambassador. “I am very pleased by SWANA’s focus on reducing accidents and injuries. Today’s data shows we have made some progress on the collection side of the industry.”

SWANA says it will be rolling out new safety initiatives in 2018 to provide additional resources for public and private sector employers and employees throughout the U.S. and Canada and continues to support “Slow Down To Get Around” safety efforts.

Arlington, Virginia-based National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) also weighed in on the results.

“Today’s BLS release of industry injury and illness data illuminates the progress being made to improve safety performance nationwide,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “Since our board of trustees designated safety as a strategic initiative in 2015, NWRA has worked to provide its members with tools and outreach efforts through Safety Stand Downs and our Safety Professional Development Series, as well as collecting our own data from members to monitor trends in safety.”

“In early 2016, NWRA convened an unprecedented industry-wide Safety Summit to significantly reducing crashes, injuries, illness and fatalities by building out sustainable prevention measures and engagement processes for a stronger industry safety culture,” said NWRA National Safety Director Anthony Hargis. “As a result of NWRA’s Safety Committee advances, the tools and processes we have developed focus on critical hazards and the industry sectors where performance can be improved. Our tools, such as ‘Safety Monday’ or Waste Expo Safety Education Sessions, help develop employee and employer best practices within the industry.”

The BLS data on workplace injury and illness is published annually, and information on the waste and recycling industry is based on the U.S. Census Bureau definition of the waste and remediation services industry (NAICS Code 562) as “solid waste collection, hazardous waste collection, other waste collection, hazardous waste treatment and disposal, solid waste landfill, solid waste combustors and incinerators.” A copy of the BLS announcement can be found at



New Jersey students’ recycling app wins STEAM Tank competition

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 08:16
Two Ocean City, New Jersey, fifth-graders from Ocean City Intermediate School won first place in the STEAM Tank competition.

The statewide STEAM Tank Challenge is created and sponsored by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) and the U.S. Army to encourage New Jersey’s public school students in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). The STEAM Tank Challenge is in its second year.

According to an article on the Press of Atlantic City website, 10-year-olds Daphne Brozyna and Isabella Kenny designed the app to mimic Minecraft. Players use recyclables to build structures, helping students learn what can and can’t be recycled.

Kenny and Broznya’s app was one of 193 entries in this year’s challenge, according to the article.

Bozyna told Press of Atlantic City that a teacher who stands by the trash and recycling bins at lunch and reminds students of what can be recycled inspired the app.

The girls developed the app as part of their school’s OC Life 21 Club with the direction of Maureen Baldini, a computer science teacher. The teacher says the girls developed and designed the app themselves and that Cape May County Utilities Authority is interested in it.

Broznya and Kenny received $2,500 as part of their prize, the Press of Atlantic City reports.  



Waste Management starts Green Broward initiative in Florida

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 08:14
Waste Management Inc.’s (WM’s) Florida branch has launched Green Broward, a local initiative designed to engage and educate the Broward County community on sustainability efforts. Green Broward is designed to highlight ways to recycle right, offer opportunities for the community to get involved in sustainability efforts and serve as an informational hub on WM’s sustainability initiatives.

“Green Broward has been in the planning stages for a few months, but in the wake of Hurricane Irma it is more important than ever that we come together as a community to help build a sustainable future by maximizing the capabilities of our regional assets,” Tim Hawkins, area vice president, WM of Florida, says. “Our Green Broward is a multifaceted effort in Broward County to teach people to recycle right, include the public in our sustainability mission and further engage our own team with the community in programs that will help make a difference here in South Florida.”

Green Broward was originally going to launch the week after Labor Day before Hurricane Irma struck. Immediately following the storm, the WM team had to restore collection services and still receives debris from Hurricane Irma at many of its regional facilities.

“We considered postponing longer, however, there was a collective belief among our team that the Green Broward initiative could play a part in the recovery effort,” Hawkins says. “This is our home, these are our neighborhoods and one way we can give back is to bring our professional knowledge and talents off the trucks, out of the transfer stations and into the community during this time of recovery.”

WM has launched, a website with tips on recycling, renewable energy and other efforts WM has already implemented.

“Our recycling education encourages residents and businesses to recycle more of the material that has an environmental benefit and a viable end market such as paper and cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs and aluminum and steel cans,” Dawn McCormick, director of communications for WM, says. “Increasing the collection of ‘good’ recyclables and keeping noncurbside recyclables such as plastic bags, food waste and electrical cords and hoses out of household recycling containers will help ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of recycling.”

Different aspects and programs of the initiative will be announced in the coming weeks.

ISRI MRF Council Forum meeting focuses on quality

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 07:07
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI’s) MRF Council held a forum during the association's board of directors meeting this week on the potential recyclability of several consumer products packaging items. Included among the 60-plus people participating in the meeting were plastics, paper and metals recyclers; private, for-profit material recovery facility (MRF) operators representing more than 200 MRF and recycling facilities across the country; municipal MRF operators; recycled material end users, including paper mills and plastics reformulators; brokers; and trade associations.

“Tuesday’s meeting was an important first step in bringing together representatives of key sectors in the recycling chain for a discussion focused on the potential challenges, as well as the opportunities, presented by the ever-changing stream of consumer products entering recycling in order to develop mutually agreeable solutions,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, which is based in Washington. “Successful recycling requires that everyone, from the manufacturers to the recyclers (including the MRFs) and ultimately to the material end users and consumer brand companies, come together to better understand the technical, economic and other requirements of each stage of the chain.”

ISRI invited three organizations to present regarding the work each has done to date related to recycling:

  • Keurig Green Mountain Inc. for its K-Cup pods;
  • the Foodservice Packaging Institute to discuss paper and plastic cups and takeout containers; and
  • the “Energy bag” program regarding flexible film packaging.

Discussions followed regarding the potential impact these items could have on the curbside recycling stream and current and future efforts to improve their potential recyclability. The discussion was centered on balancing the desire of consumers to purchase and use products that will get recycled with the challenge recyclers and end users face from increased contamination and processing costs.

ISRI says it made no decision regarding the recyclability of these items or how they would fit into its “Scrap Specifications Circular" during the meeting. The association says it plans further discussions and collaboration with these organizations and others in the future.

“Given the current high levels of contamination at curbside, combined with China’s significant reduction in allowable ‘carried waste’ in recyclables entering its market, the need to work together before any new materials enter the recycling stream has never been more important,” Wiener says. “ISRI’s specifications are an important tool to help facilitate those discussions and ensure that the needs of the global market are met.”

She continues, “While there is a common desire to increase recycling with a greater volume of materials, a successful curbside recovery program also requires a high-quality stream so the products produced from recycling can meet the exacting specifications rightfully demanded by the end users. Introducing new products without proper vetting could only further increase levels of contamination, which is why ISRI is grateful for the work and involvement of all those in attendance on Tuesday.”

ISRI’s MRF Council says it will continue efforts to work with brands, manufacturers and other trade associations to better establish the recyclability of different products and to develop tools and policies. 


Domtar’s Kingsport mill awarded for million-hour safety mark

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 14:37
Pictured, left to right: Terry Hughes, Kingsport mill safety manager; Keith Kiker, Kingsport mill Union president; Bill MacPherson, Kingsport mill manager; James Flanagan, assistant administrator for Tennessee OSHA; and David Blessman, Volunteer STAR Recognition Program manager.

Montreal-based papermaker Domtar has announced its Kingsport, Tennessee, paper mill has been awarded the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) Governor’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety.

The safety award recognizes outstanding achievement in employer-employee safety programs for the prevention of workplace injury. As part of its qualification criteria, Domtar’s Kingsport mill had to accumulate 1 million hours worked without a lost-time or restricted-duty incident.

While this is the first public recognition for the Kingsport mill, Bill MacPherson, manager of the mill, says it has achieved the 1-million-hour milestone several times in the past.

“Safety is a core value at Domtar, and we’re proud that TOSHA has recognized our efforts in this way,” says MacPherson. “We’re grateful to say that while this is the first time our Kingsport mill has been publicly recognized, thanks to our employees, the 1-million-hour milestone has been reached multiple times in the past by both the Kingsport mill and by our Ridgefields converting facility.”

Guests and speakers at the Nov. 8 event awarding the Kingsport mill included James Flanagan, assistant administrator for TOSHA; David Blessman, Volunteer STAR Recognition Program manager; and Randy Cassell, president of Kingsport’s safety council, among others.

“Domtar’s Kingsport mill has demonstrated a strong commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace,” says Flanagan, who presented the Governor’s Award of Excellence. “The evaluation criteria for this award are challenging, and this company has worked extremely hard to meet and exceed the standards the award requires.”

Domtar ranks as Kingsport’s third-largest manufacturing company, with approximately 400 employees at its mill and Ridgefields Converting facility.

“We’re very thankful for the dedication of our employees,” MacPherson says. “Milestones like these are possible because of their ongoing commitment to safety awareness.”

Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products, including communication, specialty and packaging papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products. The company has two corporate offices, one in Montreal and another in Fort Mill, South Carolina.


Republic Services opens hauling facility in north Texas

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 11:15
Republic Services has unveiled what it describes as its newest and most advanced hauling facility, which is expected to serve customers throughout north Texas for generations. The new 25,000-square-foot-facility located in Lewisville, Texas, features contemporary and collaborative workspace for employees, various employee amenities and modern infrastructure to support hauling and maintenance operations, the company says.

"We're devoted to our customers and passionate about providing simple solutions to their emerging needs," says Bryan Boyer, area president of Republic Services. "For us, it all begins with great people who are engaged and resourced appropriately. This impressive facility represents a strong commitment to our customers in the area. By ensuring that our drivers, technicians and support teams are equipped with a working environment that's second to none, we're better enabling our team to continually enhance local operations and meet the growing needs of our customers."

The new facility was designed as a model for future Republic hauling divisions, incorporating sustainability principles into both planning and construction. This involved using recycled steel in the building frame, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and an LED lighting system. In addition to contemporary employee workspaces and sustainability features, the facility is home to a modern eight-bay truck shop and maintenance area. This includes stylish, custom lockers for front line personnel that are equipped with USB chargers and multiple storage compartments for personal belongings. 

Republic Services of North Texas employs more than 1,400 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This team serves approximately 53,000 commercial and industrial customers as well as roughly 423,000 residential customers, including 96 community collection agreements. Throughout the Metroplex, Republic owns and operates 655 collection vehicles, including 105 vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), eight hauling divisions, six active landfills and one recycling center.

According to the Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University, the economic impact of Republic's operations in Texas is more than $771 million annually. Researchers attribute more than 8,600 direct and indirect jobs, and over $118 million in annual tax revenues for state and local governments, to Republic operations statewide.


International Congress for Battery Recycling issues call for papers

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 10:36
Switzerland-based conference organizer ICM AG has issued a call for papers for the International Congress for Battery Recycling (ICBR) 2018 conference in Berlin Sept. 26-28, 2018.

The call for papers for speakers is open until Jan. 31, 2018. The organizer says it is looking for contributions on the topics of battery recycling technologies, materials supply in a circular economy, transport and safety, the Batteries Directive revision and a review of worldwide battery recycling activities.

As in previous years, the 23rd ICBR will bring together numerous experts and decision-makers from the battery recycling value chain, such as battery manufacturers, battery recyclers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from the electronics and e-mobility industry, collection schemes operators, service and transport companies, policymakers and many others, says ICM AG.

“The ICBR Steering Committee wants to build on the resounding success of the recent congress in Lisbon in September 2017,” ICM AG says. “More than 250 experts from almost 30 countries worldwide attended the ICBR 2017, a new record. Most of the delegates came from the battery recycling industry and from national collection organizations. OEMs, professional associations and consultants were also strongly represented.”

As the assessment of this year's congress shows, ICM AG says the participants confirmed their interest in new recycling technologies and future challenges for the battery industry. Safety aspects in the storage, transport and recycling of batteries continue to attract interest.

The main topics for the ICBR 2018 will be the following:


  • How to recycle batteries from e-cars, e-bikes and other e-vehicles.
  • Recycling of batteries from energy storage systems of power plants.
  • Collection and recycling of batteries from cordless tools and electronic devices.
  • Best available recycling technologies for batteries.


Materials Supply in a Circular Economy

  • Battery materials supply and demand or “when recyclers meet raw materials suppliers.”
  • The role of battery recycling in a circular economy.
  • Eco-design: A critical approach to battery removability?
  • The e-mobility and energy storage markets: An opportunity for new battery technologies?


Transport and Safety

  • Update of the transport regulations on batteries.
  • Safety of lithium batteries: Risks and opportunities.
  • Evolution of packaging requirements for lithium batteries.


The Batteries Directive Revision

  • Update on the review process of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC.
  • The efficiency of battery recycling: The need for a new “optimum” approach.
  • The efficiency of battery collection: Considering urban mining and waste generation.
  • Challenges faced by the second life of lithium batteries: performances, transport and safety, and producer responsibility.
  • Impact of changes in hazardous waste regulations.


Worldwide Activity Review

  • Worldwide updates on battery take-back, collection schemes and recycling.


Interested speakers are invited to send a short abstract of their key messages to the congress organizer ICM via email at The title of the presentation should be mentioned with the author’s name.


Machinex adds new sales manager for Canada

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:58

Machinex Industries Inc., Plessisville, Quebec, has announced that Matt Risko has been appointed as the company’s Canadian sales manager. He has worked as a sales representative at Machinex Recycling Services (MRS), a service division of Machinex, in Pickering, Ontario since 2009.

In his new role with Machinex, Risko will help to develop sorting system solutions for material recovery facilities (MRFs) with customers and will ensure customers’ satisfaction while supporting them in their future needs, Machinex says. He will cover the Canadian territory, except for the province of Quebec, which is supported by the internal sales team at Machinex headquarters.

When Risko joined Machinex Recycling Services in 2009, he sold baling wire before quickly moving up to sell balers and peripheral equipment, such as conveyors, optical sorters and compactors. He also worked on notable projects, such as a source-separated organics facility for the city of Toronto in 2011, a MRF upgrade with a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) optical sorter for Northumberland County in 2015 and a PET optical sorter project for the city of Hamilton, Ontario, in 2016, the company says.


Risko graduated from the University of Toronto in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in city studies and political science. He’s also a member of Ontario Waste Management Association.

“I feel like I have got the call to the big leagues,” Risko says. “I am very excited for the opportunity and look forward to continuing to grow with Machinex.”

“The management of Machinex was very happy with the work Matt has done during the last years at MRS by developing the market, his good comprehension of the industry and his dedication to customer satisfaction,” says Chris Hawn, Machinex executive vice president sales and business development. “We consider Matt as a valuable member of our Machinex sales team, and we are confident that he will greatly serve the Canadian customers.”

Machinex develops sorting, waste management and recycling technology. Over the years, the company’s experts have designed and installed more than 350 turnkey facilities in partnership with leading MRFs in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. 


Columbia Industries introduces Horizon tipper

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:52
Columbia Industries, Hillsboro, Oregon, has recently released its next generation Horizon 50/65 T tipper. Originally introduced to the solid waste and recycling industries in the 1960s, the company says tippers have found market acceptance throughout the world.

The new Horizon 50/65 T tipper is designed with features such as automated leveling, digital joystick controls, greater accessibility for maintenance, expandable electronic monitoring, a new spill through chute and a single platform design that will accommodate 50 or 65-ton loads.

Columbia says the tipper will be manufactured for less cost than former designs, allowing the company to introduce a substantial upgrade at a lower price. Additionally, Columbia says its manufacturing and assembly facility in Hillsboro is an American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) qualified facility.

The company has released three new products over the past year: a Sprinter rig walking system, remote power steering and the Horizon 50/65 T landfill tipper.

Ken Van Raden, chairman and company cofounder, will be at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the tipper on Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. He will cut the ribbon to celebrate the release of the Horizon 50/65 T tipper.

Van Raden, his brother Fred and business partner Ken Brattlie founded Columbia in 1976.]]>

Australian researchers use plastic dialysis waste to produce durable concrete

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 08:52
Deakin University, Burwood, Australia, recycling project that’s turning hospital waste into longer-lasting concrete.

A team at Deakin's School of Engineering is behind the new project, which could ultimately save from the scrap heap the thousands of tons of plastic waste created in Australia each year through dialysis treatment.

Project leader Dr. Riyadh Al-Ameri, a senior lecturer in structural engineering, says the project could solve two problems in one, with corrosion of steel bars used in concrete construction a major issue for the industry.

The project is a collaboration between Al-Ameri and nephrologists Dr. Katherine Barraclough from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Professor John Agar from Barwon Health's University Hospital Geelong, and came about when the specialists approached Deakin to find a practical solution to their waste issue.

Al-Ameri says his project team was hoping to use the shredded plastic waste to help better protect structural concrete from corrosion. "Concrete can crack and damage the internal bond, which can then lead to water penetration and corrosion of the steel bars, critical for providing the strength and integrity of concrete structures. If we are able to facilitate production of new types of concrete that will offer better protection, give structures longer life and better performance, as well as help recycle plastic waste, that will be a great achievement."

Barraclough says each dialysis treatment created between 1 and 3 kilograms (2 to 5 pounds) of plastic waste, and with more than 12,000 Australians on dialysis, that added up to about 5,100 metric tons of plastic waste per year.

"Haemodialysis (the most common type of dialysis) involves making a circuit where blood is pumped from a patient's bloodstream through a machine then back to the patient. This removes toxins and excess water and is life sustaining for patients with kidney failure," she says.

"For safety reasons, both the tubes that carry the blood and the dialyser (the part of the machine that cleans the blood) are made of plastic designed for single use only. The result is large amounts of plastic waste generated from each dialysis treatment.

"Because the waste is potentially infectious, it must be either burnt or sterilized before being thrown away. This not only costs a lot of money, but also causes significant harm to the environment.

"With increasing numbers of people requiring dialysis in Australia and worldwide, we need to work out ways to reduce the costs of care delivery, as well as play our part in ensuring a healthy environment for future generations."

As part of some initial testing, Al-Ameri's team added the shredded plastic waste to a concrete mix at concentrations of 0.5 percent and 1 percent by weight of concrete, with results showing this made a product that was more durable and significantly more water-proof.

"The 30 percent decrease in water absorption we found is significant and would be expected to improve resistance of concrete to corrosion," Dr Al-Ameri says.

Now thanks to funding from industry partner Fresenius Medical Care, a Germany-based global provider of dialysis products and services, Al-Ameri and his team hope to conduct more rigorous testing to see if this new concrete mix can stand up to harsh conditions.

"We will use our accelerated weather corrosion tanks in the concrete lab to simulate a marine environment," Al-Ameri says. "One month in the lab is equivalent to approximately one year outside, so we can observe the behavior of the material quickly and efficiently.

"Wet and dry cycles can have a big impact on the durability of the concrete, and sea water has chloride, which is very harmful to both concrete and steel reinforcement.

"So we're looking for innovations that will help concrete construction of off shore rigs for oil and gas, observation towers, concrete buildings in coastal areas that are exposed to humidity, and marine structures such as retaining walls that are in contact with water."


Indiana port to receive federal grant

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 06:34
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor says U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao has confirmed the port will receive one of the nation’s 10 FASTLANE (Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies) small project grants for 2017.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor serves the largest steel-producing region in North America. Major cargoes handled by the port include steel, coal, limestone, fertilizer and grain.

Port operations generate an economic impact of $4.9 billion per year and support more than 39,000 total jobs.

The FASTLANE Discretionary Grant program is part of the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in highway, rail, port and intermodal freight and highway projects. FASTLANE applicants compete for funds and must detail the cost-effectiveness of the proposed project and the effect it will have on mobility in the state and region.

In August of this year, Secretary Chao told Congress the Department of Transportation was recommending approval of a $9.85 million discretionary grant for the port. After a 60-day review period, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved all the projects. The port will apply its grant is toward a $19.7 million infrastructure expansion that will increase cargo handling capacity and multimodal capabilities.

The port expansion will include construction of a new 2.3-acre cargo terminal with multimodal connections for handling cargo transfers between ships, barges, rail cars and trucks. In addition, 4.4 miles will be added to the port’s existing 14-mile rail network. Two new rail yards will create rail storage for 165 rail cars, accommodate a 90-car unit train and provide rail car switching within the port, which will improve operating efficiencies for port companies, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor says in a news release regarding the grant. Improvements to the west dock, including extending a retaining wall and paving a dock apron, will result in an additional 1,200 feet of usable dock space. The project scope also includes a new 6-acre truck marshalling yard that is designed to relieve congestion along port roads.

“With these investments, companies using water to move cargo will have new options for their inbound raw materials, outbound finished products and transferring shipments between ships and barges, rail cars and trucks,” says Ports of Indiana CEO Rich Cooper. “Strategic investments in port infrastructure produce a foundation for long-term growth, bring a positive economic impact to the area and support trade throughout the state.”

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor says it handled nearly 2.6 million tons of cargo in 2016, completing the highest three-year total in the port’s history. Ship traffic through the port was up nearly 20 percent for the first nine months of 2017, while total shipments were up nearly 11 percent compared with the same time last year.

“Indiana’s ports are critical hubs for jobs and economic growth and this expansion will help our state attract even more business to northwest Indiana,” Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb says. “This new investment will not only improve the region’s economic vitality but also the international competitiveness of our entire state.”

“Improving infrastructure is one of the best ways we can foster growth, and our federal and state governments continue to make investments to attract new business and help existing businesses expand,” says U.S. Sen. Todd Young, a member of the Senate Transportation and Commerce Committee. “Our ability to move raw materials and finished products is critical for economic success, and this FASTLANE grant will help our Lake Michigan port strengthen the Hoosier economy.”

U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky adds, “This port is an essential component of a strong and growing northwest Indiana economy and these federal funds will help improve its ability to create jobs and generate additional economic activity throughout our region and our state.”


ISRI opens registration for its 2018 convention

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:27
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has announced that registration is open for its annual convention and exposition, ISRI2018.

Washington-based ISRI says the event is the world’s largest annual gathering of scrap recycling professionals. It is scheduled for April 14-19 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

“ISRI2018 is set to provide scrap recyclers from around the world with the educational and networking opportunities, product showcases and industry news needed to maximize their time, dollars and return on investment,” the association says.

“The ISRI show has become the most important meeting in the industry each year with participants typically coming from all 50 U.S. states and from more than 50 countries across the globe,” says Chuck Carr, vice president of convention, education and training for ISRI. “The show’s value comes from how well it is programmed to meet the present needs of the industry.”

The ISRI2018 Opening General Session keynote speaker is Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who has business experience and a knowledge of commodities as the former CEO of the Kellogg Co. He also served as Secretary of Commerce in the George W. Bush administration, where he showed he understands the world of business, ISRI says. As the nation’s top commercial advocate, Gutierrez helped open global markets for U.S. companies and was a champion of efforts to build new trade partnerships in Latin America. Today, he serves as co-chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and sits on the board of Time Warner Inc.

Workshops this year will focus on putting the business “odds in your favor” for a more successful future. Topics will include international trade, human resources compliance, business valuation and commodity specific areas.

ISRI2018 features the widely attended Commodity Spotlight series, covering ferrous, copper, aluminum, nickel/stainless, paper and tires, and providing the most up-to-date market analysis available, the association says.

ISRI’s exhibition hall features a comprehensive trade show floor, with many exhibitors featuring software and equipment designed to lower operating costs and improve productivity.

Reservations in the ISRI room block at Mandalay Bay, The Delano Las Vegas and Luxor are open. ISRI encourages early booking, saying hotels will fill up fast. The ISRI rate for hotels is available only through the ISRI convention website,, as are additional details on the schedule and registration. 


Lakeshore Recycling Systems acquires sixth Chicago-area collection company

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 09:11
Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS), Morton Grove, Illinois, has acquired DC Trash of Illinois (DCT), an independent waste and recycling collection provider serving 30,000 customers in Chicago's western suburbs headquartered in Cortland, Illinois. DCT represents LRS' sixth acquisition of a Chicago-area independent waste and recycling company over the last 4 years.

DCT, founded by Dan Christensen, brings to LRS waste and recycling collection and roll-off dumpster rental capabilities. Because of the acquisition, LRS says it will add six new residential municipal contracts, a large customer subscriber base, an expansive roll-off service area and commercial waste and recycling services. LRS also will add 40 DCT employees and 30 vehicles to its growing fleet.

In less than five years, LRS has grown annual sales to over $170 million and now counts more than 760 employees across greater Chicagoland. LRS continues to seek acquisitions in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Southwest Michigan.

"Dan (Christensen) and his team have done an outstanding job building DCT into a company recognized for quality and dependable service. We welcome DCT customers to the larger LRS family and look forward to working with DCT as they continue to provide exceptional residential and business waste disposal and recycling services," Alan Handley, LRS CEO, says. "The companies we acquire share our values, celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and, in turn, we impart those values into the quality and care our customers expect."

Handley says DCT will continue to operate as a standalone entity serving the western suburbs of Chicago. Financial terms were not disclosed and the acquisition is effective immediately.

"I am thrilled to join forces with Lakeshore, an independent powerhouse who understands the waste, recycling and sustainability industry better than the larger landfill-centric public companies," Christensen, who will take over as regional vice president at LRS, says. "I'm excited to introduce to our customers an organization like LRS that shares our passion for great service. Our customers and prospective customers stand to profit from a menu of services previously not available, and as always, they'll be delivered by the same employees who live in and care for our communities."