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Real Alloy to close Wisconsin plant

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 01:21
Beachwood, Ohio-based recycled-content aluminum producer Real Alloy, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2017, is shuttering its melt shop in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.

The company issued an update on its bankruptcy reorganization on Jan. 18, 2018, that states in part, “As part of the company’s continued focus on rationalizing costs and improving efficiency, Real Alloy [will] cease operations at its Mount Pleasant facility, which was acquired from Beck Aluminum at the end of 2016.”

The statement continues, “Real Alloy expects to utilize available production capacity in nearby Indiana and Michigan facilities, and feels that shutting down the facility allows the business to better utilize production capacity and reduce overall capital needs.”

In other news pertaining to its reorganization, the company has indicated it has received additional DIP (debtor-in-possession) financing that “allows Real Alloy to continue uninterrupted operations throughout the reorganization process, giving Real Alloy the authority to make payments to suppliers and service providers as well as to continue to pay employees wages, salaries and benefits.”

The company’s managers have also reported that “since the filing of Chapter 11 in November 2017, Real Alloy has successfully negotiated contracts for 2018 production with several longstanding customers including major multinational automobile manufacturers and large-scale aluminum producers. The Company’s average tenure on its relationship with these customers is over 20 years. Real Alloy has continued to work closely with its suppliers and critical vendors throughout this restructuring process, and has received strong support from customers and vendors alike.”


WestRock acquires paper and packaging producer KapStone

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 19:29
Atlanta-based WestRock Co. has announced signing a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Illinois-based KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp.

Founded in 2005, KapStone produces and distributes containerboard, corrugated products and specialty papers, including liner and medium containerboard, kraft paper and saturating kraft. KapStone also owns Victory Packaging, a packaging distribution company with facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

According to its website, KapStone operates four paper mills: two in South Carolina, one in North Carolina and the former Longview Fibre mill in Washington state, which it acquired in 2013.

“KapStone is a great fit with WestRock,” states Steve Voorhees, CEO of WestRock. “[Its] complementary corrugated packaging and distribution operations will enhance WestRock’s ability to serve customers across our system, particularly in the western United States, and the addition of [its] specialty kraft paper products that we do not make enhances our differentiated portfolio of paper and packaging solutions.”

The news release issued by WestRock also points to KapStone’s ability to consume virgin fiber feedstocks at a high percentage. The transaction “increases [the] mix of virgin fiber-based paper in WestRock’s paper portfolio,” the release states. “KapStone’s 3 million tons of paper is made using 78 percent virgin fiber and 22 percent recovered fiber. This increases WestRock’s overall mix of virgin fiber from 65 percent to 67 percent.”

The acquisition cost is valued by the two companies at approximately $4.9 billion, based on a $35.00 per share purchase price and WestRock’s assumption of $1.36 billion in KapStone debt.

KapStone’s chairman, Roger Stone, and its president and CEO Matt Kaplan agreed to vote their shares in support of the transaction, “subject to certain limitations.”

“The agreement to combine with WestRock is a testament to the tremendous company we have built and the hard work and accomplishments of the KapStone team,” says Kaplan. “As we began to understand WestRock’s principles, we realized how closely aligned our cultures are. As a result, we believe strongly that this will be beneficial to both our employees and customers.”

The two companies indicate the acquisition will enable WestRock to supply additional corrugated packaging to Victory Packaging and will “accelerate WestRock’s plans to improve margins in its North American corrugated packaging business.”

As of late January 2018, the transaction remains subject to closing conditions that include a vote by KapStone’s shareholders. Pending those conditions being met, the transaction is expected to close by the end of September 2018.

Pre-merger, WestRock employs some 45,000 people at more than 300 operating and office locations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. KapStone employs about 6,200 people at more than 90 locations in North America.


Vortex De-pollution distributing A-Ward tilting container loaders

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 11:28
Vortex De-pollution, Denver, has announced it is distributing tilting container loaders from New Zealand-based A-Ward.

The company will supply MiTilt, a tilting container loader for the scrap recycling industry, throughout North America.

Trace Nichols, sales development manager for Vortex De-pollution, says the tilting container loaders help companies to be more efficient in their operations as well as to reduce logistics costs. Additionally, the hydraulically powered containers help to maximize container space.

“You can load a container in 20 minutes,” Nichols says.

He adds, “The container loader is made to reduce the logistics costs and make you more efficient. You can load a container much faster with this.”

Nichols says the tilting container loaders are ideal for companies shipping loads overseas. They work for 20-foot and 40-foot containers.

A-Ward explains on its website that the MiTilt “allows a container to be tipped at your chosen angle—anywhere between -10° to 90°. By loading from above, you have access to 100 percent of the internal container volume. Shipping containers are inserted either directly with a standard trailer, or from above with a forklift, crane or reach stacker.”

For more information, contact Nichols by email at or by phone at 303-900-4040, ext. 301.


AF&PA, AWC applaud EPA permit streamlining

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:57
Washington-based American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman and Leesburg, Virginia-based American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) issuance of new guidance to reclassify certain major sources as area sources under the Clean Air Act.

Jan. 25, 2018, EPA says it “issued a guidance memorandum withdrawing the ‘once in always in’ policy for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under section 112 of the Clean Air Act.  With the new guidance, sources of hazardous air pollutants previously classified as ‘major sources’ may be reclassified as ‘area’ sources at any time, provided the facility limits its potential to emit below major source thresholds,” according to the association’s website.

“This guidance is based on a plain language reading of the statute that is in line with EPA’s guidance for other provisions of the Clean Air Act,” Bill Wehrum, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, says in a press release announcing the change. “It will reduce regulatory burden for industries and the states, while continuing to ensure stringent and effective controls on hazardous air pollutants.”

AF&PA’s Harman says in a statement:

“For too long, the air permit process has been overly bureaucratic, slow and outdated, thereby causing unwarranted red tape, costs and delay for the regulated community. In some cases, these problems have been created by agency interpretations that are not even consistent with the plain meaning of the Clean Air Act as written by the people’s duly elected representatives in Congress. The old ‘once in, always in’ approach contradicted both the law and common sense by treating a source as major even if production process changes or controls permanently reduced emissions levels to the minor source level.

We applaud EPA’s new guidance, which is faithful to the text of the Clean Air Act and will not only reduce unwarranted red tape but will remove disincentives to voluntary efforts and technical innovations that could reduce emissions.

“This action is consistent with our recommendations to EPA and the Department of Commerce in response to President Trump’s early directive on streamlining permitting and reducing regulatory burdens to promote domestic manufacturing.”

AWC’s Glowinski says:

“Reforming the cumbersome environmental permit system is essential to reviving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Eliminating the old ‘once in, always in’ policy is a step in the right direction to streamline the air permitting systems.

We are pleased that EPA has returned to the plain reading of the Clean Air Act for air toxic regulations. The old policy arbitrarily put a facility into a regulatory time warp from which it could never escape.

Eliminating the OIAI [once in, always in] policy creates incentives for facilities to reduce emissions below the regulatory thresholds, which is a win for the environment and a win for business.

The regulatory burdens of complying with a MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) standard are significant, especially for smaller mills, which this policy could help. Mills that are able to reduce their emissions below the threshold, and this guidance gives them an incentive to do so, should be freed of unnecessary reporting, monitoring and recordkeeping requirements as long as they operate controls to stay below the cutoffs.

Consistent with today’s action, we encourage EPA to make the appropriate changes to the regulations as soon as possible.”

AF&PA says it represents producers of pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products that manufacture more than $200 billion in products annually.

AWC says it represents North American wood products manufacturing, representing 86 percent of the structural wood products industry.


RePower South taps BHS for mixed waste processing facility

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:29
RePower South (RPS), North Charleston, South Carolina, has begun construction of the Berkeley County Recycling and Recovery Facility to process mixed waste. The turnkey system will be provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eugene, Oregon, under an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with Barnhill Contracting Co., Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

When production begins in early 2019, the Moncks Corner, South Carolina, plant will process 50 tons-per-hour of mixed waste sourced from Berkeley County to recover recycled commodities and a fuel feedstock. The plant includes optical sorters from National Recovery Technologies (NRT), Nashville, Tennessee, and BHS’ Max-A Autonomous Quality Controls (AQCs).

RPS says it partners with communities to maximize recycling recovery and landfill diversion at the lowest overall cost. China’s National Sword policy has left many communities contemplating how to best manage recycling with some areas in the U.S. currently landfilling papers, plastics and commodities that had previously been recycled. The RPS facility is designed to recover all recyclables rather than only those placed in a recycling bin. Beyond recycling, the facility is designed to recover nonrecyclable papers and plastics for production of ReEngineered Feedstock, a renewable fuel sold to industry, cement and utility customers to replace coal in production processes.

“This system allows us to cost effectively increase a community’s recycling as well as produce a low carbon, clean fuel from waste that is typically landfilled,” RPS President Bob Shepard says. “BHS systems are a critical component of our ability to offer a better, more cost effective solution to manage a community’s waste disposal.  We are very excited to bring this solution to the citizens of Berkeley County, South Carolina, and are grateful to the leadership of Berkeley County for selecting RPS and systems partners, BHS and Loesche Energy Systems.”     

The BHS FiberPure system, consisting of BHS screens, NRT optical sorters and Max-AI AQCs, is designed to remove contaminants to produce a clean end product without the need for manual sorters. The nonrecyclable fibers and plastics destined for fuel are sent through NRT SpydIR optical sorters equipped with MetalDirector options to remove unwanted contaminants. Max-AI AQCs are also used in each sorting position on the container line. In total, the system contains seven NRT optical sorters and nine Max-AI AQCs.

“With NRT optical and Max-AI technology, we have an almost unlimited degree of flexibility to create a wide variety of high quality products to serve multiple markets,” Shepard says. “The technology will maximize the recovery and quality of those products and with Max-AI technology, there’s no real need to expose people to this work during the QC [quality control] process.”

In conjunction with BHS and RPS’s fuel system partner, Loesche Energy Systems, located near London, the fuel system contains a Loesche RocketMill for size reduction and two PAAL balers from Kadant, Westford, Massachusetts. A PAAL Konti 500 bales all commodities headed to the secondary market, including ferrous, aluminum, cardboard, paper and plastics, and fuel is baled by a PAAL Dokon 500. 

“RePower South is showing that it is possible today to help communities increase recycling with the existing waste stream while also providing the flexibility to adjust to any market condition or opportunity,” BHS CEO Steve Miller says. “The system is built to run with low operating costs over multiple shifts and has the ability to adjust its outputs to meet market conditions. The waste stream in Berkeley County is a resource which can be fully managed, and BHS is excited to help make it happen.”


Unifi announces Repreve Champions of Sustainability winners

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 07:00
Unifi Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, has announced the winners of its inaugural Repreve Champions of Sustainability awards. The awards acknowledge companies that make their products with Repreve fibers, which are made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles.

The 2017 winners of the Repreve Champions of Sustainability awards were announced at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver, Jan. 25-28.

“Unifi created the Repreve Champions of Sustainability awards to recognize our brand and textile partners that have achieved plastic bottle recycling milestones as a result of their use of Repreve performance fibers,” says Kevin Hall, Unifi chairman and CEO. “We are proud to honor companies that exemplify leadership in sustainability and are among those that have contributed to the more than 10 billion bottles that Unifi has recycled so far. We look forward to recognizing even more companies in the future as we work toward our goal of recycling 30 billion bottles by 2022.”

Twenty-five brand and retail partners that have each used the equivalent of 10 million or more bottles, and 15 textile partners that have each used the equivalent of 50 million or more bottles, through the use of Repreve fiber were honored. A list of award recipients can be found by visiting

“More than 70 percent of plastic bottles in the United States end up in a landfill,” says Hall. “By creating these awards, we hope to inspire designers, customers and consumers to continue to invest in sustainability, and that together we can make everyday life better by transforming recycled plastic bottles into the products consumers use every day.”

In addition to the bottle awards, Unifi also has introduced four special category awards:

  • Repreve Partners in Innovation recognizes companies using Repreve in a way that’s unique to the market.
  • Repreve Circular Economy recognizes companies demonstrating best-in-class use of the closed loop concept, which aims to eliminate waste throughout the product life cycle.
  • Repreve Newcomer recognizes key companies that started using Repreve in the past year.
  • Repreve All-In recognizes companies that integrated Repreve into their entire product line from the beginning of the partnership.


To craft the actual awards, Unifi partnered with The Olio, a nonprofit organization based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that focuses on teaching and empowerment through entrepreneurship, glassblowing, art and sustainable solutions. Each custom crafted award is blown by hand from glass recycled from area restaurants and bars, and sits on a base made from recycled aluminum and reclaimed wood, Unifi explains.

Unifi announced in late 2017 that it had recycled more than 10 billion plastic bottles as of 2017 and has a target to recycle 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion bottles by 2022.


Brand and Retailer Bottle Awards:

Textile Partner Bottle Awards:

Special Category Awards


Billion Rise

Repreve Partners in Innovation:

Ford Motor Co.


Cone Denim


Darlington A Moore Co.

Lucky Textiles

Haggar Clothing Co.


Momentum Textiles

Hanesbrands Inc.

Intradeco Apparel



MAS Fabrics


Milliken & Co.

Repreve Circular Economy

Levi Strauss & Co.

Ningbo Shenzhou





Momentum Textiles

Sage Automotive Interiors

The North Face



Perry Ellis International

Shanghai Shenan

Repreve Newcomer






New Era Cap


Valdese Weavers LLC



Under Armour

Repreve All-in

VF Corp.



Williams-Sonoma Inc.



Scrap gets mention in USTR China report

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 00:36
A 160-page report released in January 2018 by the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) expresses numerous concerns about China’s trade policies, with scrap materials among the many sectors mentioned. (A link to the full report can be found toward the bottom of this Web page.) 

In a section of the report on China’s import licensing policies, the USTR report authors write, “A variety of specific compliance issues continue to arise. In 2017, these included a new import ban on recoverable wastes [plus] the administration of the tariff-rate quota system for fertilizer [and] the administration of the tariff-rate quota system for certain agricultural commodities.”

Later, in a section on Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment Procedures, a five-paragraph sub-section on an “Import Ban on Recoverable Materials” provides greater detail.

Recounting the Chinese Ministry of Environment and Protection (MEP) July 2017 notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about a ban on two dozen types of scrap imports, the USTR writes, “The comment periods provided by China were less than the 60 days required by the TBT [Technical Barriers to Trade] Agreement, and the timeframe for implementation was less than six months.”

Addressing new scrap contamination thresholds announced by the MEP later in 2017, the USTR authors write, “It does not appear that similar restrictions apply to domestically sourced recoverable wastes or recovered materials.”

Regarding the potential extent of the economic harm, USTR adds, “U.S. exports to China of the recoverable wastes or recovered materials covered by the measures totaled $479 million in 2016. U.S. stakeholders expect the measures to have significant negative impact on those exports. In 2018, the United States will continue to urge China to reconsider its approach.”

Throughout the 160-page report, the authors point to rules created by China’s State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) as having consistently resulted in barriers for companies exporting goods to China.

Contrary to WTO rules, according to the USTR, “U.S. exporters representing several sectors continue to report that China’s regulatory requirements are not enforced as strictly or uniformly against domestic producers as compared to foreign producers.”

Continues the USTR, “Concern has grown over the past few years that China seems to be actively pursuing the development of unique requirements, despite the existence of well-established international standards, as a means for protecting domestic companies from competing foreign standards and technologies.”

That mirrors the argument being made by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) about the new contamination levels applied only to imported scrap by the Chinese government, which are far stricter than standards in the rest of the world.


NERC announces Spring Workshop details

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:13
The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), Brattleboro, Vermont, has announced details for its Spring Workshop—Markets or Bust—set for April 3, 2018, at the Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport Hotel in Maryland. The event will focus on recycling market issues and market development opportunities.

The keynote address will be presented by Myles Cohen, president of Pratt Recycling, the recycling division of Conyers, Georgia-based Pratt Industries Inc. Cohen also serves as president of the Paper Stock Industries (PSI), a national chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington. Cohen’s presentation—Is Curbside Recycling in Jeopardy?—will dive into the impacts that increased contamination issues and China’s import restrictions are having on recycling markets, and ways to “save” and preserve curbside recycling programs.

Secretary Ben Grumbles of the Maryland Department of the Environment will open the event with welcoming remarks.

NERC says its Spring Workshop will provide attendees with information and discussions about key market issues for the paper, plastic, glass and organic sectors; recycling market development opportunities; interactive sessions that illustrate industry sector market scenarios; and networking with government, industry, nonprofits, consultants and universities.

The Spring Workshop is intended for emerging and seasoned professionals in sustainable materials management—municipal, county and state offices dealing with recycling; university sustainability coordinators; businesses involved in recycling—haulers, processors and manufacturers; nonprofits; and consultants.

For more information, visit NERC’s website.

NERC is a nonprofit organization that conducts research, projects, training, and outreach on issues associated with source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and environmentally preferable purchasing.


Fire at Willimantic Waste Paper Co. continues to burn

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:21
A fire that started the morning of Jan. 28 at Willimantic Waste Paper Co., Willimantic, Connecticut, has forced schools and roads to close, with firefighters anticipating it will take days to completely extinguish, according to a report in The Hartford Courant.

The destructive fire has been declared under control, the article reports, and it is not expected to spread any further, said Windham Fire Chief Marc Scrivener.

The fire started around 10:13 a.m. Sunday in a 50-ton stockpile of wood, plaster and construction debris at Willimantic Waste, a family-owned business that collects and processes waste, recyclables and construction debris in Tolland, Hartford, Middlesex, Windham and New London counties, according to the company’s website.

Officials told The Hartford Courant Monday morning that the company, which has 350 employees, will proceed with waste and recycling pickup as scheduled.

Nearly 200 firefighters spent hours Sunday battling the blaze, the article reports, which officials said went to four alarms. One firefighter had to be treated for exhaustion, and town schools, as well as Eastern Connecticut State University, closed for the day, the article reports.

Willimantic Waste Paper was one of more than 20 companies that purchased a single-ram, no-shear Bollegraaf baler from Van Dyk Recycling Solutions (VDRS), Stamford, Connecticut, in 2017, according to a list the company released in December 2017.


ACMA launches Composites Recycling Conference

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 08:48
The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Arlington, Virginia, has announced the conference program for its inaugural Composites Recycling Conference, set for April 10-12, 2018, in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

The conference program, which also will be available online, features the technology and business developments in composites recycling presented by leading experts from U.S. and around the world.

“Over the past few years, our industry has made great strides in composites recycling, including greater awareness, product development and industry collaboration,” says Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of ACMA. “This conference will give our industry professionals and leaders the full picture of what’s happening in composites recycling today and get a glimpse at what’s next, including opportunities to reduce costs and develop recycled composite products.”

The conference program features panel discussions and presentations from notable companies, including Owens Corning, Ashland, Airbus and the Composite Recycling Technology Center. The program covers a range of topics and industry advancements in composites recycling, including the pyrolysis process capable of recovering glass and carbon fibers; recycling and reusing thermoplastic and thermoset carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRPs) in the aviation market; and state-of-the-art recycling technology.

Industry experts and business leaders will share new and existing incentives for recycling and waste reduction that are reducing costs and making the business case for composites recycling.

Additionally, the conference features preconference and postconference tours of leading institutes in the Knoxville area that focus on composites manufacturing and end-of-life recycling. Attendees will have the option to tour IACMI — The Composites Institute Lab at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility as well as Local Motors. These tours offer an opportunity to see how government funded laboratories are addressing their challenges, ACMA says, including developing a robust and scalable composite recycling methodology as well as how a local manufacturer is creating products from recycled carbon fiber.

Dobbins adds, “As a leader in composites manufacturing, ACMA recognizes recycling is an important issue for our members and the industry at large, both to reduce overall costs and to better compete with steel and aluminum. We worked with our industry partners and members to curate the latest information and best practices that are being successfully implemented and can have a major impact across all market segments.”

Questions regarding the conference program can be submitted to Christie McCabe, ACMA’s manager of education, at

Registration for the conference is open, and the conference offers exhibit and sponsorship opportunities. Visit for additional information, including conference agenda, exhibitor and sponsorship information.


Zanker Recycling to install ZenRobotics units in California

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 08:07
Helsinki-based ZenRobotics Ltd. and Plexus Recycling Technologies, Westminster, Colorado, have announced they will deliver robotic recycling systems to Zanker Recycling in San José, California.

The two ZenRobotics Recycler units and will be operational by fall 2018.

Zanker Recycling handles 2,600 tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris daily, processed through three recycling systems. By adding a fourth processing line featuring ZenRobotics systems, Zanker Recycling will increase its recovery rate and processing capacity.

Michael Gross, director of sustainability at Zanker Recycling, says, “The ZenRobotics brain will control the plant to allow a very smooth-running operation automatically maximizing recovery, capacity and efficiency. The advantage of deploying AI (artificial intelligence) robotics to recycling differentiates Zanker from our competitors.”

ZenRobotics Recyclers will operate 20 hours per day with total system production at 150,000 tons per year. The robots will reduce the company’s cost of manual labor and will increase total daily operating hours. The two ZenRobotics Recyclers will be installed on the bulky material sort line. Each of the four arms will be picking objects weighing up to 60 pounds (30 kilograms).

“Robots are now proven technology and the growth potential on the U.S. market is substantial,” says Marcel Vallen, CEO of Plexus Recycling Technologies. “We expect that virtually all new plants will be based on robotic sorting, and existing plants will be upgraded with robots. Robots are the most dramatic paradigm change in the recycling industry for decades.”

Founded in 2007, ZenRobotics previously has delivered material sorting robots to sites in Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, Australia, China the Netherlands, Singapore, Finland France and the U.S.

San Jose-based Zanker Recycling, owned by Zanker Road Resource Management Ltd., is a privately owned solid waste and recycling company. Zanker operates four recycling facilities, diverting more than 80 percent of waste from landfills.

Plexus Recycling Technologies supplies a range of advanced waste processing technologies by ZenRobotics, Komptech, Matthiessen, Andritz and Waste Treatment Technologies (WTT) in the U.S. and Canada.


Leigh Fibers adds cotton reprocessor to portfolio

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 02:05
Wellford, South Carolina-based Leigh Fibers has announced signing a letter of intent to acquire J.E. Herndon Company, Kings Mountain, North Carolina. That firm reprocesses textile fibers and byproducts primarily connected to the cotton industry. The acquisition of J.E. Herndon is expected to close in January 2018.

“We are excited to take this next strategic step in our growth journey through the acquisition of J.E. Herndon Company,” says Don Bockoven, president and CEO of Leigh Fibers and ICE Recycling. “This acquisition complements our overall service and product offerings while adding to our capacity and geographic presence.”

Leigh Fibers and ICE Recycling are part of Leigh Delaware Holdings, which describes itself as “a global leader in sustainable product engineering through manufactured, traded and reprocessed fibers and polymers.”

Comments Patrick Mullen, president and owner of J.E. Herndon Company, “Consumers, industry, and governments worldwide are clear in their demand for sustainable solutions for all of their fiber-based products. Leigh’s commitment to be the leader in this space provides the ideal environment through which J.E. Herndon Company can best leverage its dedicated workforce and recycling capabilities in the sourcing, conversio, and marketing of cotton and other sustainable fibers.”

The acquisition of J.E. Herndon Company follows Leigh Fibers’ 2014 acquisition of Lake City, South Carolina-based ICE Recycling. That business unit specializes in consulting focused on zero-waste-to-landfill and recycling programs. ICE Recycling has worked with clients in several industry sectors, including food and beverage and industrial manufacturing. 


Mexico’s steel industry shows positive numbers in 2017

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 00:53
Steelmakers in Mexico produced more than 20 million tons of steel in 2017, demonstrating a 6.2 percent increase over the prior year, according to Canacero, that nation’s steel trade association.

Steel also was consumed at a faster pace in Mexico, with Canacero reporting the nation used 29.7 million tons of steel in 2017, up 4.4 percent from the 2016 figure.

On the production side, semi-finished steel growth rose by 32 percent in 2017, according to the group, growing by about 500,000 tons.

Canacero pegs the nation’s installed steelmaking capacity at 29.5 million tons, meaning in 2017 the industry’s mills operated at a 68 percent capability utilization rate.

In addition to making more steel, Mexico also had to import more in 2017, with imports rising 7.3 percent in volume compared to 2016. The nation’s steel exports, however, grew by 15.4 percent. Even with that export growth, Mexico’s steel trading deficit stood at about 9.7 million metric tons, according to Canacero.

Through the first 11 months of 2017, Mexico had imported some 3.8 million metric tons of steel from the United States, followed by 2.4 million metric tons from Japan and slightly more than 2 million metric tons from South Korea. No other nation exported more than 610,000 metric tons to Mexico during that timeframe. 


NFL announces zero waste plan for Super Bowl

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 09:15
The NFL, in partnership with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, announced Rush2Recycle, a game plan to recover more than 90 percent—more than 40 tons—of stadium waste at Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4. After months of preparation, the 90-percent game day goal will maximize recycling and composting efforts at the stadium. This zero waste effort aims to leave a positive green legacy at U.S. Bank Stadium and in the Super Bowl host city, and create a playbook for other leagues, teams, site operators and fans to intercept waste in their communities.

On game day, every chef, custodian and fan will be part of the team working to recover at least 90 percent of stadium waste by recycling bottles and cans; composting organic materials like food waste and serviceware; and repurposing items like discarded handbags, signage and construction materials through local community organizations.

Through the NFL Environmental Program, solid waste from Super Bowl events is being recycled and leftover décor and construction materials will be donated to local organizations for reuse and repurposing. Tens of thousands of pounds of unserved, prepared food from Super Bowl events will be distributed to local shelters and community kitchens. Additionally, U.S. Bank Stadium and several other major NFL Super Bowl event venues will be powered using "green energy" to reduce their climate impact.

Rush2Recyle staff will encourage stadium fans to recycle and compost. Through this process, stadium partners introduced a tri-bin waste collection system, invested in a dedicated organics compactor and implemented a detailed post-game waste sort plan to insure each waste stream is contaminant-free. This work will leave a lasting impact, as the stadium's waste diversion infrastructure will be permanent at U.S. Bank Stadium, helping protect the environment and reduce waste hauling costs in the future.

"The NFL is a responsible steward of the environment in all areas of our business," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says. "For 25 years, the NFL has strived to reduce the environmental impact of its events and leave a positive green legacy in host communities. Through this project, the league and its partners hope to set a new standard of environmental sustainability at the Super Bowl."

The effort will also engage fans nationwide by inviting them to join the Rush2Recycle team and providing tips to recycle more and intercept waste year-round. PepsiCo and Hines Ward, former Pittsburgh Steelers legend and Rush2Recycle ambassador, are launching a social media campaign to showcase recycling MVPs across the country and inspire fans to tackle waste in their communities.

"At PepsiCo, we know that developing more sustainable packaging and reusing and recycling materials are key to sustaining our success in the long-term, both as a company and as a society," PepsiCo Chairman & CEO Indra Nooyi says. "And we could not be more thrilled to join this groundbreaking effort. There's no grander stage in all of American sports than the Super Bowl, and we look forward to working with our partners at the NFL, Aramark and U.S. Bank Stadium to shine a spotlight on the critical importance of recycling and waste reduction."

"The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is proud of the hard work and dedication put forth by all stadium partners to build a sustainable, zero waste program for U.S. Bank Stadium. This dedication echoes the state of Minnesota's commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and building an operation that is friendly to our environment," Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, owner of U.S. Bank Stadium, says. "We're excited to be working with the NFL and PepsiCo to officially kickoff our zero waste initiative, an operational program that will leave a lasting impact on our facility for years to come."

This project brought all key stakeholders in the Minneapolis community together with one goal in mind—a dramatic reduction in waste leading up to and following Super Bowl LII. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the stadium's operator SMG and Aramark have worked diligently to create and implement a robust set of waste initiatives aimed at reducing the overall amount of landfill waste in the area. In addition to the partners listed above, Minnesota Vikings leadership teams, recycling officials from Hennepin County, executives from Phoenix-based waste hauler Republic Services and community outreach staff from the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee provided support for this initiative. Since June 2017, U.S. Bank Stadium partners have increased the stadium's diversion rate by roughly 55 percent, reaching a high of 83 percent by January 2018. Achieving zero waste (90 percent waste diversion) at Super Bowl LII will be an accomplishment that all partners have worked together to achieve.

"Aramark takes great pride in championing innovations that positively impact the communities we serve while inspiring others to make a difference," Eric Foss, chairman, president and CEO of Aramark, says. "As U.S. Bank Stadium's food and beverage partner, we are excited to be at the forefront of collaborating with the NFL and its partners to implement our industry-leading waste minimization practices and create a sustainable game day environment that will also benefit Minneapolis far beyond Super Bowl LII."



How Michigan plans to boost the state’s poor recycling rate

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 08:30
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said during his final State of the State address Jan. 23 that failure to boost the state’s recycling rate has “probably been one of the most disappointing initiatives I've had in my time as governor. We got complacent.”

Michigan’s recycling rate is currently at 15 percent, which is half of the national average. The state has set a goal to double that rate by 2025, and is putting a plan in place to do so.  

Matt Flechter, recycling and market development specialist at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), talked to Waste Today about some of the plans underway to help the state divert more waste from landfills.

According to Flechter, the plan to boost recycling will center on five tenets:

  1. Having the state government lead by example;
  2. Emphasizing a campaign to educate both residents and businesses on the importance of recycling;
  3. Increasing the state’s market development efforts to turn recyclables into new products made in Michigan;
  4. Updating the state’s solid waste laws to shift to a statutory and regulatory program that focuses on recycling and reuse over disposal whenever possible; and
  5. Securing long-term funding needed for the effort.

Flechter notes that plans to reemphasize the importance of recycling have been underway since 2014, but concedes that more work needs to be done to fulfill the state’s goals.

“The bottom line is that our recycling rate is still way lower than it should be. We’re missing opportunities and we need to update our statutes, get funding and make some things happen,” Flechter says.  

The state’s low landfill disposal rates, made possible by ample capacity, are one of the main reasons that recycling has been deemphasized throughout the region. Flechter says that a plan is in place to try to educate local governments on material management best practices to better utilize waste in their communities. Additionally, the state plans on taking a closer look at its regulatory and enforcement oversight to ensure that businesses follow statewide mandates.

He also notes that more education and outreach is needed on the consumer level to effect change.

“Our two main objectives [with consumers] are to increase participation within the existing infrastructure—meaning optimize the collection programs that we have now and making sure those with recycling bins in the home are using them and using them correctly—and the second would be making sure that everybody has convenient access. We have far too many communities that don’t have access to convenient recycling options. That’s why we’re emphasizing more curbside recycling and convenient drop-off options for citizens,” Flechter says.

According to Flechter, there is currently a package of bills a couple years in the making being considered that aim to amend the state’s solid waste statutes, and Gov. Snyder will be making more announcements next week on the state’s efforts, and financial commitments, to overhauling its recycling programs.


California Resource Recovery Association issues call for award nominations

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 07:08
The California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) has opened a call for award nominations for its 42nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow, set for July 26-29, 2018, at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland, California.

CRRA says it invites individuals and companies to share programs and successes achieved by industry colleagues and peers who are “going above and beyond” in efforts to prevent waste, reuse materials, recycle, compost, buy recycled and build “green.” The association says it is its intent to praise achievers in California, publicize their successes and share successful efforts throughout the state.

The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2018. Click here for instructions and to view the new online nomination form. Winners will be announced at the CRRA’s 42nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow in July.

For the complete list of awards and recipients from prior years, visit the association's website.

Founded in 1974, the CRRA’s mission has been to provide CRRA members with resources to advance local, regional and statewide waste reduction efforts, which result in environmental and climate protection outcomes. The CRRA is California’s statewide recycling association. 


Evian to make plastic bottles from 100 percent rPET

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 07:00
Natural spring water brand Evian, France, has announced that it will make all of its plastic bottles from 100 percent recycled plastic by 2025.

The company says this is a move that will see it adopt a “circular approach” to its plastic usage, where plastic is “kept within the economy and out of nature.”

Working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to define this road map, Evian says it will move from a linear model to a circular one, where all bottles will be made from recycled plastic without the need for any virgin plastics.

“This will enable plastic to evolve from potential waste to become a valuable resource,” the company says in a press release announcing the move.

Evian says it plans to achieve this through pioneering partnerships to redesign its packaging, accelerate recycling initiatives and remove plastic waste from nature.

Evian Global Brand Director Patricia Oliva says, “Rooted in its pioneering spirit and long-lasting commitment towards sustainability, Evian will drive a step change to address the critical issue of plastic. We want to use the power of our global brand to take a leadership position, drive collaboration across the industry and, together with partners, transform our approach to plastic.”

Evian bottles currently are recyclable and globally contain on average 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).

In order to achieve its 2025 ambition, the company says it is partnering with breakthrough technology companies, including Loop Industries, Quebec City. Loop Industries has developed a technology that enables a continuous loop for recycling at large scale, transforming all types of PET plastic scrap into the high-quality plastic Evian says it requires.

The company is collaborating globally with governments, recycling industry partners, such as France-based Veolia, as well as consumers in the markets where it operates to increase collection and recycling rates of scrap plastic bottles. Evian says it will continue to identify and support recycling options to ensure bottles are recycled properly, reducing dependency on newly created plastic while generating a reliable supply of high-quality recycled plastic from which the company can draw to produce plastic bottles from 100 percent rPET. 


Colorado event focuses on industrial scrap processing

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 00:40
The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, has announced the dates for the 2018 version of its annual “Recycling Metal from Industrial Waste” seminar. The event, now in its 26th year, will take place June 26-28, 2018.

According to the course organizer, Colorado School of Mines Adjunct Professor Paul B. Queneau, the program focuses on current plant practices to convert metal-containing scrap and residue materials into products. Processors, raw materials and markets are identified and quantified.

“This course is intended for owners, managers and staff of metals recycling facilities or of manufacturing or processing facilities that generate metal wastes,” states a description found on the web page promoting the seminar.

Those seeking more information on how to register for the event can go to this web page.


Larson light fixture designed for severe duty applications

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 00:13
Kemp, Texas-based Larson Electronics LLC has released a new caged-style LED light for temporary lighting designed to be IP65 waterproof and dustproof rated. This LED work area light “can be daisy chained for flexible illumination options,” according to the company, and can serve as a replacement for 150-watt metal halide and pressure sodium units.

The Larson Electronics WAL-TJL-150W-LED-CPR-E2E-14.3-50.2C is a 60-watt temporary jobsite light that features 6,000-volt surge protection and a stainless steel cage and hook that has daisy-chaining capabilities. The company indicates it is ideal for worksite inspection activities and other temporary illumination applications.

This worksite lamp produces 7,200 lumens of illumination, offered in color temperatures ranging from 2,700 to 6500 Kelvin, and has a beam angle of 270 degrees. This temporary LED light is UL and cUL (Canadian UL) DLC4.0 listed and operates on standard power source connections. The LED is enclosed in a birdcage-style guard with a hook, both made of stainless steel and has a 10-foot input cord and one-foot output cord.

“The most notable feature in this LED work light is that it can be daisy chained together,” says Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Larson Electronics. “This allows operators configuration flexibility to achieve the best illumination patterns for their job site.”

Larson Electronics LLC offers a range of industry-grade lighting and power distribution products for the numerous industry sectors, including: manufacturing, construction, food processing, oil and gas, military, marine and automotive.


Nova Scotia lifts plastic film landfill ban

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 23:46
The Nova Scotia Department of Environment has granted a temporary exemption to the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) to allow it to ship plastic film to a landfill.

The exemption is limited to HRM and only film plastics such as plastic shopping bags, the wrap around toilet paper and paper towels, and the wrapping around water bottles, beverage or juice cans. The exemption will last for six months and is limited to Green for Life’s landfill in West Hants, Nova Scotia, Canada. Other recyclables are still banned from the province’s landfills.

The decision follows China’s announcement, made last year, that it would no longer allow imports of used plastic films for recycling purposes.

Plastic film makes up about five percent of materials currently being recycled in Nova Scotia. Most materials, such as paper, beverage containers and margarine tubs can still be recycled as usual.

“This is only a temporary measure,” says Environment Minister Iain Rankin. “Nova Scotia is a leader in recycling and waste diversion, and we will continue to be. We all want to see these materials recycled, not put into the landfill.”

“Putting film plastic in the landfill is a last resort,” says Matt Keliher, HRM’s manager of solid waste. “We have been actively looking for new markets and will continue to do that in the months to come.”

“I encourage all Nova Scotians to use reusable bags, and reduce their use of these materials wherever possible,” says Rankin. “The province will work with industry, municipalities and others on this issue.”