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Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

Denver Broncos debut first official NFL cap made with Repreve fabric

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 07:49
New Era Cap, the official on-field hat of the National Football League (NFL), has announced the debut of its first-ever official NFL cap made with Repreve fiber. Repreve, a Unifi brand, is made from recycled plastic water bottles.

Starting Nov. 12, fans will be able to purchase these Buffalo, New York-based New Era caps at the Broncos Team Store at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium during Broncos games. The Repreve-based caps will come in multiple styles, including the 9Fifty and 9Twenty. Retailing for $34.99 for the 9FIFTY and $24.99 for the 9TWENTY silhouette, each hat is made using four plastic bottles.

“We are thrilled to have two great partners in Repreve and New Era coming together to produce a unique and eco-friendly Broncos product for our fans. These hats are well-designed and represent our brand well,” says Darren O’Donnell, vice president of business development, the Denver Broncos.

“The synergy between Repreve and New Era Cap represents one of incredible quality, performance and a commitment to eco-friendliness,” says Mark Maidment, vice president of creative for New Era Cap. “Not only does New Era Cap value environmental consciousness, but our consumers are also increasingly looking for products with a transparent sustainability story. We are excited to expand our eco-friendly product offering to the NFL with an exclusive launch with the Denver Broncos.”

“We are excited to extend our relationship with New Era and the Broncos,” says Jay Hertwig, vice president of global brand sales for Unifi, which is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. “The collaboration will help us continue to spread the word that recycled plastic bottles can become high-performance products when they’re made with Repreve.”

Unifi also is teaming up with the Denver Broncos to envelop fans in eco-friendly messaging prior to and during the game. Repreve-focused messaging will run on stadium boards during the game. Nov. 12 and Nov. 19, Unifi’s custom-designed, interactive Repreve #TurnItGreen mobile tour will be at the stadium for fans to visit prior to kickoff to learn how their recycled plastic bottles can be transformed into high-performing gear.


Green Works expands oil filter recycling program

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 07:28
Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit in Detroit, has expanded its used oil filter recycling program to now include a collection service in partnership with Green Arbor Environmental, Deerborn Heights, Michigan.

Green Works' used oil filters recycling service now offers a "milk run" style pickup service of both used oil filters and used motor oil from metro Detroit quick change/oil change shops and automotive dealerships. The operation of two SB-600 oil filter crushers from Oberg, Monroe, Washington, is designed to process up to 400 tons of  Goodwill's Green Works filters per month.

In keeping with Goodwill Detroit's mission to support and employ people with employment challenges, Green Works, along with the organization's job training program Flip the Script, has trained several of the region's returning citizens to operate the Oberg SB-600, which will result in multiple shifts of uninterrupted operation and the creation of new jobs.

"Our catalog of services at Green Works is designed to provide support to businesses that prioritize cost effective, environmentally sustainable practices," Jay Wilber, president of Goodwill's Green Works, says. "The oil filter recycling program began nearly four years ago servicing customers from Michigan's neighboring states of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. The addition of the pickup convenience will allow more local auto care providers, along with those throughout the region, to keep their steel and oil waste from being disposed in landfills, which is one of our primary goals."

To request a pickup and recycling for used oil filters and motor oil, please contact Jay Wilber, president Goodwill's Green Works, at 313-499-3100 and or Moe Diab, president of Green Arbor Environmental, at 248-632-7202 and]]>

ISRI reports Chinese government has released import permit guidance

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:47
The Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) says it has learned that the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has released two sets of guidelines to Chinese scrap importers and processors. The documents present eligibility requirements and proper use of scrap import permits and quotas, ISRI reports in its “ISRI Weekly Leadership Update” email dated Nov. 7, 2017.

ISRI says it is in the process of having the documents translated and posted to However, the association says several industry contacts it has talked with have led ISRI to understand the guidelines are intended to crack down on sharing import licenses and quotas. One of the documents is a general regulation for all scrap companies and the second is specific to paper scrap processors, ISRI reports.

China already had launched an effort to address these practices.

People who have additional information on the documents or questions about them can contact ISRI’s Adina Renee Adler at


SWACO to host election yard sign recycling event

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 13:15
The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), Grove City, Ohio, has announced it will host an election yard sign recycling event Nov. 11 from 8-11 a.m. at the Bill McDonald Athletic Complex in Columbus.

All paper and plastic signs, including coroplast, and accompanying metal stands will be accepted for free from Franklin County residents. All of the materials accepted during this event will be recycled, says SWACO.

“This week Franklin County residents have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote and protect the environment by recycling their election signs,” says SWACO Communication Manager Hanna Greer-Brown. “We’re inviting residents to stop by the Bill McDonald Complex on Saturday morning and drop off any unwanted signs. We’ll make sure any signs we receive are kept out of the landfill and are recycled into new products.”

Every year, Franklin County residents and businesses landfill over 1 million tons of material, SWACO says. Fifty percent is comprised of fiber (such as carboard and paper), plastics and metals.

The election yard sign recycling event will take place from 8-11 a.m. at the Bill McDonald Athletic Complex located at 4990 Olentangy River Rd. in Columbus.


AF&PA presents sustainability awards

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 12:28
Front row (left to right): Ryan Lichwell, Seaman Paper Co.; Scott Igoe, American Eagle Paper Mills; Sarah Manchester, Sappi North America; Seth Kursman, Resolute Forest Products; Bob Feeser, WestRock Co.; Jeremy Poirier, International Paper; and Drew McAlpin, WestRock Co.


The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, has presented its 2017 Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 Sustainability Awards at the association’s annual meeting Nov. 3 in Greensboro, Georgia.

Six AF&PA member companies received seven awards from 23 outstanding submissions across the industry. The complete list of award winners is available at

“Our members’ award-winning projects demonstrate their ingenuity, drive and commitment to continued improvement of the sustainability of their operations,” says AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “We commend their efforts and support toward meeting the industry’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goals.”

2017 AF&PA Sustainability Award Winners:

  • Leadership in Sustainability—Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction
  • Resolute Forest Products: GHG Reduction Program
  • Leadership in Sustainability—Sustainable Forest Management
  • International Paper: Certified Forest Management LLC
  • Leadership in Sustainability—Safety (Large Company)
  • Sappi North America: Over Two Million Hours Worked Without Lost Time Injury
  • Leadership in Sustainability—Safety (Small Company)
  • Seaman Paper Co. of Massachusetts Inc.: Raising the Reels for Safety
  • Leadership in Sustainability—Water (Large Company)
  • WestRock Co.: Covington Mill Power Boiler Ash Handling Systems
  • Leadership in Sustainability—Water (Small Company)
  • American Eagle Paper Mills: Project Phoenix
  • Innovation in Sustainability
  • WestRock Co.: Moving Products the Green Way

Designed to recognize exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry, AF&PA says its annual awards are given based on the merit of entries received across multiple categories.

Projects that support progress toward the Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals qualify for recognition in the “Leadership” category, which has five subcategories that correspond to the goals: Paper Recovery for Recycling, Energy Efficiency/Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Sustainable Forest Management, Safety and Water. The “Innovation in Sustainability” award is reserved for projects that merit recognition for their contribution to sustainable business practices, not one of the goals specifically.

AF&PA releases its sustainability report every other year. The 2016 Sustainability Report showed that the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry has made significant, measurable progress toward achieving its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability goals, according to the association. 


Itronics increases silver bullion production using e-scrap

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 12:22
Itronics Inc., Reno, Nevada, has announced it has increased per-melt silver bullion production by 24 percent using e-scrap as a refining melt ingredient.

The company says it is continuing to expand silver bullion production using e-scrap—ground up computer circuit boards—as a “cost reducing” precious metal bearing raw material. Per-melt silver bullion production has been increased by 24 percent due to process improvements that have been made since May 2017, and is on track to increase 11 percent for a total of 35 percent by year-end, according to the company.

Itronics says it is now conducting a third refining campaign to produce its third silver bullion shipment this year. This bullion shipment is expected to be settled in the first quarter of 2018. The pilot scale refining is ongoing and is regularly producing silver bullion and silver-bearing glass, which are being sold, the company says. This production is nonseasonal and will stabilize Itronics’ sales as production expands.

Itronics says it also has made a shipment of silver-bearing matte and a second shipment of silver-bearing glass to its refiner this quarter. The matte shipment is expected to settle before the end of the year. The glass shipment is expected to be settled either by the end of December 2017 or in early January 2018. These shipments are from inventory generated during prior years by test refining to develop the breakthrough refining process. Sales generated by the shipments that are settled in the fourth quarter will be reported as part of fourth quarter sales and will significantly contribute to continued expansion of silver sales, which has been underway this year, Itronics explains.

Improvements to the refining operation are being made to further increase per-melt production from the furnaces by another 11 percent for a total of 35 percent in the fourth quarter, the company says. Plans are being implemented to further expand per-melt production by an additional 40 percent in the second quarter 2018 by adding an e-scrap grinder to the operation. The company says that further production expansion using the existing furnaces will be achievable as more operating experience is gained.

“In 2017 the prices of copper, zinc, silver, gold and palladium have increased sharply, in some cases, to multiyear highs,” Itronics says in a press release. “Many forecasters are predicting that gold and silver prices will significantly increase from current levels. Copper and tin are at multiyear highs. Itronics is now positioned to benefit significantly as production is expanded and these metal prices continue to increase.”

Itronics says it “is aggressively advancing development of its sustainability maximizing portfolio of new zero waste technologies whose objective is to create new nonseasonal lines of business using the company’s core technologies. The focus of the hydromet and pyromet technology extensions is on expanding pilot scale refining of materials that contain silver and other precious metals, along with zinc and other base metals. Development of the KAM-Thio cyanide remediation and silver/gold recovery technology is underway and is progressing rapidly.”

Through its subsidiary Itronics Metallurgical Inc., Itronics says it is the only company with a fully permitted “beneficial use photochemical, silver and water recycling” plant in the United States that converts 100 percent of spent photoliquids into Gold’n Gro liquid fertilizers, silver bullion and silver bearing glass. The company is developing a portfolio of environmentally beneficial zero waste processing and mining technologies.


Metsä Board opens registration for international packaging design competition

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:55
Finland-based Metsä Board, a leading European producer of paperboards, including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraft liners, has announced it has opened registration for the Better with Less—Design Challenge packaging design competition.

Registration for the packaging design competition runs from Nov. 7, 2017, to March 31, 2018. Entries can be submitted at

“Billions of consumer packages are consumed globally every day, and the amount is growing,” says Metsä Board in a press release. “The Better with Less—Design Challenge is challenging packaging designers to create ever more environmentally friendly, functional packaging solutions for everyday goods. The international competition jury includes renowned packaging design experts.”

The company adds, “The high amount of plastic used in packaging is an international concern, in part because globally the plastic waste inputs into the oceans amount annually to almost nine million tons.”

Organized by Metsä Board, the company says the international packaging design competition aims to find new packaging solutions for some of the world’s most frequently used and fastest growing types of consumer packages. These areas include cosmetics, dry food, e-commerce, takeaway meals, wellness and “wild card,” an area Metsä Board says can include “design packaging for consumer goods of your choosing.”

The competition will be judged by an international jury, including a number of renowned packaging design experts, says Metsä Board, including, Terri Goldstein, branding and packaging design professional; Peter Désilets, strategist and specialist in packaging sustainability aspects; Marianne Rosner Klimchuk, packaging design expert and chair at Communication Design Pathways Department of Fashion Institute of Technology; Lars G. Wallentin, packaging designer who has worked with worldwide known brands; and John B. Mahaffie, futurist with primary expertise in future packaging solutions.

Cyril Drouet, design and innovation director, Metsä Board, says, “Packaging design can have a big impact on the environment. We need to come up with new solutions and consider future generations—and think of ways we can create better consumer experiences that create less impact on the environment.”

Drouet, who also serves as competition jury chairman and member of the competition jury, adds, “With this competition, we aim to help advance innovative and sustainable packaging design in the world.”

The main prize for the Better with Less—Design Challenge is €$10,000.

The competition also is open to students. As an additional prize, Metsä Board says it will offer the opportunity of an internship for one student with its packaging services team in Shanghai.

The finalists and the winners will be announced in spring 2018.


Plastic bottle recycling rate declines by 2.4 percent in 2016

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 09:16
Plastic bottle recycling in the U.S. declined by 2.4 percent to slightly more than 2.9 billion pounds, according to figures released by the Washington-based Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), also based in Washington. The “27th Annual National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report, ” conducted for the organizations by More Recycling, formerly Moore Recycling Associates Inc., Sonoma, California, indicates the 2016 overall recycling rate for plastic bottles was 29.7 percent, down from 31.1 percent in 2015.

The five-year compounded annual growth rate for plastic bottle recycling was 2.1 percent, according to the report, which also notes that the total for all bottles in the marketplace increased by 202 million pounds, or 2.1 percent. The study notes that PET bottles accounted for almost all the growth in bottles on store shelves and that 2016 was a positive year for total bottle usage, with a small per capita increase.

Following more than 20 consecutive years of growth, factors that contributed to the recent decline in plastic bottle recycling included a slight drop in material collected for recycling, changing export markets and increased contamination, according to the survey. Additionally, growth in the use of plastic bottles in packaging was offset by continuing progress in lightweighting and increased use of concentrates with smaller, lighter bottles.

In 2016, polyethylene terephthalate (PET, No. 1) recycling decreased by 44 million pounds. The collection of high density polyethylene (HDPE, No. 2) bottles, which includes bottles for milk, household cleaners and detergents, fell by 31.7 million pounds (2.8 percent) to slightly more than 1.1 billion pounds for the year, the study notes. The recycling rate for HDPE bottles slipped from 34.4 percent to 33.4 percent.

According to the study, exports of HDPE bottles rose nearly 5 percent from 184 million pounds in 2015 to 193 pounds (or 16.4 percent of total HDPE bottles collected) in 2016, while the amount of HDPE processed in the U.S. fell by 37 million pounds (or nearly 4 percent) to slightly less than 993 million pounds.

“Some U.S. recyclers are seeing these short-term challenges as opportunities to innovate and invest in our plastics recycling infrastructure,” says Steve Alexander, APR president. “The key to continued growth lies in improving our sorting and collection technologies to deliver consistent, high-quality yields that strengthen our global competitiveness.”

“Plastics recycling has a track record of long-term growth spanning 25 years,” says Steve Russell, ACC vice president of plastics. “Postuse plastics are valuable materials that have weathered many cycles and different growth factors. From resin suppliers to recyclers to brand owners, the plastics value chain is working together to continue to create new opportunities and long-term solutions.”

The survey found the collection of polypropylene (PP, No. 5) bottles rose nearly 15.3 percent to reach 36.6 million pounds in 2016, with the PP collection rate increasing to more than 20 percent. (PP caps, closures and nonbottle containers are widely collected for recycling in the United States, and these data are presented in a separate report on recycling nonbottle rigid plastics, which will be released in the coming months.)

Together, PET and HDPE bottles make up 97.1 percent of the U.S. market for plastic bottles, with PP comprising 1.8 percent, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) 0.7 percent and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) 0.3 percent, the study notes. 

Data on PET bottle recycling referenced in the report were separately funded and published by APR and the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Florence, Kentucky. A separate report, “Report on PET Container Recycling Activity in 2016,” is available at


Retech installs vacuum metal technology in France

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 08:51
Retech, a Ukiah, California-based company that is part of Seco/Warwick Group, Poland, has announced it is the main supplier of vacuum metal technology for the EcoTitanium plant in France.

Located in Saint-Georges-de-Mons, Auvergne, in France, EcoTitanium is a European recycling and refining plant for titanium alloys focused on aviation. This is the first titanium-producing plant in Europe to make titanium ingots with scrap from major manufacturers of aircraft and their subcontractors.

“EcoTitanium is a €48 million investment that will lead to the creation of more than 60 direct jobs as well as a significant number of indirect jobs. The plant started up industrially in the first half of 2017 with the launch of accreditation phases. Production will begin in 2018,” says the project’s website.

The inaugural ceremony was held by the plant’s shareholders: UKAD, a joint venture by Aubert & Duval (a subsidiary of Eramet) and the Kazakh group UKTMP International; the French environment and energy management agency ADEME; and the regional bank Crédit Agricole Center. They were joined by Benjamin Griveaux, Secretary of State for Economics and Finance; and Christel Bories, president and CEO of Eramet, a French multinational mining and metallurgy company; and Pawel Wyrzykowski, president of Seco/Warwick Group; Artur Wiechczynski, melting furnace department director; Earl Good, managing director of Retech Systems USA; and Nathaniel Slinker, product director of vacuum arc remelt (VAR).

As highlighted by EcoTitanium, the inauguration is the final step in creating the first integrated titanium source in Europe that opens the door of the aerospace industry to new options that are independent of existing American and Russian suppliers.

“With our complete and tailor-made solutions, our partners, including EcoTitanium, are gaining competitive advantage in the industry,” says Wyrzykowski, president of Seco/Warwick Group. “It’s all thanks to our modern technologies and equipment in the field of vacuum metallurgy. This knowledge and experience enables us to meet the strictest requirements, passion and drive for innovation on the other hand—allow finding individual and optimal solutions.”

Earl Good, managing director of Retech, says, “Active and long-standing cooperation with representatives of various market sectors has allowed us to learn and understand their specific needs and requirements. As a result, we know how to best meet their expectations. At the same time, as the most integrated furnace manufacturer in the world, we give our customers access to a wide range of custom solutions including technology, material and process.”

Good continues, “The device that our EcoTitanium partner has been equipped with consists of three metallurgical units: a plasma arc melting (PAM) furnace for melting plasma or plasma gas inert gas, and two VAR arc furnaces for titanium melting. At the moment, the first arc furnace is installed. Construction and delivery of the second is planned in the next stage.”

For 50 years Retech has designed and implemented vacuum metallurgy, conducted research and development (R&D) projects, and constructed, built and tested equipment for customers in the global markets.

The Seco/Warwick Group provides equipment and technologies to the world’s leading aerospace, automotive and power companies, enabling the production of lightweight and durable components. The company says benefits of using vacuum metallurgy include, high efficiency, process reproducibility, process automation, modern control system with monitoring of each parameter and precise feed system.


Rigaku upgrades KT Series handheld LIBS analyzers

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 06:40
Rigaku Analytical Devices, Wilmington, Massachusetts, says its previously released handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) metal analyzer has been improved and is faster than before.

The KT-100S is an upgrade to the KT-100 LIBS analyzer, which was released in September 2015. The KT-100S expands the use of handheld LIBS to more difficult applications, such as recycling, fabrication, aerospace, automotive and refineries, especially for the analysis and separation of most nonferrous alloys, according to Rigaku.

The company says its KT Series analyzers enable accurate alloy identification in industrial environments. The analyzers will be demonstrated at the FABTECH Expo, Nov. 6-8, 2017, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Designed to fill the performance and feature gaps of traditional analysis methods, such as handheld X-ray fluorescence, Rigaku says the KT-100S offers more convenient, on-the-spot identification of the most difficult alloys. By incorporating a second-generation spectrometer that produces higher throughput and better resolution, the user can expect better detection limits and the ability to analyze more alloys. This includes better precision for low alloy steels, stainless steels, as well as high-temperature alloys and the added detection of lithium (Li), according to the company.

Another major benefit to the user is that because the KT Series of handheld LIBS analyzers uses a laser excitation source, minimal to no regulatory licensing is required.

“We are committed to continuously improving our handheld analytical capabilities,” says Bree Allen, President at Rigaku Analytical Devices. “We built a solid reputation for handheld LIBS with the launch of our KT-100 analyzer in 2015, and now the KT-100S will exemplify the same innovation and quality the Rigaku brand is known for.”

Rigaku says key features of the KT-100S include:

  • ease of use because of the analyzer’s ergonomics and the simple software interface;
  • light element and base alloy analysis with a two-to-four-second analysis time;
  • built for the toughest environments with MIL-STD 810G certification;
  • no X-ray radiation exposure for increased safety and minimal regulatory licensing; and
  • long battery life.

More information on the KT-100S is available at


Maren adds industry veteran to sales team

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:33
South Holland, Illinois-based Maren Engineering Inc. has announced that Roger Williams has joined the company as its new western regional sales manager.

Williams is a 27-year veteran of the recycling equipment industry, having previously worked for Georgetown, South Carolina-based Coastal Wire and Bellevue, Ohio-based American Baler Co.

At Coastal Wire, Williams was Midwest regional sales manager. Williams worked in positions of increasing responsibility at American Baler, including as West Coast regional sales manager and as vice president of sales.

In addition to his direct employment responsibilities, Williams has served in voluntary industry roles, including as a vendor liaison for the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) from 2002 to 2004. He also has served as an involved member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), and WASTEC, an association that was part of the former Environmental Industries Association (now the National Waste & Recycling Association).

In his new role with Maren Engineering, Williams can be reached at


US Steel shows improvement in Q3 of 2017

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:07
Photo: Dreamstime

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. has reported third quarter 2017 net earnings of $147 million, or 83 cents per diluted share. Adjusted net earnings were $161 million, or 92 cents per diluted share, which excluded a gain of $21 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, related to equity affiliate transactions, primarily because of the sale of its ownership interest in Tilden Mining Co. LC, and a debt extinguishment loss and other related costs of $35 million, 20 cents per diluted share. Third quarter 2016 net earnings were $51 million, or 32 per diluted share.

President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Burritt says, “Our third quarter results were modestly better than we expected, with stable operating performance at each of our segments, and our tubular segment producing positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in the quarter. Our results for the first nine months of 2017 improved over the first nine months of 2016, with all three of our segments improving compared with 2016.”

U.S. Steel’s operating segments are flat-rolled, U.S. Steel Europe and tubular.

The company’s net debt decreased by $200 million in the third quarter to $1.2 billion, while its total liquidity also increased during the quarter. The company says it is well-positioned to continue the implementation of its asset revitalization program.

In addition to the increased focus on its operations, U.S. Steel says it also continues to develop the next generation of steel products. “Our Generation 3 steels will provide superior formability and high-strength properties while using a low-alloyed approach for robust weldability,” the company says in a news release announcing its financial results. “To expand our capabilities in Generation 3 steels, we announced last month that a new continuous galvanizing line will be constructed at our PRO-TEC Coating Co. joint venture, which will allow PRO-TEC to produce these Generation 3 steels with a hot-dipped zinc coating.”

The company says this line will be the first of its kind, using proprietary technology capable of producing “high-quality, cutting-edge advanced high-strength steels that will meet our automotive customers’ needs and solve some of their most pressing challenges.”

Regarding U.S. Steel’s outlook for 2017, Burritt says, "We remain focused on our operations, revitalizing our assets and developing our talent. We are seeing operating improvements in the assets in which we are investing. This increases our confidence that we will achieve the 2020 improvement targets we have disclosed. We believe the attention to our assets and employees, with continued focus on improving safety, quality, delivery and cost, will result in improved operating reliability and enable us to remain a strong business partner for our customers."

If market conditions remain at their current levels, U.S. Steel says it expects 2017 net earnings of approximately $323 million, or $1.83 per share; 2017 adjusted net earnings of approximately $300 million, or $1.70 per share; and consolidated adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.08 billion.


School recycling program gains momentum in Chile

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:31
A recycling education program for schools operated by Chile-based Recupac has grown by 60 percent in 2017, according to a company official.

An online article by El Mostrador says Recupac has offered recycling education and training to schools for several years but has emphasized the program in 2017.

The publication quotes Javiera Gálvez, Recupac’s chief of communications, as saying the program has reached a receptive audience in schools, commenting, “Children are the first to adopt measures and change behavior when it comes to caring for the environment; motivates them to know that they are helping to reduce natural disasters, to keep water and light, to make their streets, schools and surroundings cleaner.”

The program, known as École, also has a collection aspect to it. Some 50,000 kilograms (110,000 pounds) of paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and metal cans having been collected in Chile through the program in 2016.

Schools receive 240-liter (64-gallon) containers via the École program that are collected by Recupac trucks and taken to one of the company’s plants. They are weighed there and the school receives a payment based on secondary commodity market prices.

Santiago, Chile-based Recupac has its origins in paper and cardboard recycling but now recycles multiple materials.


Shipments up but profits down at Ternium

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:25
Luxembourg-based Ternium S.A., which has steelmaking operations throughout Latin America, has reported operating income in the third quarter of 2017 that was down by $43 million compared to its income the previous quarter. The company attributed the drop in income “mainly to lower operating margins, partially offset by higher shipments.”

The company’s shipments were 429,000 tons higher in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, which the Ternium says via a press release was “mainly due to the consolidation of Ternium Brasil’s shipments [and] a recovering demand for steel products in the Argentine market.”

On the downside, Ternium says 95,000 tons fewer were shipped in Mexico compared to the prior quarter, which the company blamed on “a seasonal slowdown of steel demand in the automotive and HVAC industries.”

Ternium’s third quarter operating cost per ton was relatively stable, although it did face higher raw material and purchased slab costs.

Ternium’s management predicts the full-quarter consolidation of Ternium Brasil in the fourth quarter of 2017 “will have a sequentially increasing effect on Ternium’s shipments, and a sequentially decreasing effect on the company’s average price and cost per ton due to the incorporation of Ternium Brasil’s slab sales into Ternium’s higher value-added sales mix.”

The company’s quarterly summary also states that its expectations of a strong second half of the year in the Argentine market materialized in the third quarter, “with a significant sequential increase in shipments. A markedly better business environment is fostering a gradual recovery in most sectors of the Argentine domestic economy, with the household appliance and automotive industries joining the previously ascendant agribusiness industry, public infrastructure investment, and shale oil and gas fields development sectors.”

However, Ternium anticipates lower operating income in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the third quarter, with higher steel shipments again partially offset by lower operating margins. The company indicates it foresees “decreasing steel prices in the Mexican market as a result of a destocking process in the United States.”


Tenaris ramps up Bay City, Texas, facility

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:25
Steelmaker Tenaris says it has produced its first seamless pipe at its Bay City, Texas, mill after having tested the complete hot rolling process.

The solid steel billet underwent the transformation from bar to pipe starting at a rotary furnace, passing through a piercer, and, after going through other stages of production, the pipe made its way to the cooling bed.

“This first pipe sets our ramp up of production in motion,” says Germán Curá, Tenaris’ president of its North American operations. “This is a major achievement and a reflection of the dedication by our entire team, who have contributed hard work in all aspects of the process.”

The production of the first pipe marks what Tenaris calls the last major milestone in the construction of the new seamless facility, which is Tenaris’ first greenfield project in 60 years.

Two areas of the plant – heat treatment and finishing - were already in operation, processing and threading pipes. Tenaris says it also has been dispatching pipe to customers from the mill’s onsite service center.

Tenaris indicates its mill in Bay City serves as the hub of its industrial activity in the United States, driving its mill-to-rig business model known as Rig Direct, which synchronizes the production of pipe with customers’ drilling operations through the direct delivery of pipes and services.

Tenaris calls the $1.8 billion seamless plant “the most advanced, automated pipe manufacturing facility in the world, with a capacity to produce 600,000 tons of OCTG (oil country tubular goods) when fully operational.

Luxembourg-based Tenaris operates mills and other assets belonging to former Mexican steelmaker Tamsa and Argentina-based steelmaker Siderca.


Mexican economy harmed by natural disasters

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:15
Natural disasters that occurred in the summer and early fall in Mexico are being cited as a reason why that nation’s GDP may have contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

An online article by Reuters says Mexico’s national statistics agency has calculated that the nation’s GDP shrank by that amount compared to the previous quarter. In the second quarter of 2017, Mexico’s GDP grew by 0.6 percent.

If the preliminary third quarter data proves accurate, “it would be the first quarterly [GDP] contraction since the second quarter of 2013,” according to Reuters.

Hurricanes Katia and Max hit Mexico during the quarter, and two major earthquakes occurred in September, one in central Mexico and the other in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Reuters said Mexican statistics agency director Julio Santaella remarked via Twitter that the disasters had negatively affected economic activity.

Other Mexican government agencies have estimated the combination of earthquakes and hurricanes may have caused $2.5 billion in property damage, which should ultimately trigger some economic activity because of rebuilding.

Even with the damage and disruption, the Mexican economy in the third quarter of 2017 grew by 1.6 percent compared to the third quarter of 2016.

Potentially causing further disruption to the Mexican economy, however, is the uncertain future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

An early November online article by Forbes points to a report by Fitch Ratings that contends the Mexican economy would be the one most negatively affected if NAFTA was abruptly canceled.

“If the United States withdrew from NAFTA, the Mexican economy would face significant uncertainty, which would likely lead to an immediate confidence shock and short-term market volatility,” Fitch analysts led by Arend Kulenkampff say in the report.

The report’s authors state that more than 75 percent of Mexico’s exports are shipped to the United States. Economic growth in the nation would slow in the medium and long term if NAFTA is rescinded, according to the Fitch analysts.

Trade relations between the U.S., Mexico and Canada would revert to World Trade Organization rules, according to Forbes, and a series of tariffs, challenges and arbitration procedures would likely result.

It is unclear how much of the $1.6 billion in goods traded between the three NAFTA countries daily would be affected by an abrupt end to the arrangement.

The Fitch analysts say underlying cost advantages of manufacturing in Mexico would still provide an incentive to locate production facilities there, according to Forbes, unless new tariffs prove prohibitive.


Abandoned fishing nets recycled in Mexico

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:14
The not-for-profit group World Animal Protection says it has joined forces with the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), Monterey Bay Diving and local fishermen in San Felipe, Mexico, to locate abandoned gillnets in vaquita porpoise habitat areas.

The team used sonar scanning technology to find discarded nets likely to entangle vaquitas, ultimately removing approximately 2,000 square meters of such netting. The mission was funded by WWF Mexico. The gillnets recovered will be recycled by companies and not-for-profit groups, including New York-based Parley for the Oceans, through the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, founded by World Animal Protection, to make nylon-based products out of the abandoned nets.

Some 5,700 square meters of netting was found and recycled during an expedition in May 2017. The reduced amount of netting found in November is “a hopeful sign that the habitat may finally be safer for these animals,” according to the groups involved.

World Animal Protection calls the vaquita porpoise “the world’s most critically endangered marine mammal, with just an estimated 23 individual vaquitas remaining in the Gulf of California in Mexico.” The group says Illegal fishing activity and the resulting abandoned gillnets, also known as ghost nets, are the single biggest cause of the vaquita’s near eradication.

A video about World Animal Protection’s mission to clean up the vaquita habitat can be found on this Web page.


Ternium’s Mexican EVP will be its next CEO

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 07:00
Luxembourg-based Ternium S.A. says Máximo Vedoya, who is currently Ternium Mexico’s executive vice president (EVP), will succeed Daniel Novegil as the company’s CEO on March 1, 2018.

After 12 years as CEO and 40 years in the steel industry, Novegil will retire next March, although he will remain on Ternium’s board of directors, assuming the role of Vice Chairman.

Vedoya, 47, is an industrial engineer and holds a management master’s degree from Stanford University. With 26 years of experience in the steel industry, he has led Ternium’s operations in Mexico since January 2012. Prior to that he held several executive positions at other Ternium subsidiaries, including CEO of Ternium Colombia, commercial director and export manager of Sidor (Venezuela), director of Ternium Mexico’s international and steel purchase operations, and commercial planning manager of Siderar in Argentina.

“Daniel will leave a remarkable legacy in Ternium,” says Paolo Rocca, Ternium’s board chairman. “He was an integral part of each of Ternium’s milestones and helped turn the company into what it is today. He also has positioned Ternium very well for its next chapter of profitable growth. We are pleased that we can continue benefiting from his experience once he takes on his new role at the board.”

Adds Rocca, “Máximo is an exceptional leader who has had a proven track record of success in each of his executive positions at Ternium. Under his leadership, Ternium Mexico has been a growth engine for our company. He has the skills, energy and experience to lead our company into this exciting, new stage of growth and he will have the Board’s full support in his transition to CEO.”


Stadler expands North American parts and service facility

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 05:44
Integrated recycling system provider Stadler America LLC, based in Colfax, North Carolina, says it has again expanded its parts and service facility to demonstrate its commitment to customers throughout North America.

“With our rapidly growing customer base, it was imperative that we expand to meet their needs,” says Marty Kennedy, Stadler America COO. “The volume of inquiries for advanced system designs and Stadler core components that we’re receiving has been nothing short of amazing. We see this investment as part of the work being done to prepare ourselves to meet continued growth in customer demand.”

Stadler opened its North American headquarters, parts facility and technical support center in March 2016. This expansion will double the parts inventory and expand the availability of the technical support team, the company says.

“We understand how important providing aftersales support is, not only in word but also in action,” says Nico Sherwood, aftersales program director for Stadler America LLC. “This commitment grows our parts inventory considerably. Combined with our U.S. based support staff and aftersales team, it’s a demonstration of the importance Stadler places on supporting our customers. We want customers to know that they can rely upon us long after they place an order with us.”


Republic Services increases income in Q3

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 08:29
Republic Services Inc., Phoenix, has reported net income of $223.2 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2017, versus $85.6 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the comparable 2016 period. Excluding certain gains and expenses, on an adjusted basis, net income for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2017, was $225.2 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, versus $212.6 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, for the comparable 2016 period.

"We are pleased with our third-quarter performance, which included high-single digit growth in earnings and free cash flow per share. says Donald W. Slager, president and CEO. " Thus far in 2017, we have invested approximately $385 million in acquisitions, including the purchase of ReCommunity. Our pipeline for the remainder of the year and into 2018 is robust and will serve as a catalyst for future growth.

Slager adds, “Our continued ability to profitably grow the business both organically and through acquisitions illustrates the effectiveness of our strategy and our commitment to creating long-term shareholder value."

Third-Quarter Financial Highlights:

  • EPS was $0.66 per share. Adjusted EPS, a non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) measure, was $0.67 per share, an increase of 8 percent over the prior year despite a 1-cent headwind due to the hurricanes.
  • Year-to-date cash provided by operating activities was $1.4 billion and adjusted free cash flow, a non-GAAP measure, was $606 million, an increase of approximately 5 percent over the prior year.
  • Total cash returned to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases was $227 million. Year-to-date cash returned to shareholders was $682 million.
  • Total revenue increased 6.3 percent over the prior year.
  • Revenue growth from average yield was 2.5 percent and volumes increased 1.6 percent.
  • Core price increased revenues by 4.1 percent, which consisted of 5.1 percent in the open market and 2.3 percent in the restricted portion of the business.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $718 million and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization(EBITDA) margin was 28 percent of revenue.

Third-Quarter Operational Highlights:

  • The company invested $129 million in tuck-in acquisitions during the quarter and $220 million year-to-date through Sept. 30, 2017.
  • In October, the company acquired ReCommunity Holdings for approximately $165 million, which included certain tax benefits valued at approximately $50 million.
  • Republic continued to convert CPI-based contracts to more favorable pricing mechanisms for the annual price adjustment. The company now has approximately $510 million in annual revenue tied to either a waste-related index or a fixed-rate increase of 3 percent or greater.
  • The company, which operates the seventh-largest vocational fleet in the U.S., advanced its fleet-based initiatives designed to improve productivity and lower costs. Currently:
  • 19 percent of its fleet operates on compressed natural gas, up from 18 percent in the prior year.
  • 75 percent of its residential fleet is automated, up from 74 percent in the prior year.
  • Republic was recently named to the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and North America Indices for the second consecutive year.Republic is the only recycling and solid waste service provider in the world to be included in either index this year.

Republic is providing a preliminary financial outlook for 2018. It should be noted that the preliminary outlook does not represent full detailed guidance, but rather a point-in-time estimate based on its current projections of 2017 performance, early reviews of the 2018 budget process and current business and economic conditions. Consistent with prior practice, the company will provide formal financial guidance in February 2018 once the budget process is complete and full-year 2017 results are reported. 2018 Preliminary Financial Outlook:

  • Adjusted diluted earnings per share is expected to be in a range of $2.53 to $2.58, which excludes the impact of restructuring charges.
  • Adjusted free cash flow is expected to be in a range of $925 million to $950 million. Adjusted free cash flow consists of cash provided by operating activities, less property and equipment received, plus proceeds from the sale of property and equipment, and is exclusive of cash paid for restructuring, net of tax.

Slager comments, "We expect current business and economic conditions to continue into 2018, positioning us well for high-single digit growth in earnings and free cash flow per share despite a headwind from recycled commodity prices."

Republic also announces its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.345 per share for shareholders of record on Jan. 2, 2018. The dividend will be paid on Jan. 16, 2018.

Republic continues to increase cash returns to shareholders while maintaining its investment-grade credit rating, and announces its Board of Directors approved a $2 billion share repurchase authorization which extends through Dec. 31, 2020. This was added to the amount remaining under the prior authorization, which was $95.1 million as of Sept. 30, 2017. At current prices, $2.1 billion represents approximately 10 percent of the company's outstanding shares of stock.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share, adjusted net income, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted free cash flow are described in the Reconciliation of Certain Non-GAAP Measures section of this document. The adjusted diluted earnings per share and adjusted free cash flow related to the preliminary outlook are described in the 2018 Preliminary Financial Outlook section of this press release. The full release is available here