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Brambles to sell CHEP pallet recycling business

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 03:00
Australia-based Brambles has announced it has entered into an agreement to sell a portion of its CHEP Recycled pallet recycling business unit to Colorado-based Grey Mountain Partners for $115 million, subject to due diligence-related final adjustments. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be complete by late February 2018, according to a Brambles news release.

CHEP Recycled currently has 2,400 employees helping to operate 161 plants and pallet management sites. Seventy-three of the sites and about 800 employees will transfer to Grey Mountain Partners upon completion of the transaction.

The balance, 88 plants and pallet management sites that serve what Brambles calls a CHEP USA pooled pallets business, will be retained by Brambles, along with approximately 1,600 employees.

Those 88 service locations “will continue to form part of the core operations of the CHEP USA pooled pallets business and to be reported within the CHEP Americas segment,” according to Brambles.

Brambles Limited describes itself as a supply-chain logistics company operating primarily through the CHEP and IFCO brands.

Grey Mountain Partners, based in Boulder, Colorado, describes itself as a private equity firm that invests in middle-market companies in a wide range of industries, managing approximately $700 million worth of assets.

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Scrap fraud cases prosecuted in Wisconsin, California

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 02:31
Two separate scrap metal-related incidents involving either fraud or material theft have reached a verdict or plea agreement. One case occurred in Wisconsin and the other in California, with each case involving substantial amounts of money.

In a circuit court in Wisconsin, Sterling Kienbaum, the owner of Fox Valley Iron and Metal, has been found guilty of a scheme to defraud Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based Sadoff Iron and Metal Co. of an estimated $14 million between 2008 and 2015.

According to an online report from Fox 11 TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Kienbaum pleaded no contest to the charges in early January 2018.

The criminal complaint indicates Kienbaum worked in collaboration with two Sadoff employees and loaded scrap shipments partially with dirt to increase their weight, receiving payment from Sadoff as if the loads were cleaner material.

A hearing to determine whether restitution methods are available has been scheduled for early May 2018, and Kienbaum’s sentencing hearing is approximately one month after that. The two former Sadoff employees involved have been convicted and placed on probation by the court.

A copy of the full criminal complaint in the case can be viewed on this web page.

In California in early January 2018, Carl Means entered guilty pleas to felony charges of grand theft and income tax evasion, according to a news release issued by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

Means was accused of using his position at AMG Resources Corp. in Lathrop, California, to covertly transfer raw material from his employer’s facility to a different recycler in Atwater, California, for personal payments of $455,000 or more between August 2013 and May 2016.

Means also was accused of filing state income tax returns for the tax years of 2013, 2014 and 2015 without declaring the money he pocketed from his scrap-related scheme. He is scheduled to be sentenced in late March 2018. 

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Massachusetts waste firm plans zero waste facility

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 09:04
New Bedford Waste Services LLC, a sister company of ABC Disposal Service, in Bedford, Massachusetts, has secured financing for a zero waste facility in Rochester, Massachusetts, a report by The Mashpee Enterprise says. The company says Zero Waste Solutions (ZWS) is scheduled to open in the fall.

ABC Disposal is a regional waste hauling and recycling company headquartered in New Bedford, Massachusetts, with several municipal contracts on Cape Cod, the report says.

ZWS will accept municipal solid waste (MSW) single-stream, comingled and source-separated recyclables from residential and commercial customers. The report says the materials will be sorted manually and mechanically to pick out recyclables and the remainder of the waste will be briquetted to be used an alternative fuel source to coal called EcoTac.

WERC-2, Pocasset, Massachusetts, will provide the technology to manufacture the EcoTac briquettes, the report says. CP Group, San Diego, will supply the recycling equipment.

Page Building Corp., Stoughton, Massachusetts, will construct the 100,000-square-foot building and the equipment will be installed in July, the report says.

Originally ZWS was set to open in 2014 but the building in Rochester set to house the facility caught fire and New Bedford Waste settled a bankruptcy case in May. The report says New Bedford has more than $10 million in liabilities and more than 200 estimated creditors when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Liftomatic introduces portable drum handling equipment

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 07:23
Liftomatic Material Handling Inc., a material handling equipment manufacturer headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, has recently introduced the Ergo-Matic line of portable drum handling equipment. The Ergo line comprises a range of models and features for repetitive applications. The product family is fully modular and designed for manual handling of a single steel, plastic or fiber drum.

The Ergo-Matic line features high-lift capability up to 36 feet to double-stack drums, spark-resistant components for flammable areas, double Parrot-Beak clamps for fiber and plastic drums plus special wheels and coatings for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved applications.

Liftomatic currently sells products in more than 40 countries and counts among customers more than 400 of the Fortune 500 companies.

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EPA recognizes Samsung for sustainability initiatives

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 07:12
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the company with the 2017 Cutting Edge Champion Award for its Galaxy Upcycling program and the Gold Tier Award for its U.S. e-scrap collection efforts.  

The Galaxy Upcycling program allows Galaxy phone owners to retrofit the hardware and software of antiquated, used Galaxy phones into new technology products, such as closed-circuit TVs, gaming consoles and internet of things (IoT) devices. The program puts the tools for transforming devices into new technology in consumers’ hands by providing them with necessary software changes and suggested hardware changes that enable new functionality, Samsung says. The program was created from the company’s innovation hub, C-Lab, and will launch in 2018.

“In an effort to curb e-waste and extend the life cycle of our existing technology, we introduced the Galaxy Upcycling program, which repurposes technology resources into new devices,” says Michael Lawder, senior vice president of customer care at Samsung Electronics America. “We’re honored to receive the Cutting Edge Champion Award for this program and our efforts to extend a products’ life cycle by repurposing its functionality.”

“Samsung’s creative reinvention of old electronics through their unique upcycling program is environmental ingenuity at its finest,” says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I commend Samsung for their innovative efforts to turn old smartphones into new technology products, and I encourage others to follow their lead.”

Samsung also was recognized for its long-term commitment to the proper recycling of electronics in the U.S. In 2016, the company’s electronics recycling program collected and recycled more than 118 million pounds of e-scrap in the U.S., which made it one of the world’s biggest collectors of this material. Samsung is being recognized in this category for the fourth year in a row.

The awards were presented to the company in Las Vegas at a ceremony during CES 2018 in early January.

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Commerce Department submits Steel Section 232 report to president

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 06:26
Jan. 11, 2018, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross formally submitted to President Donald J. Trump the results of the department’s investigation into the effect of steel mill product imports on U.S. national security.

After this submission, by law, the president has 90 days to decide on any potential action based on the findings of the investigation.

Once the president’s decision is announced, the department will publish a summary of the report in the Federal Register and make the report available to the public after removing any business confidential or classified material.

In response to the news, Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Washington, issued the following statement:

“The steel industry welcomes the news that the secretary of Commerce has formally submitted his report to the president in the Section 232 investigation into the impact of steel imports on the national security. We are confident that we have made the case that the repeated surges in steel imports in recent years threaten to impair our national security and we look forward to the president’s decision on the appropriate actions to address this critical situation.”

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FCC to build MRF in Houston

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 06:10
The Houston City Council has awarded FCC Environmental Services, The Woodlands,Texas-based American environmental services subsidiary of the Spanish company FCC Group, the contract to design, finance, build and operate a material recovery facility (MRF) that will sort and market the city’s recyclables for 15 years, extendable up to 20 years. The expected contract value is more than $250 million, including the sale of recovered materials from Houston and from third parties, though the cost for the city will not exceed $36.8 million, FCC says.

FCC calls Houston a “strategic enclave,” noting that the city, with its population of some 2.3 million, is the fourth most populated city in the U.S. and will soon be the third, according to growth predictions.

Before the addition of the Houston contract, FCC says its U.S. contracts value $900 million and that it serves more than 8 million Americans.

The company says it has more than 50 facilities that are similar to the one it proposed for the city of Houston, including one near Dallas. The Houston facilities will sit on nearly 15 acres with a footprint in excess of 118,000 square feet.

The Houston plant plans to process 120,000 metric tons per year with a maximum capacity of 145,000 metric tons, FCC says. The processing line will be fully automated and will be equipped with the latest materials separation technologies, according to the company.

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Chinese government finalizes waste import restrictions

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 14:42
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) finalized a quality standard of 0.5 percent for certain imported recyclables on Jan. 11, failing to properly consider the negative effects on global recycling efforts, according to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

“SWANA is disappointed the Chinese government did not modify its waste import restrictions in response to the serious concerns raised by North American, European and Asian governmental authorities and associations,” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “We support the MEP’s efforts to improve the environment in China, but these extraordinary restrictions are already adversely impacting recycling programs throughout North America.”

SWANA continues to monitor the impacts of the restrictions, which have already been felt across North America. Biderman notes that “recyclables are going to landfills in Oregon, to waste-to-energy facilities in Massachusetts, and being stored in warehouses and parking lots in the U.S. and Canada.”

Many American and Canadian companies and local governments have made substantial changes to their operations in response to the restrictions and the sharp decrease in import licenses issued by Beijing in late 2017 and 2018. Now that the quality standard has been finalized, North American recycling operations must prepare for March 1, 2018, when the contamination standard officially takes effect.

SWANA urges state and local governments to work closely with the private sector and other stakeholders to educate consumers about the need for recyclables to be free from contamination, and encourages operational changes that result in cleaner materials.

SWANA submitted comments to the World Trade Organization in August 2017 and December 2017 asking the Chinese government to delay implementation of its waste import restrictions, seeking clarification on the standards and offering technical assistance on waste- and recycling-related matters.

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ISRI: China’s final scrap import standards ‘disappointing’

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:51
In response to the publishing of the final Environmental Protection Control Standards for Imports of Solid Wastes as Raw Materials (GB 16487.2-13), which set the allowable contaminants thresholds for scrap imports by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has released the following statement from Robin Wiener, president of the association:

“ISRI is very disappointed to see the Chinese government finalizing its Environmental Protection Control Standards and failing to take the opportunity to bring them in line with global standards that reflect manufacturing requirements and are utilized by environmentally responsible recycling operations in the U.S. and around the world. We continue to be supportive of the Chinese government’s drive to improve the environment in China, but we continue to hope that such support can be realized through collaboration that achieves China’s environmental improvement goals without impairing trade of high quality, specification-grade scrap commodities required by China’s manufacturing sector. ISRI continues to respectfully request an opportunity for dialogue on these critical issues, and obtain a delay in implementation to ensure full compliance.”

In November, China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its intent to lower contamination thresholds. Despite filings and feedback from the global recycling industry, led by ISRI, on the negative impact these thresholds would have on trade, China’s final standards remained the same, including:

  • smelt slag, 0.5 percent;
  • wood, 0.5 percent;
  • ferrous, 0.5 percent;
  • nonferrous, 1 percent;
  • electric motors, 0.5 percent;
  • wires and cables, 0.5 percent;
  • metal and appliances, 0.5 percent;·
  • vessels, 0.05 percent;
  • plastic, 0.5 percent; and
  • autos, 0.3 percent.

The standards will apply beginning March 1, 2018. ISRI says it will continue to follow this development and proactively represent the industry with the U.S. and Chinese governments and other stakeholders.

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McDonald's promises to eliminate foam packaging by 2019

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:00
As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group based in Oakland, California, that promotes social and corporate environmental responsibility, announced Jan. 10 that McDonald’s Corp. has agreed to end the use of harmful polystyrene foam packaging globally by the end of this year following engagement by the organization. 

Rarely recycled, expanded polystyrene foam used in beverage cups and takeout containers is a frequent component of beach litter that gets broken down into indigestible pellets, which marine animals mistake for food, resulting in sickness and death. 

McDonald’s phased out foam cups for hot beverages in the U.S. after engagement with As You Sow in 2012, but continued to use them in foreign markets like Hong Kong and the Philippines. It also continued to use foam for cold beverages and food trays in some U.S. markets.

McDonald’s has posted a statement on its corporate website noting that it plans to eliminate foam packaging from its global system by the end of 2018. The company said that “the environmental impact of our packaging is a top priority” and that eliminating foam is an important step “that will continue to raise the bar for our system and our industry.” 

Polystyrene has been widely used for single-use containers across the world for decades, but in recent years, its negative environmental and health profile have led major companies to drop it. Its hazardous constituent chemicals have been shown to produce waterborne toxins in a short time frame, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that styrene, used in the production of polystyrene, is a possible human carcinogen.

“We congratulate McDonald’s management for removing the last vestiges of polystyrene foam from its global packaging stream,” Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president at As You Sow, says. “This sends an important message to other quick-service food companies who may still be using foam. We also hope McDonald’s will next turn its attention to other single-use items like plastic straws and cup lids that pose hazards to marine animals and add to the tsunami of plastic waste afflicting world oceans.”

Nine countries and more than 100 U.S. cities or counties have banned or restricted foam packaging. Fifteen major brands including Coca-Cola Co, Danone, Dow Chemical, L’Oreal, Marks & Spencer, Mars, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Unilever recommended replacement of polystyrene foam as a packaging material in a report released in 2017 by the New Plastics Economy Project of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

As You Sow refiled its shareholder proposal for 2018 but intends to withdraw it based on this action by the company.

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Crigler Enterprises promotes EVP to president

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:31
Crigler Enterprises Inc., Mableton, Georgia, has announced Kathryn Renzi has been promoted to president of the company. She takes over the position from Wayne Crigler, who held the president role since 1988 and now serves as the company’s CEO.

Renzi has been with Crigler Enterprises for 15 years. She most recently served as executive vice president and oversaw accounting, information technology and human resources. In her new position as president, Renzi says she will continue to serve these roles as well as focusing on company growth and decision-making.

“I am looking forward to my new position within Crigler Enterprises,” Renzi says. “I want to see the company grow within in our industry over the next years through better use of technology and marketing while maintaining our standing as an industry leader in service of recycling equipment.”

Crigler Enterprises Inc., established in 1972, provides recycling equipment and turnkey material recovery solutions. The company offers a full line of waste and scrap processing equipment, including balers, shredders, conveyors and customized pneumatic conveyance systems.

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CarbonLITE’s Dallas plant features equipment from Amut

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 06:57
Los Angeles-based CarbonLITE opened its second recycling facility in September 2017 in Dallas. The plant features a washing line supplied by Italy-based Amut Group and is capable of producing more than 12,000 pounds per hour polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flake from postconsumer bales sourced from material recovery facilities (MRFs), making it the second plant of this size that Amut has installed in the U.S. The 250,000-square-foot bottle-to-bottle recycling plant will process more than 100 million pounds of plastic bottles annually.

CarbonLITE’s Dallas facility doubles the company’s annual capacity of food-grade recycled PET.

Regarding the Amut equipment, Leon Farahnick, CarbonLITE president, says, “I’m very satisfied with quality, punctuality and technology.”

“CarbonLITE management has over a decade of experience in PET wash lines and selected the Amut solution to face the new challenges in the market conditions for their Dallas operations,” says Anthony Georges, president of Amut North America. He adds that Amut integrated its de-labeler and the wet whole bottle prewash for the company.

Georges says Amut’s double-stage process first uses dry cleaning action to detach most of the shrink sleeve labels, while the second unit—a wet de-labeler—prewashes the whole bottles and reduce wear on the grinder’s blades.

“This wet bottle washing technology utilizes the filtered recycled flake washing water, therefore it does not increase the consumption of fresh water used in the complete cleaning process and contributes to the elimination of outside dirt as well as remaining labels on the whole bottles,” Georges says.

The bottles stay intact through these two machines, helping to improve the efficiency of the automatic sorting equipment that follows, so the non-PET and colored PET bottles can be removed more easily from the clear PET bottle stream, the company says. The clear PET bottles are then washed in the Amut flake wash system.

The technology Amut supplied for the project also includes a wet grinding system to turn bottles into flakes, two patented flake friction washers and two sink-float separation machines, which can capture polyolefin caps for recycling.

Amut says the process is engineered to increase the quality of the clear PET flakes produced so they can be used in demanding bottle-to-bottle applications, optimizing the value of every bale while minimizing operational costs, fresh water usage, energy and cleaning agents.

“We are glad to have scored another top reference in the Northern America plastic recycling market. The CarbonLITE PET recycling project comes after the two mega PET recycling plants that Amut supplied in North America to Unifi in Reidsville, North Carolina, and to Petstar Coca-Cola Mexico,” Piergianni Milani, Amut Group president, says.  

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SWANA calls for renewed safety focus in 2018

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 06:09
Seven solid waste-related fatalities in the United States occurred in the first 10 days of 2018, according to a news release from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland. These deaths come just weeks after the Bureau of Labor Statistics again identified solid waste collection as the fifth deadliest job in the U.S. in 2016.

The seven fatalities occurred in Pennsylvania, New York, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts and North Carolina and involved large solid waste companies, regional haulers and municipal sanitation departments. SWANA reports that 6 of the 7 incidents involved solid waste collection, adding “this disturbing start to 2018 reinforces the urgent need to create a safer environment for industry employees and the public.”

“I am very disappointed by the number of fatal incidents in the first 10 days of 2018; each of them is a tragedy and serves as a reminder that the entire industry needs to improve its safety culture,” says David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO. “We urge companies and local governments to not only take the time to educate supervisors and employees but also commit to making safety a workplace priority. Nothing we do at SWANA is more important.”

While the uptick in fatalities to start the New Year is alarming, 2017 saw high numbers as well, according to the association, which says it is aware of more than 100 fatal incidents involving the solid waste sector in the U.S. Several more incidents occurred in Canada.

“With the frequency increasing in the first few days of 2018, SWANA is committed to increasing its safety resources even further to jumpstart efforts throughout North America,” SWANA states.

Through multiple 2018 events and programs, SWANA says it will bring together solid waste professionals from across North America to share safety best practices and plan future industry initiatives. Safety will be a major topic at SWANApalooza in Denver this March and at WASTECON in August in Nashville, Tennessee, where SWANA’s Sixth Annual Safety Summit will take place. In the coming months, SWANA and its Chapter-based safety ambassadors will launch an initiative to provide resources, in multiple languages, to small haulers for their drivers and helpers.

“We need to be more creative in our safety efforts and target smaller companies and local governments who may lack the resources and expertise to provide safety training and information to their frontline workers,” says Tom Parker, an associate at CH2M and SWANA Safety Committee chair.

“Keeping the seven deaths that have already occurred in 2018 front of mind, SWANA will continue to grow its safety program to reduce industry injuries and fatalities, with the goal of moving solid waste collection off the list of most dangerous jobs and getting employees home to their loved ones safely every day,” the association states in its news release.

More information on SWANA’s safety efforts is available at https://swana.org/safety.  

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Houston mayor hails city's new 15-year municipal recycling contract

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:08
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner hailed the city council’s resounding Jan. 10 approval of a 15-year contract with FCC SA, The Woodlands, Texas, for processing Houston residents’ recyclable materialsa deal that will save taxpayers millions of dollars and includes provisions for the company to accept glass and filmy plastic bags.

“After considering proposals from competing recycling companies, we got the best deal for the city of Houston,” Turner says. “The contract with FCC saves the taxpayers millions of dollars in recycling costs to the city. It expands the kinds of materials our Solid Waste Department will collect from curbsides once a week. It provides state-of-the-art technology that will be updated as we go along.”

“It’s a win for Houstonians and the environment,” the mayor adds.

With a five-year extension option that would stretch the contract to 20 years, the city will pay FCC SA up to $36.8 million, assuming the price for which the company can sell recyclables does not climb steeply. If the value of recyclables on global markets shoots up, thus increasing FCC SA’s profits, the city will pay less for the contract.

The city already saved $11 million when FCC SA lowered its price in a second “best and final offer” bidding round, and will save even more because the city’s contract costs per ton of recyclables are capped. The city has been operating without a cost cap in its current contract with Houston-based Waste Management.

FCC SA will take over the city’s recycling processing in about 14 months, when it completes construction of a $23 million processing plant that will employ 100 to 140 people in northeast Houston. Upon completion, FCC SA will give the plant to the city.

The city will then start accepting glass in its green curbside collection containers as well as plastic bags of the kind used in supermarkets and drug stores.

Current recyclables include aluminum and tin cans; plastic containers Nos. 1-5 and No. 7; cardboard boxes and cartons from items such as milk, juice, soup, crackers, cream, beans, water, broth and wine; and paper products such as newspaper, catalogs, magazines, office paper and phone books.

FCC SA, which handles recycling in Dallas and other Texas cities, will move its corporate headquarters to Houston from The Woodlands.

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Certification guidelines announced for US Mint’s Mutilated Coin Redemption Program

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:55
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has announced the U.S. Mint has released certification requirements for its recently resumed Mutilated Coin Redemption Program.

In December 2017, the U.S. Mint announced the resumption of the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program after a nearly three-year suspension.

ISRI, which applauded the decision, says it helped to lead “the successful effort to resume the program and provided guidance and suggestions to the Mint, including site visits and certification for large redeemers.”

Jan. 8, 2018, the U.S. Mint provided details about submission amounts and frequency that will trigger the certification requirements, which can be found on the agency’s website.

ISRI says, “If certification is required, it must be completed prior to submission of coins. Certification will not be required for each submission. The threshold amounts, frequency and certification process information will be provided on the Mint’s website. Other provisions of the December announcement indicate that the Mint reserves the right to require participants to include an estimate of the value of the coins and an explanation of how the coins came to be bent or partial. Participants may also be required to provide documentation about how they came into custody of these coins. The Mint also reserves the right to test samples from any submission to authenticate the material. Furthermore, the Mint has the authority to refer suspicious submissions to law enforcement for investigation.”

Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, said at the time of the announcement that the U.S. Mint worked closely with the recycling industry to better understand the sorting and separating technologies used in scrap facilities, among other industry topics. The program is worth millions of dollars to the recycling industry, which recovers coins left in end-of-life products turned over for scrap processing, ISRI says.

Information about the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program can be found on the websites of ISRI and the U.S. Mint. As part of the Mint’s notice in December, the agency announced that large redeemers could be subject to a certification process, depending on the submission amounts and frequency of submissions.

“Each person (participant) who physically transports, mails, or ships or causes to be physically transported, mailed or shipped mutilated U.S. coins to the United States Mint for redemption is required to submit an application,” the agency says on its website.

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Oak Hill Capital Partners to purchase Safe Fleet

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 08:43
Safe Fleet Holdings LLC, Belton, Missouri, a provider of safety and productivity solutions for fleet vehicles, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Oak Hill Capital Partners, headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The Houston-based Sterling Group currently owns the company.

Safe Fleet owns a portfolio of brands that provide safety and productivity solutions to fleet vehicle manufacturers and operators. These brands serve several major markets, including bus, rail, RV, truck and trailer, work truck, law enforcement, emergency, waste, industrial and military. With more than 1,200 employees and 11 manufacturing locations, Safe Fleet targets markets with increasing demand for operator, passenger and pedestrian safety.

“We have tremendous respect for what Safe Fleet has accomplished,” says Brian Cherry, a partner at Oak Hill. “The company has built a unique and growing portfolio of market-leading safety and productivity solutions.”

He adds, “We are excited to partner with Safe Fleet to support the company through its next phase of development as it continues to grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

John Rachwalski, also a partner at Oak Hill, says, “Safe Fleet represents an exceptional opportunity to invest in a leader in specialized, niche markets supported by attractive secular tailwinds. We are delighted to work with the company’s talented management team to continue to build the Safe Fleet platform.”

“Sterling and a strong management team led by John Knox have transformed the business strategically, operationally, and commercially from two small component suppliers to a leader in safety solutions for fleet vehicles,” says Gary Rosenthal, a partner at Sterling and chairman of Safe Fleet’s board of directors. “The creation and sale of Safe Fleet, a business that didn’t exist before Sterling’s initial acquisitions, is a case study in how Sterling rapidly implements its improvement strategies to build winning businesses.”

“Sterling and the Safe Fleet team successfully executed our shared vision to create a leading safety solutions company serving an expanding group of fleet customers,” says John Knox, president and chief executive officer of Safe Fleet. “We believe our new partnership with Oak Hill, a firm that shares our culture of collaborative engagement and continuous improvement, will even further accelerate Safe Fleet’s growth trajectory as a highly differentiated safety and productivity solutions platform.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 and represents the seventh investment in the Oak Hill Capital Partners IV portfolio, according to a news release issued by Safe Fleet.

 

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Fuchs expands North American distribution network

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:03
West Virginia-based Leslie Equipment Co. and W.I. Clark Co., headquartered in Wallingford, Connecticut, have been appointed distributors for Terex’s Fuchs brand in North America. With its headquarters and five locations in West Virginia, Leslie Equipment will sell and service Fuchs equipment throughout the entire state, while W.I. Clark will support Fuchs owners in Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties in southeastern New York state.

Leslie Equipment first opened its doors in West Virginia supplying John Deere Construction and Forestry equipment. Now, more than 50 years later, the company has eight different locations throughout West Virginia and nearby states, employing more than 200 people. The company’s achievements have been recognized by John Deere and various vendors with numerous awards for outstanding sales, Fuchs says. 

Identifying a need for innovative, quality material handlers, Leslie Equipment President and Owner John Leslie says, “We feel that there is a demand in our region for the products offered [by Fuchs], and that we’ll have a successful partnership serving our customer base.”

He stresses that after extensive research into the industry, “Leslie Equipment Co. feels that Fuchs is a great strategic partner.”

Regarding the appointment of Leslie Equipment, Fuchs National Account Manager Anthony W. Laslavic says, “Leslie Equipment Co. has long-standing relationships in their region and an extensive knowledge of equipment with expertise in forestry, construction and industrial. [John] Leslie and his team are very committed to their market and have the customers’ and manufactures’ upmost respect.”

Founded in 1925, W.I. Clark is a fourth-generation family business with a history of offering sales, service, parts and rentals, Fuchs says. The company represents a diversified group of manufacturers with products for general construction, landscaping, highways and scrap and recycling.

Rick Parks, vice president and sales manager of W.I. Clark, says, “We are excited to represent the leader in material handlers for the scrap and recycling industries.”

Fuchs is based in Bad Schönborn, Germany, with more than 420 employees. Terex Corp., Westport, Connecticut, is a global manufacturer of lifting and material processing products and services. Other Terex brands include Terex, Genie, Powerscreen and Demag. 

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Schnitzer’s Auto and Metals Recycling division sees seven-year Q1 high

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:01
Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., headquartered in Portland, Oregon, has reported results for its first quarter of fiscal 2018 ended Nov. 30, 2017, including that the company’s Auto and Metals Recycling (AMR) division had its best first quarter performance since fiscal 2011.

The recycling division reports a revenue of $398.1 million in Q1 of fiscal 2018, up 46.5 percent from $271.8 million in the same time period from fiscal 2017. The financial results show that AMR’s operating income more than doubled to $35.2 million from $12.6 million.

“In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, we delivered our strongest first quarter performance since fiscal 2011,” says Tamara Lundgren, Schnitzer president and CEO. “AMR’s operating income per ferrous ton exceeded $40, a level last reached during fiscal 2011, when both volumes and scrap prices were significantly higher than today. This performance demonstrates our continuous focus on increasing productivity and efficiency in our core operations which, combined with the success of our commercial initiatives to grow volumes, allowed us to take full advantage of the stronger market conditions.” 

The company reported earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.64 and adjusted earnings per share of $0.63, both of which include an adverse impact of $0.14 per share related to a legacy environmental liability of $4 million. These results compare with fourth quarter fiscal 2017 earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.65 and adjusted earnings per share of $0.63, and the prior year first quarter loss per share from continuing operations of $0.05 and adjusted loss per share of $0.03.

Schnitzer says its AMR division achieved its best first quarter performance since fiscal 2011, with operating income of $35 million, or operating income per ferrous ton of $44, both of which are more than double the results of the first quarter of fiscal 2017. AMR’s higher year-over-year operating income and operating income per ferrous ton reflect the benefits of operating leverage from 11 percent higher ferrous sales volumes and expanded metal margins as well as higher average net selling prices and contributions from sustained productivity improvements, according to the company.

Cascade Steel and Scrap (CSS) delivered first quarter operating income of $8 million, representing an improvement from the first quarter of 2017. At that time, CSS saw an operating loss of $3 million, which included an adverse impact of approximately $2.5 million from downtime associated with a major equipment upgrade, Schnitzer says.

“CSS’s improved operating performance was driven primarily by higher finished steel sales volumes and metal spreads and also benefited from lower levels of rebar steel imports, increased selling prices driven by higher raw material costs, and productivity improvements from the recent integration of our steel manufacturing and Oregon metal recycling operations,” Schnitzer says.

Consolidated financial performance in the first quarter included corporate expense of approximately $17 million, an increase of $8 million compared with the prior year first quarter primarily due to the recognition of the legacy environmental liability and higher incentive compensation accruals from improved operating performance.

Lundgren adds, “Our Cascade Steel and Scrap business also achieved significantly improved performance compared to the prior year first quarter, with operating margin expansion driven by higher volumes, reduced pressure from low-priced rebar imports and continuing productivity improvements.”

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Call2Recycle Canada uses flame retardant liner for battery collection

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:00
Call2Recycle Canada Inc., Canada's national consumer battery collection and recycling organization headquartered in Toronto, has announced that its battery collection containers now will include a flame retardant liner. This new feature is part of the organization's Charge Up Safety! initiative to further the safe collection, transport and recycling of consumer batteries.

When certain types of batteries reach their end-of-life, they may still retain a residual charge that can present a safety risk if not handled properly, Call2Recycle Canada says. To reduce any safety incidents, the Call2Recycle program will include the flame retardant liner in all its battery collection boxes as an extra layer of protection during collection, transportation and recycling.

"As Canada's premier consumer battery recycling program, we're constantly evolving our ecofriendly safety practices," Joe Zenobio, Call2Recycle Canada president, says. "Our flame retardant liners underscore our commitment to safety, keeping the well-being of our consumers, sorters, collection sites, transporters and processors top of mind."

The patent-pending liner is made of a dry polyester fiber and provides an additional level of defense should a thermal event occur during collection, transport, sorting or processing. The liner is manufactured from used plastic bottles and is both reusable and recyclable. The liners, when applied with the program's guidelines, can limit the potential for flames to escape from a battery box in the event of a thermal runaway or ignition of materials, Call2Recycle Canada says. The flame retardant box liner, manufactured for Call2Recycle's use, has been independently tested and can withstand up to 1112 degrees Fahrenheit.

Call2Recycle Canada has more than 9,000 active collection sites and since 1997, has collected and recycled more than 13,500 metric tons of batteries.

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Plastic scrap flows to China evaporate

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 21:01
Government-approved quotes for plastic scrap imports into China for 2018 are thus far “only a fraction of the corresponding batches in the preceding year,” according to Steve Wong, president of the China Scrap Plastic Association (CSPA). Wong also is chairman of Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Corp. and serves on two Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) committees.

Citing government data in an e-mailed dispatch to CSPA members, Wong says “batch one” of the import quotas for 2018 have authorized just 9,335 metric tons of unprocessed (non-pelletized or -flaked) plastic scrap to enter China. That is a more than 99 percent reduction compared to the more than 3.8 million tons authorized in the first batch of quotas in 2017.

Writes Wong, “If this approval rate is continued for the subsequent import permit approvals, the major recycling operations in China, which used to rely on imports, would be forced to switch to sourcing from domestic supply. The common view of the industry is that there will be no reversal of China’s solid waste imports policies beginning in 2018.”

China imported 7.3 million tons of plastic scrap in 2016, according to Wong, which comprised more than 50 percent of the total volume of all exporting countries. “Such a large volume is difficult to be absorbed by the remaining importing countries within such a short time,” states Wong. “While increasing the volume of exports to Southeast Asian countries, India, and others, apart from raising domestic recycling and reuse, the low-end plastic items still have no alternative outlet other than landfills and incineration in [many] exporting countries,” he adds. “This is very concerning, as the capacity of [domestic recycling and waste destinations] in many exporting countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and Japan, is not capable of handling the increased volume yet.”

In China, “The drastic change has caused a supply gap of around 5 million tons of plastic scrap, for which the recycled plastic pellets from Southeast Asian countries is far from enough,” states Wong. He adds, however, that production capacities in the rest of Asia “have been expanding rapidly.”

The long-term goal of China’s government is to raise the volume of collected plastic scrap through new waste and recycling policies, adds Wong.

A December 2017 article by Bloomberg speculates that American producers of primary plastic also are poised to fill China’s new gap for plastic resins.

The natural gas boom and glut has caused the U.S. to be the world’s lowest cost producer of primary plastic, according to the article’s author. Citing the American Chemistry Council, the article states that American petrochemical companies have invested some $185 billion in new plastics capacity to meet the anticipated demand.

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