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Colorado town gets dedicated glass recycling site

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 12:18
Denver-based glass recycling processor Clear Intentions has installed a glass-only collection bin at the South Canyon Landfill’s recycling drop-off center in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, according to a report in The Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Glass collection is not new to the South Canyon Landfill—the city had been collecting it via single-stream collection. However, recycling glass was limited because of the commingled collection, with glass breaking into smaller pieces compared with other materials in the bin, including aluminum and plastic, becoming a contamination rather than recyclable, the article reports.

The new Clear Intentions bin has allowed for separate glass collection. Accepted items include glass beverage containers, including all colors of beer, wine and liquor bottles; drinking glasses, including wine glasses; jars and containers. Prohibited items include lids; ceramic cups or dishes; Pyrex or cookware; mirrors, windows or lightbulbs; windshields; plastics bags or trash.

South Canyon Landfill Manager King Lloyd told the Post Independent that “about 80 percent of what ended up in the commingled bins was glass. With curbside, single-stream services, he said that about 20 to 30 percent of what’s intended to be recycled can end up in the landfill due to contamination,” the article reports.

In addition to a cleaner glass stream, the new bin will help to lower the landfill’s fees, Lloyd told the newspaper. The paper encouraged local readers who have curbside recycling services to bypass these services and instead drop off their glass containers at the South Canyon Landfill.

“We need to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along in this changing world to repurpose and recycle,” Lloyd told the newspaper. “And it’s keeping our operating costs down.”

Collected glass will be processed and used within Colorado, the article notes.

Clear Intentions offers glass recycling services and recycled glass products to a broad range of industries, including food and entertainment, municipalities, construction, infrastructure and manufacturing.

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Carmakers Try to Keep Waste Out of the Ground as Well as the Air

Recycling news from New York Times - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 10:18
Automakers have been trying for years to stop sending anything to landfills. Now they are using other would-be trash to make parts.

Metals output restrictions in China meeting resistance

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 09:55
Government inspectors in China have reportedly found that several metals producers are not limiting their output in late 2017 as they had earlier been asked to do.

An online article from Hellenic Shipping News, citing Platts as its source, singles out producers of aluminum and steel that “have not limited output or shut to comply with the government’s winter emissions cuts,” which have been scheduled to run from Nov. 2017 through March 2018.

The article cites China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) as singling out Taiyuan East Aluminum in Shanxi Province as one firm that was asked to shut 44 of its furnaces during the winter, “but inspectors on a spot check found that it just shut 14 furnaces,” according to the MEP.

On the steelmaking side, Henan Chengxi Steel Structure in Henan Province was conducting operations it had been earlier instructed to shut down during the winter.

State run metals consultancy Beijing Antaike has forecast China’s national aluminum production growth rate to slow in 2018, although output could still rise by 5.6 percent. Refined aluminum output in 2017 is expected to close the year having increased by 10.3 percent compared to 2016, according to Platts.

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JP Mascaro & Sons receives municipal contracts

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 08:10
J.P. Mascaro & Sons, Audubon, Pennsylvania, has been awarded municipal contracts in Pennsylvania’s Lower Marion, Montgomery County and Ridley Park, according to the Times Herald, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Mascaro received a one-year contract in Lower Marion with options for three additional years. The company will be responsible for transporting single-stream recyclables from the township’s transfer station to the company’s TotalRecycle material recovery facility (MRF) in Exeter, Pennsylvania. Mascaro will then process and market the township’s recyclables.

Mascaro’s 85,000-square-foot TotalRecycle MRF in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, was opened in 2016. The 75,000-square-foot facility services waste haulers, municipalities, residents and businesses and is rated at 35 tons per hour.

The facility contains the technology provided by Van Dyk Recycling Solutions (VDRS) of Stamford, Connecticut. (Click here for more information on the MRF.)

The company also received a comprehensive waste collection contract from Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, valued at $800,000. Mascaro will provide weekly collection for trash removal, recycling and yard waste for a term of two years with a third-year option, the Times Herald reports. 

J.P. Mascaro & Sons is a family-owned waste service company with facilities across eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Recycling in the bag

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 07:09
Companies that manufacture and process food, grain, seed and other bulk dry goods go through a lot of packaging. Dry ingredients often are best shipped in multiwall paper shipping sacks. These bags are more efficient than many other packaging types because they conform to the dimensions of the shipped product and add minimal weight. The food industry alone uses 1.5 billion unlined, multiwall paper shipping sacks per year.

In 2016, the Paper Shipping Sack Manufacturers Association (PSSMA), Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, announced that unlined paper shipping sacks used to package dry food ingredients, such as sugar, flour and spices, can now be recycled in the same stream as old corrugated containers (OCC). To encourage higher recovery rates and inform end users of the sacks’ recyclability, a program—which includes a new recycling symbol—was launched in cooperation with the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, in April of 2016. AF&PA plans to achieve a goal to exceed 70 percent paper recovery for recycling by 2020.

Since its launch, the program has added more than 1 million bags to the market bearing the new recycling emblem, and that number is rising. Unlined paper shipping sacks are a virtually untapped market of high-quality recovered fiber that can fetch top-tier prices when sold with recovered OCC. That’s good for the paper industry; for the end-users, which get more revenue from the collection; and for the environment, because it diverts material from landfills.

Manufacturer benefits

Food manufacturers that receive and use ingredients on a large scale benefit from recycling packaging. The price per ton of recovered OCC reached a record-breaking high this year, so companies that recycle more corrugated material and unlined paper shipping sacks are not just saving big on hauling and landfilling costs, they also are making a profit by selling those recovered materials. And, increased recycling improves companies’ sustainability profiles and reduces their environmental footprints.

Estimating the cost savings or revenue from recycling unlined food ingredient paper shipping sacks depends on several variables. Facilities evaluating the impact of recycling these sacks should, of course, discuss this with their paper recyclers once they develop an estimate of the number of sacks to be recycled. However, PSSMA has developed a Potential Recycling Savings Estimator that can help develop an initial estimate of savings or revenue. Manufacturers can input sack volumes, local landfill disposal costs and estimates of revenue and costs associated with recycling into a downloadable spreadsheet to get estimates of savings.

Ensure acceptance

 

To maximize recovery rates, the paper industry made it easy for manufacturers to begin recycling unlined food ingredient paper shipping sacks. The first step is to ensure that a company’s recycling or waste hauler accepts these unlined paper shipping sacks as part of its regular collection of OCC. Those that do may have guidelines for collection. For example, it’s very important to separate the coated and polylined sacks for separate recovery, keeping them out of the OCC collection.

 

Once a manufacturer has confirmed recyclability of unlined sacks with its recycler or hauler, it is easy to recycle unlined paper shipping sacks with OCC. Just shake the sack clean and place it into a collection bin. The PSSMA suggests providing collection points (i.e., recycling bins) in proximity to where the sacks are used and emptied to minimize the space and effort needed to transport and store these materials.

Avoid contamination

Not all types of paper shipping sacks are eligible to be recycled in the same stream as OCC. Some packages are enhanced for shipment and storage with added coatings and barriers designed to keep moisture and rodents away from the product. As a general guideline, paper sacks with plastic liners are difficult to tear by hand and cannot be recycled along with corrugated material and unlined sacks. Lined sacks can be recycled much more efficiently if segregated.

Bags that can be recycled must be completely empty and clean to maximize their value. Luckily, using every last bit of each ingredient makes sense for the manufacturers, too.

“If you leave four ounces of sugar in every bag, you’re wasting a lot, as it all adds up,” says Mark Grimm, sales manager at VIM Recyclers, an Aurora, Illinois-based company that recovers hundreds of tons of multiwall bags per year. “Keeping the bags clean isn’t more work, just different. Better material utilization yields a clean sack.”

Real-world examples

Bake ’n Joy, a Massachusetts baking company famous for its Boston coffee cakes, has been recycling its unlined paper shipping sacks together with OCC since long before the sack recycling program was unveiled. After many years of sending OCC and sacks to different recycling streams, company President and CEO Bob Ogan pioneered a new, more efficient process in which used unlined paper shipping sacks were placed in the same compactor as flattened corrugated boxes. A little innovation, coupled with a cooperative recycler, paved the way for “the new normal” at Bake ’n Joy: a system that has saved the company time and money ever since.

Henkel Corp., a global adhesives technology and consumer goods company with an adhesive technology center in Bridgewater, New Jersey, is a supplier of adhesives to the paper shipping sack industry.  Henkel says its mission is to enhance efficiency and create more value for consumers while minimizing their environmental footprints. The company followed a simple path to begin recycling unlined paper shipping sacks at its plant in Missouri that uses food-grade ingredients. After checking with their recycling contractor to make sure they would be accepted, Henkel began adding paper shipping sacks to its recovered OCC. The consolidation of paper recycling streams is just another step toward eliminating Henkel’s contributions to landfill waste.

Resources & tools

They say change is never easy, but tools are available to help companies start recycling paper shipping sacks. In addition to the PSSMA’s Potential Recycling Savings Estimator, some recycling contractors, like VIM Recyclers, will provide companies that generate a high volume of recovered materials with baling equipment to make pickup easier and more efficient.

PSSMA surveyed manufacturers that use food ingredients packaged in unlined paper shipping sacks. The survey showed that almost two-thirds of respondents did not know that these sacks could be recycled with OCC.  More than 80 percent of them said that adding the industry’s new recycling emblem for eligible paper shipping sacks would help them incorporate the sacks into their recycling programs. PSSMA is working with its members to communicate this need to suppliers of food ingredients packaged in unlined paper shipping sacks.

Paper recovery has grown steadily over the decades, with OCC at the leading edge (reaching a 93 percent recovery rate in 2016, according to the Corrugated Packaging Alliance, Itasca, Illinois,). New sources of high-quality recovered fiber still are needed to meet domestic and global demand.

Through efforts to increase recycling of unlined paper shipping sacks, the industry takes another step toward eliminating landfill waste, supporting a healthy recovered materials market and helping industries optimize the use of renewable resources for shipping and packaging. Recovering unlined paper shipping sacks adds a great source of fiber needed to make new paper products and benefits the end-user, the paper industry, the recycling industry and the environment. 

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Heil expands responsibilities of dealer in Northeast

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 12/21/2017 - 01:47
Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Heil has added New Hampshire and Vermont to the Heil dealership territory of Sutton, Massachusetts-based Environmental Equipment Sales & Service LLC (EESS). EESS will add the two New England states to its territory effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“We’re very excited to see Dan Cowher and his team step up to the plate and expand their sphere of influence in the Northeast,” says Pat Carroll, president of Heil. “Dan’s long history in the refuse industry allows him to understand the demands of the equipment, and the services needed, in a way that resonates with refuse haulers. We’re excited to have him representing our products.”

EESS is owned and operated by Cowher, a Navy veteran with previous experience in management roles with several major national haulers. EESS is a dealer for all Heil product families, including OEM parts and service, and has two service bays. In addition, EESS is equipped to make emergency roadside calls with a service vehicle that includes a crane, compressor, welder and the ability to make hydraulic hoses on site.

“We’re very proud to be able to extend our reach to Vermont and New Hampshire,” says Cowher. “I’ve understood the importance of maintenance and uptime since I was a 13-year-old kid, so when it comes to garbage trucks, if they aren’t packing, they aren’t making money. At EESS, my job it to ensure that we keep our customers’ trucks up and running.”

EESS is one of 39 Heil dealers with 59 separate locations in the United States and Canada.

Heil, established in 1901, offers automated waste collection technology and what it calls a broad product line, including front loaders, rear loaders, side loaders, multi-compartment vehicles and rolloff hoists, to the waste and recycling market. Heil is part of the Environmental Solutions Group, also based in Chattanooga.

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Stainless steel output rising in 2017

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 12/20/2017 - 18:39
The Brussels-based International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has announced that stainless steel melt shop production increased by 7.4 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same time span in 2016.

The ISSF has calculated that 36.1 million metric tons of stainless steel was produced in the first three quarters of 2017, compared to 33.6 million metric tons in the first nine months of 2016.

China’s output of stainless steel was nearly 19.7 million metric tons in the first three quarters of 2017, or more than half of the global total. Its output is up by 8.8 percent compared to 2016.

Production in Europe is up by only 1.7 percent in 2017, while U.S. output rose by 14.8 percent in the first three quarters of 2017—the highest growth rate among the world’s largest regions. In the U.S., output has risen from 1.8 million metric tons in the first three quarters of 2016 to 2.1 million metric tons in the same timeframe in 2017.

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Steinert modifies its name

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 12/20/2017 - 15:10
Cologne, Germany-based Steinert has announced it has changed its name from Steinert Elektromagnetbau GmbH to Steinert GmbH to better reflect its product offerings.

With “magnet” historically part of its name, the company says its growing presence in sensor-sorting machines shows that its name should not focus on one technology.

“Changing the name is a logical step,” say Uwe Habich, technical managing director at Steinert GmbH. “Sensor-sorting machines account for an increasing share of our business year by year. Moreover, they offer valuable solutions for the waste and metal recycling markets as well as for the mining industry. We are especially delighted about one project, in which we placed 20 sensor-sorting systems into a single facility for sorting lightweight packaging. This clearly shows that our name should no longer focus exclusively on magnet technology.”

At the same time as it is changing its name, the company has launched a redesigned logo and mentions both technologies in its tagline: “magnetic and sensor sorting solutions.”

Steinert says its turnover and earnings have increased substantially in 2017, with order books full for the first two quarters of 2018.

Established in 1889, Steinert is a family-owned company in the field of magnetic separation and sensor-based sorting. The company has 300 employees and generates an annual turnover of about €100 million. In addition to 50 sales partnerships and joint ventures around the globe, the company has subsidiaries in Germany, Australia, the U.S., Brazil and South Africa.

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Nine Dragons points to positive results

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 21:42
The board of directors of Hong Kong-based Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited has announced that, “based on the preliminary review of the latest unaudited management accounts and other currently available information of the group,” profits for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2017 are “expected to increase not less than 90 percent” compared to the second half of 2016.

The company cites “an increase in the selling price of [its] products and a better profit margin of the Group” as reasons for a projected profit of RMB2,002.2 million ($303 million) “if the exchange losses on operating and financing activities net of tax amounting to RMB87.5 million ($13.2 million)” are excluded.

The final, audited results for the company’s 2017 second half are expected to be published by the end of February 2018, according to a Nine Dragons news release.

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Liberty House completes acquisition of steel mill in US

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 21:22
London-based Liberty House Group, part of the GFG Alliance operated by British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, has completed its acquisition of the Georgetown steelworks in South Carolina in the United States. The idled mill was purchased from Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal in a move Liberty House calls “the first in a series of strategic North American acquisitions and new projects.”

The 600,000 square foot plant includes a 540,000-metric tons-per-year electric arc furnace (EAF) and a 680,000-metric-tons-per-year rod mill designed to serve the construction and automotive sectors. Liberty House indicates it plans to restart melting and rolling in the spring 2018 “as the first step in GFG’s ambitious investment plans for the American steel industry.”

The company states it is already in discussions regarding the acquisition of other steel assets in the U.S. and indicates it is researching new greenfield projects, which it expects to announce in 2018.

Liberty House indicates it will initially re-hire 125 former employees at Georgetown and then build the workforce to 250 in the medium term. The group is targeting a major share of the U.S. market for domestically produced wire rod, demand for which is projected to grow substantially during 2018, according to the firm.

Completion of the Georgetown deal follows successful negotiations between Liberty and several stakeholders, including the United Steelworkers of America union (USW), Georgetown’s city council and the South Carolina State Government.

The mill site was a pivotal part of the state’s industrial infrastructure for nearly 70 years until it was shuttered in 2015, according to Liberty House, which indicates it “now aims to restore it to its former position of prominence and bring hundreds of skilled jobs back to the plant and to the local and state economy.”

Under an agreement with the USW, the company expects key roles on the furnace, casters and rolling mill to be filled by experienced former employees of the plant. The company also indicates it is in discussion with Georgetown’s city council about training programs to prepare a new generation of workers for the industry.

“Securing the Georgetown furnace and mill is a major milestone for us, marking our first major step in the U.S.,” says Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance. “The melting and rolling facilities here give us a formidable entry to the American market and provide a strong platform for expansion. We see major prospects for the metals industry here and we want to apply the same ‘Greensteel’ sustainable strategy to our American plants as we are already delivering in the United Kingdom and Australia. We’re grateful for the support we’ve have from the council, the state government and the union, and we look forward to rebuilding the business and bringing quality industrial employment back to the site and to the local and regional supply chain.”

He continues, “We’ve already had customers contacting us about placing orders, so we’re keen to get back up and running as quickly as possible.”

 

Remarks John Brett, president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA, “Throughout the process, ArcelorMittal has been steadfast in our goal of maintaining the Georgetown steelmaking operation to preserve jobs and maximize the value of the property for our shareholders. While bittersweet for ArcelorMittal, we are hopeful that today’s announcement is a celebration for Liberty Steel and GFG Alliance, the United Steelworkers and the Georgetown community. We appreciate the patience of all of our stakeholders while we finalized this important transaction.”

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Another plastic scrap crackdown takes place in China

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 20:37
A nationwide action organized by China’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) was conducted on Dec. 19, 2017, according to Steve Wong, executive president of the China Scrap Plastics Association (CSPA) and chairman of Hong Kong-based Fukutomi Co. Limited.

In an e-mail to CSPA members, Wong says the Dec. 19 effort focused on the smuggling of materials deemed to be solid waste, yet often recycled into secondary plastics. “During this crackdown, 47 illegal operations were exposed, and 127 suspects were arrested,” says Wong. “This was the fourth round of Such inspections are referred to by the GACC and other Chinese agencies as “blue-sky actions.” The Dec. 19 action involved more than 1,770 people from 19 GACC offices in China, “creating the biggest action in terms of scale and scope,” according to Wong.

Inspections took place in 13 Chinese provinces and cities, including Hebei, Jiangsu, Liaoning and Zhejiang provinces and the cities of Guangzhou (including the port of Huangpu), Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shantou and Tianjin. More than 7,700 tons of plastic scrap and rubber and other materials were seized, and GACC has indicated that record books seized showed some 323,000 tons of “solid waste” having been smuggled.

According to Wong, GACC has arrested 421 suspects and set up 298 criminal prosecution cases in 2017, with 866,800 tons of what the agency considers to be solid waste involved in those cases.

An online article from Xinhua, China’s state news agency, quotes GACC spokesperson Huang Songping as saying the origin of the seized materials was unclear, but that the country will continue to block imports of “foreign garbage.”

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OSHA releases statement on fatal occupational injuries in 2016

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 15:34
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “Census of 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries” reports 5,190 workplace fatalities occurred in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015. The fatal injury rate also increased from 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2015 to 3.6 in 2016.

Despite this overall increase, in the public and private waste and recycling industry, fatalities declined from 50 in 2015 to 42 in 2016.

“This should give our industry a little encouragement that our organizational commitment to a strong safety culture and our safety processes are having an impact,” NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith says in a news release responding to the OSHA data. He says the NWRA and its members will continue to look for opportunities to improve. “Zero is possible.”

Smith adds, “Since our board of trustees designated safety as a strategic initiative in 2015, NWRA has worked to provide its members with tools and outreach efforts including Safety Stand Downs and our Safety Professional Development Series, as well as collecting our own data from members to monitor trends in the industry. We are also preparing for additional programs in 2018.”

More workers lost their lives in transportation incidents than any other event in 2016, accounting for about 1 out of every 4 fatal injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, www.osha.gov) says.

“In early 2016, NWRA convened an unprecedented industrywide Safety Summit to significantly reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities by building out sustainable prevention measures and engagement processes for a stronger industry safety culture,” NWRA National Safety Director Anthony Hargis says.

Over the past three years, NWRA and its chapters have championed “Slow Down to Get Around” legislation, which is now the law in 16 states and under consideration in several more. These laws require motorists slow down when waste and recycling collection vehicles are stopped and workers are getting on and off, just as motorists are required to slow down in construction work zones, stop for school buses and pull over for emergency vehicles.

The NWRA notes that fatalities declined at landfills and material recovery facilities (MRFs), while they remained the same in the waste collection industry. The refuse and recyclable material collector fatalities also declined to 31 as did the fatal work injury rate (34.1 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers); however, this occupation retained its position at the firth most dangerous industry.

Looking more broadly at the OSHA report, workplace violence injuries increased by 23 percent, making it the second most common cause of workplace fatality. The report also shows the number of overdoses on the job increased by 32 percent in 2016, while the number of fatalities has increased by at least 25 percent annually since 2012.

Loren Sweatt, OSHA deputy assistant secretary, says, “Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016—the highest since 2008. America’s workers deserve better.”

She adds that OSHA will address the trends revealed by the report through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training and outreach.

“As President Trump recognized by declaring opioid abuse a Nationwide Public Health Emergency, the nation’s opioid crisis is impacting Americans every day at home and, as this data demonstrates, increasingly on the job.

“The Department of Labor will work with public and private stakeholders to help eradicate the opioid crisis as a deadly and growing workplace issue.” 

The NWRA’s Hargis expresses the association’s desire to work with its members and partners to improve safety, saying, “NWRA is completely committed to achieving a positive and robust safety culture industrywide.”

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ISRI releases updated ‘Scrap Specifications Circular’

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 14:49
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), headquartered in Washington, has updated its Scrap Specifications Circular to include new specifications for rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) recyclables approved at its Fall Board Meeting Nov. 8, 2017. The circular also reclassifies “clean, dry double-polycoat food packages” within the “Guidelines for Inbound Curbside Recyclables for Material Recovery Facilities - Minimum Recommended Materials List.”

In a news release announcing the availability of the updated circular, ISRI says the new PVC specifications are intended to encompass more of the plastics recyclables that are actively trading in the scrap plastics marketplace. They can be found on pages 49-50 in the new edition of the Scrap Specifications Circular.

The association says the amendment to the material recovery facility (MRF) guidelines is a response to concerns within the recycling industry that by listing “clean, dry double-polycoat food packages” in its original location under Additional Materials for Inbound Curbside Recyclables for MRFs, it gave the impression that the material is preferred by MRFs.

“The reality is that the material is not preferred and may be considered prohibitive by MRFs who need a secondary market for their materials to remain viable economic and environmental partners with the communities they serve,” ISRI says.

The reclassification moves “clean, dry double-polycoat food packages” to the "Paper (not preferred or may be prohibited) with examples (not inclusive)" section of the inbound curbside recyclables guidelines (page 62).

ISRI’s Scrap Specifications Circular provides industry guidelines for buying and selling a variety of processed scrap commodities, including ferrous, nonferrous, paper, plastics, electronics, rubber and glass. More information about the rules governing the procedures for the addition, amendment or withdrawal of ISRI’s scrap specifications can be found in the Scrap Specifications Circular.

Comments, recommendations or questions about the specifications can be sent to ISRI’s Joe Pickard at jpickard@isri.org.

 

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SWANA responds to BLS fatal occupational injuries report

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 14:24
Solid waste collection workers continued to have the fifth deadliest job in the U.S. in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 2016 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released December 19 shows that the rate of fatalities among waste collection workers decreased by more than 10 percent last year but has not changed the industry’s ranking among the deadliest occupations.

Solid waste collection workers had a rate of 34.1 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees in 2016 compared with 38.8 in 2015. In 2016, 31 collection workers were killed on the job compared with 36 the year before.

SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America, Silver Spring, Maryland) is pleased that the overall collection worker fatality rate declined a bit in 2016, but remains very concerned about the high frequency of fatal incidents involving solid waste workers and third-parties, such as other drivers or pedestrians.” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “However, the sad truth is that we are still the fifth most dangerous job in America, with a higher workplace fatality rate than police officers or firefighters. This is no time to take a victory lap.”

With nine fatalities reported among solid waste landfill employees in 2016, that sector also saw a decrease in total fatalities from a high of 11 deaths in 2015. During the three years before that, landfills only recorded three fatalities per year, so the current numbers remain high compared with other years.

Fatality data for material recovery facility (MRF) workers in 2016 show one reported on-the-job death, though the overall data for this sector did not meet publication criteria, and therefore, no total was listed. In 2015, three fatalities occurred among MRF workers. In November, MRFs were listed by BLS as one of the 25 industries with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work, restricted work or job transfer.

Though BLS data for 2017 will not be available until late 2018, SWANA has recorded more than 100 fatal incidents involving the waste sector in the U.S., with 30 waste workers and 70 third-parties killed this year.

"I, along with my SWANA colleagues, view even one waste worker fatality as way too many,” Ken Levine, SWANA NY safety ambassador and director of risk management at Action Carting, says. “Though movements such as 'Slow Down To Get Around' are creating some awareness surrounding the daily risks of collection workers, the industry needs the general public to understand how dangerous the work is and be aware of how their actions contribute to the daily safety of our workers.”

Small haulers continue to represent a disproportionate share of injuries and fatalities in the solid waste industry, and with that in mind, SWANA and its chapter-based safety ambassadors are developing a toolkit aimed at small haulers in their regions. Through special outreach events held at landfills, MRFs and transfer stations across North America, SWANA intends to provide safety resources in a variety of languages to the most vulnerable workers, reduce accidents and help move solid waste collection off the top-five list of deadliest jobs.

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Bye Bye Mattress Program recycles 1 million mattresses in first year

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 09:33
The Bye Bye Mattress Program, the mattress recycling program headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and operated by the Mattress Recycling Council, Alexandria, Virginia, has recently announced that its recyclers collected more than 955,000 mattress and box spring units for recycling in 2016, the program’s first year of operations. These and other important accomplishments are summarized in the program’s first annual report, which the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) recently approved.

The report states that the program’s recyclers diverted 29 million pounds of steel, foam, fiber and wood from disposal in landfills. In addition to recycling, the program established an Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative which resulted in more than 23,000 illegally dumped units being removed from alleys, sidewalks and other public spaces and rights-of-way throughout California.

“We established drop-off locations and events in nearly every county during our first year of operations. We remain focused on expanding the program’s accessibility and convenience,” MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell, says. “We are working hard to involve more mattress retailers in the collection network. Meanwhile, we are exploring how to make the program more efficient and increase our recycling targets by researching new end markets for the recycled materials.”

The Bye Bye Mattress Program is funded by a recycling fee that is collected when mattresses and box springs are sold in California. The fee is used to establish free drop-off locations and collection events throughout the state, transport units collected from these sites and other sources to companies that dismantle the discarded products and recycle their materials. Consumers may access the drop-off locations and collection events. The program also recycles mattresses collected by landfills, as well as retailers, hotels, universities and other sources that discard mattresses in large volumes.

Once collected units arrive at a mattress recycling facility, they are dismantled and the recycled components are sold to companies that will use them to make entirely new products. Cotton and other fibers can be transformed into insulation or industrial equipment filters. Foam is shredded and mixed with other materials to make carpet padding. The inner springs are extracted and recycled as metal scrap, which is melted and used to make new appliances, building materials and other steel products. The wooden box spring frame can be chipped and is typically used as landscape mulch and biomass fuel.

In 2016, the program contracted with six recyclers operating in California, which ranged from a large operation to many manual recyclers operated by local nonprofit organizations and smaller enterprises.

See the 2016 annual report for a full account of the program’s first year. To find a drop-off location, collection event or mattress recycler in California visit www.ByeByeMattress.com.

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EREF opens request for proposals

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 08:15
Raleigh, North Carolina based-Environmental Research and Education Foundation’s (EREF’s) Research Grants Program, led by its Research Council, is accepting grant preproposals for research topics about solid waste. Preproposals are required prior to submitting a full proposal.

Preproposals will be accepted starting Dec. 24 and up to the close of business (5 p.m. Eastern Time) on Jan. 15, 2018. Proposals must be received during this window to be considered. Submissions will only be accepted through the online application.

All preproposals must adhere to the criteria noted and be submitted by the established deadlines. Preproposals submitted in response to this request for proposals (RFP) that do not fit within the topic areas noted will not be reviewed.

Preproposal topics must relate to sustainable solid waste management practices and pertain to the following topic areas, including:

  • waste minimization;
  • recycling;
  • waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals or other useful products. This includes, but is not limited to, waste-to-energy, anaerobic digestion, composting and other thermal or biological conversion technologies;
  • strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g. organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management and logistics); and
  • landfilling.

Additional details regarding preproposal formatting and submission requirements can be located at erefdn.org/research-grants-projects/how-to-apply-for-grant.

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Millennium Recycling names new president

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 05:45
Millennium Recycling Inc., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has announced that Shannon Dwire, previously general manager of the company, has been promoted to the position of president.

Dwire With 21 years of experience in the recycling industry, more than 18 of which have been at Millennium Recycling, Dwire has built a track record of strategic and operational accomplishments, the company states in a news release announcing Dwire’s promotion. As general manager, she helped lead the transition to single-stream recycling, strengthened customer relations and implemented a progressive mentorship program for employees.

"It is truly an honor to take on this role at Millennium,” Dwire says. “With the growing demand for greater sustainability from consumers and businesses alike, I look forward to continue building our recycling services and leading the team forward.”

Dwire’s responsibilities as president include overseeing sales, processing, research and development and all other aspects of business operations and strategy. She will report to Jake Anderson, Millennium's CEO and owner.

“I'm very excited that Shannon has accepted the leadership role here at Millennium,” Anderson says. “She has proven to be a trusted leader among our customers and employees and brings a strong reputation for developing ideas and inspiring teams. Her background, training, skills and wealth of experience in the recycling industry are exactly the qualities Millennium needs as we approach our 20th year in business."

Millennium Recycling provides recycling solutions in the Upper Midwest region. The company was founded in 1999 and recycles more than 100 million pounds of material per year.

       

 

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Capital investments seen rising in 2018

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 01:15
The Washington, D.C.-based Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released a forecast predicting business investment in equipment and software will expand 9.1 percent in 2018 in the United States.

The foundation’s 2018 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook report, which can be found on this Web page, indicates the 9.1 percent projection is well above the estimated 5.2 percent growth rate experienced in 2017.

While a few headwinds persist, they should be outweighed by an encouraging business investment climate, according to the foundation. The foundation indicates its report, which is focused on the $1 trillion equipment leasing and finance industry, highlights key trends in equipment investment and places them in the context of the broader U.S. economic climate.

“This forecast for higher-than-expected growth in capital equipment investment is indeed good news,” says Ralph Petta, president of the foundation and President and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. “Business conditions appear favorable heading into the new year, with Washington poised to enact lower corporate tax rates and the economy continuing to grow slowly and steadily. Equipment finance organizations we talk to are bullish about 2018 growth projections for the industry.”

Highlights from the study include:

  • 2018 capital spending should remain on solid footing as businesses are confident and interest rates remain low. Overall, investment in equipment and software is expected to grow by 9.1 percent. However, the Federal Reserve is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points in December and another 100 basis points during 2018 due to strong economic growth and continued labor market tightening, which could slow growth in the second half of the year.
  • Credit market conditions are mostly healthy as credit supply remains steady and financial stress is at historic lows.
  • The U.S. economy looks set to experience moderately strong growth in 2018. Business investment is likely to remain solid during the first half of the year, while strong labor market health should keep consumer spending growing in the 2 to 4 percent range. Although residential investment continues to disappoint, surging global demand should lift exports, even as the dollar strengthens. Overall, the study projects the U.S. economy to grow 2.7 percent, above other estimates of 2.1 to 2.5 percent.

The Foundation-Keybridge U.S. Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor, which is included in the report, tracks 12 equipment and software investment verticals, including:

  • construction machinery (investment growth should remain stable);
  • materials handling equipment (investment may strengthen);
  • mining and oilfield machinery (investment growth is likely to remain strong, but may moderate soon);
  • agriculture machinery (investment growth should remain steady);
  • all other industrial equipment (investment is expected to accelerate);
  • trucks investment growth (expected to increase moderately);
  • aircraft investment growth (likely to remain solid);
  • ships and boats investment growth (should remain steady);
  • railroad equipment investment growth (should remain strong, though may soften soon);
  • computers investment growth (should remain strong);
  • software investment growth (should remain steady); and
  • medical equipment investment growth may experience weaker growth.

The foundation produces the Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook report in partnership with Washington, D.C.-based economics and public policy consulting firm Keybridge Research

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NWRA urges China to Reconsider Changes to Standards for Recyclables

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 14:38
The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) recently filed comments with the Standardization Administration of China in response to the notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it would modify the standards for imported recyclable materials by March 1, 2018.

“NWRA supports high-quality standards for recyclable materials and supports policies to achieve them. Our member companies’ processing facilities work to completely eliminate all materials that do not meet those specifications. We support the use of existing, internationally recognized specifications. The global recycling industry will face significant challenges should these standards move forward as written,” NWRA CEO and President Darrell Smith says.

NWRA further commented that modifications to the standards would lead to a decline in recycling rates globally as well as an increase in green-house gas (GHG) emissions. The association noted that any pullback in these programs will result in an increase in raw material use and a significant increase in GHG worldwide emissions.

Click here to access NWRA’s comments. 

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ISRI files comments with World Trade Association

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 13:17
The Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) says it submitted comments in mid-December to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to notifications made by the China’s government Nov. 15, 2017, regarding proposed scrap import standards. While ISRI says it supports China’s strategy to improve the environment and encourage sustainable recycling, the association says it is concerned that the draft standards, if implemented, will lead to extensive disruptions in global supply chains. ISRI’s concern arises from the proposed standards not being in line with the globally recognized specifications the association has developed and the lack specific guidance from China for exporters.

In the submission, ISRI President Robin Wiener requests specific, written guidance on the definition of “other carried waste,” suggests that the allowable percentages align with ISRI specifications and requests more time to allow for global suppliers to understand the regulations for adequate compliance.

“ISRI understands that at the heart of China’s approach with the proposed GB (national) standards is an effort to identify what is ‘garbage’ so that China can rightfully prevent such material from entering the country,” Wiener writes in the submission. “We suggest the Chinese government revise its GB standards to very specifically define what is intended to be minimized in terms of the percentages listed, giving particular attention to distinguishing between unusable trash that should have gone to a landfill and recyclable materials.”

She continues, “Each proposed GB standard also contains a catch-all restriction for ‘other carried-wastes’ with a set threshold for the allowable percentage by weight. It is this last restriction that has raised concerns within ISRI and the global recycling industry as the percentages proposed are in many cases (but not all) out of line with global norms and established manufacturing tolerances.

“We anticipate additional questions about China’s scrap import regulations to arise as our industry tries to adapt to the regulatory changes and, therefore, we respectfully suggest an opportunity to meet with MEP (Ministry of Environmental Protection, SAC (Standardization Administration of China), AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) and other relevant authorities for a walk-through of the regulations, enforcement measures and other potential scenarios that could occur in the normal course of trade,” Weiner writes.

She goes on to suggest that the Chinese government delay implementation of the proposed standards in line with WTO guidelines. “Extra time is required for recyclers to fully understand China’s changing scrap import regulations and to make the necessary changes to comply with these new rules,” Weiner writes.

 The full text of the comments can be read on ISRI’s website.

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, also submitted comments to the WTO urging China to delay implementation of its waste import restrictions, urging the Chinese government to suspend the implementation of the restrictions until no earlier than Jan. 1, 2022.

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