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IERC 2018: E-waste recycling’s future

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 08:43
Switzerland-based conference organizer ICM AG has issued the following wrapup of its IERC (International Electronics Recycling Congress) 2018 event, which was held in Salzburg, Austria, Jan. 17-19. About 480 experts from 42 countries took part in event.

“Who will benefit the most from the increasing volume of electrical and electronic scrap worldwide in the future? This was one of the central questions that industry representatives discussed at this year’s IERC 2018 as part of a panel discussion. The roundtable concluded a two-day conference program covering all aspects of e-waste recycling—from current market developments and new technological trends to new legal frameworks and specific country reports.

Stephan Schwarz, ALBA International Recycling; Professor Jinhui Li, Tsinghua University, China; Stuart Fleming, EnviroServe; and Steve Skurnac, Sims Recycling Solutions, took part in the panel discussion.

Schwarz explained that some recycling companies have benefited from substandard recycling activities. In many cases, waste has shipped to developing countries and as a result in this way, large profits were achieved.

However, Schwarz believes that these cases will decrease. The e-waste market has become very dynamic. Products have become increasingly powerful and complex, but also smaller and less valuable. The classic recycling strategy of recovering valuables, mostly metals, will no longer work, the ALBA representative said. Handpicking in developing countries will also no longer produce enough valuable substances.

Instead, new recycling technologies and increasingly automated processes are needed. However, it is not only important for the right technology, but also for access to sufficient waste volumes. According to Schwarz, those who can meet both these requirements have a good chance of being among the winners in the ed-waste market.

Fleming took a different view of things. The CEO of the e-waste recycler EnviroServe expects that the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be the winners. But only on the condition that they are clever enough to take over e-waste recycling companies so that they can harvest the raw materials at reduced rates. In this scenario, he suggests that the OEM will invest some of the extra margin they return into research and development on sustainable practices.

Professor Jinhui Li sees the development in a similar way. In the past, informal recycling has benefited from the increases in volume, he explained. Nevertheless, this form of recycling, in the past, has led to serious environmental and human health disasters in developing countries. The situation is changing now with the strengthening of the legislation system and extended producer responsibility (EPR). At least in China, the producer of electrical appliances will be among the winners, he said, because the levy paid for electronics placed on the market by producers is much less than the subsidy paid from government to recyclers within the WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment regulation) system.

According to Skurnac, the ever-increasing volumes of e-waste present both opportunity and risk for recyclers and producers alike. Ever-changing material composition and shrinking product size coupled with higher collection costs means that e-recycling will become much more local in many jurisdictions, he explained. In countries without well-developed regulations or collection mechanisms this means that recyclers will need to put in significant resources to help develop the markets. In more advanced regions the declining material value and smaller products suggest more hands-on processing rather than larger mechanical solutions for initial material sourcing.

“The future winners will be companies that partner effectively with the entire circular supply chain to optimize collections, efficiently process material and find sustainable homes for the recovered commodities,” Skurnac said.”

ICM AG is an internationally leading event organizer that specializes in the field of recycling. With four congresses each year, ICM covers major topics that impact the circular economy, primarily focusing on the recycling of electrical and electronic goods, end-of-life vehicles and batteries. The events are held alternately in various countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

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Plastics Industry Association releases statement on sustainability

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 08:23
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), which is based in Washington, has announced that it has adopted of its first-ever Sustainability Statement, adding that it “codifies the association’s dedication to sustainability.” By releasing the statement, the association says it hopes to inspire other like-minded organizations and plastics companies to commit to these principles.  

The statement, which was unanimously approved by the association’s leadership, reads:    

“The Plastics Industry Association encourages all companies engaged in plastics manufacturing to make sustainability a guiding principle at all levels of operation. Sustainable plastic manufacturing conducts business in a way that seeks to drive value creation for society, the environment and the industry. It also strives for improvement to reduce impacts on natural resources, minimizing waste generation and shifting toward renewable energy options, all of which reduce greenhouse gas impacts. Efforts should be guided by scientific data that measures the impacts of the many life cycle stages of plastic products, consistent with the values of sustainable materials management, and strive to keep materials in circularity for remanufacturing whenever it yields the greatest environmental benefit. These activities should be measured and reported with integrity and transparency.”

PLASTICS Vice President of Sustainability Kim Holmes says, “We want to provide our members with a guiding principle for how they should integrate sustainability into their operations. Further, we want people to understand PLASTICS’ ongoing and tireless efforts to help improve sustainability in our industry.”

“As a brand owner, we’re familiar with the importance of making a bona fide commitment to sustainability,” says Jay Olson, materials engineering and technology manager at Deere & Co. and a member of PLASTICS’ Sustainability Advisory Board. “PLASTICS, however, is unique among manufacturing trade associations for taking the lead and creating a statement that challenges companies in the industry and makes it clear for all to see that this association walks the walk when it comes to promoting sustainable practices.”

The association says it has been working for many years to increase sustainability in the industry by leading and supporting a number of sustainability initiatives. For example, PLASTICS’ Zero Net Waste program educates companies on how they can turn their waste into valuable resources or altogether eliminate waste in manufacturing.

PLASTICS also leads demonstration projects intended to challenge industries, like automotive and retail, to redefine their supply chains to incorporate more recycled plastics. PLASTICS’ End of Life Vehicle (ELV) project explores the technical and economic feasibility of recovering and recycling plastics from obsolete vehicles, while the Supply Chain Guide to Circularity: Retail Series informs brand retailers about how to incorporate recycled content into high-end packaging and connects them with the full plastics supply chain to find solutions to their recovery challenges.

The association says it also has demonstrated its interest in sustainability by funding projects intended to create new end market opportunities for plastic film, such as the Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) program, a research collaborative to make all flexible plastic film recyclable at the curbside in residential recycling programs.

More information about PLASTICS’ recycling and sustainability initiatives is available at www.plasticsindustry.org/supply-chain/recycling-sustainability

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SEC qualifies $25 million Regulation A capital raise for TerraCycle US

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 08:00
TerraCycle US Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of TerraCycle Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, has announced that its $25 million Regulation A offering has been qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allowing anyone the opportunity to invest in the recycling company.

“Our mission at TerraCycle is to eliminate waste, recycle the unrecyclable and use our innovative business solutions to minimize human impact on the planet,” says TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “During the course of our 15-year history, we’ve inspired a passionate following and have been asked by those who support our mission how they can invest in the company. With the recent qualification by the SEC, any category of investor can invest in our U.S. operating company and I’m pleased to be in a position to invite the public to participate in our future.”

Using third-party logistics and facilities, TerraCycle converts collected waste into raw materials that are sold to manufacturers to create new products. Examples of waste streams collected and recycled by TerraCycle include chip bags, coffee capsules, cigarette butts, oral care, writing utensils and more than 100 other waste streams in the United States. Through its programs, TerraCycle has shown that consumers favor businesses that provide recycling solutions for the products they manufacture.            

Through the Regulation A offering, TerraCycle US Inc. says it seeks to use the proceeds from the offering to acquire related companies, increase staff and grow its business. Interested investors are invited to visit www.ownterracycle.com to view detailed information about the offering.

Regulation A is part of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, bipartisan legislation signed in 2012. The new form of Regulation A went into effect in 2015. This legislation greatly expanded entrepreneurs’ access to capital, allowing them to crowdfund their capital raises and opened the door to nonaccredited investors to participate in early stage investments, subject to SEC review.

TerraCycle is a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle postconsumer materials and has developed proprietary solutions to recycle a range of complex waste streams, including cigarette butts, dirty diapers, ocean plastic, adhesive packaging and household paint. In addition to free programs, TerraCycle also sells Zero Waste Boxes for end users to recycle items in offices, homes, factories and public facilities.

The company clarifies in a press release announcing the investment opportunity, “An offering statement regarding this offering has been filed with the SEC. The SEC has qualified that offering statement, which only means that the company may make sales of the securities described by the offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. You should read the offering circular before making any investment.”

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Geo JS Tech Group buys Green Fence Recycling Corp.

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 07:42
Geo JS Tech Group, Houston, has announced it has acquired Green Fence Recycling and Florence Development LLC as part of its business expansion to include recycling of scrap metals and plastics. The purchase agreement includes recycling processing systems in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and lithium batteries.

“This agreement allows us to immediately expand operations into recycling,” says Edward Mui, CEO of Geo JS Tech Group. “The processing system, customers and a management team with 25 years of experience in recycling processing will be a great jump start for our 2018 business goals.”

Established in 2014, Green Fence Recycling offers sorting, shredding and cleaning services for the plastics recycling industry. The company announced in January 2016 that it was establishing operations in Marion County, according to a news release issued by the South Carolina Department of Commerce. The company announced it was investing $2.5 million in the facility and creating 40 new jobs in Mullins, South Carolina, over the next five years. As the company’s headquarters, the Marion County facility served the U.S. and China markets, focusing on the processing of mixed rigid plastics and polypropylene (PP), as well as PET fines washing.

Geo JS Tech Group announced Jan. 10, 2018, that it was expanding its business operations to include recycling of plastics and scrap metals, adding additional growth and revenue opportunities beyond mining of iron ore and gold.

“Scrap metal and plastic recycling is an attractive growing market within our core competency,” says Edward Mui, CEO of Geo JS Tech Group. “Adding this to our operations is a priority and as such we’ve begun discussions with potential partners to advance our plans for the new year.”

In a press release announcing the acquisition, the company says, “Geo JS Tech Group will have a challenging and exciting year making the world greener. The management assures shareholders that it will diligently strive to capitalize on this new company strategy and initiative by growing internally through product sales and externally through merger and acquisition activities.

The company is confident it has the skills and resources to grow in this space and foster any merger and acquisition opportunities in both the green recycling and mining businesses. The management thanks shareholders for your ongoing support of Geo JS Tech Group.

This acquisition gives our company the ability to engage in buying, processing and selling ferrous and nonferrous recycled material and it is expected to provide an anticipated $30-40 million in increased revenues in the upcoming fiscal year, a 600 percent growth year over year.”

Bloomberg reports that the Texas-based GEO JS Tech Group Corp. was established in 2010 and engages in the exploration of sand, stone and iron minerals in Mexico and Malaysia.

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Alcoa reports revenue growth in 2017

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 06:22
Pittsburgh-headquartered Alcoa Corp., a producer of bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2017. The company closed 2017 with $1.36 billion in cash, up $239 million sequentially and $505 million year over year.

The quarter and the full-year reflect ongoing strength in alumina and aluminum pricing, the company says, adding that its management team “continued to execute on its strategic priorities to reduce complexity, drive returns and strengthen the balance sheet.”

Roy Harvey, Alcoa president and chief executive officer, says, “Solid market fundamentals allowed us to deliver our strongest adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) quarter since our launch as an independent, publicly traded company. With a series of operating and asset decisions, we also purposefully delivered against our strategic priorities.”

Alcoa became an independent, publicly traded company Nov. 1, 2016.

“Our first full year has been truly remarkable,” Harvey says. “By continuously focusing on our strategic priorities, and supported by favorable markets, we’ve been able to accelerate our plan to strengthen Alcoa’s foundation for an even brighter tomorrow. As we enter 2018, we will continue to execute on our objectives and look forward to delivering more in the new year.”

Based on January 2018 market assumptions, Alcoa is projecting full-year 2018 adjusted EBITDA, excluding special items, to range from $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion.

The company also announced changes to retirement benefits for its salaried employees in the U.S. and Canada, with Harvey saying they were indented to “strengthen the balance sheet.”  He adds, “The decisions were difficult and affect current employees who have been part of our Alcoa family the longest. But to reduce our liabilities, change is necessary; it will enable us to better prepare for an uncertain and cyclical environment as we position our company for the future.”

The retirement changes are effective Jan. 1, 2021. Salaried employees in the U.S. and Canada will cease accruing retirement benefits for future service under defined benefit pension plans, Alcoa says. However, participants already collecting benefits under the pension plans and those currently covered by collective bargaining agreements are not affected by these changes.

In connection with this change, approximately 800 affected employees will be transitioned to country-specific defined contribution plans, Alcoa says.

Also, effective Jan. 1, 2021, Alcoa will no longer contribute to pre-Medicare retiree medical coverage for U.S. salaried employees and retirees.

With these and other changes to its retirement benefits, Alcoa says it expects to reduce its net pension and other postemployment benefits (OPEB) liability by $35 million and record noncash nonoperating income of approximately $20 million in the first quarter of 2018.

In fourth quarter 2017, Alcoa reported a net loss of $196 million, or $1.06 per share, compared with net income of $113 million, or 60 cents per share, in third quarter 2017. The 2017 fourth quarter results include $391 million of special items primarily arising from previously announced actions relating to the early termination of the power agreement at its Rockdale (Texas) Operations and to the divestiture of the Portovesme smelter in Italy, which the company fully curtailed in 2012 and closed in 2014. Alcoa says these are aligned with its strategic priorities to streamline and strengthen the company.

Other special items included charges for income tax valuation allowance and tax rate change adjustments, as well as certain impacts from new U.S. income tax legislation and costs for the partial restart of the Warrick smelter in Indiana. These items were slightly offset by the reduction in a previously established reserve from the settlement of an Italian energy tariff dispute, the company says.

Excluding the impact of special items, fourth quarter 2017 adjusted net income was $195 million, or $1.04 per share, up 44 percent sequentially from $135 million, or 72 cents per share. Adjusted EBITDA excluding special items rose 38 percent to $775 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $561 million in the third quarter of 2017. The improvement was primarily driven by increased pricing for alumina and aluminum, somewhat offset by higher energy costs, the company says.

Alcoa reported fourth-quarter 2017 revenue of $3.2 billion, up 7 percent sequentially, largely because of improved alumina and aluminum prices and increased alumina shipments.

Cash from operations in fourth quarter 2017 was $455 million and free cash flow was $305 million. Cash used for financing activities and investing activities was $53 million and $170 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Alcoa says it ended fourth quarter 2017 with cash on hand of $1.36 billion and with $1.41 billion of debt, for net debt of $0.05 billion.

For full-year 2017, Alcoa reported net income of $217 million, or $1.16 per share, compared with a $400 million net loss, or $2.19 per share, for full-year 2016. Excluding special items, the company reported adjusted net income of $563 million, or $3.01 per share, compared with a $227 million adjusted net loss, or $1.24 per share, in 2016.

Adjusted EBITDA excluding special items was $2.35 billion, more than double the $1.11 billion earned in 2016. Strong alumina and aluminum pricing drove the increase, which was slightly offset by higher costs for energy and raw materials and unfavorable movements in foreign currency exchange rates, the company says.

Revenue in 2017 was $11.7 billion, up 25 percent from 2016, reflecting higher alumina and aluminum pricing.

Cash from operations in 2017 was $1.2 billion and free cash flow was $0.8 billion. In 2017, cash used for financing activities and investing activities was $506 million and $226 million, respectively. Alcoa says it invested $118 million in return-seeking capital projects and controlled sustaining capital expenditures to $287 million in 2017.

For 2018, Alcoa says it projects balanced global bauxite and alumina markets and a global aluminum deficit of 300 thousand to 700 thousand metric tons. Alcoa projects 2018 global aluminum demand growth of 4.25 to 5.25 percent, following the company’s final 2017 global demand growth rate of 5.25 percent.

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US containerboard output rises in 2017

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 00:43
The Washington, D.C.-based American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has reported containerboard production in the United States in 2017 rose by 3.1 percent compared to 2016.

In a news release summarizing its “December 2017 Containerboard Report,” the organization also indicates containerboard producers closed the year in a healthy state, with December 2017 output 3.6 higher than output in December 2016. December 2017’s output also rose by 1.8 percent compared to the month before.

The containerboard mill operating rate for December 2017 increased to 98.9 percent, up from 96.9 percent the prior month and 96.5 percent in December 2016.

Although U.S. mills do not export large volumes of containerboard, the export volume in 2017 rose by 4.1 percent compared to 2016.

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New York awards grants to boost landfill diversion rates

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 00:03
The Department of Environmental Conservation of the state of New York has awarded $3.5 million in grant money that will be used to increase food donations and boost municipal organics recycling programs and projects in the state.

The money comes through the New York Environmental Protection Fund’s Municipal Recycling and Climate Smart Communities grant program.

Grant money that has been earmarked to boost organic recycling projects include:

  • $1.3 million to Onondaga County, which, through its Onondaga County Water Environment Protection, will construct improvements at the Metropolitan Waste Water Treatment Plant that will allow the plant to use the methane gas produced as a result of accepting food waste into its digestion system.
  • $420,500 to the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency to support food scrap composting by purchasing a grinder for bulky material, a skid steer and a temperature monitoring system;
  • $276,400 to Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority to support the anaerobic digestion of food scraps to generate energy;
  • $138,600 to the town of Bethlehem to expand its food scrap composting operation by purchasing a compost screener and aeration equipment;
  • an additional $100,000 to Bethlehem to pave a portion of the compost facility and improve the operation of aerated static pile food scraps composting;
  • $77,500 to Sullivan County's Division of Public Works/Solid Waste Management to hire a consulting engineering firm to conduct an organic composting feasibility study with preliminary siting and conceptual design;
  • $62,900 to the city of Kingston, which will partner with the Hudson Valley Regional Council to develop an organics diversion plan for residential and commercial properties;
  • $33,300 to Brookhaven's “Brew to Moo” project designed to increase the town's efficiency to pick up spent brewery grains and deliver them to farms for animal feed; the town will purchase a rack dump truck and containers with lids for onsite storage and transport of the spent brewery waste;
  • $30,000 to the town of Greenburgh, in partnership with the Greenburgh Nature Center, to develop and implement a town-wide food scrap recycling campaign and establish two municipal food scrap drop-off sites; and
  • $25,600 to the Westchester County Department of Environmental Facilities to purchase a rocket in-vessel composting unit to process food scrap.

New York’s 2018 state budget includes $2 million to support food donation and recycling projects. In addition, the Empire State Development Corporation provides $2 million in grants to expand cold storage capacity at food banks and $4 million in grants over three years to large generators to implement recommendations from waste audits, purchase storage bins and coolers for food donation, and improve and expand onsite compost facilities.

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Ohio EPA seeks input on permit for HBI plant

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 19:46
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is accepting public comments on a draft air emissions permit for an iron briquette manufacturing facility proposed for construction in Toledo, Ohio. Cleveland-based Cleveland Cliffs is seeking to locate its IronUnits plant at the former Ironville Terminal brownfield site in the eastern part of the city.

In choosing Toledo as the site of its first hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant, Cleveland Cliffs says the facility will be located near several potential customers in the form of electric arc furnace steel producers. On the raw materials side, “The location will allow our plant to receive our iron ore pellets produced in Michigan and Minnesota, similar to how we currently supply our existing blast furnace customers,” the company states on its website.

If approved, the permit would allow construction of a 2.48 million tons-per-year HBI and direct reduced iron (DRI) manufacturing facility. The plant will use a reformer fueled by natural gas and a shaft furnace. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and greenhouse gas pollutants are expected to be emitted along with minor quantities of other pollutants. Computer modeling was conducted to ensure local air quality will be protected, the Ohio EPA indicates.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Midrex Technologies has been chosen to design, engineer and procure the equipment for the new plant, which has a $700 million price tag, according to Cleveland Cliffs.

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NWRA Women’s Council expands scholarship program, hosts art competition

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:03
The Arlington, Virginia-based National Waste and Recycling Association’s (NWRA’s) Women’s Council has expanded its scholarship program and will award four individuals with $7,500 toward their higher education tuition. Since 2007, the Women’s Council has awarded $142,500 to 36 scholars.

The scholarships are limited to employees and dependents of NWRA member companies who wish to pursue a career in the solid waste and recycling industry. Scholarship applications are available on the NWRA Women’s Council webpage.

The Women’s Council will also host the Carts on Display art competition at Waste Expo April 24-26 in Las Vegas. Entrants must decorate their cart with artwork that promotes environmentalism and/or represents the 50th anniversary of Waste Expo theme Rockin’ it Since 1968.

Entrants may supply their own carts or a cart will be provided to them by SSI Schaefer Systems, Charlotte, North Carolina. The entry packet can be found on the NWRA website.

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E-Reuse Services Inc. launches discount member network

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 06:49
E-Reuse Services Inc. (ERS), a Chicago-based consulting and collaboration services firm for the electronics repair, recycling and refurbishing industries, has announced the launch of its web-based collaboration forum, E-Reuse Network (ERN).

The forum brings together electronics refurbishers, information technology asset dispositions (ITADs), data destruction service providers and device repair businesses with the industry-specific vendors that supply them with the products, tools and services they need to run their businesses.

The network currently includes more than 20 industry vendors, ranging from device repair companies and data destruction service providers to logistics and packaging providers, among others.

Mike Cheslock, ERS co-founder, says, “The E-Reuse Network exists to provide the businesses that make up the e-reuse industry with access to the best possible pricing and service from the vendors that support it.”

ERS says ERN accomplishes this by allowing vendors to participate at no cost after a one-time setup fee. The company says the network requires participating vendors to offer the ERN membership a network-exclusive discount or benefit, the “network offer,” as well as that they provide “exceptional service to the membership in order to remain a network vendor,” says ERS.

“We’re often asked for vendor recommendations based on our experience in the industry. We wanted to create a collaboration forum that would allow the entire industry better share experiences to help one another make better informed decisions while providing quality vendors with exposure, and members with access to discounts,” says Sarah Cade, ERS Co-Founder. “We want everyone to know that we don’t get kickbacks or referral fees for business generated through the network. The annual fee covers our time to manage the network and administration costs.”

In addition to recommendations, members can write reviews of vendors they have done business with to help guide their fellow members’ decision-making.

Cade adds, “We’re also excited to launch the ERN Forums in the spring, where members can discuss a range of topics and seek advice from peers. It’ll even host the all-new R2 Forum for discussion and feedback related to the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) Standard.”

The annual membership fee is $499, which has been discounted to $399 as a launch promotion.

“Most of our members will likely only redeem a few offers per year, but even then, the annual savings can be thousands of dollars, paying for the membership fee several times over,” Cheslock says.

In addition to providing consulting and collaboration services to the electronics repair, recycling and refurbishing industries, ERS hosts the annual Electronics Reuse Conference (ERC), Oct. 29-31, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee. 

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ISRI proposes changes to shelmo and ropes specifications

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 06:43
The Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries' (ISRI) board of directors will consider changes to its nonferrous specifications for shredded electric motors (shelmo) and wheel weights (ropes) during its Winter Meeting Feb. 1, 2018. ISRI’s Nonferrous Division approved the changes in November 2017. The proposed changes to these specifications are intended to more accurately reflect the nonferrous scrap commodities currently being traded in the marketplace, ISRI says.

The proposed modifications would change:

  1. the maximum allowable amount of aluminum-wound material in the shelmo specification from 10 percent to 5 percent; and
  2. the ropes specification title from “wheel weights” to “lead wheel weights.”

At the meeting, the board may choose to adopt, amend or reject the recommendations of the division or table them pending further review.

More information about the rules governing the procedures from the addition, amendment or withdrawal of ISRI’s scrap specifications can be found in the Scrap Specifications Circular

Comments, recommendations or questions can be submitted to ISRI’s Joe Pickard at joepickard@isri.org. An open comment period will extend for 30 days following the board’s vote.

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Chinese copper producer foresees major scrap shortfall

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:27
A forecast produced by Jiangxi Copper, one of China’s largest copper producers, is reportedly estimating that some 500,000 metric tons less copper scrap will be imported into China in 2018 compared to 2017.

According to an online article by Metal Bulletin, government scrap import restrictions will create the predicted shortfall.

The publication says Jiangxi Copper’s brokerage division disclosed its estimate in mid-January 2018, calculating a figure that would represent a 45 percent drop in imported red metal scrap.

Much of the drop will result from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) restricting the volume of wire and cable scrap and scrapped motors entering the nation, according to Metal Bulletin.

In early 2018, the MEP has been slow to release import quotas for both types of scrap. As of mid-January, import quotas for the ports of Ningbo and Taizhou have been greatly reduced, while recyclers and scrap consumers in the Tianjin area in northern China and Guangdong Province in southern China are still awaiting the issuance of any quotas.

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Recycle Track Systems signs contract with Citi Field

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 11:07
Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a New York-based waste and recycling management technology company, has announced an exclusive deal with Citi Field, home to the New York Mets baseball team, to provide a suite of services to help it become a more sustainable stadium.

The five-year contract will include streamlining Citi Field’s operational efficiencies and increasing food waste recycling. In addition, RTS will participate in several New York Mets in-game recycling promotions to celebrate sustainability and educate fans about responsible trash and recyclilng collection. 

“Recycle Track Systems is proud to partner with Citi Field and leverage our technology to help handle the complexities of their waste management and streamline their recycling process,” says Greg Lettieri, co-founder and CEO of RTS. “We are thrilled they trust our industry experience to support their waste flow process and enhance their service quality.”

As part of the agreement, RTS says it will be prominently exhibited in the stadium with trash containers adorned with the RTS logo and the company’s name advertised on the right field wall.       

In addition to this deal, RTS says it was a co-sponsor of the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic at Citi Field Jan. 1, 2018.  Lettieri says RTS served as the direct liaison with Citi Field and NHL Green, in support of their commitment to divert materials from the landfill and increase the amount of recycling material collected at games. NHL Green is the league’s environmental initiative focused on promoting sustainable practices.

Following the Winter Classic, RTS collected nearly 18,000 square footage of plywood that was used to build the outdoor rink. The company donated the plywood to Materials for the Arts (MFTA), a Long Island City, New York-based program of the Department of Cultural Affairs that supports thousands of nonprofit organizations and public schools throughout New York City. MFTA also received approximately 27 rolls of unused snow from the game.  

RTS and NHL Green co-sponsored a Natural Resources Defense Council “Green Team,” which collected recyclables within the stands during game breaks.

RTS is headquartered in New York and offers a proprietary tracking system to provide businesses with data and real-time accountability of waste and recycling removal. The company was founded in 2015 and focuses on environmentally friendly avenues for waste removal and processing. In March 2017, RTS was certified by nonprofit B Lab as a B Corp, which are for-profit companies that meet standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

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EPA recognizes electronics industry leaders for recycling, innovation achievements

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 09:00
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized leading electronics manufacturers, retailers and brand owners for their contributions in designing products sustainably and diverting electronics from landfills by sending them to third-party certified recyclers as part of the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge.

The SMM Electronics Challenge encourages electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to strive to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect from the public, businesses and within their own organizations to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers, says EPA.

“Innovative industry leaders finding new, sustainable methods to reduce electronic waste are paving the way for the future of manufacturing,” says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Through their efforts, our 2017 SMM Electronics Challenge winners exemplify the ability to promote economic growth while protecting human health and the environment.”

Leaders from Dell Inc. (Gold Tier); Samsung Electronics (Gold Tier); Staples Inc. (Gold Tier); Xerox (Gold Tier); Best Buy Co. Inc. (Silver Tier); LG Electronics USA Inc. (Silver Tier); Vizio Inc. (Silver Tier); and Sony Electronics Inc. (Bronze Tier) gathered at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Jan. 9-12 to celebrate their environmental achievements. This includes diverting more than 227,000 tons of used electronics from landfills in 2016. This is equivalent to saving the energy used by over 58,000 homes for one year, according to EPA.

EPA says it also honored LG, Staples and Samsung as the SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for exemplifying leadership and innovative processes and products that focus on environmentally responsible ways to best use a product’s materials throughout its entire life cycle.

Walter Alcorn, vice president for environmental affairs and industry sustainability at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the owner and organizer of CES, adds, “CTA is honored to host EPA at CES 2018 and recognize companies helping advance our industry’s commitment to sustainability. This year’s award winners demonstrate our industry’s focus on advancing sustainable operations to reduce e-waste and our industry’s overall environmental impact.”

Electronics are a global economic driver, says EPA, with supply chains that reach around the world and products that touch every part of people’s lives. Today’s electronics are made from valuable resources and highly engineered materials including precious metals, EPA says. If not properly managed at the end of their lifetime, some of the materials in electronics may pose a risk to human health and the environment.

  • LG received the Product Award for their line of OLED TVs. Compared with LCD/LED TVs, LG eliminated the use of several hazardous materials, reduced its overall materials impact, and made these TVs easier to disassemble and recycle.
  • Staples received the Non-Product Award in 2017 for its continued success with the “Make More Happen” initiative, an outreach and public education campaign that has provided information on Staples’ Technology Recycling Program to more than 6 million people.
  • Samsung received the Cutting Edge Award for its development of the Galaxy Upcycle program, a program in which Samsung provides all the necessary resources and tools to “upcycle” an old Galaxy smartphone into a new product, such as a closed circuit TV or a desktop PC.
  • Best Buy and Dell received Honorable Mentions in the Product and Cutting Edge Champion Award categories, respectively. 
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Wendt sells MTB Cable Box to Potomac Metals

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 08:14
Potomac Metals Inc., headquartered in Sterling, Virginia, has purchased an MTB Cable Box from Buffalo, New York-based Wendt Corp. Wendt says the purchase will allow Potomac Metals to upgrade its wire packages to clean copper and aluminum products, opening additional markets. The equipment will be installed and commissioned at Potomac Metals in the first quarter of this year and will run seven days per week in two eight-hour shifts per day.

Founded in 1997, Potomac Metals is a privately held independent scrap metal recycling company. Since opening its first 5,000-square-foot location with two employees, the company has grown to more than 150 employees and eight locations throughout Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

Potomac attended Wendt’s Demo Days in June 2017, which showcased the MTB Cable Box running four different material types: shredder wire, No. 1 copper wires, aluminum cables and aluminum-copper radiators. The company is the third to attend the event to purchase the compact wire chopping system, according to Went.

“We saw the MTB Cable Box in action at Wendt Demo Days, and the separation system is top of the line,” says Eric Zwilsky, vice president of Potomac Metals. “When we saw the system processing low grades and dirtier wire than we are looking to process, we knew it could easily get the job done.”

Potomac Metals plans initially to process high-grade No. 1 wire through the system and then expand into processing additional wire packages, including high-grade No. 2 wire, insulated aluminum, BX (flexible metal conduit) cables and URD (underground residential distribution) cables, Wendt says.

Potomac Metals’ MTB Cable Box will feature a BDR 1245 shredder, two BAT 800 granulators, air density tables, screens, magnetic separators and integrated electrical controls and dust collection system. The containerized, turnkey solution with two 40-foot, one 20-foot and one 10-foot container will be installed at the company’s headquarters in Sterling. The wire chopping system will process wire from the company’s eight drive-in locations and industrial accounts.

The system will be installed indoors with relatively low ceiling heights compared with more traditional installations, where ceiling heights have been higher. To accommodate the lower ceiling height, Potomac has purchased a unique electric crane from Built-Rite to safely and efficiently handle feeding material under the company’s 30-foot ceilings, Wendt says.

“The purchase and install process has gone flawlessly,” Zwilsky says. “The demand for insulated copper wire has weakened, and several buyers have priced themselves out of the market due to oversupply. We look forward to getting up and running because with this machine and the type of material we will be processing, we will have a very clean product that should be able to reach any mills specs while helping to increase our margins.”

“The Cable Box fits perfectly with Potomac Metals operational goals,” says David Siejka, MTB business development manager. “It gives them the ability to process high-grade copper and aluminum cable at a high throughput rate and low operating cost while still producing high-quality chops on the market.”

He continues, “When I visited Potomac’s headquarters, it was immediately evident from the state of their facility and the way they run their organization that they are a top-quality scrap processor on the East Coast. On top of that, they are great people, and it is always a good feeling to know that the equipment, service and support from Wendt and MTB [are] going to help them continue to grow.”

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Quest Resource Holding Corp. adds to client roster

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:34
The Colony, Texas-based Quest Resource Holding Corp., a provider of corporate sustainability, recycling and environmental resource management services, has announced the addition of one of the fastest growing providers of automotive collision repair services in the United States to its portfolio of customers.

Under the multiyear agreement, Quest says it will manage a comprehensive recycling program that includes recycling waste motor oil, antifreeze, hazardous waste, tires and oily water. Quest also will provide emergency response protection to all 330 collision repair centers located throughout the United States.

“The addition of another national chain to our portfolio of customers is a strong testament to the value that our services provide in helping fast-growing companies achieve their environmental goals,” says Ray Hatch, Quest chief executive officer. “We provide our customers a ‘one-stop’ solution for all of their recycling, sustainability and waste disposal needs from coast to coast.”

Quest's reuse, recycling and disposal services include customer-specific programs for the management, collection, processing and accounting for waste streams and recyclables. Quest says it operates environmentally focused online platforms that contain information and data that track and report the environmental results of our services and provides actionable data to improve business operations.

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McDonald's announces new recycling goals

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:32
McDonald’s announced its goal of improving its packaging and helping significantly reduce waste to positively impact the communities the company serves around the world, the company says in a Jan. 16 release. 

By 2025, 100 percent of McDonald’s guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council certification. Also by 2025, the company has set a goal to recycle guest packaging in 100 percent of McDonald’s restaurants. McDonald’s understands that recycling infrastructure, regulations and consumer behaviors vary city to city and country to country around the world, but it plans to be part of the solution and help influence change.  

This expands upon McDonald’s existing goal that by 2020, 100 percent of fiber-based packaging will come from recycled or certified sources where no deforestation occurs.

“As the world’s largest restaurant company, we have a responsibility to use our scale for good to make changes that will have a meaningful impact across the globe,” Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer, says. “Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address. Our ambition is to make changes our customers want and to use less packaging, sourced responsibly and designed to be taken care of after use, working at and beyond our restaurants to increase recycling and help create cleaner communities.”

To reach these goals, McDonald’s will work with leading industry experts, local governments and environmental associations to improve packaging and recycling practices. Together, they will work to drive smarter packaging designs, implement new recycling programs, establish new measurement programs and educate restaurant crew and customers.

“Nearly three decades ago, McDonald’s and EDF teamed up to tackle solid waste and accelerate innovation in packaging," Tom Murray, vice president of EDF+Business at Environmental Defense Fund notes. "Along the way, we pioneered a new partnership model for companies and nonprofit organizations. Today, McDonald’s continues to raise the sustainability bar by setting ambitious goals and collaborating with partners across the value chain for maximum impact."

“McDonald’s global preference for Forest Stewardship Council-certified materials demonstrates their far-reaching commitment to source packaging that benefits people and forests around the world,” Kim Carstensen, director general of the Forest Stewardship Council, says. “The partnership between McDonald’s and FSC—the world’s most trusted certification of forests and forest products—also creates a uniquely powerful opportunity for McDonald’s to engage customers about simple ways to protect forests,” he added.

"Smarter waste management begins with improved sourcing, increased value chain collaboration and better communication with customers," Sheila Bonini, senior vice president, Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund, says. "Today’s announcement demonstrates McDonald’s strong leadership in developing packaging and recycling solutions at a scale that can extend the life of our natural resources and push its industry toward more sustainable practices.”

McDonald’s first began its focus on sustainable packaging nearly 25 years ago with the establishment of its partnership with EDF. The initiative eliminated more than 300 million pounds of packaging, recycled 1 million tons of corrugated boxes and reduced waste by 30 percent in the decade following the partnership. In 2014, the company joined WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network program and set its fiber sourcing targets, including FSC preference for packaging made from wood fiber.

Currently, 50 percent of McDonald’s customer packaging comes from renewable, recycled or certified sources, and 64 percent of fiber-based packaging comes from certified or recycled sources. Also, an estimated 10 percent of McDonald’s restaurants globally are recycling customer packaging. 

“We look forward to doing more and continuing to raise the bar on what it means to be a responsible company committed to people and the planet,” DeBiase says.  

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Amut renames flexible packaging equipment division

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:27
Amut S.p.A., based in Novara, Italy, has renamed Amut Dolci Bielloni as Amut Dolci Extrusion. Amut acquired Dolci Bielloni in late 2014.

Dolci & Bielloni was a manufacturer of printing and slitting rewinding machines, blown and cast lines for different multilayer films (stretch, silage, barrier, technical, medical, diapers, polypropylene and masking), coating and laminating lines. 

This action fulfills the integration of the flexible packaging equipment division into the Amut Group.

Amut Group says it is targeting long-term growth. With this transaction, the company is aiming for a 2018 budget turnover of approximately €100 million, or $122 million. 

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ALBA Group buys stake in auto shredding plant in China

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 18:35
The ALBA International Recycling GmbH business unit of the Berlin-based ALBA Group has announced buying a 51 percent stake in Shanghai Baosteel Auto Recycling Co. Ltd., which it describes as one of the largest auto recycling companies in Shanghai. The remaining stake in the auto recycling facility will be held by Shanghai Baosteel Iron & Steel Resources Co. Inc., part of the Baowu Group, the second largest steel producer in the world with an annual steel output of more than 58 million metric tons.

Shanghai Baosteel Auto Recycling operates a 60,000-square-meter (14.8-acre) site in Shanghai.

In a news release announcing the investment, ALBA Group indicates there are more than 3.2 million vehicles in Greater Shanghai, while licenses for recyclers are severely limited. The joint venture will put together ALBA International Recycling’s years of expertise in the recycling industry with Baosteel Iron & Steel Resources’ significant network of contacts in the China market, according to ALBA.

“We are very pleased that we can increasingly use our automotive recycling know-how in Asia as well,” says Axel Schweitzer, CEO of the ALBA Group. “Our goal is to work with Baowu (Baosteel’s parent company) to establish a model for all of China and actively support the country in building a modern and sustainable circular economy. At the same time, we are further expanding our strong role in the Chinese recycling industry.”

The China Baowu Steel Group Corp. was formed in December 2016 from the merger of Baosteel Group Corp. and the Wuhan Iron & Steel (Group) Corp.

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MetalX signs supply agreement with aluminum casting firm

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 18:20
Waterloo, Indiana-based MetalX has announced signing an agreement with Busche Performance Group (BPG) to assume responsibility for sourcing all aluminum raw materials for BPG foundry operations.

Effective at the start of 2018, MetalX has “assumed responsibility for management of all activities related to the sourcing, procurement, delivery and administration associated with aluminum scrap and refined aluminum products consumed and generated by BPG’s aluminum foundries,” according to a news release issued jointly by the two companies.

 The BPG foundries will maintain direct responsibility for payment to suppliers, the establishment of material specifications and governing terms and conditions, according to the two companies.

BPG describes itself as one of the largest vertically integrated casting and machining suppliers of vehicle chassis components in North America. The $400 million company produces aluminum castings and other components found in automotive systems such as chassis, suspension, engine and driveline systems, and in the agricultural, construction, industrial and refrigeration sectors. The company employs nearly 1,500 in people at 15 facilities in Indiana, Michigan, Alabama and in Mexico.

“This agreement will allow the foundry division to be better connected to the aluminum markets and gain significant benefits from the MetalX team’s expertise with buying and selling of aluminum raw materials in the metals marketplace,” says Daniel J. Dressler, vice president of procurement and business development at BPG. “This will also allow BPG foundries to focus on growing their foundry operations and ‘partner’ with a highly regarded metals recycling and trading company that already has demonstrated performance with managing scrap for all of our U.S. machining facilities.”

Adds BPG founder, president and CEO Nick A. Busche, “The Rifkin family and MetalX have been an extraordinary resource for us the past several years. They have provided the metals management expertise that BPG needed to continue its aggressive growth in all segments of our business. This new metal procurement relationship with our aluminum foundries will provide even greater synergies and growth opportunities to serve our customers.”

Danny Rifkin, MetalX president and CEO, remarks, “This strategic partnership is the result of a joint effort to develop a sourcing model that will allow BPG’s foundries to concentrate on the design and manufacture of aluminum castings for critical applications, and at the same time benefit from the savings that will arise from a comprehensive metals management strategy. We believe that our ability to access a much broader supply base will ensure consistent availability of quality raw materials to support Busche’s dynamic growth plans.”

MetalX will be sourcing approximately 35,000 tons per year of high-purity low-iron A356 aluminum alloy, and indicates it will seek to develop additional suppliers including scrap processors, secondary producers and industrial generators. Brian Rosenblatt at MetalX will serve as the contact person for interested suppliers.

MetalX is a privately held, independent scrap metal recycling business founded in 2012 by Danny and

Neal Rifkin, third and fourth generation members of the Rifkin family, whose long history in the industry

MetalX describes itself as a full-service scrap metal recycling company engaged in recycling, processing, and trading scrap and secondary metals, as well as providing consulting and management services to industrial companies in North America. The company employs more than 200 people in six locations in Indiana, Ohio and Nevada.

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