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LME announces fee reductions, new minor metals services

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 22:03
The London Metal Exchange (LME) has announced new services and other changes resulting from its “strategic pathway” process, including some intended new contracts related to minor metals and alloys used in battery production.

“Looking ahead, we have an exciting delivery plan for 2018,” says Matthew Chamberlain, CEO of the LME. “One key area of expansion is our battery metals offering. We already list copper, nickel, aluminum and cobalt contracts, but we’ll be working with the battery and electric vehicle industries over the coming months to deliver new contracts such as lithium and cobalt sulphate, to bring price risk management to this rapidly growing market.”

“We believe that our delivery program for 2018 will fulfill our objectives to maximize trading efficiency, bring greater user choice and fairness and, above all, to support the physical market,” says Adrian Farnham, the CEO of the LME Clear division of the LME.

The LME introduced fee reductions for short-dated carry trades on Oct. 1, 2017, with medium-dated carry fee reductions to be implemented starting Nov. 1, 2017. The LME says it also may change its OTC (over-the-counter) booking fee in early 2018.

Also in the first half of 2018, the LME says it is likely to expand its membership to include brokers, “which will assist the growth of new products and open up access to the LME market,” says the exchange.

The LME says it is preparing to “launch a larger number of contracts in the second half of 2018 than ever before,” with four product groups to be expanded:

  • a set of regional hot-rolled coil (HRC) steel contracts are being planned for the LME’s ferrous product list;
  • regional cash-settled aluminum premium contracts and alumina contracts will be added to the LME’s aluminum offerings;
  • the LMEprecious product line will grow to include gold and silver options, with platinum and palladium futures to follow; and
  • the LME also plans to add new chemical cobalt, lithium, and potentially a chemical nickel contract.

The LME, which is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), says it will “continue to engage with its members and users regarding the provision of a separate dealer-to-client platform,” and that its central electronic trading platform will be enhanced sometime before 2021.


Southern Recycling to invest $6 million in new Kentucky plant

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 21:19
Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Southern Recycling LLC and its parent company Houchens Industries are preparing to invest $6 million to construct a new, 45-acre facility in Bowling Green.

A late October 2017 news release from the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce says the new site will be designed to “improve operations and efficiency of material flow and allow for much needed growth” for Southern Recycling.

On its website, Southern Recycling describes itself as a recycler of nonferrous and ferrous metals, including “shreddables,” and also of old corrugated containers (OCC), scrap paper and several types of plastic.

In addition to site development, the $6 million being invested in the new location will go toward “installing state-of-the-art scrap processing equipment and facilities, which will improve operations and efficiency of material flow,” according to the press release.

Although the majority of the funding will be supplied by Southern Recycling and Houchens Industries, in late October the board of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved $100,000 in tax incentives for the project.

Southern Recycling, which started in 1985 as a paper recycling firm, now has curbside operations serving more than 50,000 residents each month. On the scrap metal side, the company processes and ships about 10,000 tons per month of material.

The company, which currently has four locations, employs 117 people and has agreed to hire at least four more at the new location. “As a subsidiary of Houchens Industries, we are proud to be able to continue the growth we have experienced in Warren and surrounding counties,” says Southern Recycling President John Fellonneau.

Southern Recycling plans to break ground at the 45-acre site in early 2018. 


2017 Coca-Cola Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program application period opens

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:14
National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, Stamford, Connecticut, and The Coca-Cola Foundation have announced the opening of the application period for the 2017 Coca-Cola Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program.

In its 11th year, the initiative is designed to expand access to recycling in public spaces in communities across America. Grant applications will be available online through Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. All interested parties can visit BinGrant.org to apply.

Since its inception in 2007, the grant program has made strides toward expanding recycling in public spaces. Over the 10-year history, nearly 50,000 recycling bins have been awarded, including 36,000 specifically for public space locations, providing opportunities for recycling on-the-go to 2.1 million people on a daily basis. The more than 930 grant programs that have been awarded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have collected an estimated 21 million pounds of containers and other recyclables during this time, according to the foundation.

The 2017 program is expected to award up to 3,000 recycling bins for locations such as streetscapes and playgrounds, athletic fields, fairs and festivals, and colleges and universities. The program is funded through a $300,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Keep America Beautiful, which in turn awards recycling bins through a competitive, merit-based application process.

“Our partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation is helping us overcome a primary barrier to recycling outside of the home—lack of conveniently available recycling bins,” says Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “With these grants we’ve made great strides over the last decade to expand access to recycling in public spaces.”

Eligible recipients for the 2017 Coca-Cola Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program include government agencies, colleges and universities, civic organizations, public and local nonprofit groups throughout the United States. Keep America Beautiful will award the grants in November 2017 and will make arrangements with suppliers to deliver recycling bins to the recipients in the first quarter of 2018.

Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation, says, “At Coca-Cola, sustainability is factored into everything that we do. Through our partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the Public Space Recycling Bin Grant program, we are working to reduce waste and increase recycling rates by making recycling bins more accessible and convenient for communities.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Co. Since its inception in 1984, the foundation has awarded more than $900 million in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world.

Keep America Beautiful educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, the organization says it “strives to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities.”



Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference 2017: Export always is an option

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 13:00
Companies in the recycling industry that have yet to dive into exporting activities should not fear it and rather should embrace their options, said one speaker in the Smooth Sailing session at the 18th annual Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference, held Oct. 11-13, 2017, in Chicago.

Speakers in the export-focused session shared insights into how to better work with carriers as well as updates on certain ports in the United States.

“For companies that are not exporting yet, don’t fear it. There’s options out there if you’re interested in exporting,” said Mario Bruendel, chief operating officer of Austria-based Jerich International, who works out of California.

He suggested shippers only push for free time as it’s needed. He also advised that when filling out rate requests, that all information is present at the time of the request. “You guys as shippers want to be a value-add for the carrier,” Bruendel said.

On the carrier side, he said challenges remain. Many carriers are pushing for automation, Bruendel said.

Switching to a more electronic-based model was the focus of Tom Smart’s presentation. Smart, vice president of transpacific trade management, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) America, who is based in Chicago, focused on the growing use of e-commerce documentation as a “significant trend in the industry.”

With e-commerce booking, Smart said orders flow more smoothly and seamlessly. “It’s amazing how many people still call for a booking,” Smart said. “Let’s work in an e-commerce environment,” he added.

E-commerce booking helps the industry become more efficient, he said.

Another area that Smart said has “greatly improved efficiency,” especially on the U.S. East Coast: The Panama Canal expansion.

Smart said, “It’s shorter ocean miles to go through the Panama Canal.”

The expansion of the Panama Canal has been great for the East Coast, said speaker Joel Perler, assistant business development manager with California’s Port of Long Beach. It also hasn’t been bad for the West Coast, either, Perler said of the Panama Canal.

“We have record numbers of volumes coming in,” Perler said of the Port of Long Beach.

Perler shared some of these figures during his presentation:

  • The Port of Long Beach is North America’s second busiest container cargo seaport.
  • In 2016, the Port of Long Beach moved 6.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a figure Perler said will be surpassed in 2017.
  • 70 percent of the port’s volume is imports.
  • Scrap paper and plastics are the second largest materials by volume exported from the Port of Long Beach.

With 140 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port of Long Beach handles $180 billion in trade annually. A major economic engine for the Southern California region, the port supports 1 in 8 jobs in Long Beach, 300,000 jobs in Southern California and 1.4 million jobs nationwide.

Perler explained the $4 billion the Port of Long Beach is investing this decade to improve its infrastructure. These investments include building a new bridge, creating a fully automated, zero-emissions megaterminal and increasing on-dock rail capacity.

Fifteen percent of U.S. imports travel under the current bridge, which is being replaced with the new $1.5 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge. Perler said the bridge is expected to be completed and open in late 2019. It will be the largest cable-stayed bridge west of the Mississippi. At 205 feet, the Gerald Desmond Bridge will be 50 feet taller than the current bridge and will feature three lanes in each direction in addition to emergency and pedestrian lanes.

Perler explained that the need for this larger bridge is in response to ships continuing to grow in size. “They’re building bigger ships and I don’t know why,” Perler said.

While ships are getting bigger, the number of carriers available today has dropped considerably. Today, 13 carriers are active on the seas, a drop from the high of 20 not too long ago.

Perler said, “One industry expert predicts there will be five or six major carriers left when this is all done.”

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference was Oct. 11-13 in Chicago at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.


US Department of Commerce selects NPE2018 for 2018 International Buyer Program

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:28
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), Washington, has announced that its triennial show, NPE2018: The Plastics Show, the industry’s leading international plastics manufacturing exposition, was selected to participate in the 2018 International Buyer Program (IBP) by the U.S. Department of Commerce. As an IBP show, the association says NPE will have access to a global network of U.S. Department of Commerce trade professionals in more than 75 countries and across the United States to bridge the import/export gap and to recruit and bring qualified international buyers, representatives and distributors to its 2018 event.

The IBP is a joint government-industry effort under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). Every year, the IBP results in approximately hundreds of millions of dollars in new business for U.S. companies and increased international attendance for participating U.S. trade show organizers, according to the association.

“We’re honored to again have the opportunity to participate in the International Buyers Program,” says PLASTICS President and CEO Bill Carteaux. “We have participated in the IBP since 2000. In those years we’ve increased international attendance 187 percent and now have international participation from 128 countries.”

He adds, “This program provides an exceptional business opportunity for our exhibitors to meet, network and develop business partnerships with international buyers, sales representatives and strategic partners, and provides them with a tremendous value-added service.”

The IBP will optimize international attendees’ experience by providing them with support and services they need to efficiently meet and conduct business with exhibiting brands, the association says. As a member of an official U.S. Embassy IBP Delegation, buyers will receive U.S. Embassy travel assistance, including registration and visa procedures, access to networking events and receptions, prearranged briefings and meetings customized according to buying interests and other attendee benefits and opportunities.

“The goal of this joint government-industry program is to support U.S. businesses and meet their objectives to grow internationally while facilitating introductions to interested international buyers,” says Vidya Desai, senior advisor for trade events, for the Commerce Department. “By bringing delegations to NPE 2018, we are able to assist NPE in their efforts to provide unique opportunities for U.S. exhibitors to navigate international prospects without having to incur added expense. By participating in this program, U.S. exhibitors are able to increase their exporting knowledge and identify options to expand market-share and grow their brands internationally.”

 During NPE2018, the IBP will maintain an official International Trade Center on the show floor, where foreign buyers can obtain assistance in identifying potential U.S. business partners and meet with U.S. companies, while U.S. exhibitors can take advantage of interpreter services and face-to-face export counseling from overseas U.S. Commercial Service to help bridge international barrier.

NPE is the only event in the plastics industry that has been selected in 2018 to participate in the IBP. For more information and to register for NPE2018, visit www.NPE.org. Connect with NPE2018 through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest #NPE2018 news and insights.


Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp., Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful award recycling knowledge

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:59
Johnston, Rhode Island-based Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. and Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful (KBVB), the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, are testing recycling knowledge in the state to celebrate America Recycles Day (ARD) Nov. 15.

The two organizations are joining thousands of groups across the country that are doing something special to celebrate the national Keep America Beautiful initiative. ARD is dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. It has been held on—and in the weeks leading into—Nov. 15 for 20 years.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 26, Rhode Island residents are invited to take a 15-question online survey. Residents’ recycling habits, motivations and general knowledge, particularly their command of Rhode Island’s mixed recycling program, Recycle Together RI, will be covered. Upon completion, respondents are encouraged to leave comments, ask questions or share stories about their recycling experiences in Rhode Island. The results, which will be released Nov. 15, will help guide public outreach strategies and educational programs.

Thanks to generous donations from local businesses, those who complete the survey will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win one of six prizes, including:

  • a $50 Visa gift card, compliments of Seekonk, Massachusetts-based MTG Disposal to be randomly drawn from participants ages 19 and older;
  • a $50 Visa gift card, compliments of MTG Disposal, to be randomly drawn from participants ages 13-18;
  • two tickets to the Blackstone Valley Polar Express Train Ride Nov. 18, 2017, at 1 p.m., compliments of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council;
  • four tickets on the Blackstone Explorer River Boat Tours for the 2018 season, compliments of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council;
  • four tickets to The Museum of Work & Culture, located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, compliments of The Rhode Island Historical Society; and
  • one Free Garden Earth compost bin, compliments of Rhode Island Resource Recovery.

To learn more about the survey, including full eligibility requirements for prizes, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/RIRecyclesDay. More information about recycling right in Rhode Island is available at www.recycletogetherri.org or by calling 401-942-1430 x775.


Video showcases jobs created by plastics recycling

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:16
A new Your Bottle Means Jobs (YBMJ) video from the Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council and the Washington-based Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) illustrates the economic impact of plastics recycling in the Carolinas as China tightens the types of recycled materials it will accept for import.

The video, titled “Real People, Real Jobs, Recycle,” highlights those working in the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics recycling industry in the Carolinas, focusing on the North Carolina recycling supply chain. Featuring employees of North Carolina companies such as ReCommunity (which was headquartered in Charlotte before being acquired by Republic Services), Plastic Revolutions, Crumpler Plastic Pipe and Burt’s Bees, the video shows how recycling positively affects the environment and the economy.

“North Carolina’s local industries import recycled bottles from abroad and other states to meet their demands,” says YBMJ Campaign Leader Blair Pollock. “When households recycle just two more bottles a week, they need to know that they are helping support Carolina jobs. In fact, a recent poll found that 66 percent of people ages 18-34 would be more likely to recycle if they knew what happened to their recycling after it hits the recycling bin.”

He adds, “This video demonstrates the recycling process in a fresh, innovative way.”

As China bans imports of plastics, U.S. recycling capacity will become increasingly vital, and the 3,500 plastics recycling industry jobs in North and South Carolina are necessary for recycling all types of plastics, especially HDPE, the APR says in a news release about the video. “The ripple effect of when a household recycles milk jugs, detergent, household cleaners or shampoo plastic bottles is evident with the video’s demonstration of those working in the robust Carolinas plastics recycling industry,” the association adds.

The campaign’s call to action is that if every household in the Carolinas recycled two more bottles a week, it would create 300 local jobs in the economy. The video is another resource to add to the current YBMJ toolkit. A recent YBMJ marketing campaign in the Raleigh Triangle area had considerable regional impact and yielded a 2 percent increase in bottles recycled during a three-month period compared with the prior year.

“The future success and growth of the plastics recycling industry depends on two things: increased supply of material to process and increased demand,” says Steve Alexander, president of APR. “Many HDPE applications today can use more recycled content, so any effort to increase supply is critical. This program highlights a natural, easy-to-implement activity for any household that will have a tremendously positive impact on the most pressing need for the recycling community.”

Matt Kopak, sustainable business and innovation manager, Burt’s Bees, Durham, North Carolina, says, “Recycling creates jobs in North Carolina and provides recycled plastic for our packaging. This helps to reduce our environmental impact by extending the useful life of our material inputs.”

View the video at https://vimeo.com/channels/yourbottlemeansjobs or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxgG3-0jpAI


Recycle Track Systems adds to board of directors

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:52
Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a waste and recycling management technology company, has announced that Lew Frankfort, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Coach Inc., has joined its board of directors. Frankfort will serve as a resource and advisor as RTS expands after its recent nearly $12-million Series A funding this past July.

"Lew Frankfort is a global business legend,” says said RTS co-founder and CEO Greg Lettieri. "It is very exciting to have Lew's guidance and experience as we grow the RTS brand, expand into new markets and focus on operational efficiency

Frankfort says, "I am excited to join RTS as both an investor and advisor. The company has already demonstrated its ability to disrupt the waste management and recycling industry with nimble technology and a strong leadership team. Its future is unlimited.” 

RTS currently works with businesses across the country, focusing on sustainability through efficient routing, training and on-demand orders; streamlining the waste removal services for clients such as, Whole Foods, WeWork, Juice Press and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  

Frankfort’s career spans more than 35 years with Coach, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. During his time with the company, he transformed a small manufacturer of leather goods into a leading global, modern luxury accessories brand. Prior to joining Coach, Frankfort held various management roles in New York City government, culminating in the position of commissioner of New York City's Head Start and Day Care Programs. 

He holds a BA from Hunter College and an MBA from Columbia University and serves on the board of directors of shared office space provider WeWork and is affiliated with a number of nonprofit organizations.

RTS is headquartered in New York and provides a proprietary tracking system to provide businesses with accurate 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.



Fairbanks Scales updates weighing instrument

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 14:58
Fairbanks Scales Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, has announced product enhancements for its FB6000 weighing instrument.

Enhancements include an expanded Loop ID field, the ability to update expansion cards using a USB drive or integrated web utility, a new configurable power supply, and features that improve functionality and ease of use, according to the company. In addition, Fairbanks says the new digital power supply provides enhanced diagnostic capabilities compared to traditional analog power supplies. The FB6000 features a dynamic web interface that reduces calibration and custom ticket formatting time over previous generations and competing technology, according to the manufacturer.

The new Loop ID field has expanded from three up to 15 alphanumeric characters, allowing the use of more user-friendly IDs. Furthermore, the FB6000 also allows for expansion card updates from the instrument’s front panel keyboard or by using the integrated web utility, letting users make updates “on the fly,” Fairbanks says. 

Power supply configuration is accomplished with the new Easy Config option.

“Simply tell the instrument how many cells and the cell impedance, then push a button and the FB6000 does the rest,” says Fairbanks Scales.

Several new updates to the integrated web utility have been added, including the ability to calibrate by millivolts per volt. When used in conjunction with Fairbanks’ Remote Configuration Device (RCD), a technician can calibrate the FB6000 using his or her tablet or laptop from the scale platform.

“This means there’s no need to walk back and forth between the scale platform and scale instrument to test and calibrate the scale system,” says Fairbanks Scales. “Technicians will have a temporary wireless network between the FB6000 instrument and a hand-held portable device.”

Enhanced web load cell diagnostics now show a representation of the scale platform, each individual cell with its specific stored zero counts and current zero counts, along with the scale’s total gross weight.

Founded in 1830, Fairbanks Scales has become a leader in the industrial weighing market. From bench, parcel, counting, floor and truck scales to animal, railroad track and a full range of specialty scales, Fairbanks Scales serves several industries.


MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 12:02
Discarded plastic bottles could one day be used to build stronger, more flexible concrete structures, from sidewalks and street barriers, to buildings and bridges, according to a new study.

Cambridge, Massachusett-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) undergraduate students have found that, by exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into a fine powder, they can mix the plastic with cement paste to produce concrete that is up to 20 percent stronger than conventional concrete.

Concrete is, after water, the second most widely used material on the planet. The manufacturing of concrete generates about 4.5 percent of the world’s human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. Replacing even a small portion of concrete with irradiated plastic could thus help reduce the cement industry’s global carbon footprint.

Reusing plastics as concrete additives could also redirect old water and soda bottles, the bulk of which would otherwise end up in a landfill. 

“There is a huge amount of plastic that is landfilled every year,” says Michael Short, an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “Our technology takes plastic out of the landfill, locks it up in concrete, and also uses less cement to make the concrete, which makes fewer carbon dioxide emissions. This has the potential to pull plastic landfill waste out of the landfill and into buildings, where it could actually help to make them stronger.”

The team includes Carolyn Schaefer ’17 and MIT senior Michael Ortega, who initiated the research as a class project; Kunal Kupwade-Patil, a research scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Anne White, an associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering; Oral Büyüköztürk, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Carmen Soriano of Argonne National Laboratory; and Short. The new paper appears in the journal Waste Management.

“This is a part of our dedicated effort in our laboratory for involving undergraduates in outstanding research experiences dealing with innovations in search of new, better concrete materials with a diverse class of additives of different chemistries,” says Büyüköztürk, who is the director of Laboratory for Infrastructure Science and Sustainability. “The findings from this undergraduate student project open a new arena in the search for solutions to sustainable infrastructure.”

An idea, crystallized

Schaefer and Ortega began to explore the possibility of plastic-reinforced concrete as part of 22.033 (Nuclear Systems Design Project), in which students were asked to pick their own project.

“They wanted to find ways to lower carbon dioxide emissions that weren’t just, ‘let’s build nuclear reactors,’” Short says. “Concrete production is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide, and they got to thinking, ‘how could we attack that?’ They looked through the literature, and then an idea crystallized.”

The students learned that others have tried to introduce plastic into cement mixtures, but the plastic weakened the resulting concrete. Investigating further, they found evidence that exposing plastic to doses of gamma radiation makes the material’s crystalline structure change in a way that the plastic becomes stronger, stiffer, and tougher. Would irradiating plastic actually work to strengthen concrete?

To answer that question, the students first obtained flakes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — plastic material used to make water and soda bottles — from a local recycling facility. Schaefer and Ortega manually sorted through the flakes to remove bits of metal and other debris. They then walked the plastic samples down to the basement of MIT’s Building 8, which houses a cobalt-60 irradiator that emits gamma rays, a radiation source that is typically used commercially to decontaminate food.

“There’s no residual radioactivity from this type of irradiation,” Short says. “If you stuck something in a reactor and irradiated it with neutrons, it would come out radioactive. But gamma rays are a different kind of radiation that, under most circumstances, leave no trace of radiation.”

The team exposed various batches of flakes to either a low or high dose of gamma rays. They then ground each batch of flakes into a powder and mixed the powders with a series of cement paste samples, each with traditional Portland cement powder and one of two common mineral additives: fly ash (a byproduct of coal combustion) and silica fume (a byproduct of silicon production). Each sample contained about 1.5 percent irradiated plastic.

Once the samples were mixed with water, the researchers poured the mixtures into cylindrical molds, allowed them to cure, removed the molds, and subjected the resulting concrete cylinders to compression tests. They measured the strength of each sample and compared it with similar samples made with regular, nonirradiated plastic, as well as with samples containing no plastic at all.

They found that, in general, samples with regular plastic were weaker than those without any plastic. The concrete with fly ash or silica fume was stronger than concrete made with just Portland cement. And the presence of irradiated plastic strengthened the concrete even further, increasing its strength by up to 20 percent compared with samples made just with Portland cement, particularly in samples with high-dose irradiated plastic.

The concrete road ahead

After the compression tests, the researchers went one step further, using various imaging techniques to examine the samples for clues as to why irradiated plastic yielded stronger concrete.

The team took their samples to Argonne National Laboratory and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) at MIT, where they analyzed them using X-ray diffraction, backscattered electron microscopy, and X-ray microtomography. The high-resolution images revealed that samples containing irradiated plastic, particularly at high doses, exhibited crystalline structures with more cross-linking, or molecular connections. In these samples, the crystalline structure also seemed to block pores within concrete, making the samples more dense and therefore stronger.

“At a nano-level, this irradiated plastic affects the crystallinity of concrete,” Kupwade-Patil says. “The irradiated plastic has some reactivity, and when it mixes with Portland cement and fly ash, all three together give the magic formula, and you get stronger concrete.”

“We have observed that within the parameters of our test program, the higher the irradiated dose, the higher the strength of concrete, so further research is needed to tailor the mixture and optimize the process with irradiation for the most effective results,” Kupwade-Patil says. “The method has the potential to achieve sustainable solutions with improved performance for both structural and nonstructural applications.”

Going forward, the team is planning to experiment with different types of plastics, along with various doses of gamma radiation, to determine their effects on concrete. For now, they have found that substituting about 1.5 percent of concrete with irradiated plastic can significantly improve its strength. While that may seem like a small fraction, Short says, implemented on a global scale, replacing even that amount of concrete could have a significant impact.

“Concrete produces about 4.5 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions,” Short says. “Take out 1.5 percent of that, and you’re already talking about 0.0675 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. That’s a huge amount of greenhouse gases in one fell swoop.”

“This research is a perfect example of interdisciplinary multiteam work toward creative solutions, and represents a model educational experience,” Büyüköztürk says.


Ohio Senate approves Slow Down to Get Around bill

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 11:30
The Ohio Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill (SB) 127 on Oct. 25. The bill, known as Slow Down to Get Around (SDTGA), is designed to protect waste and recycling workers.

The legislation would require motorists, when they approach a stationary vehicle displaying flashing, oscillating or rotating lights, to proceed with caution and yield the right-of-way by making a lane change or proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be unsafe or impossible. 

Slow Down to Get Around is a nationwide campaign by the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, and its state chapters. In all states, NWRA encourages motorists to be aware of the roadside dangers facing waste and recycling collection workers.

This effort was led by Sen. Frank LaRose (R), chairman of the Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee. The legislation now goes to the Ohio state House of Representatives for consideration.

“We applaud the Ohio Senate for putting the safety of our employees first. Our industry is dedicated to making it safer for our drivers and this legislation is an important step forward,” Waste Management’s Kathy Trent says.

The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the waste and recycling collection occupation ranks fifth in the nation for fatal work injury rates.  Recent data shows that many accidents involving waste and recycling collection workers are caused by inattentive motorists or distracted driving.

“Currently 16 states that have enacted Slow Down to Get Around laws, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. We are encouraged by the vote in the state senate that Ohio will become the 17th state,” Peggy Macenas, (NWRA’s) director for the Midwest region, says.


Ohio’s Polymer Technologies and Services receives recognition

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 06:52
Thakkar Polymer Technologies and Services Inc. (PTS), Heath, Ohio, has been named the 2017 Minority Energy Firm of the Year by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce during National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week. The award is presented to a minority-owned firm in the energy industry with goods and services that promote energy efficiency and result in improvement of the environment, proficiency and customer satisfaction.

MBDA partnered with the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC) to host the 2017 NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange Oct. 22-25 in Detroit, which is where MBDA announced the awards, which recognized 15 businesses leaders, advocates and minority business enterprises (MBEs).

PTS was founded in 2002 and provides recycled-content materials. The thermoplastics resin processor and compounder says it strives to bring new value to the postindustrial and postconsumer plastics recycling industry and to process as much scrap domestically as possible, working with generators to transform their scrap into valuable raw materials. PTS provides services to the second- and third-tier suppliers to the automotive, appliance and home care/lawn care markets.

Sharad Thakkar, president of PTS, says he is “elated” about the award.

“To get selected nationally as Energy Firm of the Year is a great honor,” he adds. “This is also a great joy for all our 40 loyal employees that our administration is with us in our quest. The award gives a strong encouragement that our government cares and appreciates efforts to ‘Keep America Green,’ Thakkar says.

He adds that it “has been very challenging to do recycling profitably” given the drop in oil prices and the increase in domestic labor costs. “The award encourages PTS and several other such companies to keep working hard and invest more into the business.”

The 2017 National MED Week winners were recognized by MBDA Acting National Director Christopher Garcia during the NMSDC Power Breakfast Oct. 23 in Detroit. They also were invited to attend a National MED Week award’s ceremony held at the White House Oct. 24.

The full list of the 2017 National MED Week winners is available at www.mbda.gov/news/press-releases/2017/10/mbda-announces-2017-national-med-week-award-winners


Leck Waste Services adds 3rd Eye vehicle data suite

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 06:06
Ivyland, Pennsylvania-based Leck Waste Systems, a waste hauler serving commercial customers throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, northeast Philadelphia and southern Lehigh County has added a 3rd Eye vehicle data suite to its operations. Katy, Texas-based 3rd Eye’s Enhance vehicle behavioral analytics (VBA) is designed to provide vehicle-based data collection and reporting solutions.

3rd Eye, an industry leader in vehicle safety camera and radar solutions, says it has developed technology that digitally interprets chassis and body system inputs and communicates this information in real time through 3rd Eye’s Hurricane Gateway. In addition, 3rd Eye camera data can be transmitted through the gateway, allowing Leck to view and report on situational inputs immediately.

“I believe that moving forward, our fleet would be utilizing Enhanced VBA because it is a necessity more than a luxury,” says Jason Leck, vice president, Leck Waste Services. “Enhance gives us the ability to have an in-depth look of our fleet and allows us to be more profitable against a competitor in a marketplace where there are very little margins.”

Founded in 1971, Leck Waste Systems operates more than 35 commercial vehicles ranging from commercial rear loaders and front loaders to roll-offs. The company also offers compactor, baler, shredding and portable toilet service.

Darrick Reed, president of 3rd Eye, says, “From route efficiencies to asset management to predictive maintenance, 3rd Eye’s Enhance VBA allows fleet owners to better manage their fleet, more efficiently facilitate route collection as well as receive real-time feedback from the vehicle regarding predictive diagnostics. This allows us to better schedule fleet maintenance and reduces our asset downtime.”

“With 3rd Eye’s Enhance VBA, I can respond much faster to service requests as well as validate proof of service in real time,” Leck says. “But it also lets me know how the body systems are performing in concert with the chassis. My operations manager uses this information to schedule maintenance. It’s like the vehicle is talking to me and telling me how it’s feeling. It’s a game changer.”

Downers Grove, Illinois-based Dover’s 3rd Eye was formed in 2001. The company provides real-time vehicle function/route performance analytics and uses camera systems to capture and document in-cab and external events to improve the safety, reliability and profitability of collection fleet operations. 


EuPC study still finds resistance to secondary resins

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 02:37
A survey organized by the Brussels-based European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) has found that as of 2017 just 27 percent of European plastics converting companies that responded say their customers “are sufficiently aware of the benefits and need to use recycled plastic materials (rPM).”

EuPC launched its survey Europe’s plastics converting industry in May 2017. Survey questions focused on the current and future use of rPM. In the five-month survey period some 485 participants from 28 different countries filled in an online questionnaire.

A report on the results of the survey has been published in October 2017 in cooperation with Polymer Comply Europe Sarl. (PCE), which conducted the survey on behalf of EuPC. The report provides insight into the current state of affairs regarding the use of rPM by plastics converting companies, and EuPC says it has been designed to “provide valuable information for authorities and organizations as well as companies throughout the whole plastics value chain.”

Some of the survey’s findings include:

  • The quality of rPM remains the biggest barrier to a stronger use of recyclables as raw materials. Almost 60 percent of European plastics converting companies surveyed say they find it hard or very had to get a supply of rPM in an acceptable quality.
  • Customers of converting companies may not support the use of rPM well enough. Only 27 percent of converting companies surveyed said their customers are sufficiently aware of the benefits and needs to use rPM.
  • The current regulatory framework needs to be adapted to adequately support the use of rPM. Almost 60 percent of those surveyed indicated current regulations are not suitable to support a stronger use of rPM in the future.

The survey is part of a larger initiative of EuPC to gain more knowledge about the use of rPM in the plastics converting industry. Further surveys and workshops with national plastics associations are expected to follow in 2018 and beyond, says the group.

All EuPC members and participating companies will receive the detailed report on the results of the survey. Other interested parties can acquire the report by registering on the Polymer Comply Europe website


Untha shredder plugs into new application

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 21:38
Hampshire, United Kingdom-based UK Plug Recycling has installed an RS40 hard drive shredder made by Austria-based Untha Shredding Technology GmbH that will shred plugs, sockets and other small products and pieces of WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) materials.

Untha says its shredder is capable of processing these materials down to a homogenous 15-millimeter particle size (slightly larger than one-half inch), with the ability to handle 1 metric ton of material per hour.

Working predominantly with other waste and recycling companies that find the complexity of some WEEE materials a headache, UK Plug Recycling buys materials that may otherwise be lost from the resource loop. They are then prepared for established plastics and metals recyclers, many of them within a 30-mile radius of the new facility.

“I first had the idea for UK Plug Recycling around six years ago, when I was working for another waste contractor,” says Justin Beverley, founder and managing director of the firm. “I identified that items like sockets and small-scale WEEE are commonly perceived as too much like hard work for many industry operators, so they simply end up in the ground. I therefore suggested that we offer a specialist service in that respect. Despite rigorous market research, my boss, at the time, didn’t believe the proposal was commercially viable.”

Beverley was not deterred. “Last year, I began exploring the opportunity myself. Fast forward to the spring of 2017 and I’d secured financial backing. I already knew the equipment I wanted for the operation, having visited Untha UK’s North Yorkshire headquarters and the Austrian manufacturing facility, when my research first began. Everything has moved quite quickly from there.”

Beverley has worked with the Untha team to refine his shredding process and begin penetrating the market. “UNTHA UK’s support from concept to installation – and beyond – has proven incredibly valuable as we’ve gathered traction,” he comments.

Already looking ahead to what might be next, he is now on the lookout for additional downstream equipment that will further enhance the sophistication and revenue yield potential of the new processing line.

“We truly do have a ‘green’ agenda,” says Beverley. “We obviously need to make enough money to survive, but this isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. It’s about harnessing the value of something that many other companies are overlooking, because it’s the right thing to do. 


Stretch film market predicted to expand

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 21:15
Recyclers can expect to see steady and growing supplies of plastic stretch film in the next several years, according to a new study by the Cleveland-based research firm The Freedonia Group. The firm forecasts stretch film demand in the United States will grow by 3.8 percent annually through 2021, becoming a $2.7 billion market by that year.

Plastic film’s growth can be attributed to improvements in stretch wrapping machinery and equipment, enhanced resin properties, and the increasing market share of more cost-effective products, according to the research firm.

Each of these developments has opened new markets for which stretch film was previously considered ill-suited, such as machinery and building materials that are heavy or irregularly shaped. These and other trends are presented in “Stretch & Shrink Film Market in the U.S., 5th Edition,” the study available from The Freedonia Group.

Stretch hoods will see the fastest growth of any stretch film product, advancing at 8.4% percent annually through 2021. Gains for this product are being driven by increased investment in hooding machinery that has expanded applicability to roofing, tiles and bricks, appliances and bulk warehouse packaging. A ceiling on this market remains, however, as these applications are still more limited than other stretch film products.

The storage and distribution market is by far the largest for stretch film, accounting for 71 percent of total demand in 2016.The Freedonia Group says stretch film is the preferred medium in this market because of its cost competitiveness and advantages over alternatives like strapping.

The 159-page “Stretch & Shrink Film Market in the US, 5th Edition “study is available for $5,200 from The Freedonia Group, which can be contacted at pr@freedoniagroup.com


Machinex wins Montreal MRF contract

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 15:22
The Executive Committee of Ville de Montreal has granted a contract to La Compagnie de recyclage de papiers MD Inc., Châteauguay, Quebec. This contract allows the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new recycling plant located in Lachine, a borough of Montreal. Machinex, Plessisville, Quebec, has been selected by La Compagnie de recyclage de papiers MD to provide this new system, projected to be fully operational in fall 2019.

This system will be capable of processing more than 75,000 metric tons per year of recycled material from the Montreal single-stream curbside collection. With its 35 metric tons per hour capacity, this MRF will include Machinex’ technologies, including three optical sorters for fibers and four optical sorters for plastic containers.

A bag extractor system developed by Machinex also will be installed, as well as two eddy current separators and two single-ram balers. This system will not have rubber disc screens, but rather a cardboard separator (metal discs) and three MACH Ballistic separators, which are designed for less maintenance than conventional screens.

As part of this new material recovery facility, Éco Entreprise Québec (ÉEQ), Quebec, will donate a complete glass sorting and cleaning system, the equipment being provided by Machinex and U.K.-based Krysteline Technologies.

‘’We are very proud to be part of this large-scale project so close from our location. We designed a system that will meet the immediate and future needs of Montreal, thus helping its recycling objectives,’’ says Sébastien Roy, project director at Machinex.

Gilbert Durocher, president of La Compagnie de recyclage de papiers MD Inc., says, ‘’ When we decided to submit a bid on this project, our choice was immediately directed towards Machinex since they are a long-term trusted partner. We knew that they would be able to deliver a performing MRF with the most advanced technologies and that we can count on a quick and professional service.”

In the early 1980s, Machinex says it became the first company in Canada to design machinery for material recycling facilities, establishing itself as a leader in designing profitable and high-quality recycling sorting systems. Today it has continued to develop sorting, waste management and recycling technology. Over the years, its team has designed and installed more than 350 turnkey facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Oceania.


Kruger dedicates linerboard machine at its Trois-Rivières mill

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 12:55
From left, Jean-Denis Girard, member for Trois-Rivières; Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks; Gene Kruger, vice president, business development, Kruger Inc.; Julie Boulet, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region; and Michael Lafave, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Kruger Packaging.


Montréal-based Kruger Inc. has announced it has dedicated its paper machine No. 10 (PM10), a project that was completely rebuilt to manufacture 100 percent recycled lightweight and high-strength linerboard at its Trois-Rivières mill.

Kruger invested $250 million in this project. Well before work got under way, Kruger says its engineers toured numerous manufacturing plants in North America and Europe to find the best technology for manufacturing 100 percent recycled lightweight and high-strength linerboard “of the best possible quality.”

Commercialized as XTR, the new linerboard grades manufactured on PM10 meet increasing demand for ultralight packaging without compromising on strength, performance or environmental footprint, according to Kruger.

PM10’s annual production will total 360,000 metric tons of XTR linerboard, an exclusive product that Kruger says is the first to manufacture in North America. A portion of the production will be used by Kruger’s packaging plants in LaSalle, Quebec, and Brampton, Ontario, while the remainder will be sold to packaging manufacturers across Canada and the United States.

Announced jointly by Kruger and the Government of Québec in September 2015, this $250-million project required some 500,000 hours of work over a 20-month period that ended in spring 2017 when the machine entered its startup phase, says the company. The project also consolidated 270 jobs at the Trois-Rivières mill, in addition to generating benefits for the Mauricie region and Québec, Kruger says. More than 80 local businesses were involved in the project. Of the total budget, approximately $40 million was spent with local suppliers and $60 million with suppliers elsewhere in Québec, Kruger says.

The company says several dignitaries and project partners were present at the PM10 dedication, including Luc Blanchette, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks; Julie Boulet, Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region; Jean-Denis Girard, Member of the National Assembly for Trois-Rivières; and Gene Kruger, vice president, business development, Kruger Inc.

Kruger Packaging specializes in the manufacture of containerboard products and corrugated packaging made from 100 percent recycled fiber. The Montréal-based company was created in partnership with Kruger Inc. and Investissement Québec – acting as the Québec government’s agent – which has a 25% take in its assets. Kruger Packaging employs some 800 people, including more than 600 in Québec, and operates four production sites, namely the Trois-Rivières mill, the Place Turcot containerboard mill in Montreal, and the LaSalle and Brampton packaging plants.

Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication and specialty papers, tissue products, containerboard and packaging made from recycled fibers, renewable energy, cellulosic biomaterials, and wines and spirits. The company also is a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger has facilities in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island.



Washington’s King County dedicates new recycling and transfer station

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 08:57
King County, Washington, officially dedicated its Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station in Bellevue, Washington, Customers now have more recycling and disposal options than ever, the county says in a press release.

Replacing a 1960s-era facility, the new station features new technology that reduces environmental impacts and improves customer service.

“I am committed to improving the efficiency and quality of the services we provide to county residents, and this new station delivers,” says King County Executive Dow Constantine. “In just one example, the new compactors at Factoria improved the efficiency of each trailer hauled from this station, which translates into fewer trucks on the road and reduced climate pollution.”

Located at 13800 SE 32nd St., Bellevue, the new facility offers a wide array of recycling services, including major appliances, yard waste, clean wood, scrap metal, commingled recyclables, textiles and more.

Additionally, a new household hazardous waste (HHW) facility allows customers a place to dispose of their HHW materials in an environmentally responsible way.

Garbage disposal services were not disrupted during the three-year reconstruction project, which included the demolition and removal of the old facility, the building of a new retention wall, and the installation of public art.

Recycling and garbage disposal services at Factoria are available Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. HHW disposal services are available Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

This redevelopment project moves the County ahead by bringing efficiencies and enhancing service. In addition to areas for recycling and HHW disposal, key features of the new solid waste transfer building include:

  • A flat-floor design that allows for easier unloading of garbage, better traffic flow and expanded capacity that help reduce customer wait times; and
  • Sustainable design features that improve energy efficiency, including translucent skylights and window panels that allow natural light into the building, rainwater harvesting, recycled content building materials such as steel, asphalt, and concrete, and landscaping with drought-tolerant plants.

King County operates eight transfer stations, two drop-boxes, the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, and many programs to help customers recycle. Learn more about the Solid Waste Division at kingcounty.gov/solidwaste.


Suez UK starts up recycling systems in Aberdeen, Scotland

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 08:43
Suez’s Recycling & Recovery UK division recently began operating two new systems at the Altens East Industrial Estate south of Aberdeen, Scotland. The turnkey single-stream and refuse-derived fuel (RDF) systems were provided by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eugene, Oregon. They are rated to process 20 metric tons per hour (tph) and 30tph, respectively. Purchased and operated by Suez on behalf of the Aberdeen City Council, the material recovery facility (MRF) will process 140,000 metric tons of material per year and will increase the city’s diversion rate by nearly 20 percent, saving an estimated £5 million ($6.6 million) in annual landfill taxes, according to a news release from BHS.

The systems feature recycling technology from BHS, Nihot and National Recovery Technologies (NRT). The supplier says the facility is designed for high performance, featuring five BHS Tri-Disc screens, six NRT optical sorters and a Nihot Single Drum Separator. 

BHS says Suez invested in specialized technology to ensure its end products are highly marketable knowing that product quality is absolutely critical in today’s volatile commodity markets. For example, a BHS Debris Roll Screen breaks the incoming glass and removes the 50-millimeter fraction, which is processed through a Nihot Single Drum Separator to remove light contamination. The remaining glass-rich material passes through an NRT ColorPlus optical sorter to remove the remaining nonglass contamination, including paper and small pieces of ceramic, stone and porcelain, to leave a clean glass product. Paper purification is accomplished with NRT optical sorters, where the recently updated ColorPlus-R removes cardboard from the news stream and a SpydIR-R recovers flattened plastic from the mixed fiber stream. Designed to comply with the Scottish Government’s Code of Practice on Sampling and Reporting at Materials Recovery Facilities, the systems feature numerous belt scales to weigh inbound and outbound materials and automated labeling of outbound bales, BHS says.

“The quality of our commodities is more important now than it’s ever been,” says Tim Hughes, Suez project development manager. “The abundance of technology in our systems ensures that we’re able to meet or exceed our customers’ specifications. BHS has been a great partner from design onwards, as these systems surpass all of our throughput, recovery, purity and uptime expectations. The city of Aberdeen is in a great position to landfill significantly less while contributing to the circular economy and should be proud of its Council for making its vision a reality,” he adds.

“This MRF includes an abundance of new technology that is producing products that have exceptional quality,” BHS CEO Steve Miller says. “Employing NRT optical sorting on glass, news and mixed paper really sets the Aberdeen plant up for long-term success with regard to product quality. The recyclables leaving this facility are of the highest purity found anywhere in the industry, which is a testament to Suez’s commitment to excellence. We expect this MRF to be a top performer for Suez for years to come.”

In 2000, the Aberdeen City Council awarded Suez a 25-year contract to manage recycling, composting, treatment and disposal of the household waste for its residents, which now number more than 228,000 people. The £27 million ($35.7 million) project was developed to meet the goals set out in the Aberdeen City Waste Strategy and is in line with Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan, the latter of which includes a 70 percent recycling target by 2025.

BHS designs, engineers, manufactures and installs sorting systems and components for the solid waste, recycling, waste-to-energy and construction and demolition industries. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include Nihot (Amsterdam), NRT (Nashville, Tennessee) and Zero Waste Energy (Lafayette, California). BHS is also the originator of Max-AI technology, a form of artificial intelligence that is designed to identify materials, make intelligent decisions and direct equipment, such as robotic sorters.