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Spectro Alloys to invest $5.5M in aluminum recycling facility

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:48
Spectro Alloys Corp., Rosemount, Minnesota, has announced it will invest $5.5 million to expand recycling capabilities at its Rosemount aluminum recycling facility.

The investment will add jobs, expand recycling capabilities and improve melting safety and efficiency - reducing gas and electricity needed in the recycling process, says Spectro Alloys. The project, which will be implemented by mid-2018, includes a new building addition that will house a 21-ton rotary furnace capable of melting a wide range of aluminum scrap. It will incorporate new technology, including a filtration plant that will reduce emissions from the recycling process, according to the company.

“We are now hiring to fill 10-plus new full-time production and maintenance positions as a result of this expansion,” says Spectro Alloys. “Spectro plant employees average over $50,000 in gross wages, with excellent health benefits, 401(k) matching and profit sharing bonuses. The planned expansion has received support from the state of Minnesota’s Job Creation Fund, which provides a grant once investment and job creation goals are met.”

This investment will allow Spectro to recycle a wider range of locally and regionally sourced aluminum products, improving the environmental footprint of recycling in Minnesota even further, the company says.

Spectro Alloys President Luke Palen says, “We are committed to investing in programs and technology that support the domestic aluminum supply chain, build value for our customers and suppliers, and improve our environment. This is phase one of a multiyear investment plan aimed at achieving those goals. Much more to come.”

Aluminum recycled at Spectro Alloys is shipped to regional die casters and foundries and made into new products, including lawn mower engines,  ATV components, car parts and other products.


Recycling is part of EPA vessel cleanup program

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 01:59
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is supporting Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and the U.S. Coast Guard in marine vessel recovery work following an active hurricane season, and that it is “assisting with the recycling and disposal of recovered oil and hazardous materials from the vessels.”

“Our role is to assist both Puerto Rico and the USVI to minimize environmental damage from boats leaking gasoline, fuel or other contaminants,” says EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “We are doing this in a way that respects the vessel owner’s rights while still protecting people from spills and hazardous substances that might be onboard the vessels.”

Teams from the Coast Guard and various agencies continue to locate, assess and retrieve sunken, damaged and derelict vessels around Puerto Rico and the USVI, according to the EPA.

EPA’s support role includes recording the vessel’s location and collecting information such as the name of the vessel and identification number, condition, impact to surrounding areas or sensitive or protected habitats (such as mangroves and coral reefs) for future recovery missions and owner notifications. A higher priority is placed on vessels found to be actively leaking fuel or hazardous materials, where containment and absorbent booms are placed to decrease contamination.

Once a damaged vessel is brought to shore or is processed on a staging barge, EPA indicates it is handling various hazardous materials for recycling and disposal, including petroleum products (oil, gas or diesel fuel), batteries and electronic devices. EPA also states it will recycle or dispose of any “household hazardous wastes,” such as cleaners, paints or solvents and appliances from the vessels.

Assessment teams are tagging vessels with a sticker requesting that owners contact the U.S. Coast Guard to either report their vessel’s removal, or to request U.S. Coast Guard assistance in its removal. There is no cost, penalty or fine associated with the removal of the vessels, according to the EPA.

As of mid-November 2017, 340 vessels have been identified as being affected in Puerto Rico and 589 vessels have been identified as being affected in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Those seeking more information about the process can contact the U.S. Coast Guard through its hotline at (786) 521-3900.


Bunting names new GM for its Kansas facility

News from Recycling Today - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 01:30
Newton, Kansas-based Bunting Magnetics Co. has announced the appointment of Kevin Miller as general manager of its primary manufacturing facility in Newton. Bunting’s other operations are in suburban Chicago; DuBois, Pennsylvania; and the United Kingdom. Miller will oversee all Newton operations including production, inside sales, engineering and purchasing.

“Kevin has already demonstrated significant operational leadership and is a true motivator for his team,” says Jana Davis, Bunting’s chief operating officer. “We are fortunate to have him lead our operations team and believe his skills will be a significant asset in the development of enhanced processes and procedures moving forward. His extensive industrial experience with team management, quality assurance programs and lean principles such as 5S (Japanese lean manufacturing system) and KanBan (a Toyota scheduling system) will result in in improved sales, operations and customer satisfaction for years to come.”

Miller has nearly three decades of experience in manufacturing operations. Most recently, he was director of operations at Ametek Advanced Industries, a supplier of components and systems for the aerospace and defense industries. His manufacturing experience also includes operations and assembly positions at the Boeing Company and Spirit Aerosystems.

“My vision is to follow proven principles in lean manufacturing and quality assurance to make Bunting Magnetics Co. a world-class operation, meeting our customers’ delivery dates and exceeding their expectations, while delivering the highest level of quality,” says Miller.

Founded in 1959, Bunting Magnetics offers a line of metal detection, magnetic separation and material handling equipment as well as printing cylinders for several global markets, including recycling, food packaging and processing, feed and grain, plastics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, offset printing, metal stamping and automobile manufacturing.


Real Alloy declares bankruptcy

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 23:55
Real Industry Inc., owner of Beachwood, Ohio-based secondary aluminum producer Real Alloy, has filed for Chapter 11 debt restructuring and bankruptcy, citing difficult credit and financing conditions for its United States operations. Real Industry filed its Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

In conjunction, Real Alloy Holding Inc. and its U.S. subsidiaries also filed petitions in late November 2017 for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in the same court. Real Alloy’s operations in Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, Canada and Mexico and a Goodyear, Arizona, joint venture are not included in these filings, says the firm.

Scrap-consuming aluminum production facilities affected are located in several states, including two in Michigan, two in Ohio and one each in Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Canada and Mexico.

Some of those facilities trace back to the former IMCO Recycling and Commonwealth Industries companies, which merged to form Aleris International in 2004. Aleris sold most of those plants in 2015 to Signature Holdings, which rebranded them to Real Alloy. Real Alloy subsequently purchased plants from the former Beck Aluminum Alloys.

A Form 204 filed as part of the Chapter 11 proceedings shows scrap trading companies comprise more than half of the 20 largest creditors of Real Alloy. Topping the list with $1.3 million owed is Dallas-based Commercial Metals Co. Also owed $1 million or more are Coldwater, Michigan-based Honda Trading America Corp. and St. Louis-based Alter Trading Co.

Owed between $325,000 and $850,000 by Real Alloy are: Huron Valley Steel Corp., Trenton, Michigan; NH Kelman Scrap Recycling, Cohoes, New York; Midwest Iron & Metal, Dayton, Ohio; OmniSource Corp., Fort Wayne, Indiana; PSC Metals, Cleveland; SLC Recycling, Warren, Michigan (a division of Detroit-based Ferrous Processing & Trading); Kripke Enterprises, Toledo, Ohio; MetalX LLC, Waterloo, Indiana; and Cincinnati-based David J. Joseph Co.

Many of the scrap trading firms likely possess credit insurance policies that will minimize their losses compared to the full amount listed in the filing. It is unclear how much the scrap companies will recoup as a result of pending decisions to be made by the bankruptcy court.

“During the Chapter 11 process, Real Alloy expects to conduct business as usual in the United States and worldwide and to continue to provide customers, suppliers and other business partners with the high level of service and performance they have come to expect from Real Alloy,” the company states in the news release announcing the filing.

Real Alloy indicates it has entered into an agreement in principle with its existing asset-based facility lender and some of its bondholders for continued use of its $110 million asset-based lending facility and up to $85 million of additional liquidity through debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing that will enable the firm to fund ongoing business operations.

Real Alloy’s operations in the United States have been affected by “severely tightened liquidity during the past year, due in part to recently constrained trade credit terms, which hindered Real Alloy’s ability to timely refinance its $305 million 10 percent senior secured notes due January 2019,” the company indicates in its news release.

The company also indicates Terry Hogan will continue as Real Alloy’s president while Michael Hobey has been named president and interim CEO of Real Industry, and he will continue to serve as chief financial officer of Real Industry and now also as CFO of Real Alloy.


DJJ selected as supplier to Virginia aluminum producer

News from Recycling Today - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 01:43
The Cincinnati-based David J. Joseph Company (DJJ) has announced that starting in mid-November 2017, Virginia-based aluminum producer Service Center Metals (SCM) will use DJJ as the primary scrap buying agent for its Prince George, Virginia, manufacturing facility. 

DJJ, in a news release making the announcement, indicates SCM “has been a valued customer since 2013.” DJJ says as part of the new agreement, it will use its ability to source raw materials globally and will provide SCM with “administrative efficiencies and logistics expertise.”

The scrap agency agreement will allow SCM to focus on expanding its role as an extruded aluminum rod, bar, angle, pipe, channel and beam producer, according to DJJ.   

DJJ also indicates the agreement “represents an important step forward for The David J. Joseph Company, and is a great complement to its existing nonferrous business activities.”

Founded in 2002, SCM bills itself as a producer of extruded aluminum rods, bars, angles, pipes, channels and beams at its Prince George, location. SCM’s manufacturing process is designed to operate 24 hours per day with employee safety as a top priority, according to the firm.

The David J. Joseph Company, founded in 1885, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Nucor Corporation.  DJJ bills itself as one of the largest scrap brokers and processors in the United States, providing scrap brokerage, recycling and transportation services. DJJ operates six regional scrap recycling companies in the United States with a combined 60 processing facilities and 12 domestic and international ferrous and nonferrous scrap brokerage offices.


PPRCE 2017: Targets and technologies

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 20:39
(Pictured: Hendrik Beel of RTT Steinert.)

The European Union has set high landfill diversion target levels for its member states at the same time China is closing the door on mixed scrap shipments. The situation presents challenges for recycling firms and opportunities for sorting technology suppliers, according to presenters at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event, held in Warsaw in early November.

Andreas Walser of Austria-based Hamburger Recycling said brand owners are feeling the pressure to design packaging that is recyclable and to help ensure it is collected for that purpose. He said Hamburger Recycling is positioned to grow along with that trend, with operations in 14 European nations, including Austria, Germany Hungary, Poland and Turkey.

Private recyclers such as Hamburger Recycling, said Walser, “are in a comfortable position; we have no obligations, but a lot of opportunities.” Many of those opportunities, he said, are in Eastern Europe, where there is “real potential for more collection by providing the right collection systems.”

Walser recommended separate collection as the way to meet European and global demands for “more clean fiber,” and he said the government can play a role by helping to subsidize it.

Sébastien Ricard of France-based Paprec Group provided an overview of France’s and the European Union’s increasingly regulated waste sector, which has encouraged recycling in part by limiting landfilling and incineration. He said Germany had been particularly effective in encouraging recycling by making landfilling costs prohibitively expensive.

Ricard said the government’s role is best suited for incentives and goals, and then should leave it to the private sector and “trust the companies” to meet those goals.

For plastic packaging recycling to meet ambitious EU targets, Hendrik Beel of Germany-based RTT Steinert said increased collection must be matched with upgrading of collected material to high-purity pellets and product manufacturers’ willingness to use those pellets to make new products.

“These three must work together,” stated Beel, adding, “Higher collection rates mean nothing without [accompanying] better product quality.” He predicted that “pushing the MRFs (material recovery facilities) to hjgher throughput rates will come to an end,” and that this genuine attention to quality could “make recycling great again.”

On the technology front, Beel said his company has been deploying HSI (hyperspectral imaging) technology to enable more sorting and recycling of black plastics.

Marcin Lotysz of Bin-E, based in host country Poland, said his firm has developed an office or public space collection bin that can distinguish between paper, plastic and metal items, meaning people can discard items quickly to be recycled.

The device uses an internal camera and mechanically sliding parts to perform the sorting. Lotysz said Bin-E is anticipating introducing its public space bin in 2018 and a home or kitchen device in 2020.

Bill Moore of Atlanta-based Moore & Associates said technology providers have been working on devices to measure moisture and contamination levels in baled scrap paper. The devices are mean to replace what Moore called “occular technology,” or visual inspection.

He said Brussels-based CEPI (the Confederation of European Paper Industries) has “pushed forward a comprehensive approach for a number of years” to make baled paper quality more transparent.

Subsequently, said Moore, microwave and near infrared (NIR) technology has been developed to help buyers take core samples or scan more deeply into bales to measure moisture and ash content. Such technologies are being used by several major European mill companies, including Spain’s SAICA and Ireland-based Smurfit Kappa Group, and by mill buyers in China, said Moore.

In comments after the technology presentations, a delegate from France-based Veolia expressed reservations about how or whether such measuring devices are being properly calibrated, while a delegate from France-based Suez Environnement wondered why different mills are recording different measurements for bales produced at the same Suez facility.

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, organized by the Recycling Today Media Group, was Nov. 7-8 at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre.


PPRCE 2017: Ups and downs

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 19:10
(Pictured: John Paul Mackens of Kuehne + Nagel.)

Presenters on a session focused on ocean freight at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event depicted a sector with ongoing consolidation and volatile rates. The conference was held in Warsaw in early November, at a time when rates from Europe to Asia were sitting in a trough.

China’s economic growth had spurred a massive increase in ocean shipping, according to figures presented by Dan Sandoval of the Recycling Today Media Group. China’s ports have seen a four-fold increase in container shipping traffic from 2000, when they handled 13 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), to the 52 million TEUs handled in 2015.

Shipping line consolidation has been the other major trend, said Sandoval. The five largest lines handled 27 percent of the container traffic in 1996, but in 2017 the five largest lines are expected to handle 64 percent of the total.

John Paul Mackens of Switzerland-based freight forwarding firm Kuehne + Nagel said the Chinese government’s increased scrutiny of imported scrap materials had been “a huge headache” for the freight industry, and that he had to reposition some 50 containers away from China because of the National Sword program there.

The changes in the plastic scrap sector have been sudden and dramatic, said Mackens. In 2016, Europe sent 89 percent of its outbound plastic scrap to Chinese ports. In September 2017, said Mackens, just 46 percent went to Chinese ports, with Malaysia receiving 12.6 percent, Hong Kong receiving 10.7 percent and Vietnam 9.5 percent.

By volume, Mackens said, July and August 2017 showed a huge drop in scrap shipments heading from Europe to China. Carriers, he said, are “now fighting for the shipments left” in that direction.

He predicted a 1 million TEU loss in secondary commodity shipments from Europe to China in 2018. That volume drop, combined with low rates, means “we will definitely lose another carrier” if those conditions continue, Mackens predicted.

Martino Tavolato of Switzerland-based paper recycling firm Vipa Lausanne S.A. portrayed the roller coaster-ride nature of shipping rates in the previous two years, with Northern Europe to China rates having soared from an average of $250 GIGO (gate in/gate out) in July 2016 to $1,200 GIGO in May 2017. “We couldn’t find any logic” in the massive increase, said Tavolato.

By June 2017, however, the effects of China’s National Sword initiative had become apparent as Europe-to-China traffic shriveled. By early November 2017, rates on those routes had dropped back to $500 GIGO. “It shows, in the end, the market is free,” said Tavolato, as supply and demand factors kicked in.

He said, based on China’s new restrictions, some 6 million tons of mixed paper and 7 million tons of plastic scrap that formerly headed to China will have to be processed differently to make it to Chinese ports. Otherwise, said Tavolato, there will be some 1 million TEUs “that need to be replaced,” which he says is equivalent to about “six average-sized container ships per month.” He concluded, “We’re going through some amazing changes.”

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, organized by the Recycling Today Media Group, was Nov. 7-8 at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre.


PPRCE 2017: Plenty of buyers

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 18:29
China’s tight quality restrictions may have gained the most attention in 2017, but healthy underlying demand for scrap paper continues to drive strong pricing, according to presenters at the 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe event. The conference was held in Warsaw in early November.

The use of communication grades of paper has been declining In the 21st century, but the growing global demand for packaging has kept the recovered fiber sector buoyant, particular in the case of old corrugated containers (OCC). “OCC demand is where the action is,” stated Bill Moore of Atlanta-based Moore & Associates. “Other grades are about all flat,” Moore said regarding the recent global demand picture.

In 2008, said Moore, packaging grades made up 49 percent of the world’s finished paper production while newsprint output comprised 13 percent of production. In 2016, those numbers had shifted to 60 percent for packaging and just 7 percent for newsprint.

On the recovered fiber demand side, the world’s paper mills consumed 70 million tons of OCC in 2000, but that figure is projected to grow to 170 million tons in 2021.

Geographically, the falloff in communication paper has affected the United States significantly, said Moore. Whereas U.S. paper and board mills churned out 105 million tons of product in 1999, that number shrank to just 72 million tons in 2016.

China’s 21st century role as the world’s workshop has meant its packaging grade output has soared, as has its consumption of OCC. The boom in containerboard production there has caused China’s supply needs to shift, said Moore. In 1993, 46 percent of what Chinese mills imported was OCC and 21 percent was old newspapers (ONP). By 2016, that had shifted to 67 percent OCC and just 7 percent ONP. Whereas in 1993 China was importing a little more than twice as much OCC as ONP, but 2016 it was importing nine time as much OCC as ONP.

David Powlson, who works from the United Kingdom for Finland-based Pöyry Management Consulting, said the world’s percentage of forested land is currently growing, and that virgin pulp is likely to provide increased competition to recovered fiber between now and 2050.

He said tissue production in China is one of the fastest-growing finished paper sectors globally, and it is made almost entirely from virgin fiber-content bleached hardwood kraft pulp made from eucalyptus trees and other trees.

Nonetheless, said Powlson, Pöyry is “expecting, through 2050, equal amounts of recovered paper and virgin fiber growth” in paper production capacity.

Recovered fiber’s limitation, said Powlson, is a ceiling on recovery rates. He said only remote areas of Spain, Italy, Ireland and Eastern Europe can yield more fiber from the European continent. While China’s government is optimistic it can source more of its own recovered fiber, “We don’t believe you can increase the collection rate in China much beyond where you are,” he commented.

In 2016, Chinese mills bought 82 percent of Europe’s exported recovered fiber and 79 percent of North America’s said Powlson. Some 51 percent of what was shipped from North America was OCC while 21 percent was mixed paper. Europe, on the other hand, sent 72 percent in the form of OCC and 19 percent mixed paper.

Jochen Behr of London-based packaging producer DS Smith said his firm’s recycling division has focused on “stringent quality control” in the face of increased quality scrutiny by the Chinese government.

Behr referred to changes in consumer behavior that have resulted in more (packaged) household deliveries as a reason why DS Smith believes that “packaging is a market set for growth.”

He said DS Smith handles some 5 million tons per year of recovered fiber and consumes 3 million tons of that in its own mills. The company is pursuing a model of “box to box recycling in 14 days,” said Behr.

Behr said he anticipates more “cross-sector collaboration” between consumer product companies, packaging producers, retailers, delivery services and government recycling agencies as the home delivery trend gains momentum.

The 2017 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference Europe, organized by the Recycling Today Media Group, was Nov. 7-8 at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre.


Recycle Track Systems opens two offices to serve Washington market

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:00
Recycle Track Systems (RTS), a New York-based waste and recycling management technology company, has announced it has opened two new offices in Philadelphia and Tysons Corner, Virginia, to serve the Washington market.

RTS has formed partnerships with indoor cycling fitness chain SoulCycle in Philadelphia and Washington. In addition, RTS will provide waste and recycling technology services to 401 N. Broad St. in Philadelphia, which is the city’s largest office and commercial building under one roof, covering one square block.

RTS says it 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 Barclays arena, Whole Foods, WeWork, Juice Press and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 

RTS is headquartered in New York and provides 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.



Bausch + Lomb recycling program reaches milestone

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 07:00
Laval, Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has announced its wholly owned subsidiary Bausch + Lomb’s One by One Recycling Program has recycled more than 1 million used contact lenses, blister packs and top foils since its launch in December 2016.

Through a partnership with Trenton, New Jersey-based TerraCycle, a leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle postconsumer materials, the One by One Recycling Program has diverted more than 7,000 pounds of waste from landfills.

In addition, for every pound of accepted packaging received through the program, a $1 donation is made to Optometry Giving Sight, the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision by providing eye exams and glasses to those in need.

“We are globally committed to environmental sustainability while also delivering innovations that meet the needs of our physicians and their patients,” says Joseph C. Papa, chairman and CEO, Valeant. “We are proud of the One by One Recycling Program, which has made significant strides in its first year by helping to reduce contact lens waste as well as helping to provide basic vision care to those who are in need.”

Although contact lenses and their packaging are generally composed of recyclable plastic or foil, they often end  up being filtered out of most standard material recovery facilities (MRFs) due to their small size. Currently, the end-to-end trail of materials generated from contact lens packaging annually in the United States could circle the Earth three times, says Bausch + Lomb. The One by One Recycling Program provides contact lens wearers the opportunity to properly recycle their used materials and reduce the amount of waste deposited to landfills across the country. 

To participate in the program, contact lens wearers can print a free One by One shipping label and ship their used blister packs, top foil and contact lenses via any UPS location or drop off their materials at a participating eye doctor’s office. All participating offices in the United States (more than 2,000 to date) can be found on the program’s website, www.bauschrecycles.com


China releases new proposed contaminants thresholds

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 13:32
In an alert to its members dated Nov. 16, 2017, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, says the Chinese government has notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its intent to adopt new standards for the allowable contaminants thresholds for scrap imports.

The Chinese government notified the WTO Nov. 15 of its intent to adopt Environmental Protection Control Standards for Imported Solid Wastes as Raw Materials (GB 16487.2-13), which set the allowable contaminants thresholds for scrap imports, according to ISRI. The initial set of draft standards China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued in August of this year proposed a 0.3 percent limit for "carried wastes" across all secondary commodities.

ISRI reports that in its Nov. 15 filing with the WTO, China proposed the following standards for contamination, which would apply beginning March 1, 2018:

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

In its alert to members, the association states: “Although ISRI is pleased to see that there has been movement away from the 0.3 percent thresholds, the new proposed threshold levels are still of great concern.”

A previous email alert dated Nov. 13 from ISRI’s government relations department indicated that ISRI’s industry contacts thought the Chinese government would finalize these thresholds in two to four weeks at 1 percent for ferrous and nonferrous metals, 1 percent for paper and 0.5 percent for plastics, with ISRI noting, “This information has been reported in the media, but it cannot be confirmed until the Chinese government issues the final regulation.”

ISRI says comments about this recent proposal can be submitted to the WTO by Dec. 15, 2017. The association says it plans to do so with the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and “peer organizations around the world to ensure our industry's positions are heard and understood.”

Members of ISRI can contact the association to learn how to send comments to the WTO or to provide input to ISRI's comments. ISRI’s Senior Director for Government Relations & International Affairs Adina Renee Adler can be contacted at aadler@isri.org.






Cox Enterprises adds eight facilities to zero-waste-to-landfill status

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 13:31
Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises has announced that eight corporate Cox locations have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status. The announcement was timed to coincide with America Recycles Day, Nov. 15.

These eight locations join the seven Cox locations that achieved the zero-waste-to-landfill status in 2016. To date, the 15 locations have maintained a 90 percent, or better, diversion of waste from landfill.

Cox Conserves, the company’s national sustainability program, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of focusing on waste management and carbon and water conservation. The program engages each of the company’s major divisions: Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group.

As a part of the Cox Conserves initiative, the company adopted a goal of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2024. The Cox Conserves recycling and waste diversion team has worked with individual locations to streamline operations, increase diversion and reduce overall waste to reach zero waste to landfill and to reduce the company’s environmental impact.

“Through Cox Conserves, each of our divisions uses innovation, creativity and resourcefulness to address the significant waste challenge that is facing our world today,” says Cox Enterprises’ Vice President of Sustainability Keith Mask. “We’re proud of our accomplishments to date, and we look forward to achieving more milestones in the years ahead.” 

Cox Enterprises’ 2017 zero-waste-to-landfill locations include:

  • Cox Automotive’s NextGear in Carmel, Indiana;
  • Cox Automotive’s vAuto in Longmont, Colorado;
  • Cox Communications in Chesapeake, Virginia;
  • Cox Communications in Cranston, Rhode Island;
  • Cox Communications in Port Allen, Louisiana;
  • Cox Communications in Tolleson, Arizona;
  • Cox Communications in Wichita, Kansas; and
  • Cox Media Group’s Statesman Media in Austin, Texas.

Cox says it has been recognized by multiple organizations for its waste management projects, including an Environmental Leader Project of the Year Award for its Golden Isles Conservation Center. Across the nation, Cox employees participate in cleanups to remove waste from waterways.

By engaging employees and finding ways to recycle, reuse and repurpose materials, to date, Cox Enterprises says it has diverted more than 100,000 tons of material from landfills.

Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues exceeding $20 billion and approximately 60,000 employees, the company’s major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms).


Novelis Advanz 6HF - e/s200 aluminum alloy now available in North America

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:42
Atlanta-based Novelis says its Advanz 6HF - e/s200 aluminum heat-treatable alloy is now available in North America following its application in Europe, providing automakers greater design flexibility because of its formability, strength performance and weight savings for outer and inner applications.

The high-formable 6xxx-series alloy enables new opportunities to use aluminum for body sides, door inners, decklid outers and inners and other closure panels, the company says. The alloy also can be used in designs and applications that require bending without the risk of cracking. In addition, Advanz 6HF - e/s200 creates a weight savings of nearly one-third over steel in inner door applications.

"As a global leader in automotive alloy innovation, we are excited to offer solutions to meet the growing design and manufacturing needs of North American auto manufacturers," says Ganesh Panneer, vice president and general manager of automotive at Novelis. "As automakers pursue more complex designs and increase the amount of in-vehicle content, the strength and advanced formability of Advanz 6HF - e/s200 unlocks new engineering potential while offering critical weight reduction compared to steel. The expansion of this alloy into the North American market demonstrates our ability to draw on our automotive expertise and provide proven solutions across the globe." 


Nucor to build merchant bar quality mill in Illinois

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:55
Nucor Corp., headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced that it will build a full-range merchant bar quality (MBQ) mill at its existing bar steel mill in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

The MBQ mill will have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons and is expected to cost $180 million. The project will take approximately two years to complete.

“This new MBQ mill is right in line with our long-term strategy for profitable growth,” says John Ferriola, chairman, CEO and president of Nucor. “It takes advantage of our position as a low-cost producer to displace tons currently being supplied by competitors outside the region. It also builds on our market leadership position by further enhancing our product offerings of merchant bar, light shapes and structural angle and channel in markets in the central U.S.”

Ferriola continues, “Combined with our other full-range bar mills, we are now strategically located to supply all markets with high-quality bar products and exceptional service.”

The Midwest region is one of the largest markets for MBQ products, and Nucor says it is situated to take advantage of existing operating and commercial capabilities to meet this regional demand. This project will allow Nucor to use the company’s existing bar mill, Nucor Steel Kankakee Inc., by improving its melt capacity and infrastructure that is already in place. It also will take advantage of an abundant scrap supply in the region, as well as the company’s commercial footprint in the central United States. Nucor Steel Kankakee will continue to be a supplier of quality reinforcing bar products.

“We are very excited to bring new investment and jobs to the Kankakee community and the state of Illinois,” says Johnny Jacobs, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Kankakee. “We would like to thank Gov. Rauner, state and local officials, our teammates and the entire community for their support of this project. Nucor’s bar mills have been a cornerstone of our company and, as this project demonstrates, they are an important part of Nucor’s future.”

Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products include: carbon and alloy steel—in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh.  Nucor, through Cincinnati-based The David J. Joseph Co., also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI (hot-briquetted iron/direct-reduced iron); supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. 


Study finds nearly 100 percent recycling rate for lead batteries

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:28
Battery Council International (BCI), Chicago, and Essential Energy Everyday have released a study showing lead batteries have a recycling rate of 99.3 percent, making them the No. 1 recycled consumer product in the U.S.

The groups say the near-perfect rate of recycling is attributed to industry investment in a closed loop collection and recycling system that keeps 1.7 million tons of batteries out of landfills annually.

The National Recycling Rate Study, released in conjunction with America Recycles Day Nov. 15, demonstrates the sustainability of lead batteries and their role in environmentally friendly energy storage for automotive and industrial applications, say the organizations.

Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of BCI, says, “Our goal for the lead battery manufacturing process is to collect and recycle and reuse lead batteries and their components. In essence to create a ‘closed loop industry’ that significantly reduces the demand on global resources.”

Thorsby continues, “On average, a new lead battery is comprised of more than 80 percent recycled lead battery material. Every part of the battery, from lead and plastic to sulfuric acid, is recyclable and reusable in manufacturing new batteries. This reduces the need for new lead mining, reduces waste and helps keep lead out of landfills.” 

In 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the rate of lead battery recovery was almost 99 percent, the highest recycling rate among other more well-known recycled products, such as newspapers (63 percent), aluminum cans (55.1 percent), tires (40.5 percent), glass containers (32.5 percent) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (32.2 percent), the groups note.

“Our country needs energy delivered in an environmentally friendly, safe and affordable manner and the recycling rate our industry has achieved is evidence of our commitment to that goal,” Thorsby adds, “We are proud of this record and the fact that lead batteries provide essential energy storage to power millions of cars, buses, airplanes, trains and logistic networks as well as back-up recovery systems that protect life, investments and data in emergency situations.” 

BCI and Essential Energy Everyday say lead batteries’ applications reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles through start-stop battery technology, help power hybrid and electric vehicles and enable smart grid technology that improves the reliability of wind and solar farms.

The closed loop process that ensures lead batteries’ high rate of recycling is recognized by the World Economic Forum and MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics as the world’s most successful example of a circular economy—featuring the design, production, transportation, recycling and recovery of vehicle batteries.

The National Recycling Rate Study was produced by SmithBucklin Statistics Group, Chicago, and was commissioned by BCI. The methodology for calculating the recycling rate considers new battery shipments, battery exports, imports of products containing a battery and imports of scrap lead and used batteries.

To view a video of the lead battery recycling process, click here.

Essential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the importance of lead batteries in people’s daily lives. It is supported by the two global trade associations that represent the lead battery and lead industries: BCI and the International Lead Association, London.


Arconic, Airbus sign multiyear cooperative research agreement

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:25
Arconic, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has announced a multiyear cooperative research agreement with Airbus, headquartered in Toulouse, France, to advance metal 3D printing for aircraft manufacturing. Together, the companies will develop customized processes and parameters to produce and qualify large, structural 3D printed components, such as pylon spars and rib structures, up to approximately 1 meter (3 feet) in length. The companies say they deal combines Arconic’s expertise in metal additive manufacturing and metallurgy with Airbus’ design and qualification capabilities, building on its experience with regulatory agencies for certification.

“This agreement combines the expertise of two of the world’s top aerospace additive manufacturing companies to push the boundaries of 3D printing for aircraft production,” says Eric Roegner, executive vice president and group president, Arconic Engineered Products and Solutions and Arconic Defense. “Additive manufacturing promises a world where lighter, more complex aerospace parts are produced cheaper and faster. We’re joining forces to make that potential a reality in a bigger way than ever before.”

Under this agreement announced at the Formnext additive and advanced manufacturing conference in Frankfurt, Germany, Arconic will use electron beam high deposition rate technology to 3D print parts. This technology is ideally suited to produce larger aerospace components because it prints them up to one hundred times faster than technologies used for smaller, more intricate parts, the company says.

In addition, Arconic says it will demonstrate the benefits of its proprietary Ampliforge process, which combines traditional and additive manufacturing. The Ampliforge process treats a near complete 3D printed part using an advanced manufacturing process, such as forging, which enhances the properties of 3D printed parts, increasing toughness, fatigue and strength versus parts made solely by additive manufacturing, and reduces material input and production lead times.

Arconic says it will will draw on additive and advanced manufacturing capabilities at its facilities in Cleveland and at the Arconic Technology Center outside Pittsburgh.

Last September, Airbus announced that it had incorporated a smaller 3D printed titanium bracket on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. This achievement is paving the way for Airbus to design 3D printed parts in the future that are even more complex and lighter weight, the companies say. Arconic is producing these titanium brackets using laser powder bed technologies at its additive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas.

Arconic announced three agreements with Airbus last year. Under those deals, Arconic agreed to 3D print titanium and nickel airframe components, such as fuselage and engine pylon components, made using laser and electron beam powder bed processes. 


Bee'ah starts up mixed-waste MRF

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:58
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based environmental management company Bee’ah has begun processing municipal solid waste (MSW) at the company’s recently renovated material recovery facility (MRF). The MRF features a 75-metric-ton-per-hour (tph) system with the latest in recovery technology from Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) and its subsidiaries Nihot and National Recovery Technologies (NRT).

The facility is the largest in the Middle East, processing more than 500,000 metric tons of MSW annually; BHS also says the comprehensive system retrofit has made it the most advanced in the region, reaffirming Bee’ah’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of environmental innovation.

“In years past, our trommel-based system was creating uneven size fractions and contamination through mixing,” says Daker El-Rabaya, Bee’ah’s managing director of waste processing and treatment. “We were unable to effectively separate organic material from dry commodities and were very dependent on manual sorting.”

He adds, “The system BHS delivered is more efficient, increases our capacity and is automatically creating material fractions that were previously unattainable. Screen and air technology effectively remove organics and inert materials early in the process to present segregated fiber and container line fractions. We are optically targeting both containers and film to produce marketable products from a challenging material stream. The technology has introduced Bee’ah to a new level of performance; we are very pleased with the results.”

The plant’s old trommel screens were replaced with two BHS Tri-Disc screens, which have greatly improved screening efficiency, reduced power consumption and allowed for better use of space, the supplier says. The new system has increased throughput, recovery of organic material and the recovery of other commodities, including plastic containers. Plastic film recovery has doubled with the installation of the FiberPure system, a combination of NRT optical and Nihot air technology, BHS says.

“Bee’ah is an innovative company, proactively adapting to new technology,” BHS CEO Steve Miller says. “The company’s commitment to recovery and processing excellence is a benchmark for others to follow. The system was already among the largest in the world, and is now among the most advanced. Bee’ah is a true leader in its space, and while we were excited when chosen as the system provider, we are more excited today to see the MRF performing at a high level. We look forward to ensuring success for years to come.” 


NERC announces Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards winners

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:46
The Brattleboro, Vermont-based Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) has announced winners of its inaugural Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards at its 30th Anniversary Celebration Nov. 13 in Amherst, Massachusetts.

NERC says the award recipients’ work is consistent with the organization’s mission to promote sustainable materials management by “supporting traditional and innovative solid waste best practices, focusing on waste prevention, toxics reduction, reuse, recycling and organics recovery.”

“The quality of the nominees and the importance of the work they have accomplished is remarkable,” says NERC Board President Robert Isner, who also serves as the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s director for the Waste Engineering and Enforcement Division.

Several awards were presented under the Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards.

The Involvement in NERC Award recognizes a person who has made a substantial contribution to furthering NERC’s mission. George MacDonald of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection earned this award.

Having served for 22 years, MacDonald was one of the longest-serving NERC board members.

NERC Vice President Rick Watson of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority says, “During his tenure, George demonstrated a true commitment to the organization. He was an inspiration to NERC staff and many others around the region, not only for his dedication to NERC, but also as a leader in advancing materials management.” 

The Greatest Impact from Collaboration with NERC Award recognizes an organization or individual that has helped drive measurable change as a result of partnering with NERC. Resource Recycling Magazine was honored with this award. 

Lynn Rubinstein, NERC executive director, says, “Resource Recycling Magazine and its topic-specific publications have provided significant support to NERC by regularly helping to promote our events, webinars and project outcomes. Thanks to this support, NERC’s initiatives have garnered national recognition and engagement, and improved collaborative opportunities for the organization and its members.”

In the category of NERC Environmental Sustainability Leadership, NERC recognized three award winners. Each achieved significant environmental results through waste diversion efforts in the Northeast, says the organization.

In the private sector, Cox Enterprises was recognized for its national Zero Waste to Landfill program.

“Cox locations in the NERC member states have implemented comprehensive waste diversion programs, led public engagement campaigns, and participated actively in environmental cleanups. The result is that their facilities have achieved an average 50 percent waste diversion rate,” says NERC Vice President Kaley Laleker, who also is with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

In the category of Young Professional, Alex Williams of Blue Earth Compost, Hartford, Connecticut, took the top honor.

Isner says, “Blue Earth is a food scrap collection company based in Hartford, Connecticut. Alex and his family have grown this business from a small collection program of 20 homes to close to 150 homes and 35 businesses. Alex has done every job in the business from accounting to food scrap collection, and with the growth of the business has been able to create three jobs for his community.”

In the Public Sector category, Molly Ettenborough, recycling and sustainability manager for Newburyport, Massachusetts, earned the award. Ettenborough was recognized for her leadership on zero waste initiatives, the Newburyport Organics Pilot and the Recycle IQ program.

In addition to the Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award winners, NERC recognized the following organizations and individuals for their work:

  • Chittenden Solid Waste District in Vermont for leadership in food waste reduction strategies and programming;
  • Casella Recycling for its recycling sustainability program and efforts to make glass recycling viable;
  • Organix Solutions for its efforts to promote curbside collection of organics; and
  • Alisha Raby Cefalo, city of Lynn, Massachusetts, for her leadership in implementing the Recycling IQ program in the city of Lynn.

NERC also acknowledged the work and contributions of:

  • Samsung;
  • The Carton Council;
  • Ray Dube, Sustainability Manager, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Northern New England;
  • Keurig Green Mountain;
  • Stephen Greene, Lowell Folk Festival, Massachusetts;
  • NRRA School CLUB, New Hampshire; and
  • Dominick Cingari, Grade A Shop Rite, Connecticut.

NERC is a multistate nonprofit organization that conducts research, projects, training and outreach on issues associated with source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and environmentally preferable purchasing.


Unifi recycles 10 billion bottles

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:35
In honor of America Recycles Day Nov. 15, Unifi Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, has announced it has recycled more than 10 billion plastic bottles and has a target to recycle 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion bottles by 2022.

The company manufactures Repreve, with fibers made from recycled materials, including plastic bottles.

To recognize customers who have partnered for this achievement, Unifi has launched the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards. The awards will acknowledge companies that are committed to manufacturing sustainable products with Repreve performance fibers.

“Reaching 10 billion bottles is an impressive milestone, and by committing to recycle an additional 20 billion by 2022, we will continue to expand our portfolio of Repreve-based performance products,” says Kevin Hall, CEO of Unifi. “With nearly 70 percent of plastic bottles in the United States going to landfills, America Recycles Day is a perfect time to remind people to recycle more and buy sustainable products. Repreve provides a solution for plastic bottles as long as they make it to a recycling bin.”

To put this achievement into perspective, Unifi says to consider this:

  • 10 billion bottles can fill the Empire State Building 7.2 times;
  • 10 billion bottles placed end to end can circle the earth more than 50 times; and
  • The recycled bottles used to create Repreve fiber, filament and chip instead of virgin equivalent can save enough energy to power 95,000 homes for one year.

Unifi says it saw an opportunity to incorporate recycled plastic bottles into Repreve, providing a “sustainable solution to brands and retailers.”

Hall adds, “Unifi could not have reached the 10 billion bottle milestone without the commitment from our customers to provide earth-friendly products, and the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards give us the opportunity to thank our partners who helped make it possible. A vast difference can be made if more companies recognize the impact they have on our planet and take steps to reduce it. The Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards are meant to honor and inspire companies to source responsibly and take sustainability strategies to the next level.”

The 2017 winners of the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards will be announced at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver, Jan. 25-28. 


ISRI, Keep America Beautiful host State of Recycling Forum

News from Recycling Today - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:25
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful, Stamford, Connecticut, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, are hosting the 2017 State of Recycling Forum in Washington, which is presented in partnership with Keurig Green Mountain. The topic for this year’s forum is Plastics: Improving Quality. Driving Demand.

Now in its third year, the State of Recycling Forum is hosted annually by Keep America Beautiful and ISRI to provide an overview of the current opportunities and challenges facing recycling in the United States, as well as addressing critical topics that impact and can be influenced by industry stakeholders, government and individuals. The forum is held in conjunction with America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful dedicated to raising awareness and advancing recycling in the U.S.

ISRI says a number of objectives have been outlined for this year’s forum, which can be seen via livestream at www.isri.org/sor#.WgxailWnGUn:

  • raising awareness and a deeper understanding of recycling, specifically challenges for plastics recycling, progress being made as well as opportunities and solutions for improving the quality of plastics recovered and market demand for those materials;
  • identifying priority actions for stakeholder collaboration to advance plastic recycling; and
  • raising awareness among the broader recycling stakeholder community through an online forum.

The forum will be simulcast live from 11:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. EST through ISRI's website:

  • 11:30 a.m., Welcoming Remarks;
  • Noon – 1 p.m., Current State of Plastics Recycling;
  • 1:15 – 2:15 p.m., Innovations within Plastics Recycling; and
  • 2:15 – 3:15 p.m., Engaging Consumers in Recycling and Buying Recycled Content. 

A full agenda is available here

“Much is being done to capture more recyclable plastics,” says Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “In celebrating the 20th anniversary of America Recycles Day, it’s a moment in time for us to look closely at the current state of the recycling infrastructure, as well as innovations being made to process and develop new markets for recycled materials, especially plastics. Keep America Beautiful is pleased to host this important forum examining the state of the industry with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, in partnership with Keurig Green Mountain.”

“We have made great strides in expanding the recycling stream through innovation, education and determination since the first America Recycles Day 20 years ago,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Today, we face new challenges and opportunities, particularly when it comes to plastics recycling. From developing new markets to technology to process new material, there is much being done. We are proud to partner with Keep America Beautiful and other organizations to advance recycling and encourage the public to take an active role.”