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SteelMint Scrap Conference: Ebbs and flows

News from Recycling Today - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 19:54
As in previous years, 2017 will yield changes in which nations are buying or selling the most ferrous scrap. According to speakers at SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia, held in September in Bangkok, eager buyers in several nations are ready to absorb the excess scrap of other nations.

Zain Nathani of the Mumbai-based Nathani Group of Companies commented that the European Union exported the most ferrous scrap in 2016, with some 17.8 million metric tons, followed by the United States, which shipped 13 million metric tons. Japan, said Nathani, was the third-largest exporter. Although China was a net importer in 2016, said Nathani, it’s possible it could join the list of 10 largest exporters in 2017, based on its recent trading activities with nations such as South Korea and Vietnam.

The largest importers of ferrous scrap in 2016, Nathani noted, were led by Turkey followed by Mexico, Taiwan and India. The global demand for ferrous scrap “is expected to be quite strong going forward,” he commented. Nathani said Pakistan and Bangladesh “will surpass India [in import volumes]—they’ll really be driving the South Asia market going forward.”

Nathani said Turkey will continue to be the world’s largest importer and, on the pricing front, “will be the price setter.” Buyers in India, he said, are at risk “of being completely priced out.”

Jayesh Jain of India’s MTC Group said that company is making investments, including the installation of an auto shredder, to increase India’s domestic collection of ferrous scrap. He said more than half of India’s growing steelmaking production is scrap-based, split between electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and induction furnaces.

With a national recycling policy being formulated that should encourage investment, Jain said MTC has plans “for at least 10” auto shredding plants. India also is producing a rapidly increasing number of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), Jain remarked.

Yogesh Bedi of India’s Tata Steel said that company is launching a recycling division—Tata Recycling—based in part to help execute the national recycling policy being formulated by India’s Ministry of Steel.

Bedi said India’s scrap industry currently is “very fragmented.” ELVs, said Bedi, are most often handled by an informal sector that uses environmentally unsound methods that also create health risks for workers and nearby residents.

Bedi said the anticipated new policy should include “norms” that must be followed by dismantlers and incentives for ELV owners to take vehicles to recyclers who follow these norms, rather than to the informal sector.

Market dynamics are different in Japan, according to Gaku Ito of Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd., which Ito described as Japan’s largest EAF steelmaker. Ito said from 1964 to the present, Japan has accumulated a sizable reservoir of ferrous scrap, and the nation has been a net exporter since 1991. “We now export 8 million metric tons per year,” he commented.

Thus, said Gaku, Tokyo Steel is investing to grow the market share for EAF production in Japan, which currently stands at 22 percent. Among the drivers for those investments is Japan’s commitment to the Paris climate change accord to limit carbon emissions. “Japan has to raise its [EAF] ratio to 80 percent by 2050” as part of that commitment, he said.

Tokyo Steel is developing and deploying technology to use lower grades of ferrous scrap, said Ito, and is planning to raise its EAF output from about 2 million metric tons in 2016 to 6 million by 2030 and 10 million by 2050.

SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia was Sept. 11-12 at the Avani Riverside Hotel in Bangkok.

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Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics collaborates to make trash bags from recycled plastic scrap

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:30
Midland, Michigan-based Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of DowDuPont Materials Science, through its participation in the Trash Free Seas Alliance, and in collaboration with flexible packaging manufacturer Bemis Co. Inc. and Canada-based converter Polykar Inc., have developed a trash bag made from postindustrial plastic scrap. The bags will be used to clean up beaches around the United States during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup event Sept. 16, 2017.

“As the largest provider of plastics in the packaging industry, Dow is a global advocate for resource recovery technologies,” says Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “We’ve taken on the challenge with Bemis and Polykar, alongside the Trash Free Seas Alliance, to increase postindustrial recycling and extend sustainable industrial practices to address a worldwide problem. We know that if we work together, we can find a way to recover plastic waste and use it to make an even a bigger impact on reducing marine debris.”

The recycled trash bags are opening doors for new, previously difficult-to-recycle packaging formats to enter the recycling stream, say the companies. To create the trash bags, Bemis collected the postindustrial plastic scrap and sent them to Polykar, which used its plastic recycling machines to combine the reclaimed plastics with Dow’s RETAIN technology. The resulting material is a recycled plastic resin, which Polykar used to manufacture the bags.

Dow and the other collaborators released a video detailing the process to manufacture trash bags, and reinforce their longstanding commitment to reducing marine debris. It can be viewed here.

Dow is a founding member of The Trash Free Seas Alliance, a global initiative led by the Ocean Conservancy, which unites industry, science and conservation leaders committed to identifying the causes and developing land-based solutions to prevent waste from entering the ocean seas. The coalition issued a report identifying the major pathways of plastic leakage into the ocean and solutions to properly concentrate and treat the plastic waste before it makes its way into the ocean.

“It’s an exciting step forward to be able to use recycled materials to collect and properly dispose of marine debris,” says Emily Woglom, executive vice president at Ocean Conservancy. “This work is just one example of the type of concrete solutions that we have identified and worked towards with our partners in the Trash Free Seas Alliance. Stopping waste before it ever reaches the ocean through proper waste management practices is key to solving this global problem.”

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics focuses on high growth market segments in flexible and rigid food packaging, secondary and tertiary packaging, personal hygiene and medical products, and adhesive applications. One of the largest polyethylene (PE) producers in the world, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics says it is a leading innovator and collaborator across the value chain on solutions for better packaging.

DowDuPont Materials Science, a business division of DowDuPont combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress.  DowDuPont Materials Science’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, industrials and consumer care, according to the company. DowDuPont intends to separate the Materials Science division into an independent, publicly traded company.

Headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, Bemis Co. Inc. is a major supplier of flexible and rigid plastic packaging used by leading food, consumer products, health care and other companies worldwide. Founded in 1858, Bemis reported 2016 net sales from continuing operations of $4 billion. The company says it has a strong technical base in polymer chemistry, film extrusion, coating and laminating, printing and converting.

Co-founded in 1987 by Elyse Damdjee and Aziz Karim, Polykar is a family business based in Saint-Laurent, Québec. The company began as a manufacturer of industrial garbage bags, and today has more than 100 employees and annual sales of $50 million. Polykar has become a leading Canadian manufacturer of PE film, certified compostable bags and bulk food packaging and has developed expertise in plastics recycling. The company holds ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2004 certifications as well as the highest distinction (Gold) from Recyc-Québec’s ICI ON RECYCLE! program.

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CompuCycle Inc. adds electronics services management

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:19
CompuCycle, a Houston-based provider of end-of-life IT asset management services, has expanded its focus to work with local, national and global corporations for electronics services management.

The company says the purpose of this new approach is to fully manage IT assets for these organizations so that IT staff can devote their efforts to creating more efficient and streamlined internal processes, thus generating further revenue for businesses.

“CompuCycle will continue to uphold high standards across all aspects of our business as we develop programs and services designed to cater to the needs of our clients.”

As part of its new electronic services management, CompuCycle says it will offer the following services: IT asset inventory and deployment, on-site inventory and validation, on-site hard drive inventory and shredding, on-site mobile device inventory and data erasure, data center decommissioning, IT asset decommissioning and reinstallation, IT asset storage, lease return management and other services.

“CompuCycle was founded out of the need for secure, electronics recycling solutions,” says Kelly Hess, CEO of CompuCycle. “We remain committed to our mission of destroying our clients’ confidential data and ensuring customers’ product are managed and controlled professionally throughout the entire process, which is why we’ve decided to expand our services offering. This comprehensive approach of recycling and electronic services means IT departments can function more proficiently and businesses can become more profitable.”

Clive Hess, executive vice president of CompuCycle, adds, “CompuCycle will continue to uphold high standards across all aspects of our business as we develop programs and services designed to cater to the needs of our clients.”

In business for 21 years, CompuCycle has earned various certifications, including becoming Houston’s first R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) certified business in 2011. CompuCycle also received its ISO 14001:2004 accreditation for environmental compliance and was recognized for its dedication to occupational health and safety management, receiving a OHSAS 18001:2007 certification in 2014.

CompuCycle is an active member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, and served on the board of the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR), whose mission is to increase overall recycling rates throughout the state.

CompuCycle, a woman-owned business, focuses on refurbishing equipment for resale, reuse of components and environmentally responsible electronic recycling solutions for businesses.

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Andela Products sells glass pulverizer system to St. Barts

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:29
In July of 2017 St. Barts in the French Caribbean followed the example of several nearby islands and installed an Andela glass pulverizer to transform glass bottles into reusable aggregate, according to Andela Products, based in Richfield Springs, New York.

The company adds that Cumberland County, Tennessee; Dare County, North Carolina; Horry County, South Carolina; and Stutzman Refuse, South Hutchinson, Kansas, are among its North American customers that have developed glass recycling programs using the Andela pulverizer system.

The company supplies turnkey system packages with capacities ranging from 1 to 20 tons per hour. Each package includes Andela’s metering surge hopper, glass pulverizer, screening trommel, control panel and the necessary conveyors.

The Andela glass pulverizer system allows for the selective reduction of glass using patented flexible impactor technology, according to the company. This generates a sand or gravel glass product that can be handled safely, while any nonglass (paper labels, metal caps, corks, etc.) remain intact for further processing. 

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Diversified Plastics acquires Atlanta Rotomolding

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:03
Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI), a rotational molder based out of Latta, South Carolina, has announced its acquisition of Atlanta Rotomolding Inc., Decatur, Georgia. The purchase will facilitate the company’s plans to add more custom rotational molding services.

While DPI has offered custom rotomolding for years, the company says this expansion also allows it to increase its manufacturing of rotomolding products for other firms more efficiently and to provide better service.

In 2016, DPI added a 35,000-square-foot plant in Union Point, Georgia, giving it two facilities, as it expanded into manufacturing large waste dumpsters and recycling containers.

Equipment from Atlanta Rotomolding will move from Decatur to Union Point. It will be installed in a 15,000-square-foot building.

DPI says it will use its 35,000-square-foot facility in Union Point for manufacturing and production of new rotomolding products, while the 15,000-square-foot facility will be used for shipping and storage.

DPI makes custom and standard material handling carts and plastic storage containers, specializing in material handling carts for the industrial, textile, hospitality, laundry, agricultural and marine industries and in waste and recycling plastic containers for restaurants, sports venues and stadiums, apartment and condominium complexes and corporate offices.

The company’s products include bulk material handling carts, plastic utility carts, laundry carts, bulk containers, tote boxes, round containers, spring platform trucks, elevated carts, easy access carts, tilt trucks and more.

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BIR Plastics Committee session outlines opportunities in India

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 06:36
The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Brussels, hosts the 2017 World Recycling Convention (Round-Table Sessions, Oct. 14-16 at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave Hotel, New Delhi. At the plenary meeting of BIR Plastics Committee Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, chaired by Surendra Borad Patawari attendees have the opportunity to listen to representatives from Indian companies Reliance Industries Ltd. and Banyan Nation.

Guest speaker Rajesh Gauba is manager for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling and product sustainability at Reliance Industries Ltd., India’s most profitable and largest publicly traded company. Reliance Industries, a conglomerate holding company headquartered in Mumbai, combines petrochemical, refining, oil and gas-related operations as its core business, with other divisions including cloth, retail, telecommunications and special economic zone (SEZ) development.

Gauba has been with Reliance for more than 20 years and, before his current assignment, headed the company’s Business Analysis Group for Polymer and Chemicals. He will be speaking on “PET recycling: Sustainability 'sweet-spot.’”

Guest speaker is Mani Vajipey is co-founder and CEO of Banyan Nation, which the BIR describes as “an informal sector-inclusive high-technology social venture” that aims to solve the problems in the Indian recycling value chain through technology innovations that encourage source segregation and maximize landfill diversion. Banyan Nation has changed the way India looks at plastics, recycling and waste management. Its mission is to produce cleaner, safer and cheaper plastic that compels brands to use more recycled than virgin plastic for their product and packaging needs.

Before founding Banyan Nation, Vajipey worked at Qualcomm Inc. in California on the design, development, testing and commercialization activities of mobile technologies for the Apple iPad and iPhone product lines.

He will deliver a presentation titled “Challenges and opportunities in the plastics recycling business in India.”

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ZenRobotics now sorts bags

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 06:06
Helsinki-based ZenRobotics says its ZenRobotics Recycler (ZRR) now not only sorts construction and demolition (C&D) debris but also offers a solution for municipal solid waste (MSW): bag sorting for source-separated MSW.

The company’s first step toward the MSW market is a ZRR that picks plastic bags weighing as much as 30 kilograms (66 pounds) by color. The ZRR also makes it easy to recover unopened bags from other loose municipal solid waste, the company says.

As a bag sorting application, a ZRR3 recovers up to 18 fractions in one spot in a single pass, using three successive arms, according to ZenRobotics. The system can do a positive, a negative or a hybrid sort, with throughput of up to 50 metric tons (55 short tons) per hour.

Furthermore, the company adds, a variety of other materials can be sorted with the same system at the same time. A ZRR3 with three arms can make up to 6,000 picks per hour.

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nejRkJH_1_8 to see the ZRR in action. 

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SteelMint Scrap Conference: Fewer ships at sea

News from Recycling Today - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 01:51
The year 2012 may have marked a high tide for ship scrapping volumes, but vessel owners are still finding reasons to scrap portions of their fleets. According to one speaker at SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia, held in Bangkok in September, the average age of scrapped cargo vessels has grown increasingly younger.

Jamie Dalzell, who works in Singapore for obsolete ship broker GMS, said the frenzied buildup of cargo fleets in the opening decade of this century continues to yield numerous ships for recycling, and some of those ships conducted very few voyages.

“In 2016 we scrapped a 2010-built vessel,” said Dalzell, who added that the case was part of a trend in the sector. He said when he started in the ship dismantling industry about 20 years ago, “the average age of vessels used to be 30 years. Now, we are regularly scrapping ships that are 10 or 15 years old.”

In 2016 and 2017, the slumping energy sector has meant that tanker ships and offshore oil platforms have become more commonly scrapped, according to Dalzell. The capacity of the ocean freight sector in 2016, despite the recycling activity, still grew by 2.2 percent overall.

Dalzell said the majority of the world’s cargo vessel dismantling continues to take place in five nations: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Turkey. Activity in each of those nation’s has become “greener,” said Dalzell, thanks to operators seeking to comply with the Hong Kong Convention for environmental and worker safety standards.

Sanjeev Garg of United Arab Emirates-based Indicaa Group expressed less certainty than Dalzell that the volume of scrapped ships will remain strong into 2018. “The flow [of vessels to scrap] has come down; it is decreasing,” stated Garg.

He agreed that environmental and safety standards have improved rapidly, pointing to a big difference between “what ship breaking is now and what it used to be.”

Garg said the Indian subcontinent will remain a global leader in ship recycling because of the “gift of nature” that is the continental shelf along those nations’ coasts. The shelf enable gravity to play a role n easily tipping vessels so they can be dismantled.

SteelMint’s 2017 Steel Scrap & Raw Materials Conference Asia was Sept. 11-12 at the Avani Riverside Hotel in Bangkok.

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Hurricane Irma forces 2017 REW Conference to adapt event

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:48
The past week has been a difficult time for the state of Florida and many in the southeastern U.S. Relief agencies, governments, residents and industry continue the cleanup and rebuilding process as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Unfortunately, southwest Florida and Fort Myers, Florida, where the 2017 Renewable Energy from Waste (REW) Conference was to be held Oct. 2-4, was one of the areas most affected by the disaster. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, was scheduled to host a facility tour and give a presentation during the conference. 

The Recycling Today Media Group, the REW Conference organizer, has decided that because of the storm damage and ongoing recovery efforts, it will change the format to a virtual conference for 2017. This means attendees will be able to participate from their own offices virtually, avoiding travel to the affected region.

Attendees will have access to the same great educational sessions and will be able to interact with presenters. The REW Virtual Conference will be Oct. 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST.

“Our hearts go out to the families and businesses who have been affected by Hurricane Irma,” says Jim Keefe, publisher of the Recycling Today Media Group. “To show our support for the recovery efforts, we’ll be donating a portion of the proceeds from the 2017 REW Conference toward hurricane relief.”

Those who have already registered for the in-person event will be able to attend the virtual event. As well, anyone who had not registered for the in-person event but is interested in taking part in the online event can register here.

“It is a critical time in the waste industry,” Keefe says. “As natural disasters such as Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have produced an enormous amount of waste that needs to be managed, shifts in political policy and new import limitations in China also are having major impacts on the waste industry. Now more than ever, alternatives to traditional material outlets are being considered, and waste conversion is one of those options.”

The Recycling Today Media Group, a business unit of GIE Media, is the publisher of Waste Today, Recycling Today and Construction & Demolition Recycling magazines, as well as accompanying websites, e-newsletters and events. 

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NWRA submits comments to the World Trade Organization on China’s proposed scrap ban

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:28
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) submitted comments Aug. 31, 2017, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) of the People’s Republic of China. The Arlington, Virginia-based association joins other industry groups in making similar comments.

The comments state, “This ban will significantly impact the recycling industry in the United States as well as on the Chinese manufacturing that relies on these recycled materials. We respectfully request that the Chinese government reconsider this ban. Further, we support high quality standards for recyclable materials and support policies to achieve them. Ultimately, we believe that by using high quality standards, China ensures that its manufacturing sector has the raw materials needed to continue to produce goods while ensuring that the recycling industry remains viable into the future."

The comments also list “Items of Concern” detailing which specific materials the NWRA says would affect the health of commercial and residential recycling, including polymers of ethylene, polymers of propylene, other plastics and unsorted waste paper.

“These materials represent the residential and commercial recycling sector which our members support,” the comments state. NWRA cites “a significant amount of these materials are exported, mainly to China. In 2016, approximately 41 percent of paper recovered in the North America was exported, with about a quarter of recyclable paper collected in the United States exported to Chinese mills. Similarly, over 20 percent of post-consumer bottles and 33 percent of non-bottle rigid plastics from the U.S. were exported in 2015."

The comments also has sections that cover the uncertainty regarding the ban, support for high quality materials, recycling benefits, recycling benefits and problems resulting from this ban

NWRA provides the following recommendations:

    Enforce specifications for recyclable materials – NWRA supports bans on waste materials. However, the recyclable materials exported to China identified by the ban are valuable commodities that are used in the manufacturing on new products. We recommend that China enforce specifications on quality rather than outright ban these materials.

    Clarify definitions– NWRA requests that China clarify the scope of the ban so that we can understand exactly which materials are affected. Clear definitions and specifications for all materials affected are necessary to be able to disseminate information to recyclers for compliance. The lack of such definitions has led to significant confusion about what materials remain eligible for export.

    Delay the implementation – Should China elect to implement the ban, we request that the timeline be adjusted to allow for the development of alternative markets and solutions. Rather than implementing the bans by the end of the year, which could have a catastrophic impact on the United States’ recycling infrastructure, we request that the ban be implemented over a period of time. We recommend that the phase-out occur over a five-year period.

The full comments can be found here.

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Tomra celebrates recycling loyalty program’s one-year anniversary

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 12:10
Tomra, a Shelton, Connecticut-based manufacturer of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for collecting and recycling cans and bottles, has announced it is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its recycling loyalty program Tomra Makes Change.

Through Tomra Makes Change, the company says it has seen a significant increase in container redemption — members have recycled more than 30,000,000 containers through RVMs since its inception in September 2016.

More than 40,000 recyclers have joined Tomra Makes Change, further demonstrating that incentives work to motivate recycling behavior, says the company. In addition to redeemed rewards, a considerable number of charitable donations also have been made.

“We are thrilled with the number of people that have joined Tomra Makes Change. This reaffirms that consumers are engaged in redeeming when they understand the benefits to the environment, and when the process adds value to their lives,” says Ernie Argenio, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Tomra North America. “Redeeming containers through RVMs ensures that they stay in the material loop and can be recycled into new bottles, reducing our reliance on natural resources and reducing litter in our streets, oceans and landfills.”

The company developed Tomra Makes Change to further improve and reward consumer participation in deposit return programs through its new generation of RVMs. The Tomra Makes Change program was designed to get people more engaged in redeeming and recycling, the company says. To date, Tomra has 498 RVMs connected to the Tomra Makes Change program in the U.S, which are dispersed in more than 72 stores.

Program members receive one point for each container returned through a participating Tomra RVM. These points can be redeemed for rewards or donated to various charitable organizations. To be a part of the program, RVM users can create an account online at TomraMakesChange.com or through the Tomra ReAct mobile app.

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LiuGong chairman named to board of Beijing university

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 11:48
China-based LiuGong has announced its Chairman Zeng Guang’an has been named a board member of Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU).

The school is one of the major Chinese universities in cultivating high-level talent for foreign languages and intercultural communications. BFSU held a ceremony in the morning of September 11, 2017, where talent cultivation as well as the cooperative study on international and regional affairs were discussed. The company says this appointment further emphasizes LiuGong’s commitment to global expansion and high-level talent recruitment.

Chairman Zeng also was asked to speak to the 2017 incoming BFSU freshmen during their welcome ceremony. Peng Long, dean of BFSU, welcomed Chairman Zeng and wished a bright future for both LiuGong and BFSU.

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Ripple Glass partners with Bridging the Gap, seeks volunteers

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:03
Ripple Glass, Kansas City, Missouri, has announced it is working with Bridging the Gap and is seeking volunteers to walk neighborhoods and hang fliers on residents’ doors that detail Ripple’s glass recycling program expansion.

Ripple Glass says it has recycled more than 1 billion bottles and jars since 2009 and has more than 100 bin locations in the Kansas City metropolitan region for glass collection. The company also has glass collection bins in in Lawrence, Kansas; Branson, Missouri; and Omaha, Nebraska.

In partnering with Bridging the Gap, a Kansas City-based organization that provides environmental education and volunteer action through more than 1,500 volunteers annually, Ripple Glass says its goal is to spread the word about its expanding glass recycling program. Ripple Glass recently added its purple collection bins at IKEA in Merriam, Kansas; Unity of Kansas City North, Kansas City; and Cosentino’s Price Chopper, Kansas City.

The company is seeking what it calls “Amglassador Volunteers” — volunteers to spread the word about its new glass recycling bin locations.

Ripple Glass explains, “Why BTG (Bridging the Gap)? Well, back in the 2000s BTG received a grant from the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) to help Owens Corning, Boulevard Brewing Co. and the Kansas City Star be ‘more green.’ At the time, BTG Programs Director Stacia Stelk planted the seed that Boulevard’s discarded glass bottles could become feedstock for Owens Corning insulation. Jump forward to 2009: Stacia was hired as Ripple Glass’ executive director to fulfill her vision of creating one of the nation’s largest byproduct synergy efforts and to launch glass recycling in Kansas City.”

Ripple says its and Bridging the Gap’s roots are “closely weaved together, which seems poignant since our headquarters are on the same floor of the Historic Hobbs Building in the West Bottoms. This close proximity planted another seed in Stacia’s mind: Why not capitalize on Bridging the Gap’s community building expertise and form a partnership to educate residents about glass recycling?”

Bridging the Gap is seeking volunteers aged 18 years old and up to canvass neighborhoods in pairs of two and hang door fliers about Ripple’s new bins located at IKEA, Unity of Kansas City North and Cosentino’s Price Chopper. Volunteers will receive perks for helping, including a free Ripple/Bridging the Gap T-shirt, an invitation to a private party at Boulevard Brewing in October and an “Amglassador Volunteer” pint glass.

For more information, visit www.bridgingthegap.org/ripple-glass-partnership or www.rippleglass.com/amglassadors

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Keep America Beautiful and EREF partner to reduce school-based food waste

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:02
Keep America Beautiful, a national community improvement nonprofit organization based in Stamford, Connecticut, and the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), a nonprofit organization with the mission is to advance scientific research and education for sustainable solid waste management practices based in Raleigh, North Carolina, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines an agreement to join efforts on quantifying food waste in K-12 schools. In addition, the MOU outlines the organizations’ aim to provide tools and resources that help reduce school-based food waste.

Keep America Beautiful and EREF say they will work together on areas of mutual interest to collect and analyze information about the amount of food waste generated at these institutions; foster education and awareness about how food waste is generated and can be minimized by K-12 schools nationally; and develop and share best practices and other resources to reduce food waste generation and to divert  materials from landfills. This partnership supports EREF’s School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP), a program that quantifies food waste and other related waste generated in K-12 school cafeterias nationally.

“At Keep America Beautiful, we strive to educate and empower future generations of community and environmental stewards,” says Brenda Pulley, senior vice president of recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Working together with EREF, we will gain a better understanding of the quantity and quality of food waste streams at schools and how to tackle reducing food waste.”

As part of this collaboration, EREF will help raise awareness of Keep America Beautiful’s RecycleBowl program, the national in-school recycling competition for K-12 schools, with specific focus on the food waste category of the competition. Schools can register now for the fall RecycleBowl competition, which begins on Oct. 16. In turn, Keep America Beautiful will support EREF’s recruitment of eligible K-12 schools for its SCrAP program as well as provide other available waste data for inclusion in appropriate reports.

“Education is a core component of EREF’s mission, and an understanding of waste generation in schools can provide valuable insight into how waste practices and education can be improved,” says Bryan Staley, CEO and president of EREF. “We hope the program will enlighten schools regarding not only food waste, but all discarded materials, including recycling. Partnering with Keep America Beautiful will allow EREF to engage schools with a strong interest in more efficiently managing their waste.”
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Aquafil invests $10M in US carpet recycling facility

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 09:32
Trento, Italy-based Aquafil, a leading manufacturer of Nylon 6, will open its first U.S. carpet recycling facility in Phoenix. Aquafil Carpet Recycling (ACR) No. 1 will recycle Nylon 6 from carpets back into raw material, further enhancing its Econyl Regeneration System, which the company says is the only technology in the world capable of regenerating Nylon 6 from carpets and other end-of-life products, including fishing nets.

Made from 100 percent recycled nylon, Aquafil’s Econyl yarn is used to produce a wide range of textile products, such as sportswear, swimwear and carpets. In 2007, Aquafil established the Energy & Recycling business unit to boost the sustainable activities of the Aquafil Group. Thanks to its research and development activities, the Econyl Regeneration System was created.

Once operational in 2018, ACR No. 1 will have the capacity to collect and process 35 million pounds of carpet per year.

“We’re not comfortable with the status quo—in this case that less than 5 percent of carpet waste is recycled,” says Aquafil CEO Giulio Bonazzi. “We know Nylon 6 waste can be powerful with the proper technology, and we’re honored to call Phoenix home to that power with ACR No. 1.”

Carpet recycling has historically been a challenge because of the many different materials used and with designs that do not allow for easy separation. Through the ECONYL Regeneration System, Aquafil avoids the use of petroleum, reduces carbon emissions and gives material an infinite number of lives without sacrificing quality, the company says.

ACR No. 1 is expected to create 50 new jobs and will repurpose material that is otherwise destined for landfill, getting Aquafil closer to its goal of producing ECONYL yarn from 100 percent postconsumer material.

“We want to recycle as much carpet as possible by establishing a number of these facilities throughout the U.S.,” says Bonazzi. “This activity will be closely connected to our fishing nets recycling efforts, which diverts millions of pounds of waste from our oceans.”

Econyl yarn is in high demand with carpet and textile manufacturers, as well as with apparel brands, Aquafil says. To date, Aquafil has partnered with more than 160 brands, including Adidas, Volcom and Stella McCartney, along with carpet manufacturers, such as Interface, Milliken, Mannington and Tarkett Group.

The Aquafil Group has a presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2,700 staff at 14 plants in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, the U.S., Thailand and China.

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Restaurant Action Alliance of NYC files lawsuit against de Blasio Administration

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 09:20
Restaurant Action Alliance of New York City (RAANYC), which is an organization composed of minority restaurant owners, managers and workers, and a coalition of restaurant owners joined foam manufacturers, recyclers and food service industry leaders to announce the filing of a lawsuit against the de Blasio Administration that seeks to block the city’s second attempt to ban polystyrene foam. The city claims that polystyrene foam is not recyclable, but the coalition say postconsumer foam is being recycled across the globe.

The complaint says the city cherrypicked critical information to suit its narrative in crafting the latest Department of Sanitation Determination (DSNY) issued May 12 and flouted a previous directive from the New York State Supreme Court.

“Once again, Mayor de Blasio and his Sanitation Commissioner have ignored the facts confirmed by environmental scientists, food service manufacturers, recycling industry participants and independent experts that prove expanded polystyrene foam is recyclable– facts already found by a New York court but ignored by city officials,” says Randy Mastro, the lead attorney for the coalition’s lawsuit. “The de Blasio Administration should comply with the court’s directive, drop its latest misguided attempt to ban soft foam and implement the comprehensive recycling program proposed and financially supported by industry participants. Indeed, a comprehensive program recycling all polystyrene will be more environmentally effective and economically feasible than a limited soft foam ban alone, saving the city millions of dollars in landfill costs and protecting the many smaller restaurant businesses that depend upon cost effective soft foam food service items to survive.”

Mastro says the coalition is prepared to defend vigorously its suit against the city.

The lawsuit, which was filed in State Supreme Court, urges the city to forego its plans to ban foam in early November and instead establish a postconsumer recycling program.

In September 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that foam is recyclable and halted the de Blasio Administration’s previous attempt to ban foam products. The court also directed the city to reissue a determination consistent with its findings.

According to a study by the independent Berkeley Research Group, Emeryville, California, the cost of foam alternatives for businesses and consumers is more than $51 million annually.

“Foam containers are essential to the operations of Caribbean, Asian and other ethnic restaurants. In fact, for many of us, 40 to 60 percent of our business model relies on takeout orders. If the city moves forward with this ban, it will surely increase our costs of doing business at a time when many small restaurant owners are fighting for survival. We urge the mayor to reconsider his foam ban,” says Akisha Freeman, president of the RAANYC.

Freeman says that the RAANYC supports Intro 1480, legislation in the city council that would establish a curbside program to recycle polystyrene foam across the city.

“Once again, New York City is ignoring the facts that prove polystyrene foam can be recycled—a denial that is costing the city a significant economic windfall through a combination of recycling revenue and landfill avoidance,” Alan Shaw, president of Plastics Recycling Inc., Indianapolis, says. “We urge Mayor de Blasio to consider the facts of foam recycling.” 

A proposed ban would adversely impact New York City’s finances by $11.2 million annually in added procurement costs for plastic foam substitutes while continuing the city’s costs to landfill foam, the alliance says. The proposed ban covers a more than 20 percent of polystyrene waste, which means nearly 80 percent will continue to be shipped and landfilled.

Moving to a 100 percent recycling program would save millions of dollars in avoided landfill costs and generate millions of dollars in revenue annually, the alliance says. In addition, a curbside polystyrene foam recycling program would help achieve the mayor’s OneNYC goals for zero waste and greenhouse gas reduction.]]>

Appliance Recycling Centers of America acquires GeoTraq

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 09:02
Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA), a utility appliance recycling program provider based in Hopkins, Minnesota, announced it has acquired GeoTraq, a manufacturer of cellular tracking modules designed specifically for the internet of things (IoT) market based in Seattle.

The GeoTraq Cellular Module is designed to allow wireless device integrators to design and manufacture long range IoT products for the commercial, industrial and consumer markets. The GeoTraq acquisition allows ARCA the ability to deploy IoT devices throughout the world to locate, monitor and track the movement of inventory and other assets.

“As we have previously announced, we believe that expanding our offerings beyond our current business model will be highly valuable for shareholders, and therefore, we will continue to seek such opportunities to enhance our product and service offerings,” says Tony Isaac, CEO of ARCA. "The addition of the GeoTraq technology increases our offerings as we enter the IoT market. We believe this acquisition will benefit our overall efficiency and provide GeoTraq access to a large base of new customers."

"Since the founding of GeoTraq, our mission has been to provide an alternative to the wireless technologies currently used in IoT such as Bluetooth, LoRa, ZigBee, LPWAN and NB-IOT,” says Gregg Sullivan, CEO and president of GeoTraq. “We are excited to join the ARCA team and to further enhance shareholder value through our unique and exciting product offering.”
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Wenck opens Denver office

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 09:00
Minneapolis-headquartered Wenck, an environmental, engineering, construction and response services firm, has announced that it has opened a new office in Denver’s Greenwood Village and is planning to add several new employees this year.

Wenck provides consulting services in water resources, environmental, permitting and compliance, green infrastructure, health and safety, site development, construction, emergency response and solid waste.

“We have had a number of new people join the team recently,” says Rod Ambrosie, CEO of the company. “Our new office allows us to better serve our clients in the West and enables us to partner with public and private organizations to develop innovative project solutions that save time, money and resources."

Wenck already has a significant presence in the Fort Collins-area of Colorado since the company acquired Lidstone and Associates in 2015. Lidstone was founded in 1986, and Wenck has leveraged the company’s long-standing clients to fuel new growth in Colorado. With the Denver office, Wenck now has 13 office locations in five states.

Wenck, founded in 1985, employs more than 300 engineers, scientists, construction and response professionals in 13 locations. 

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Closed Loop Foundation releases ‘Recycling of Plastic Film Packaging’ study

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 07:50
The Closed Loop Foundation, which is the independent 501(c)(3) affiliate of Closed Loop Partners, has released a study that it says offers insights on how investors can advance film and flexible packaging recycling. The study, “Recycling of Plastic Film Packaging,” was conducted with support from SC Johnson, Racine, Wisconsin.

Rob Kaplan of Closed Loop Foundation says, “Investors and supply chain leaders are looking for opportunities to catalyze recycling of flexible packaging, but there is a lack of real investable opportunities at the stage of commercialization. We identified a critical need to support the industry and investors by creating a roadmap for investing in flexible packaging.”

The study characterizes the categories of flexible packaging and offers insights on challenges and trends to determine how investors can best affect this sector. Flexible packaging includes materials such as snack bags and pouches, which are growing in the market.

“Even though more film and flexible packaging are produced than plastic bottles, recycling of those products far lags that of bottles—it is important that we capitalize on emerging technologies and develop markets for this under-recovered stream of materials,” says Tim Buwalda, senior consultant at Orlando, Florida-based RSE USA, strategic partner and author of the study. 

According to the study, investors’ key opportunity involves investing in end market development to increase the value of these materials. 

“IntegriCo Composites, an investment of the Closed Loop Fund, is a great example of a United States-based manufacturer that is building the market by sourcing more multilaminate flexible packaging and LDPE (low-density polyethylene) films into the feedstock of its railroad ties,” Kaplan says. 

Additionally, emerging investment opportunities exist in the sorting and processing of flexible packaging, but philanthropic or research funding remains critical to test the most effective solutions and motivate the industry to consider how to incorporate flexible packaging into a thriving recycling system, the Closed Loop Foundation says. 

While retail collection remains a viable way to collect clean polyethylene film bags and wraps for recycling, it will struggle to reach scale, according to the study. Plus, recycling opportunities are needed for other flexible packaging materials. The study recognizes the crucial work of groups like Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF), Dow Energy Bag and material recovery facility (MRF) equipment manufacturers that are testing ways to collect this material through the curbside residential recycling programs to ensure greater quantities of plastic film get recycled. “That is why this study was important—to identify where the investment community could make the most significant impact while avoiding duplication of efforts,” the Closed Loop Foundation says.

“Research such as this shines the light on the current industry and the struggle with getting more flexible film to the curb,” says Kelly M. Semrau, senior vice president of global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability, for SC Johnson. “SC Johnson is committed to finding a solution that brings Ziploc brand bags and other flexible films into the curbside recycling stream. While we know this is a long-term endeavor, there is a way to accomplish this goal.”

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Freight demand returns to Houston, further increasing truck rates

News from Recycling Today - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 06:17
IHS Markit’s Houston office has been releasing periodic updates on the impact of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey on the crude oil, refining and chemical sectors in the Gulf Coast area. The company also has been looking at logistics issues that have resulted from the storm.

According to the company’s summary dated Sept. 13, 2017, major Gulf coast ports have all reopened, though, on an individual basis, Coast Guard mandated restrictions may still be enforced.

IHS Markit reports that the three major Class I railroads in the area—Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway—effectively have restored service on their networks, but delays remain. By Sept. 9, Union Pacific Railroad had reduced the number of miles out of service from 1,750 at the peak of disruption to 50 miles. KCS and BNSF said their Houston area subdivisions were all operational. However, service delays are expected in light of a backlog of freight and reduced train speed limits because of repair work.

Freight demand is returning to Houston as immediate emergency relief gives way to longer-term rebuilding needs, IHS Markit says, which is placing additional pressure on already rising truck rates.

Tightness in the transportation sector impact is being felt nationwide, the firm says. For the week ending Sept. 2, the U.S. average dry van spot market rate posted by DAT Solutions, a load board operator, rose 12 cents to $1.90 per mile. In Dallas, outbound spot truck rates rose 26 cents per mile. On the Dallas-to-Houston lane, however, spot rates increased by $1.60 per mile, IHS Markit notes.

Trucks need fuel to operate, and IHS Markit estimates that 13 of the 20 affected refineries along the Gulf Coast are at or near normal operating rates. Five of the other 7 are actively in the process of restarting or ramping up runs.

“The amount of capacity offline is still significant,” the firm says, adding that it estimates that around 1.7 million barrels per day (b/d) of distillation capacity, or 9 percent of U.S. total, is offline as of Sept. 12. This is down from around 4.8 million b/d (27 percent of U.S. total) at the peak of the flooding, IHS Markit adds.

Because of the amount of refining capacity that remains offline (and perhaps Hurricane Irma-related market jitters), gasoline prices have been slow to decline, the firm says. It has now been nearly two weeks since the peak of Gulf Coast flooding and the NYMEX RBOB (reformulated blendstock for oxygenate blending) spot price remains about 20 percent above its pre-Harvey levels.

IHS says gasoline prices may decline sharply in the coming week as arriving European product cargoes and Hurricane Irma affect demand.

The largest declines are likely to come in the states that saw the greatest late August/early September spikes in pricing, IHS Markit says. East of the Mississippi, markets could see prices decline 5 to 10 cents per gallon per week. The declines could begin in earnest with the first day of autumn, according to the firm.

Florida terminals are being resupplied currently, IHS Markit notes. Marathon’s facilities appear to be open throughout the state, and that company has the most extensive network of logistics in Florida.

A persistently wide Brent-West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price spread indicates that U.S. crude oil markets need more time to return to normal in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, IHS Markit says. The price differential, about $3 per barrel before the storm, is now more than $6, a sign that U.S. crude oil supplies are increasing surplus relative to the international market.

That surplus has emerged as a portion of Gulf Coast refining capacity remains offline (although most facilities are recovering). At the same time, port and pipeline closures earlier this month has caused a disruption in U.S. crude oil exports.

Looking at natural gas liquids, IHS Markit says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published the first weekly propane/propylene inventory post-Hurricane Harvey, which indicate that supplies built by 6.3 million barrels over the week ended Sept. 1.

In the chemicals sector, 10 percent of total U.S. ethylene production is offline currently, and total U.S. ethylene consumption capacity has declined in a similar range, with three or four crackers still idled and at different stages of the startup process. The new ethylene units that were slated to come online over the next six months are expected to be delayed by a minimum of 30 days, IHS Markit reports.

The amount of confirmed propylene production assets offline dropped to 13 percent of chemical grade propylene (CGP) and polymer grade propylene (PGP), with refinery grade (RGP) supply offline also lower at 7 percent. However, IHS Markit reports, nearly 60 percent of assets are either in restarting activities or reduced. RGP production is also returning with refineries in restarting activities and ramping up.

Consumers of propylene and its derivatives have observed a stronger rate of recovery and now seem to be limited by propylene supply. IHS says the propylene market remains difficult to predict given that producers and consumers are down; however, price pressure will be sharply upward from prestorm levels based on stronger derivative capability against limited supply and higher propane costs.

IHS Markit estimates suggest that approximately 24 percent of U.S. polyethylene production capacity remains offline, while another 30 percent of U.S. capacity is operating at reduced rates.

Regarding polypropylene, IHS Markit estimates that 98 percent of North American nameplate capacity is now online. Rail cars are shipping out of the Gulf Coast, but supply issues continue in specific cases where applications require specified grades. “The market is heavily focused on supply over price this month, with a wide range of price premiums for September product,” IHS notes.  

For a complete report from IHS Markit, which is headquartered in London, visit http://bit.ly/2eUZilB

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