Departments - Newsworthy

January 6, 2014
Recycling Today Staff


IP, Balcones strike supply agreement

International Paper (IP), Memphis, Tenn., which bills itself as the world’s largest paper company and one of the largest independent recyclers of paper in the United States, has announced a long-term supply agreement with Balcones Resources Inc., Austin, Texas.

“This agreement with Balcones Resources Inc. will help expand International Paper’s sustainability initiative to increase the recovery of OCC (old corrugated containers) by 15 percent by the year 2020. This material will be used in the company’s production of new corrugated boxes,” according to IP.

Balcones Resources, established in 1994, is a recycling and environmental services holding company based in Austin. The company processes more than 13,000 tons of recyclables each month, placing it among the largest independent recycling companies in the southern U.S. Balcones recently entered into a long-term agreement with the city of Austin to process more than 60 percent of the city’s municipal curbside recyclables.

Thomas A. Cleves, IP vice president and general manager of containerboard and recycling, says, “By working with generators and suppliers to identify and capture new sources of recyclable materials, we’re confident that we can further increase our recovery rates in the coming years.”

IP recovers, processes or brokers more than 6 million tons of scrap paper each year in the U.S. IP operates 23 recycling facilities and also uses collaborations and acquisitions to recover material. By engaging suppliers with economic incentives and long-term agreements, the company says it intends to divert previously unrecovered sources of OCC from the waste stream.



Schnitzer reports quarterly loss

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., Portland, Ore., has reported a loss for its most recent financial quarter, ending Aug. 31, 2013, citing impairments and other charges within its metals recycling division as the reasons. This was the final quarter in Schnitzer’s 2013 fiscal year.

In commentary accompanying its results, the company says challenging market conditions for ferrous scrap resulted in lower export selling prices and reduced sales volumes compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2013 and the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. In addition, purchase prices for raw materials did not decrease as much as selling prices during the quarter because of constrained supply, which contributed to operating margin compression in the company’s metal recycling and auto parts businesses, Schnitzer says.

In the fourth quarter, Schnitzer’s metals recycling business (MRB) took a noncash goodwill impairment charge of $321 million and other asset impairment charges of $13 million. Further, Schnitzer’s MRB reported an adjusted operating loss of $6 per ton that excluded noncash goodwill impairment, other asset impairment charges and restructuring charges. Its adjusted operating income includes an estimated adverse impact of $12 per ton from a combination of average inventory costing and other items related to inventory valuations, costs associated with fire damage at two facilities and bad debt from a customer bankruptcy.

The company’s auto parts business generated operating margins of 7 percent in the fourth quarter before factoring in the impact of new stores opened in fiscal 2013. During the quarter, Schnitzer’s auto parts business incurred $2 million in operating losses related to the new sites, which lowered the division’s operating margin to 4 percent.

Schnitzer’s steel manufacturing business (SMB) reported its best fourth quarter and full year performance since fiscal 2008, generating $2 million of quarterly operating income. The company says the better conditions were driven by slowly improving demand leading to increased sales volumes and by productivity improvements.

Tamara Lundgren, Schnitzer president and CEO, says, “With slowly improving demand for steel driving increased sales volumes and with the benefits of productivity improvements, SMB delivered its best performance since fiscal 2008.”

Ferrous scrap sales volumes of 1.1 million tons in the fourth quarter decreased 7 percent from the third quarter, primarily because of softer export demand. Nonferrous sales volumes of 141 million pounds increased 4 percent sequentially, the company says.

Export customers accounted for 74 percent of Schnitzer’s total ferrous sales volumes in the fourth quarter. Schnitzer shipped ferrous and nonferrous products to 14 countries.



SA Recycling opens new facility

SA Recycling has recently opened a new scrap recycling facility in Santa Maria, Calif. According to the company, the new facility will accept all ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal.

“We’re delighted to mark the debut of our newest recycling center in Santa Maria and hope to inspire local residents to take a look around their homes and property for any old scrap metal items, as doing so may earn them big dollars on the spot,” says George Adams, president of SA Recycling.

“We are taking recycling to a new level by accepting not only aluminum cans, which most people associate with the recycling movement, but also to include all metal items that might be lying around their houses,” adds Adams, referring initially to the Santa Maria location’s status as a California Redemption Value (CRV) aluminum can and plastic and glass bottle collection facility.

Orange, Calif.-based SA Recycling has more than 50 locations in the Southwest region of the United States.



HDPE recycling efforts top 1 billion pounds

The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), both based in Washington, D.C., have released figures showing that plastic bottle recycling increased by 161 million pounds in 2012, driving the total bottle recycling level to 2.8 billion pounds for the year. The figures pushed the plastic bottle recycling rate to 30.5 percent for 2012.

The figures, reported in the recently released “23rd Annual National Postconsumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report,” marks the 23rd consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles returned for recycling, according to the two associations. The number of pounds of used bottles collected in the United States has grown each year since the industry survey began in 1990.

Moore Recycling Associates Inc., Sonoma, Calif., surveyed the reclaimers in the study.

During 2012, the collection of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles increased by 45.3 million pounds to top 1 billion pounds for the first time. The increase pushed the HDPE bottle recycling rate to 31.6 percent.

Steve Russell, ACC vice president of plastics, says, “In the United States, we have the capacity to recycle more used plastics than we are currently collecting, and innovative manufacturers are using these materials in new and exciting ways.”

The survey of plastic bottle recycling also found that the collection of polypropylene (PP) bottles rose to nearly 47 million pounds, an increase of 7.2 percent, with 73 percent of that material processed domestically as PP rather than mixed with other resins. Domestic processing of postconsumer PP bottles increased 14 percent to reach 43.5 million pounds.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and HDPE bottles make up more than 96 percent of the U.S. market for plastic bottles, with PP bottles comprising half of the remaining 4 percent, the associations say.

HDPE bottle exports rose 30 million pounds to 201 million pounds in 2012, while imports of postconsumer HDPE decreased by 35 percent to 33.1 million pounds, the report notes.

Visit http://plastics.americanchemistry. com/Education-Resources/Publications/

2012-National-Post-Consumer-Plastics-Bottle-Recycling-Report.pdf to access the “23rd Annual National Postconsumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report.”



Detroit chooses Rizzo Environmental, ADS for residential recycling program

The city of Detroit has chosen Advanced Disposal Services (ADS) and Rizzo Environmental Services to collect the city’s recyclables. The contract includes biweekly bulk collections.

The city says it expects the move to save it nearly $6 million per year. The total cost for the five-year contracts are expected to be between $23 and $35 million per year.

ADS, headquartered in Point Vedra, Fla., has locations throughout the eastern half of the country. Rizzo, headquartered in Sterling Heights, Mich., serves residents in southeastern Michigan.

“With this contract the city is saving millions and improving services at the same time; this is a win-win for everyone,” says Detroit CEO Gary Brown, who led the committee that reviewed the bid proposals. “Our review process was extremely thorough and competitive. We let the facts drive our decision, and, in the end, the committee concluded that the residents of Detroit are better served by turning over trash collection to private contractors better equipped to provide improved and expanded service,” he says.

Final details of the contract were being negotiated with the ADS and Rizzo Environmental Services as of mid-November, Brown says. However, general contract provisions include:

  • Weekly residential trash collection before 5 p.m.;
  • Citywide single-stream curbside recycling service, which is currently not provided to residents;
  • Biweekly bulk trash collection (currently bulk trash is picked up once per quarter);
  • A new, fuel-efficient fleet of collection trucks to be on the road beginning on day-one of the contract; and,
  • Job offers from ADS and Rizzo for qualified current city employees whose jobs will be eliminated.

Additionally, once the transition to ADS and Rizzo Environmental Services is complete, the city says it plans to sell its fleet of garbage trucks and use the proceeds to fund an effort to clean up some of the worst cases of illegal dumping activity in Detroit’s neighborhoods and school areas.

The committee used a 100-point sourcing process to evaluate bidders based upon innovation, capacity to provide services, experience on similar projects and cost to provide basic service. This process narrowed the seven original bidders down to three finalists. From there, best-and-final negotiations were held and two winners selected.

As of mid-November, Joe Munem, director of government affairs for Rizzo Environmental Services, says he expects the contracts to be signed by the end of 2013.

When the program begins, Rizzo Environmental Services says it will handle 100,000 additional households; the company presently provides service to 270,000 households in Michigan.



Geo-Tech Polymers opens second recycling plant

The plastics recycling company Geo-Tech Polymers, headquartered in Piketon, Ohio, has opened its second recycling facility in Ohio. The new Waverly, Ohio, plant will serve the retail packaging industry.

Geo-Tech says it has gained traction in the market with its ability to remove coatings such as screen printing and labels from plastic substrate materials using Federal Drug Administration- (FDA-) approved detergents. The process can transform decorated plastic scrap into recycled resin comparable with prime material specifications, the company says.

“Geo-Tech solutions appeal to companies that want to generate significant savings by employing green solutions that are smart and effective,” says Doug Gels, Geo-Tech general manager. “With 100,000 square feet of space, we’re able to better support the retail packaging market in their efforts to recycle decorated plastics scrap into high-quality product at considerable savings.”

To support its efforts, the company recently put together a case study that shows examples of companies in several industries yielding savings of more than $1 million in the first year alone through recycling of plastic scrap.

To build the facility, the company received a $460,000 loan from the Pike County (Ohio) Commissioners to help with the costs of purchasing and installing equipment at the Waverly plant, which will create 50 new full-time jobs.

Geo-Tech, through its two Ohio plants, processes 20 million to 30 million pounds of recycled plastics per year. The company, a division of the waste management firm Wastren Advantage Inc., provides solutions for managing hazardous and radioactive materials.



Alliance Steel acquires Minneapolis nonferrous facility

Minneapolis-based Alliance Steel Service, a scrap metal recycling firm that has operated in the upper Midwest for more than 50 years, has acquired EOS Metals, the Minneapolis location of Jack Engle Co., a Los Angeles-based scrap metal recycling company.

Michael Zweigbaum, who purchased Alliance Steel Service from Harold Goldfine in 2005, says the company purchased EOS Metals to diversify and strengthen its operations in the nonferrous sector.

He says Alliance plans to further expand its nonferrous business by adding knowledgeable staff from EOS Metals, including Ed Orensten, co-founder of the company, and Corey Kvasnick, who served as head of nonferrous operations for EOS Metals.

Alliance presently has a number of scrap metal operations in Minnesota, including a joint arrangement with AMG, an auto shredder in Minnesota and a scrap metal facility in Wisconsin.

Zweigbaum says that while the new acquisition will continue to operate for the time being, he envisions that Alliance will close down the new location and consolidate operations at one of Alliance’s existing facilities as a way to reduce expenses for the company.

Currently, the company serves more than 200 accounts and provides scrap to more than 30 corporate customers throughout the country.



Sadoff Iron & Metal completes Lincoln, Neb., expansion

Owners and executives from Sadoff Iron & Metal Co., based in Fond du Lac, Wis., were joined by Lincoln, Neb., Mayor Chris Beutler, Lincoln Airport Authority Executive Director John Wood and representatives from the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Sadoff’s new 13-acre site in Lincoln Airport West. The new location is a repurposed brownfield site previously used by the U.S. Air Force for fuel storage, the company says.

“We are very excited to be here at this great new facility,” said Mark Lasky, Sadoff CEO. “Sampson Construction, Davis Design, the Lincoln Airport Authority and the city of Lincoln have all been fantastic partners on this project, and we thank them for making this a reality.”

Lasky added, “We have been in Lincoln since 1999; and, this site, along with our Omaha location, will allow us to continue to provide the services that have supported our industrial and scrap metal retail growth in the region.”

The site opened for business Oct. 14, 2013, and will hold a customer open house in the spring of 2014, Sadoff said.

The new Lincoln location was built in partnership with the Lincoln Airport Authority, which issued industrial revenue bonds to cover the cost of construction. Sadoff will repay bonds by fulfilling a long-term lease agreement, the company reports.

The site was engineered for “ease of use” ingress and egress traffic patterns, Sadoff says, and includes Department of Environmental Quality certified stormwater and environmental compliance features, security cameras and radiation detection equipment. The location is served by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.

Sadoff was founded in 1947 and is a third-generation, family-owned scrap metal recycling company. The company first began operations in Lincoln in 1999 at the request of Deeter Foundry.



EIA adopts new name

The national association of private waste and recycling companies formerly known as the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) has changed its name to the National Waste & Recycling Association. The change was official Dec. 2, 2013. Along with the name change, the association has unveiled a new logo.

The association says the name change follows the EIA’s merger with its subassociations, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC).

“The rebranding is a significant milestone in achieving the goals of the strategic plan we adopted in November 2012,” says Charlie Appleby, chairman of the National Waste & Recycling Association.

Appleby, who also serves as chairman and CEO of Advanced Disposal, adds, “The strategic vision for the group is the creation of a merged advocacy organization with leadership, expertise and programs that promote the association as the most effective and trusted voice on ‘all things waste and recycling.’”

Sharon Kneiss, president and CEO of the association, adds, “While the merger is now complete with this rebranding, our work continues to establish a number of programs within the organization. Our group is committed to the National Waste & Recycling Association being the unparalleled leader in industry advocacy, safety, waste technology, standards and statistics. Furthermore, we are building a strong certification program and working to deliver excellent education opportunities.”

The group’s new logo includes symbols reflecting the industry’s involvement in the collection of waste and recyclables, recycling, organics and composting and the production of waste-based energy. The inclusion of the word “innovate” in the tagline highlights how technology is revolutionizing the way that waste and recycling is managed in America, the group says.

Kneiss says, “With this new name, we are taking the opportunity to strengthen and modernize how we represent our association and promote the industry to our members, government officials, the media and the communities in which we operate.”

The National Waste & Recycling Association, based in Washington, D.C., represents nearly 800 companies operating in the United States.



AMR expands operations in Kansas

Kansas City, Mo.-based Advantage Metals Recycling (AMR) has officially opened its newest scrap metal facility in Lawrence, Kan. The 12-acre site opened Nov. 4, 2013.

Cincinnati-based David J. Joseph Co., AMR’s parent company, says the new location features the latest in environmental, safety and customer-friendly design, including paved roads and unloading areas and new scales and buildings.

The facility will accept ferrous and nonferrous scrap from the general public. The collected metal will be sorted at the new site and shipped to AMR’s facility in Kansas City, Kan.

In addition to its Lawrence location, AMR’s network of 16 scrap metal recycling facilities includes yards in the Kansas cities of Columbus, Emporia, Fort Scott, Kansas City (two) and Topeka as well as in the Missouri cities of Clarence, Clinton, Columbia, Higginsville, Holts Summit, Kansas City, Linn Creek, St. Joseph and Sedalia. The company’s network of facilities includes two automobile shredders, balers, shears, mobile shearing, torch processing, auto crushers and an extensive truck and railcar fleet.



Rizzo acquires Royal Oak Recycling

Rizzo Environmental Services Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., has acquired Royal Oak Recycling, Royal Oak, Mich., which was incorporated as V&M Corp. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. (Royal Oak was profiled in the January 2013 issue of Recycling Today.)

Rizzo Environmental Services, a part of holding company Kinderhook Industries LLC, provides residential curbside and commercial solid waste and recycling services. The company currently serves 31 municipalities in three counties in southeast Michigan.

Royal Oak Recycling processes scrap paper, plastic and metals in the Midwest.

Rob Michalik, managing director of Kinderhook Industries, says, “The acquisition of Royal Oak will launch Rizzo into the recycling market with significant scale. We look forward to partnering with the Royal Oak management team and getting the opportunity to leverage their recycling industry expertise to help Rizzo expand its service offerings in the recycling sector.”

Chuck Rizzo Jr., CEO of Rizzo Environmental Services, adds, “Since its founding, Royal Oak has maintained a reputation for delivering extraordinary customer service. Royal Oak has been serving the Midwest region for over 75 years, and we are excited to welcome the Royal Oak team to Rizzo.”

A spokesman for Rizzo says the addition of Royal Oak’s processing capabilities will fit in effectively with Rizzo’s collection operations.

“Royal Oak’s longstanding customer relationships and exceptional management made this acquisition very attractive for Rizzo,” says Cor Carruthers, managing director at Kinderhook Industries. “The acquisition of Royal Oak enables Rizzo to further diversify its service offerings and, thus, control more of its collected [materials] stream.”

The acquisition includes two Royal Oak facilities in Michigan—one in Royal Oak and one in White Lake.

Habib Mamou, president of Royal Oak Recycling, will head Rizzo’s recycling division.

“Habib brings years of experience to the Rizzo team,” Chuck Rizzo says. “His knowledge of the industry coupled with our position in this market as the fastest growing waste hauler makes this acquisition very exciting.”

Along with the acquisition of Royal Oak, Rizzo Environmental Services is in the process of adding a transfer station and single-stream recycling facility in Pontiac, Mich.



All Star Metals receives contract to dismantle aircraft carrier

The U.S. Navy has announced a 1 cent delivery order for the dismantling and recycling of the aircraft carrier formerly known as the USS Forrestal to All Star Metals, Brownsville, Texas.

The delivery order was made under an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to All Star Metals for the towing, dismantling and recycling of conventionally powered aircraft carriers stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

The price of the delivery order reflects the net price proposed by All Star Metals, which took into consideration the estimated proceeds from the sale of the scrap metal to be generated from dismantling.

In May 2012, the Navy solicited proposals for the award of up to three contracts for the dismantling and recycling of inactive conventionally powered aircraft carriers. All Star Metals is the first of three successful bidders to receive its facility security clearance, which is required prior to contract award.

After the initial award of one carrier to each successful bidder, the Navy has the capability of scrapping additional conventionally powered aircraft carriers over a five-year period under delivery orders competed between the three contractors.

All Star Metals will develop its final plan for the Navy’s approval for the towing of the former Forrestal from its current berth at the Navy’s inactive ship facility in Philadelphia to All Star Metals’ facility in Brownsville. The ship is expected to depart Philadelphia before the end of 2013.

The Forrestal was decommissioned Sept. 11, 1993, after more than 38 years of service. June 16, 1999, the Navy announced the ship would be available for donation to an eligible organization for use as a museum or memorial. However, no viable applications were received, and the vessel was removed from donation hold in December 2003 and redesignated for disposal.



Rhode Island precious metals refiner expands operations

Gannon & Scott, a precious metals recycling and refining firm based in Cranston, R.I., has completed an $8 million expansion of its facility in that city. The expansion doubles the location’s processing capacity, which includes metal thermal reduction, milling, screening and blending.

According to the company, the improvements made at the location will give Gannon & Scott the “most technologically advanced and proven pollution-control system for the thermal reduction process.” Ken Dionne, CEO of Gannon & Scott, says the expansion also will increase the company’s workforce by 20 percent.

“This facility is the personification of our corporate slogan ‘doing it right,’ which encompasses our customers, our employees, our community, our industry and our environment,” says Jack Gannon, chairman of the company’s board of directors. “It also underscores our commitment to Rhode Island, which dates back to our roots here 94 years ago.”

The 93,000-square-foot expanded facility, which sits on more than 6 acres in Cranston, took close to two years to complete, and the company worked with a number of local and state agencies, including the Rhode Island Economic Development Council and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Gannon & Scott planned to host a dedication ceremony Dec. 6, 2013.

In addition to the expansion, Gannon & Scott, working with Beaumont Solar Co., has been awarded a solar power Distributed Generation Standard Contract. Administered by the Office of Energy Resources and National Grid and approved by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission, the arrangement will provide renewable energy directly to the local electrical grid.

Bank of America provided financing for the expansion and solar projects, including the purchase of the real estate.

“Gannon & Scott came to us looking to grow their business, create jobs and produce clean, renewable energy here in Rhode Island,” says Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island president of Bank of America. “We are pleased that we were able to work closely with them to provide the support they needed to help them meet their goals and create economic opportunities for local residents.”



ACC recognizes plastics recycling innovators

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C., has announced the winners of the 2013 Innovation in Plastics Recycling awards: DiversiTech Corp., Duluth, Ga.; Entropex, Sarnia, Ontario; and Preserve, Waltham, Mass.

The ACC says the three companies were recognized “for developing innovative processes and products that use postindustrial or postconsumer recycled plastics.”

DiversiTech Corp. was chosen for its use of postindustrial polypropylene (PP) with a wide range of specifications in air conditioning unit condenser pads. Over the past nine years the company has shifted its production from virgin PP to 100-percent-recycled PP.

Mark Minor, vice president of eastern operations at DiversiTech, says, “We have been able to use postindustrial polypropylene material streams that are difficult for other processors. This flexibility has driven our engineering teams to innovate with a number of internally developed processes.”

Entropex was recognized for creating its RigidReclaim technology, which recovers nonbottle plastic containers. The technology integrates plastics sorting, cleaning and processing to upgrade the quality of recycled mixed plastics. Entropex says more than 70 percent of the plastics covered by RigidReclaim’s technology is not typically recycled by conventional methods.

Entropex President Keith Bechard says, “Plastic containers and lids are too valuable to waste and should be recycled after use.”

Preserve makes reusable food storage items, kitchenware and other consumer products from 100-percent-recycled PP. Its Gimme 5 program collects 242,000 pounds of PP per year for recycling.

“Preserve’s products and Gimme 5 program are a testament to what is possible with recycling in the United States,” says Preserve’s John Lively. “With the help of the millions of consumers who recycle, we can transform everyday items like yogurt cups into new products.”