R2 Solutions clarifies CRT glass rules
The board of directors of Boulder, Colo.-based R2 Solutions has voted unanimously to clarify that R2:2013 prohibits the use of CRT (cathode ray tube) glass that no longer is considered a focus material (FM) as alternative daily cover (ADC) at solid waste landfills.
“This formal clarification by the board is a win for the environment,” says Clare Lindsay, a member of the R2 Solutions board who was formerly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste. “The CRT crisis must be dealt with effectively and expeditiously but not through the use of less-than-optimal environmental solutions.”
The March 26, 2014, vote by the organization’s board of directors is in line with the recommendation of the multistakeholder R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which recently deliberated the issue.
R2:2013’s Provision 2(a)(3) states that electronics recyclers shall not direct materials to “... land disposal facilities unless no reuse or recycling options are viable.” The R2 TAC and the board agreed that recycling options are viable for non-FM CRT glass and that ADC does not constitute a form of reuse or recycling under the Standard (but rather a form of land disposal).
R2 Solutions, its board and the multi-stakeholder R2 TAC say they will continue to monitor the CRT glass situation.
R2 Solutions is a nonprofit organization established to house the R2 standard. The organization provides educational and outreach services as well as administrative support for the R2 standard and the TAC, which is charged with advancing and further developing the standard.
Toyota works with auto dismantlers, parts makers to recycle copper
Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC), along with a number of partner firms in Japan, has developed what it claims is the world’s first technology to recycle copper in wiring harnesses. The automaker, along with Yazaki Corp., a manufacturer of automobile components; Toyota Tsusho Corp., the trading arm of the Toyota Group; and eight Japan-based auto dismantling companies, has developed a method that is able to produce copper with a purity level of 99.96 percent from the wiring found in automobiles, according to the company.
The eight auto dismantlers involved in the collaboration are Auto Recycle Sanri, Johoku Jidosya Kogyo Co. Ltd., Kawaguchi Shouten Co. Ltd., Kobayashi-shouten Inc., Marudai Corp., Morita Sharyo Corp., New Iwata Corp. and Yamauchi Shoten Co. Ltd.
Toyota says that when wiring harnesses are removed from end-of-life vehicles using conventional methods, it is extremely difficult to separate the copper from the fuse box and other components. As a result, it has not been possible until now to recycle harnesses using mechanical sorting methods.
In 2010, however, TMC, Yazaki, Toyota Tsusho and the auto dismantlers began collaboration in a number of areas, including establishing preprocessing quality requirements for dismantling companies. In 2011, TMC developed the first mechanical sorting method that is designed to prevent contamination from minute impurities. Trial production involving small amounts of recycled copper began at TMC’s Honsha, Japan, plant in 2013. Once quality had been assessed by Yazaki, the copper was introduced to the wiring harness manufacturing line. Stable production involving recycled copper has been achieved, and the partner companies say annual production of recycled copper using this method will increase to about 1,000 tons in 2016.
The technology is the result of TMC’s first collaboration with parts makers and dismantling companies in Japan on next-generation recycling systems. Toyota says it will to enhance this technology while reducing costs and expanding collaborative efforts. Toyota also will create an ongoing next-generation recycling project with parts makers and dismantling companies with the aim of fostering a recycling-based society. This, in addition to other resource recycling initiatives, will become a new source of competitiveness for Toyota and other involved companies as they combat resource depletion, the company says.
ELECTRONICS/LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS
ISRI decries proposed e-scrap legislation
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., has expressed concern over legislation introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse that the association says will restrict the legitimate trade of used electronic products, diminish environmentally responsible recycling throughout the world and threaten American jobs.
Bill S. 2090, which would prohibit the export of certain electronic scrap, was introduced to the U.S. Senate March 6, 2014, and was referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
According to ISRI, the bill would have a negative influence on recycling efforts by undermining existing policies and initiatives, such as those proposed by the Obama administration and the Interagency Task Force on Federal Electronics Stewardship, and also would violate international trade laws by unilaterally banning exports to certain countries.
“This bill fails to end irresponsible recycling and will limit any opportunity to promote environmentally sound electronics recycling standards in other countries by perpetuating the outdated approach of identifying environmental risk based simply on geographic location rather than responsible operating practices,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI.
Gains made in recycling rigid plastics
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C., has released a report estimating that the amount of rigid plastics, excluding bottles, recycled in 2012 rose to nearly 1.02 billion pounds (510,000 tons), an increase of 10 percent over 2011’s figure and triple the amount recycled in 2007, when the industry first began tracking rigid plastics recycling.
The report, “2012 National Report on Postconsumer Non-Bottle Rigid Plastic Recycling,” attributes the 82 million pound increase to rapid growth in the collection of plastics beyond bottles in municipalities across the United States.
Approximately 57 percent of the rigid plastics collected were processed in the United States and Canada, with the remainder exported (primarily to China). Recycling statistics in 2012 were not affected by China’s Operation Green Fence initiative, which began in February 2013.
At 72 percent, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plastics comprise the largest portion of postconsumer rigid plastics collected in the U.S., with PP making up 38 percent of all rigid plastics recycled and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) constituting 34 percent. According to the report, PP and PE generally have the highest market value domestically and overseas because they are easy to process and have a wide range of manufacturing uses.
Primary domestic end uses for recycled rigid plastics include crates, buckets, pipe and lawn and garden products. A small portion of recycled rigid plastics is used in composite materials for products such as outdoor lumber, pallets and railroad ties.
Research for the report, which is available at http://bit.ly/1cy1ESK, was conducted by Moore Recycling Associates, Sonoma, Calif., and commissioned by the ACC’s Plastics Division.
A separate report (available at http://bit.ly/1jYr1wf), also prepared by Moore Recycling Associates, has determined that more than 60 percent of Americans have access to a rigid plastics recycling program.
ISRI upgrades ScrapTheftAlert.com
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., has announced a redesign and upgrade to ScrapTheftAlert.com. ISRI says the website allows law enforcement (and certain corporate security personnel) to post alerts that are sent to users within a 100-mile radius of the theft.
“ScrapTheftAlert.com is a proven tool in helping law enforcement fight metals theft,” says ISRI President Robin Wiener. “Through our work with law enforcement partners, ISRI received feedback on how to improve the system. The result is a more robust alert system that will further strengthen the cooperation between police and recyclers during theft investigations and lead to additional arrests. The new system is an example of the recycling industry’s strong commitment to preventing metals theft,” Wiener adds.
The newly redesigned ScrapTheftAlert.com offers the following features, which ISRI says makes the system easier to use while expanding its functionality:
- an easier user interface for registering and submitting alerts;
- the ability to select multiple locations to receive alerts;
- enhanced, customizable search capabilities by material, region, date and keywords;
- extractable search results;
- additional materials categories, including vehicles, batteries and cargo theft;
- increased capacity for downloading additional images and information;
- the ability to post success stories; and
- the capability for future expansion.
ISRI says the upgraded website is part of its comprehensive approach to address metals theft. Earlier this year, ISRI created the Law Enforcement Advisory Council, which is made up of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and security personnel who are tasked with the development of a multilayered training program to assist law enforcement in metals theft prevention. ISRI also hired Brady Mills, a retired U.S. Secret Service agent, to serve as the director of law enforcement outreach.
W. Silver Recycling opens consolidation and trading center in Mexico
W. Silver Recycling of El Paso, Texas, has opened a consolidation center and trading office in the Apodaca suburb of Monterrey, Mexico. The W. Silver Consolidation center will serve industrial businesses within the company’s existing supply chain as well as new accounts, says Lane Gaddy, president of the company.
Gaddy says the consolidation center will handle nonferrous, ferrous, plastics and e-scrap from industrial accounts. The site will perform limited processing of materials, he adds, with compaction being a regular process.
The industrial park has a truck scale and a 30-square-foot warehouse with multiple bays, a large office and secured storage, Gaddy says.
Material collected in the region may be transported to the new center or to another W. Silver facility, such as the McAllen, Texas, location situated about two hours away that provides logistic support. Gaddy says the new Apodaca facility will offer direct shipments to consumers in Mexico and the U.S. in addition to W. Silver’s own processing locations.
W. Silver, which has been in operation for more than 90 years, describes itself as the only full-service recycler on the U.S.-Mexico border. The company’s headquarters in El Paso is minutes from the border, according to W. Silver, and all of its locations reportedly have rail service and are located within a mile of an interstate. The company says its corporate mission calls for each location be able to provide maximum returns by shipping direct to mills and eliminating intermediaries.
LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS
Massachusetts food waste disposal ban set for October
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration has announced final statewide commercial food waste disposal ban regulations to take effect Oct. 1, 2014. The ban is designed to divert food waste to energy-generating and composting facilities to reduce the commonwealth’s waste stream.
“We are committed to protecting our natural resources and creating jobs as the commonwealth’s clean energy economy grows,” says Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan. “The disposal ban is critical to achieving our aggressive waste disposal reduction goals and it is in line with our commitment to increase clean energy production.”
The ban, regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will require any entity that disposes of at least 1 ton of organic material per week to donate or repurpose the useable food. Any remaining food waste will be shipped to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility, where it will be converted to energy, or sent to composting and animal feed operations.
Food materials and organics make up 25 percent of the current waste stream, making the disposal ban an important component of the governor’s strategy to reduce waste disposal, his administration states. The ban is designed to help Massachusetts reach its goal to reduce the waste stream by 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.
The disposal ban affects 1,700 businesses and institutions, including supermarkets, colleges, universities, hotels, convention centers, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and food service and processing companies. Residential food materials and food waste from small businesses are not included in the ban.
AD is a process that puts organic waste into an enclosed chamber. Microbes break down the material, producing an energy-creating biogas. The biogas that remains after the organic materials have been broken down can be put to a variety of uses. It can be used to create heat for industrial processes, fed into a generator to create electricity or used in a combined heat and power (CHP) system to produce electricity and heat simultaneously. Biogas also can be converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) and used to fuel vehicles, such as buses or trucks.
To ensure there will be sufficient facilities to manage the organic material resulting from the ban, the Patrick administration is working to site composting and AD operations on farms, wastewater treatment plants and other public and private locations by providing technical assistance and up to $1 million in grants. MassDEP and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) awarded the first AD grant of 100,000 to the Massachusetts Water Resources Agency (MWRA) for its wastewater treatment plant in Deer Island, Mass.
The MWRA currently processes sludge in 12 digesters and uses the biogas created to provide heat and electricity for the plant. A pilot project later this year will introduce food waste into one of the chambers to determine the effects of codigestion on operations and biogas production.
MassDEP also established the “RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts” program to help businesses and institutions increase recycling and comply with the commonwealth’s waste disposal bans. The RecyclingWorks program provides free Web-based resources and guidance, available at www.recyclingworksma.com, includes a searchable service provider database, a phone hotline and technical assistance. MassDEP continues to provide technical and financial assistance to municipalities and is adding funding to the existing Recycling Loan Fund to support projects to grow infrastructure for managing organic materials.
Many Massachusetts businesses already have established cost-effective food waste separation programs. Through an innovative partnership between MassDEP and the Massachusetts Food Association, 300 supermarkets have implemented food waste separation programs that save up to $20,000 a year per store location.
“I appreciate the efforts by the business community and other public and private entities to reduce food waste,” says Rep. Anne Gobi, house chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “New technologies to handle the waste create lasting environmental and economic rewards.”
More information on the food waste and organics ban and its implementation is available at http://1.usa.gov/1iHFSM1.
Scuderia Development seeks to build secondary aluminum plant in California
According to local press reports, a company called Scuderia Development, Newport Beach, Calif., has reached an agreement with the city of Barstow, Calif., on a project that could result in the construction of a large secondary aluminum production facility in the city.
The Daily Press, based in Victorville, Calif., reports that the Barstow City Council reached an agreement with the development firm to begin negotiating on the project, which could result in the construction of a plant that will operate under the name Barstow Aluminum Corp. If funding is acquired, Scuderia will build the facility for China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd., an aluminum producer based in China.
A report on another regional news website, Examiner.com, says that if the plant is built it could end up producing 600,000 metric tons of aluminum per year.
The Daily Press article says the company and the city of Barstow have until Nov. 30, 2014, to reach a deal on a disposition and development agreement. That deal, which hinges on agreeing to specific obligations required of both the city and Scuderia, is expected to include an operational date for the facility.
Barstow officials were scheduled to provide proof by the end of March 2014 that it possesses adequate money to fund the installation of sewer, telecommunication, natural gas and electrical power utilities to the proposed site.
For Scuderia, unless an extension is agreed upon, it has until the end of October 2014 to obtain an environmental impact report, general plan amendment and zone change for the site, along with a conditional use permit, for
Canadian recycling network earns British Columbia contract
British Columbia-based Multi-Material BC (MMBC) has announced that Green by Nature EPR (GBN) has been selected to manage the postcollection system for MMBC’s residential packaging and printed paper recycling program, which will begin serving 1.25 million households May 19, 2014.
GBN describes itself as “a new organization founded by leaders in the recycling industry in British Columbia.” It will be responsible for managing the processing and marketing of about 185,000 metric tons of packaging and printed paper material after it has been collected curbside from households, multifamily buildings and collection centers throughout the province.
Three recycling companies have allied to form GBN:
- Cascades Recovery Inc., an Ontario-based subsidiary of the Cascades Group and one of Canada’s largest collectors, processors and marketers of recyclable materials;
- Emterra Environmental, a Vancouver-based company that describes itself as one of Canada’s largest waste resource management companies providing recyclables collection, processing and marketing services as well as organics and solid waste collection and disposal services to municipalities and businesses in Canada; and
- Merlin Plastics, Delta, British Columbia, which says it is a North American pioneer in plastics recycling and marketing.
In addition to the founding companies, GBN will work with more than 20 subcontractors on the integrated provincewide MMBC postcollection system, the company says.
The postcollection system operated by GBN will employ 570 people and bring $32 million in new investment to British Columbia, including capital investment in two new facilities:
- a container recycling facility that will maximize sorting efficiency, recovery and the quality of recovered products; and
- a material recovery facility (MRF) in Nanaimo, British Columbia, that will sort and prepare collected material for shipment to downstream processors and end markets.
“We are very pleased to partner with Green by Nature EPR. The awarding of a postcollection contract is an important milestone for MMBC as we prepare to launch our program in May,” says Allen Langdon, managing director of MMBC.
MMBC is a nonprofit industry-led and financed organization that will assume responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper recycling on behalf of industry in May 2014. In May 2011, British Columbia’s recycling regulation was updated to include packaging and printed paper. The regulation shifts the responsibility for managing the residential recycling of packaging and printed paper from regional and municipal governments and their taxpayers to business.
METALS/WASTE TO ENERGY
Partnership will focus on metals recovery from WTE processes
The Netherlands-based Inashco BV and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., Hampton, N.H., have announced the formation of a new North American-based joint venture company dedicated to the recycling of ferrous and nonferrous metals from waste-to-energy (WTE) processes.
The 50/50-owned joint venture, Eco Recovery Solutions LLC (ERS), “will use Inashco’s patented and proprietary advanced dry recovery (ADR) technology to enhance the recovery of ferrous and nonferrous metals at waste-to-energy facilities,” the companies say.
Nonferrous metals recovered will include copper, zinc, lead and aluminum as small as 0.5 millimeters in size, “much smaller than nonferrous materials currently recovered by conventional technologies,” according to the companies.
Wheelabrator, which is a subsidiary of Houston-based Waste Management Inc., says it selected the Inashco technology “because of its proven track record in Europe and its unique ability to process fresh ash without aging that results in oxidation and diminished product values.”
Inashco currently operates “central upgrading facilities” in Europe, according to the company. The recycling process at these facilities produces two streams of material: a heavy nonferrous product and a light nonferrous sold to Fondel Metals, Inashco’s parent company.
ERS also plans to develop aggregate reuse opportunities with the ultimate goal of what it calls a circular economic solution for ash management, the partners say.
“We are proud to be able to play such an important role in helping to enhance current metals recycling in the waste-to-energy sector,” says Arno La Haye, CEO of Inashco.
Mark Weidman, president of Wheelabrator Technologies, comments, “Wheelabrator has been committed to sustainable innovations in the recovery of renewable energy and metals from household and commercial waste for nearly four decades. In 2013 alone, we recovered and recycled 142,000 tons of ferrous and nonferrous metals. This joint venture will allow us to recover significantly more recyclable materials to help preserve our world’s finite environmental resources.”
Arizona DEQ fines Dlubak Glass
Officials with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) have announced that Dlubak Glass, based in Natrona Heights, Pa., has agreed to pay $120,000 in a consent judgment approved in Maricopa County Superior Court for hazardous waste violations in the storage and recycling of cathode ray tube (CRT) glass at Dlubak’s Yuma, Ariz., facility.
During an inspection at Dlubak’s Yuma facility, ADEQ inspectors say they found broken CRT glass throughout the 5-acre site and stained soil in several locations.
“Their unlawful management of hazardous waste put employees and the environment at risk,” says ADEQ Director Henry Darwin.
Upstate Shredding acquires auto recycling company
Upstate Shredding, based in Owego, N.Y., has acquired the assets of Brant Auto Parts, located in Irving, N.Y.
Brant Auto Parts, founded in 2003, has been serving Buffalo, Hamburg and Dunkirk, N.Y., and the surrounding areas for more than 10 years. The company was a recipient of the Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2007.
“This location is perfect for our western expansion plans as we continue to build out our footprint and acquire yards that are strategically located in the Northeast,” says Adam Weitsman, president of Upstate Shredding.
The deal is a cash transaction and the existing staff of Brant Auto Parts will be retained, according to Upstate Shredding.
Brant specializes in the recycling of all grades of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, including automotive batteries.
“We have had a number of suitors looking to acquire our yard as we have continued to grow over the last 10 years,” says Tim Dodson, former owner of Brant Auto Parts. “This business has been a fixture in our community, and it was very important to us that whomever we considered selling to had the same community focus that we do.”
Dodson adds, “We are very excited to join the Upstate Shredding – Ben Weitsman family, and we look forward to all of the positive improvements and growth that this location and our community will experience as a result.”
With the acquisition of Brant Auto Parts, Upstate Shredding – Ben Weitsman now has 18 locations. The company operates a mega shredder at its Owego headquarters and is in the process of installing auto shredders at its Albany, N.Y., and New Castle, Pa., yards.
Two Newark locations earn SFI certification
Newark Recycled Paperboard Solutions, Cranford, N.J., has announced that it has achieved Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) chain-of-custody certification at its mills in Fitchburg, Mass., and Milwaukee.
To achieve SFI chain-of-custody certification, companies must have tracking systems in place so they can tell customers the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing or postconsumer recycled content.
SFI is a nonprofit, independent certification program that works with environmental, social and industry partners to improve forest practices in North America and fiber sourcing worldwide. More than 250 million acres are certified to the SFI forest management standard in North America, making it the largest single forest standard in the world, the group says. It is based on 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value.
Newark Recycled Paperboard Solutions operates 34 facilities throughout North America.
Wal-Mart recognizes Cascades with Vendor Sustainability Award
Cascades, a Kingsey Falls, Quebec-based company involved in packaging and recycling efforts throughout North America, has received Wal-Mart Canada’s Vendor Sustainability Award, which recognizes its supplier’s efforts in helping the retail giant achieve its sustainability goals.
Cascades was chosen among more than 100 other suppliers for this recognition.
Cascades CEO and President Mario Plourde says, “Long before sustainable development became fashionable, Cascades was putting it into practice instinctively. In fact, Cascades was born out of a form of sustainable development: the recovery of waste paper. We have always believed that remaining true to our values is the only way forward.”
Through its Cascades Recovery division, Cascades collects Wal-Mart’s recyclables, including corrugated boxes, plastic and paper.
KAB and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group continue grant program
A grant made possible by Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) Group, Plano, Texas, in collaboration with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Stamford, Conn., will help to recover recyclables from public parks. Twenty-six local and county governments in 19 states will receive recycling bins as part of the DPS Group/KAB Park Recycling Bin Grant program.
In total, the grants will provide nearly 900 recycling bins for placement in a variety of park settings, according to KAB. Twenty-two of the communities receiving grants intend to place bins at athletic fields; 18 will locate bins in small neighborhood parks; and seven will use them to collect recyclables from beaches and waterfront locations. Additional bins will be placed in state parks, larger urban parks and on walking trails and other natural settings. Eleven of the communities receiving bins are in coastal zones. A full list of the communities receiving grants can be found at http:// irecycleonthego.wordpress.com.
The 900 recycling bins to be placed through the DPS/KAB Recycling Bin Grant program this year add to the 710 bins provided in the inaugural year of the partnership in 2013.
The grant program was open to all government agencies that own or manage local, regional or state parks. Nonprofit organizations and KAB affiliates were eligible to apply on behalf of government agencies.
“Access and convenience are two of the biggest obstacles to recycling,” says Brenda Pulley, KAB senior vice president, recycling. “By making these recycling bins available in parks, nature trails, athletic fields and other public spaces, the bins awarded through our partnership with Dr. Pepper Snapple will help these communities increase on-the-go recycling.”
The KAB partnership is part of DPS’ ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability. The company has set specific operational goals to improve efficiency in energy and water use, reduce manufacturing waste and conserve packaging resources by 2015.