LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS
Settlement Reached in Dallas Flow Control Lawsuit
Several waste haulers and the Washington, D.C.-based National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) have settled a waste flow control lawsuit against the city of Dallas that dates to 2011.
The settlement, which recently was approved by Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, means these haulers can dispose of the waste they collect in Dallas at locations of their choosing, including their own facilities located outside of the city, the NSWMA says.
The city passed an ordinance in September 2011 mandating that all waste collected inside its borders go to the city’s McCommas Bluff Landfill. NSWMA, joined by several other parties, filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the ordinance, saying it violated federal and state constitutional principles and city law.
The settlement makes permanent an October 2012 injunction issued by O’Connor barring the enforcement of the ordinance. According to that ruling, Dallas’ actions violated the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Texas state law and the Dallas city charter. The court determined the city enacted the law for economic gain “at the expense of the franchisees’ rights and that was an unreasonable exercise of its police powers.”
Tom Brown, senior vice president and COO of Progressive Waste Solutions, Fort Worth, Texas, and chair of NSWMA’s Texas chapter, says, “This settlement preserves competition for waste disposal and recycling services in Dallas. City businesses and residents will be the beneficiaries of this agreement as it assures a competitive marketplace.”
As part of the settlement, it was agreed that no flow control law would be applicable to the parties to the lawsuit until 2029.
H.I.G. Capital Completes Acquisition of Caraustar
The Miami-based private equity firm H.I.G. Capital has completed the acquisition of Caraustar Industries, headquartered in Austell, Ga. The paper company was previously majority owned by Wayzata Investment Partners LLC, a private investment firm.
In 2009, Wayzata led a group of bondholders in a prepackaged Chapter 11 process in which Wayzata-managed funds acquired a majority ownership stake in Caraustar. According to H.I.G., since exiting bankruptcy Caraustar has used its balance sheet to improve operations and increase profitability.
Mike Patton, Caraustar CEO, says, “We believe this is an exciting time in our industry, and I am pleased to have H.I.G.’s support to help us achieve our growth plan. We look forward to working with H.I.G. to build upon our reputation as a customer-oriented market leader.”
Tenno Tsai, a principal of H.I.G., says, “Caraustar is a market leader with a blue-chip customer base, broad geographic footprint and an efficient, high quality manufacturing base. We believe there are numerous market opportunities going forward and we look forward to supporting Mike (Patton) and his team in achieving continued growth.”
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New York City Expands Municipal Recycling Program
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty have jointly announced the expansion of New York City’s recycling program to include, for the first time, all types of rigid plastics. Materials falling under the expansion program include shampoo bottles, coffee cups, hangers and food containers. The city estimates that the change will add another 50,000 tons of material per year to its collection program.
The city says the expansion of plastics recycling is part of its Solid Waste Management Plan and is made possible, in part, through a partnership with Sims Municipal Recycling, which operates material recovery facilities (MRFs) that are equipped to handle a broad range of plastic recycling.
“Starting today, if it’s a rigid plastic—any rigid plastic—recycle it,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “There is no more worrying about confusing numbers on the bottom of the container. This means that 50,000 tons of plastics that we were sending to landfills every year will now be recycled and it will save taxpayers almost $600,000 in export costs each year.”
Holloway added, “Today’s announcement represents the largest expansion of our city’s recycling efforts in 25 years. We were able to take this step because of the major commitment we made to recycling as part of the city’s Solid Waste Management Plan in 2006—and this commitment continues today and will result in cost savings and 50,000 tons of plastics that we were sending to landfills every year now being recycled.”
Robert Kelman, president of Sims North America Metals, said, “With the expansion of plastics recycling, we are making the New York City curbside program as inclusive as any in the nation. This is exactly the type of advance that was envisioned when we entered into this long-term collaboration with the city, and we remain hopeful that increasing the types of plastics recycled will lead to higher recycling rates for metal, paper and other recyclables.”
Later this year, Sims expects to open its MRF in Brooklyn, N.Y., which it says will be the largest in North America.
Novelis Introduces Evercan to Beverage Market
The Atlanta-based aluminum rolling and recycling firm Novelis has announced the commercial availability of what it says is the aluminum industry’s first independently certified, high-recycled-content aluminum designed specifically for the beverage can market. Novelis’ Evercan is made with a minimum of 90-percent-recycled aluminum, the company says.
“We are excited to be able to deliver yet another tangible result of our commitment to sustainable aluminum product innovation,” says Phil Martens, Novelis president and CEO. “Our Novelis Evercan high-recycled-content beverage can body sheet, backed by the industry’s first independent certification program, represents tremendous progress in sustainable consumer products packaging. As the world’s leading supplier of aluminum beverage can sheet, this is an important step toward delivering on our ultimate vision of an aluminum can with up to 100-percent-recycled content.”
SCS Global Services has certified Evercan aluminum sheet.
When the can body sheet is combined with an end made of a different alloy during the can-making process, the Evercan will enable beverage companies to market beverages in standard 12-ounce aluminum cans certified as made from a minimum of 70-percent-recycled content.
Evercan is now available in North America and Europe. “This first phase of the Novelis Evercan high-recycled-content initiative serves as a critical catalyst for Novelis to work more closely with consumer brand customers, our supply chain partners and other community stakeholders to increase end-of-life recycling of used beverage containers,” John Gardner, Novelis chief sustainability officer, says.
Houston Expands Curbside Program
The city of Houston has announced plans to expand its residential curbside collection program by 100,000 households by the end of 2013. The city also says it is moving more residents to its single-stream program, giving them a 96-gallon container for recyclables.
Gary Readore, chief of staff for Houston’s solid waste department, says the city will add 35,000 homes to its single-stream recycling program in July 2013 and 70,000 homes to the program by October.
The city will collect the material, and Houston-based Waste Management (WM) will process it, sharing the revenue generated through the sale of the recyclables with the city.
The expansion will cost $7.6 million, and the city says it expects the revenue generated from the sale of the recyclables, as well as other cost savings, will help cover the cost.
Readore says the city is anticipating a 60-percent-participation rate when the single-stream program is expanded to more than 200,000 residents. Houston has an estimated total of 380,000 households.
Readore says Houston now collects 2,100 tons of recyclables per month from residents.
R2 Solutions Announces R2:2013 Global Electronics Recycling Certification
R2 Solutions, Boulder, Colo., has announced updates to its R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) certification standard at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) 2013 World Recycling Convention & Exhibition in Shanghai. According to R2 Solutions, “the new standard, R2:2013, greatly increases the oversight and quality-assurance tools critical to a voluntary certification program.”
The new standard is effective July 1, 2013.
“It is essential for the electronics recycling industry around the globe to continuously raise the bar when it comes to data security, the environment and the health and safety of its employees and surrounding communities,” said John Lingelbach, executive director of R2 Solutions. “With R2:2013, we continue to improve the R2 Standard so that we can offer recyclers and their upstream customers the absolute best in electronics recycling industry practices.”
The R2 Standard consists of 13 provisions. The most significant change to the R2 program is the requirement for all R2 facilities to have an approved environmental, health and safety management system (EHSMS). Currently approved management systems include a combination of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS™) system. The EHSMS requirement improves the integrity and accountability of the entire R2 certification, according to R2 Solutions.
R2:2013 also includes:
- Enhanced export requirements designed to more explicitly include compliance with the export and import laws of all exporting, importing and in-transit countries, not just non-OECD countries.
- Clarified existing downstream due-diligence requirements designed to better track equipment containing focus materials through each downstream vendor until it is sold for reuse or as a commodity.
- A comprehensive approach to data security and destruction designed to assure the security of all media until it is effectively sanitized or destroyed.
The updated standard was developed after an evaluation of the current R2:2008 standard by a multistakeholder group, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Participants in the TAC deliberations included representatives from Best Buy, Dell, Microsoft, UPS, the U.S. federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA) and large and small electronics recyclers and refurbishers.
Facilities certified to R2:2008 will have 18 months to transition to R2:2013.
NFX, World Steel Exchange to Develop Steel, Scrap Futures Products
The NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. (NFX), New York, and World Steel Exchange Marketing LLC (WSEM), founded by World Steel Dynamics, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., have formed a partnership to develop financially settled steel and steel scrap futures products that will be traded on the NASDAQ OMX Futures Exchange Inc.
The program is expected to launch by the fourth quarter of 2013 following a filing with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The contracts will be financially settled monthly against WSEM’s SteelBenchmarker Pricing System and listed on NFX, a public futures exchange that provides a method to trade steel.
“We are pleased to create a steel futures marketplace with NASDAQ OMX that, when properly harnessed, will help steel mills enhance profit margins and steel buyers achieve competitive advantages,” says Peter Marcus, CEO and founding partner of WSEM.
Marcus continues, “We bring unparalleled industry relationships, deep regional and global marketplace knowledge, hands-on applications expertise, best practice benchmarking, awareness of what causes sleepless nights for steel buyers and sellers, robust price indices and a deep love for the industry and all of those with whom we interact.”
The companies say that after the launch of the initial U.S. steel futures products, NFX will expand its offering with additional products, such as European and world export market steel futures.
Eric Noll, NFX executive vice president of transaction services for the U.S. and the U.K., says, “As we expand our footprint in the derivatives space, our U.S. futures platform will allow NASDAQ OMX to offer member firms new trading opportunities in various products, including metals.”
Daniel Carrigan, president of NFX, says, “We’re thrilled to partner with WSEM as we look to develop a robust product suite of steel futures, which leverages our INET trading platform and the NASDAQ OMX Data Center for efficient execution across asset classes.”
Electronics Recycler Certification Requirement to go before Texas House
A bill that seeks to require that only third-party-certified recyclers handle computer and television recycling under Texas’ extended producer responsibility laws for these devices has passed the Texas House of Representatives’ Environmental Regulation Committee by a vote of 9-0.
House Bill 3465, sponsored by Rep. Dwayne Bohac, has been designed to reduce the volume of materials being sent overseas and to increase collection totals for Texas-based electronics recyclers by requiring that recyclers participating in manufacturer take-back programs in the state be certified to either the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) or e-Stewards standards.
“This is an important step towards making sure that the laws we passed on e-waste recycling actually promote recycling, not dumping,” says Robin Schneider, executive director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment. “Electronic waste is too hazardous and too valuable to leave to fly-by-night operators. This bill ensures a certain level of professionalism prevails in our e-cycling sector here in Texas.”
The bill is part of a legislative push by Texas Campaign for the Environment to update the state’s electronic scrap laws. According to the Texas Campaign for the Environment, 56 percent of manufacturers reporting under the state’s TV and computer recycling laws do not identify their recyclers and have not indicated any standards or expectations that these companies be certified.
The bill is slated to go before the House Calendars Committee, where supporters say it will be scheduled for a vote soon.
“We are confident that we will see a better, more effective system for electronics recycling after this session thanks to the involvement of thousands of Texans who want to protect the land and water while creating good jobs,” Schneider says. “We have members in every single legislative district and we have found support in every region and across party and ideological lines.”
From left: Conyers, Ga., Mayor Randy Mills and Myles Cohen, division president of Pratt Industries, break ground at Pratt’s solid waste transfer station.
Pratt Breaks Ground on Transfer Station
Pratt Industries, a Conyers, Ga.-based paper recycling and packaging company, held a ceremonial groundbreaking April 25 for a solid waste transfer station that is being built at its corporate headquarters.
Pratt says it is building the transfer station as part of a long-term public-private partnership between the company and the city of Conyers.
“The contract transitions Conyers’ municipal solid-waste collection to Pratt’s Recycling Division,” says Myles Cohen, Pratt division president. “Additionally, the transfer station will also accept residential and commercial solid waste from other waste haulers and cities in Georgia.”
Any recoverable paper entering the transfer station will be diverted from landfill and consumed by Pratt’s 100-percent-recycled-content paperboard mill in Conyers, according to the company. Other materials collected at the facility will be used as feedstock for the paper mill’s on-site waste-to-energy facility.
Pratt Industries operates three recycled paperboard mills in Conyers, Shreveport, La., and Staten Island, N.Y. To ensure it has adequate supply for its mills, the company has steadily grown its collection division, Pratt Recycling, and has a total of 12 recycling facilities, primarily in the South and Midwest.
From left: Bill Upton, vice president of operations, Edwards Brothers Malloy; Mark Pitts, AF&PA; and John Edwards, CEO, Edward Brothers Malloy.
AF&PA Honors Book Manufacturer's Recycling Efforts
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, D.C., has presented Edwards Brothers Malloy, Ann Arbor, Mich., with its 2013 Business Leadership Award. The award, which recognizes outstanding paper recycling programs, was presented at the 2013 Book Manufacturers’ Institute Management Conference, held in Hilton Head, S.C., in late April.
According to the AF&PA, Edwards Brothers Malloy’s program stood out from other entries for its efforts to educate employees on recycling a variety of paper grades and its waste management and reduction business practices, which led the company to achieve zero-landfill status. In 2012 the company’s 900 employees recovered for recycling 12,500 tons of paper and paper-based packaging.
“AF&PA is proud to honor Edwards Brothers Malloy’s recycling efforts with this year’s Business Leadership Award,” says Mark Pitts, AF&PA executive director of printing and writing papers, who presented the award. “They drove their zero-landfill vision by educating their employees on different recyclable grades of paper and paper-based packaging and how to recycle them, and their nearly 100 percent employee participation makes their program particularly impressive.”
The company says it renewed its commitment to sustainability in 2009, which resulted in the characterization and collection of 20 different paper grades throughout the facility. Incorporating the process into the daily workflow, coupled with employee education, has increased the volume and quality of the paper being recovered, says Edwards Brothers Malloy.
Bill Upton of Edwards Brothers Malloy says, “I would like to thank AF&PA for this great honor and I would like to thank all my colleagues at Edwards Brothers Malloy for their commitment and enthusiasm for the program. Achieving zero-landfill status was an important goal for us, and we’re proud to have our efforts recognized by AF&PA in this way.”
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New York City to Launch Multitenant Electronics Recycling Program
New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty has announced that the city is partnering with the Fresno, Calif.-based electronics recycling company Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) to launch e-cycleNYC, a multiple-dwelling residential electronics recycling program.
The first phase of the program involves enrolling buildings in the program, which New York City will begin in the coming months. Once underway, e-cycleNYC will represent the most comprehensive electronics recycling program offered by any municipality in the country, the city claims.
All city apartment buildings with more than 10 units will be eligible to participate in the program, which is a free service that collects and recycles unwanted electronics. Depending on the size and type of building, a variety of service options will be available, including storage bins, room clean-outs and building events.
Building managers, management companies and residents who are interested in the program and want to learn more about electronics recycling in NYC can visit www.nyc.gov/ecycle.
ERI will be the city’s vendor and will accept electronics from any city resident at the New York City Department of Sanitation’s annual SAFE disposal events (www.nyc.gov/safedisposal), which are held in each borough and allow residents to discard unwanted harmful products, including electronics.
John Shegerian, chairman and CEO of ERI, says, “It’s a tremendous honor and privilege for ERI to be partnering with the great city of New York and providing responsible, effective recycling of its electronic waste for the next 15 years.”
CEA Releases Report on Electronics Recycling
The Consumer Electronics Association, (CEA), Arlington, Va., has released its “Second Annual Report of the eCycling Leadership Initiative.”
According to the report, 585 million pounds of electronics were recycled in 2012 by CEA companies working in the eCycling Leadership Initiative—an industry effort spearheaded by CEA designed to increase collaboration among consumer electronics manufacturers, retailers, collectors, recyclers, nongovernmental organizations and governments at all levels. That is a 27 percent increase compared with 2011 (460 million pounds) and a total increase of 95 percent since 2010 (300 million pounds).
As of April 2013, there are more than 8,000 recycling locations nationwide.
By the end of 2012, 99 percent of the recycling handled by eCycling Leadership Initiative participants was conducted in third-party-certified recycling facilities.
“The consumer electronics industry has recycled more than 1.3 billion pounds of electronics since the inception of the eCycling Leadership Initiative,” says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CEA. “That’s more than enough to fill a 71,000-seat NFL stadium. Electronics recycling is a national issue and merits a national approach. CEA continues to push for a national solution for eCycling to eliminate the costly patchwork of state regulations.”
Walter Alcorn, CEA vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability, adds, “We want to make recycling electronics as easy as purchasing electronics. Through the efforts of the Initiative participants and CEA’s efforts to promote eCycling directly to consumers via GreenerGadgets.org, we have made great progress toward that goal.”
Xstrata, CloudBlue Join Coalition for American Electronics Recycling
The Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER) has announced that two companies—Xstrata Copper and CloudBlue Technologies Inc.—have joined the industry campaign to support the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA).
CAER has been designed to support the reintroduction of RERA in the 113th Congress. RERA will prohibit unregulated export of nonworking electronics and electronic scrap containing hazardous materials.
According CAER, trade in tested, working electronics and recycled commodities would not be restricted and is expected to grow with passage of RERA. The group also says RERA’s passage may generate up to 42,000 new jobs with an annual payroll of up to $1 billion.
“The addition of industry leaders CloudBlue and Xstrata Copper shows that momentum continues to build for responsible trade policies that create jobs and promote investment,” says David Zimet, president of Hesstech, Edison, N.J., and CAER steering committee member. “In 2012, we were able to generate bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and we look forward to building on that success in the 113th Congress.”
Brisbane, Australia-based Xstrata Copper, which is joining the CAER steering committee, is the fourth-largest global copper producer and a significant recycler of copper and precious metals from electronic scrap.
“We are pleased to support the passage of a bill that ensures sustainable e-waste recycling and recovery of precious metals,” says Paul Healey of Xstrata Copper. “This important legislation supports our approach to product stewardship by ensuring that valuable raw materials are recovered, processed in North America and returned to manufacturers for fabrication into new products that will be sold internationally.”
CloudBlue Technologies, headquartered in Norcross, Ga., provides enterprise IT asset disposition, on-site data destruction and electronic scrap recycling services. CloudBlue operates more than 40 locations worldwide, including in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Texas. It is e-Stewards and R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) certified.
“CloudBlue is proud to support legislation that promotes the proper recycling of e-waste and creates American jobs,” says CloudBlue CEO Ken Beyer.
CAER membership includes 94 companies operating 176 facilities in 34 states and the District of Columbia.