A settlement has been reached in the case that pitted the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and a number of haulers against the city of Dallas, which attempted to implement a flow control ordinance in early 2012.
In a January 2012 ruling, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor halted implementation of the ordinance, which would have required haulers to dispose of waste at the city’s McCommas Bluff Landfill. O’Connor rejected the city’s contention that its flow control ordinance was foremost a way to create a “greener, cleaner city.”
According to the Dallas News, O’Connor said, “Based on the evidence currently before the court, the Flow Control Ordinance was enacted to raise revenue.”
Judge O’Connor ruled that the city could not enact its ordinance, which directed solid waste and recyclables generated within the city to a city-owned landfill and transfer station, “until further notice from the court.”
The further notice came in the form of the settlement, which was approved by O’Connor in May. As a result, the 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. (See "Newsworthy" for the full story.)
The settlement follows O’Connor’s issue of an injunction barring the enforcement of the ordinance in October 2012. According to that ruling, Dallas’ actions violated the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution, 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.”
While the settlement in the NSWMA et al v. The City of Dallas et al likely is not the last word on flow control, the haulers who were party to the lawsuit—Bluebonnet Waste Control Inc., IESI Corp., Republic Services Inc. and Waste Management Inc.—don’t have to worry about the introduction of similar legislation for some time. Under the terms of the settlement, no flow control law would be applicable to these haulers until 2029. At which point these haulers and others may find themselves gearing up for another fight if the city decides to try to enact a similar measure.
David Bender, CEO of Perpetual Recycling Solutions, at the company’s Richmond, Ind., plant. Photos: Susanna Tanner
David Bender, CEO of Perpetual Recycling, says he sees great opportunities for his newly opened plastics recycling facility. The 100,000-sqare-foot plant, located in Richmond, Ind., has been in operation since January 2013 but is already generating positive news from suppliers and consumers.
What sets the company apart from many other plastics recycling operations is its ability to convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and thermoforms from curbside programs into recycled flake suitable for food-grade packaging applications.
While Bender does not have a steep a background in the recycling business, his experience in the packaging sector has given him a perspective more attuned to that of brand owners.
Prior to establishing Perpetual Recycling Solutions, Bender worked for HAVI Global Solutions, which manages businesses in the supply chain, packaging and marketing industries. From this perspective, Bender saw corporate brand owners’ growing interest in increasing their environmental stewardship initiatives, including the use of recycled content in their packaging products.
“At the end of 2007, while looking for my next opportunity, at a Christmas party a brand owner said I should get involved in this sector,” Bender says, refering to recycled-content packaging. “I knew it was big in Europe but not that big in the United States. I realized that there was a big demand, but no supply.
“The missing link,” Bender says, “was to go from the bale to food-grade content.”
With this inspiration, Bender, along with partners Jody Fusello and Carter Smith, started a company called Re:Think Recycling Group, which sought to recycle PET into flake suitable for food-grade packaging applications. The business partners’ first move was the purchase of Pure Tech Plastics, a New York-based plastics recycling company.
“We realized [Pure Tech] was a good category, but it wasn’t the asset to propel us to where we needed to be,” Bender says.
Believing brand owners were interested in growing their environmental stewardship efforts, Bender says the three founders looked at developing a greenfield site that could incorporate the right technology, the right people, the right economics and the right brand owners. This concept, he says, was the start of Perpetual Recycling Solutions in 2009.
The company sought a location that was located centrally amidst various brand owners and that was proximal to a sufficient source of supply to make the facility viable. “We did a logistics study to see where customers were and where the curbside supply was,” Bender says.
Ultimately, the company outlined a triangle that extended from southwestern Ohio to St. Louis in the west to the border of Wisconsin in the north. “From that diagram, we decided to locate our facility in Richmond, Ind.,” Bender says.
“Lots of states competed, but we found that Indiana was a great place, and Richmond had the right workforce,” Bender says.
While Perpetual Recycling Solutions’ management felt the concept of recycling postconsumer PET collected through curbside programs into flake suitable for food-grade packaging applications was a winner, the company had to maneuver the financial world to put together the necessary financing.
Perpetual Recycling Solutions tapped into private equity to obtain roughly $30 million, taking its facility from the drawing board to construction. An added challenge was that Perpetual was seeking financing during the midst of the recession, which practically froze much of the financial world in 2009.
In addition to raising money from the private sector, Perpetual Recycling Solutions worked with several Indiana government agencies, including the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which offered the company up to $550,000 in performance-based tax credits and $50,000 in training grants.
Additionally, the Wayne County (Indiana) Economic Development Corp. approved a $475,000 grant to help Perpetual Recycling with equipment, training and real estate improvements at its plant.
With the financing and facility design completed, the company broke ground on its facility in late 2011, with operations beginning in January 2013.
Perpetual Recycling Solutions’ Richmond, Ind., processing plant.
Up To Speed
After some modest adjustments, the facility is now operating seven days per week for nearly 24 hours per day. “We are at between 70-75 percent of production,” Bender days. “We are driving that number north every single month.”
More encouraging, Bender says, is that feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. “We had someone in here, and he said that he has sampled more than 30 different customers’ PET flakes and he needed to see our manufacturing facility. He told us after visiting that we had the highest-quality flake in North America he has seen and the second-highest [quality] flake he has sampled throughout the world.”
The company’s goal is to open two lines at its Richmond plant. The first line, now operational, can produce 75 million pounds of food-contact-grade flake per year from roughly 107 million pounds of plastic scrap, including PET containers and thermoform packaging. The company uses a letter of nonobjection (LNO) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which allows the company to sell its product for use in food-contact packaging.
However, Bender says the LNO provides no guarantee that a producer of recycled plastics will be able to sell their products into that market. “Some brand owners have taught us that it is possible to make an FDA [approved] product that isn’t good enough. It goes far beyond making food grade. It is the combination of the food-grade parameters, tied with sortation, purification, process, discipline and quality checks. Everything has to work in balance to make high-end product.”
One supplier that is encouraged by Perpetual’s startup is the recycling firm ReCommunity, Charlotte, N.C. The company, which operates multiple material recovery facilities (MRFs) throughout the country, has been supplying PET to Perpetual since its plant opened. Paul O’Donnell, vice president of ReCommunity’s commodities marketing, says his firm heard a lot about the facility prior to visiting it. And, after seeing the operation, he left impressed.
“It really looks great,” he says. “I am not an equipment expert, but it really looks like they have thought out the operation, including the location.
“I am really encouraged about the operation,” O’Donnell adds.
The plant’s success hinges on the equipment, Bender says. The facility was built using equipment supplied almost exclusively by Titech and Sorema Systems, rather than taking a piecemeal approach to equipment selection.
Curt Cozart, who represents Italy-based Sorema, says the turn-key approach has resulted in a fairly smooth project. “Two vendors really makes things work pretty smoothly,” he says.
For example, he says, multiple interfaces can bog down operations. However, with two control systems, a lot less debugging is required. “It is so much simpler. It is not a bunch of systems.”
Cozart estimates that Sorema has installed systems at more than 80 PET recycling plants worldwide.
Perpetual Recycling’s success is even more impressive considering that the company’s raw material is not a blend of high-quality and lower grades of PET. Rather, its sole supply is PET containers and thermoform packaging collected through curbside recycling programs.
“We take in Coke and Pepsi containers, plus water bottles. We also want salad bowls, cake tops, packaging from big-box retailers. Anything that is made from PET,” Bender says. “That is the future of our industry, and that will clearly differentiate us from others.”
Wilfred Poiesz, western region vice president for Stamford, Conn.-based Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, supplier of Perpetual’s Titech equipment, says, “Our equipment can handle all kinds of challenges in feedstock and can easily adapt to variations. Bale density, bale composition, infeed rates of flake, frozen bales, heat waves, chemicals—there are so many factors that affect the process.
“However, you would like to start up with the most average materials in order to slowly adjust to the variations while making a good finished product. Most challenges that were experienced were with unusually high concentrations of rejects of some kind in the incoming loads,” Poiesz says.
“Starting up a facility in a new geographic area comes with new suppliers, and this poses new challenges in feedstock management,” he adds. “It requires time to provide feedstock suppliers with feedback and data on what the facility can handle, while the operator of the facility needs data to review the financial feasibility or opportunity to process those loads. It all takes time,” Poeisz says.
Perpetual Recycling Solutions purchases 1,000-pound bales of PET from MRFs located throughout the Midwest. Once the material arrives at the company’s plant, the plastics are debaled for processing and hand sorted to remove large contaminants, like bowling balls, and paper. Following debaling, ferrous is removed using magnets prior to conveying the containers to a trommel, which removes glass, sand and particulates. The material then passes through a prewash system, which also removes any labels. Bender likens this step to the soak cycle on a dishwasher.
He says Perpetual Recycling’s prewash system provides a considerable advantage. He says that while many traditional plastics recycling operations don’t include this type of intense investment on the front end, this prewash system allows the company to transform its incoming curbside material to quality level comparable with PET from states with deposit laws.
The containers then pass through optical sorters, which separate them into clear and colored fractions and eject non-PET plastics and metals.
“We are passing through three major decontamination steps before we grind anything,” he says of Perpetual’s process.
Perpetual uses wet grinders, rather than the more conventional dry grinders, because, Bender says, they produce better quality material.
The ground material is washed again before an additional purification step.
Finally, the flake material is optically sorted to remove any contaminants that might still be present. Perpetual Recycling Solutions is processing 10,000 pounds per hour at this stage.
As successful as the project has been so far, Bender says he see challenges. While fully confident that his firm will be able to source the volume it requires for its operation, he says he is concerned about the presence of nonrecyclable PET plastics. “That could be through a new biodegradeable PET or some new additive in PET,” Bender says. “There are things that could be done that could ruin this industry.”
To ensure this doesn’t happen, he says optical sorters must be able to identify this material as different from traditional PET.
Quality also represents another challenge to the plastics recycling sector. This, Bender says, is where MRFs play an important role. “They have to deliver the right quality. To grow we need better quality. We need better yield. There needs to be more PET and less contaminants in the bale.”
China’s introduction of the Operation Green Fence also has helped to draw attention to material quality, he says.
Bender adds that if MRFs can increase the quality of their plastics bales in response to China’s Operation Green Fence, more domestic suppliers will be interested in the material. “I believe that MRFs that make investments in additional technology will get returns,” he says. “I think that my peers and I would pay more for a higher-quality product.”
Despite these hurdles, Bender conveys confidence that his company will grow as recycled content is embraced by more brand owners. “The advantage of what we do with the food-grade flake is that it enables an entire category of brand owners to use recycled content at the right economics. Previously, most of the sheet industry, people who make cups and birthday cake tops and deli containers, had to buy pellets, which is an extra step. But they are now able to use flake with a specific quality.” Bender adds that by providing high-quality RPET flake, “brand owners can get into the market at the right economics.”
While Perpetual makes things look easy, Bender says, “This is a challenging business. You are taking a nonhomogeneous product and making a homogenous product. There is art and science every day.”
Another challenge comes in the form of available raw material, as reclamation capacity outpaces available supply. “This is the first time in history where U.S. reclamation capacity exceeds supply,” Bender says. “We need those two to balance out.”
However, recycling outside of the home remains a challenge in many areas of the U.S., which affects the amount of material captured for recycling. “We are a country of portability and we need to make sure we can recycle wherever we are, not just at home,” Bender says.
For more information see videos:
The author is senior editor of Recycling Today and can be reached via email at email@example.com.
In the recycling and solid waste industry, uptime is of utmost importance. Most facilities experience long lines at the scale, and so they place a premium on getting trucks in and out quickly. But, have you ever stopped to think about how much you could be losing per truck?
When you placed your scale in service, the state agency responsible for certifying weights and measures ensured that it met the necessary regulatory requirements, and the manufacturer assured you that the scale was capable of holding to accurate tolerances. However, external variables and real-world issues can knock your scale out of calibration and cost you a lot of money, as the chart to the right illustrates.
A simple error of one increment (20 pounds) can lead to $30,000 in annual product loss! This is a real example and is based on a product with a value of 5 cents per pound and a duty cycle of 100 weighments per day.
For this reason, consider implementing the following best practices.
1. Implement A Calibration & Inspection Agreement.
The simplest step you can take is to implement a calibration and inspection agreement with your service provider. Depending on the requirements and type of weighing device and the frequency required to assure accurate weighing and to reduce the risk of loss because of an inaccurate scale, inspection costs can be as low as $500 annually. Compared with the potential loss figures, this is a worthwhile investment.
How often should your scale be inspected? Kansas City, Mo.-based Fairbanks Scales, an industrial weighing equipment and service provider, recommends a minimum of two inspections per year for most scales, but the sort of heavy traffic that recycling and solid waste facilities experience can easily justify more frequent verification, inspection and service. Consult with your scale service company about a schedule that works best for your company.
What should you look for in a service provider? “Investigate the longevity of the company,” recommends Mike Wilkinson, product manager at Fairbanks. “How long have they been in business? Do they know the industry? Do they have solutions for the challenges that your business faces? Another good check point is to compare the services provided among service providers,” he suggests.
The No. 1 priority of Fairbanks’ calibration and inspection program is to ensure the scale is accurate by testing with certified weights that are traceable to a federal standard, Wilkinson says. As a value-added component of the inspection, Fairbanks reviews and inspects the electronic and mechanical components to ensure there is no wear or issues looming that could result in inaccuracies or unexpected downtime.
Regardless of the company servicing your scale, it should be able to document the test weights’ traceability.
After inspection, be sure the service company provides a written evaluation of the inspection and reviews the condition with you. This is by far the simplest and most economical way to avoid inaccuracies and unexpected downtime.
2. Keep the Scale Foundation Clean.
Recycling and solid waste operations can generate a lot of debris. Be sure to regularly remove the buildup to avoid scale inaccuracies. A pressure sprayer is a fast and easy way to clear debris and keep the scale and foundation free of buildup. Be sure that your junction boxes, electronics and load cells are properly rated to withstand pressure washing; otherwise, you may cause damage.
3. Perform Your Own Inspection.
Inspect for anomalies. A properly operating scale is dependent on every component working together. Inspect the weighbridge for damage or signs of wear and corrosion. During your inspection:
- Examine the junction boxes inside and out. Do they show signs of damage, corrosion or moisture entry?
- Module connection hardware should be intact and not damaged.
- Check the load cells for damage, corrosion and signs of moisture entry into the enclosure and the cable entry gland. Liquid is a good conductor and can easily short your electronics if allowed to enter the sensing element area.
- Inspect quick-disconnect load cell cables frequently as they are responsible for many avoidable failures.
- Inspect the wiring for damage. Exposed conductors cause communication errors when wet and are usually the culprit of erratic performance.
- Your scale’s paint system isn’t just for good looks; it’s a critical barrier against scale corrosion on your weighbridge steel. Repaint if you expect maximum life from the weighbridge steel.
- If your scale has cover plates, inspect the connection hardware and make sure they are there, functional and free from mud and debris.
- Grease the load cell cups at recommended intervals. Some manufacturers incorporate zerk type fittings, allowing grease application without physically separating the load cell components.
- Inspect concrete for signs of failure. Address these issues as soon as possible.
4. Make Adjustments.
Your weigh-bridge will expand and contract slightly at different times of the year. This thermal expansion requires attention and readjustment of your checking. The checking system on your scale keeps the weighbridge in place as it naturally rocks and moves from traffic. Insufficient gap in the checking can cause binding and weighing errors. Too much gap in the checking allows excessive movement, including a scale tipping. Excessive movement adds unnecessary wear to components.
5. Keep Your Scale Grounded.
Today’s truck scales use sophisticated electronics to communicate weighment data to the instrument. A securely grounded scale is a basic defense from lightning and power surges. Be sure that the scale is connected to the manufacturer’s specified grounding system and that there are no interruptions in this system. Transient voltage seeks the easiest path to ground. If your scale isn’t grounded through a ground rod connection, it surely is grounded through other components.
6. Monitor Your Scale's Use.
You probably don’t have the time to monitor how fast traffic enters and exits the scale. However, keep in mind that while the scale is designed to slightly move with traffic, abusive and aggressive entrance and exiting of traffic accelerates wear. Again, taxing the scale means more wear and more dollars spent in repairs. Many scale manufacturers offer accessories to promote traffic discipline while entering and exiting your scale. Traffic signals and guide post kits at the approach and exit can manage traffic flow and truck speed effectively for a small investment.
7. Install Accessories Where Necessary.
Consider the accessories below to prevent issues with your scale.
- Riser plates – “Be very wary of a low-profile scales,” Wilkinson says. “Reducing the clearance under the scale gets you two things: One, it takes less debris accumulation to impact the accuracy of a low-profile scale. Secondly, it makes cleaning your scale much more difficult, as the underside is impossible to reach.” Riser plates elevate the weighbridge, reducing the risk of debris accumulation and providing clearance for cleaning and inspection.
- Load cell boots – Exposed to debris, weather, moisture and debris that has migrated below the deck, your load cells operate in the worst environment possible. Load cell boots act like a protective glove and prevent debris from affecting load cell operation.
- Steel and rubber belting – At each end of your scale is a small gap between the scale and foundation. Installing T-belting along this gap between the scale and foundation wall helps to prevent accumulation of dirt and debris.
To keep your inspections frequent without losing too much business to downtime, consider switching to a digital scale. “Let’s say a typical scale has eight to 10 load cells,” Wilkinson says. “If it’s an analog setup, it could take four to six hours—the bulk of a day—to get your scale calibrated correctly. Whereas, with a digital system, we can see the performance of each individual load cell on the instrument screen. With that ease of access, you’re talking minutes to half an hour for recalibration.” In the end, how you implement these best practices is up to you. One thing is certain: Neglecting your scale costs profit.
Boomerang Environment, located in Laval, Quebec, is a multimaterial sorting center that specializes in sorting small-, medium- and large-sized plastics. Equipped with state-of-the-art optical sorting technology, Boomerang Environment makes it possible to recycle all groups and subgroups of plastic materials. The facility accepts postindustrial and postconsumer plastic. Once sorted, the plastic is baled by category and sold.
Because the material is purchased directly by Boomerang, it is critical that incoming as well as outbound vehicles transporting the plastics are accurately weighed to ensure the exact quantities are being transported.
Because each type of plastic has its own price, customers purchase truckloads of a single category of plastic. Therefore, it is important to document the exact weight of the vehicle to optimize billing accuracy and to maintain customer satisfaction.
“Accuracy is key in our business,” says Alina Manji, sales and marketing director at Boomerang Environment. “If the weight of a certain material is off even a little bit, it can affect our billing documentation and our credibility with our customers.”
In addition to optimizing weight data accuracy, Boomerang also dealt with the challenge of heavy traffic because only one scale was used to weigh incoming and outbound vehicles. This not only resulted in production downtime with drivers waiting around for their turns, but it also presented safety issues for facility employees and occupants.
To resolve these issues and ensure efficient weighing procedures, Boomerang implemented two concrete BridgeMont XL truck scales from Avery Weigh-Tronix with PC connectivity and printers. These extra-long, 75-foot scales provide a rugged weighing solution that can easily handle heavy traffic and axle loads beyond legal highway limits, according to Avery Weigh-Tronix.
One of the truck scales is located outside of the facility and is used to weigh the incoming vehicles loaded with mixed materials. This setup allows drivers to have visible access to their vehicles’ weights before entering the facility.
The second scale is located inside the facility and weighs the sorted materials, as empty trucks are placed on the scale and loaded to capacity. To facilitate simple and accurate documentation, track sorted materials and customer billing, both scales are directly linked to the facility’s PC software system located in the administrative office—allowing the weight to be recorded directly to the computer and sent to the printer for documentation.
“The truck scales from Avery Weigh-Tronix allow everything to be done from the administrative desk, eliminating the risk of accidents in the facility,” adds Manji. “Plus, drivers don’t have to remember to manually record their data each time.”
By using two truck scales, Boomerang experienced fast in/out times for all vehicles, eliminating long lines to the weigh station and operation downtime. This also allows operators to maximize the number of loads weighed in a given amount of time, ultimately optimizing overall profits, while, in turn, providing an ecofriendly weighing process. Additionally, the scales’ capability of directly connecting to custom software allows for fast and accurate data collection. Before scales offered this feature, companies would have to print out each transaction and then re-enter it into their program manually—increasing the potential for human error. This may lead to inaccurate invoices or customer dissatisfaction. Continuous, up-to-date documentation also permits all personnel to view data on or off the site.
“Avery Weigh-Tronix truck scales provide reliable measurements, fast results and user-friendly operation,” Manji says. “Plus, the fact that they come with exceptional customer service make them a clear-cut weighing solution for us.”
Upon implementation of the truck scales, Boomerang has eliminated the constant back and forth from the administration desk to the scale booth—streamlining the process to save time and prevent safety risks. With continuous, up-to-date weight information for each vehicle, Boomerang can place the necessary records directly in the customer’s file, ensuring reliable weight data every time.
This article was submitted on behalf of Avery Weigh-Tronix. To learn more about Avery Weigh-Tronix equipment and solutions, visit www.wtxweb.com.
For more information about Boomerang Environment, visit http://www.boomerangenv.com.
This article was contributed on behalf of Kansas City, Mo.-based Fairbanks Scales. More information on the company is available at www.fairbanks.com.
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.
Harsh economic down cycles tend to cause a shakeout in the American steel industry, as some of the least cost-efficient mills are idled either temporarily or permanently.
The downturn of 2008 and 2009 caused several casualties, and the tepid pace of the economic recovery is putting several other steelmakers in difficult financial positions.
For most of 2012 and into 2013, the steel mill capability utilization (capacity) rate calculated by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), Washington, D.C., has hovered in the 75 percent range.
While this rate can go much lower—and did in 2008 and 2009—it has some analysts pondering likely targets for mill shutdowns or mergers that can lead to idled capacity.
Construction Quiet Zone
As the U.S. economy recovered from the banking and investment industry’s bailout (and the soon-to-follow auto industry bailout) in 2010 and 2011, the steel industry experienced an uneven recovery.
As vehicle sales rebounded, flat-rolled steel mills increased their output, and as infrastructure projects received allocated funding, some rebar mills benefited.
The construction industry however, has yet to approach the activity levels it enjoyed in 2005 or 2006. As a result, steel beams and plate have remained in low demand, rebar making has not fully recovered and even sheet steel could benefit if more new home buyers also were in the market purchasing washers, dryers, refrigerators and air conditioners.
In early 2013, the investment advice website Motley Fool (www.fool.com), looking at the recent financial performance of U.S.-based steel producers, commented, “Major U.S. steel companies have had nowhere to hide from the crumbling nonresidential construction market since its peak in July 2008; major domestic [steel] producers have suffered much more than the overall [stock] market.”
In late May 2013, steel industry analysts Peter Marcus of World Steel Dynamics, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., offered little short-term encouragement, predicting the steel industry will continue to travel the “rutted road” it started out on in 2008 through the rest of this year and 2014.
Marcus, speaking at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World Recycling Convention in Shanghai, said steel demand in Europe looks likely to remain low in 2013 and 2014 and that even China, with its slower GDP growth, faces overcapacity. “When economies grow more slowly, steel intensity drops,” he commented.
The ruts in the road for U.S. steelmakers are clear when looking at output statistics for the first four months of 2013.
According to figures reported to the Brussels-based World Steel Association (WorldSteel), steel output in the U.S. declined 7.3 percent from the first four months of 2012, dropping from 31 million metric tons produced in 2012 to 28.8 million metric tons in early 2013.
Neighboring Canada is reporting similar conditions, with output there down 4.3 percent in the first four months of 2013.
U.S. steelmakers were already discouraged heading into 2013, particularly when looking at the critical construction sector.
In its early 2013 essay on U.S.-based steel producers, the Motley Fool notes that when asked about nonresidential construction spending in its third quarter of 2012 earnings call, Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp. then-CEO Dan DiMicco replied, “We are still seeing abysmal levels overall.”
Less Money, More Problems
Ferrous scrap dealers anticipating a boost from overseas steelmaking activity may not receive any such boost in late 2013.
In Europe, the ongoing parade of government bond and debt bailouts and austerity measures has harmed not only the construction sector but also has eroded purchases in the automotive industry—the other major pillar of steel consumption.
Whereas America’s steelmakers have witnessed 10 percent growth in output since 2010, European steel production declined sharply in 2012 and continues to sink in 2013.
WorldSteel figures showed output in the 27 EU nations at 169.4 million metric tons in 2012, down some 4.7 percent from the 177.7 million metric tons made in 2011.
Nations most severely troubled by government debt and austerity measures are responsible for a healthy portion of that decrease. Although it is not a major steel producer, production in Greece fell a staggering 35 percent compared with 2011.
The more sizable economy of Spain also is reeling. Steel production in that nation has dropped from 16.3 million metric tons in 2010 to 15.5 million metric tons in 2011 to 13.6 million metric tons in 2012. Steel production plunged nearly 17 percent from 2010 to 2012.
In Germany, the EU’s largest steelmaking nation, output has experienced ups and downs during the past two years, with 2011’s output having increased by 2.7 percent compared with 2010’s. Output in 2012 receded by 3.7 percent, however, falling from 44.3 million metric tons produced in 2011 to 42.7 million metric tons in 2012.
The growth of China’s steelmaking production has followed a rocket-like trajectory since the mid-1990s, when the nation’s economic reforms and massive infrastructure spending kicked into gear.
In 2012, the nation continued to churn out steel but not necessarily profits. In terms of output, WorldSteel figures showed China producing 716.5 million metric tons in 2012, up 3.1 percent from the 694.8 million metric tons made in 2011.
While annual Chinese steel production continues to break its own record each year, the over-heated furnaces are not necessarily producing a financial bonanza for Chinese steelmakers.
A report in the Beijing-based China Daily in late 2012 refers to Chinese steelmakers as “posting whopping losses in the first three quarters” of 2012.
China Daily reports that Liu Zhenjiang, vice president of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), speaking at an industry conference in November, said “most large and medium-sized steel companies have [been] suffering losses.” According to China Daily, Liu said, “The year 2012 is the most difficult year for China’s steel industry since the beginning of the 21st century.”
As 2013 hits its midway point, unrest in Turkey is likely catching the attention of those in the ferrous scrap and steel industries. Turkish electric arc furnace (EAF) mills have been absorbing scrap at healthy levels for several years, as that nation’s mills provide steel for the Persian Gulf region as well as for considerable infrastructure spending within Turkey. (See “Next Boat Out” below.)
Should economic growth, infrastructure spending and foreign direct investment in Turkey hit a rough patch, its industry would almost certainly feel the effects.
Next Boat Out
Among the year-end 2012 figures to be found in the publication are a list of the world’s leading ferrous scrap exporters and importers.
As in 2011, the United States was the leading exporter in 2012, shipping some 21.4 million metric tons to other nations. The U.S. was followed by the European Union at 19.2 million metric tons; Japan at 8.5 million metric tons; Russia at 4.3 million metric tons; and Canada at 4.2 million metric tons.
The leading destinations for this scrap also remained largely unchanged in 2012 compared with the year before.
Turkey imported 22.4 million metric tons, followed by South Korea at 10.1 million metric tons and India at 8.1 million metric tons.
India surpassed China for that third spot in 2012, while China finished fourth by importing 4.97 million metric tons, just barely edging out Taiwan at 4.95 million.
Still Need To Melt
Steelmakers throughout the world in late 2013 are facing regional economic circumstances but also may face a common dilemma in terms of securing feedstock.
Several years of modest manufacturing output and a weak construction sector in both Europe and the United States have resulted in scrap generation rates that are struggling to keep up with global EAF demand for ferrous scrap.
In the U.S., a surge in natural gas production points to the increased use of direct-reduced iron (DRI) or other scrap alternatives in EAF production. Nucor Corp., despite owning the David J. Joseph Co., is investing heavily in a direct reduced iron production plant in Louisiana.
Nucor is not alone. A late December 2012 report from Bloomberg refers to operators of several existing or proposed U.S. steel mills investing to use DRI as feedstock now that natural gas has become abundant and affordable there. The Bloomberg article refers to five such projects:
- The Nucor facility in Louisiana is expected to come online yet in 2013.
- Nucor may be researching a second DRI project, likely north of Louisiana in a region with abundant natural gas.
- Voestalpine AG of Austria is considering building a $655 million steel mill in the United States in part because of affordable energy costs.
- Australian steelmaker Bluescope Steel Ltd. is considering building a DRI plant, perhaps near its Delta, Ohio, steel mill, along with a joint venture partner.
- Bank analysts in late 2012 indicated that Indian steelmaker Essar Global Ltd. is researching the possibility of building a DRI plant in Minnesota.
The pricing, supply and demand interplay between DRI and ferrous scrap has shown an established pattern in the United States. Historically, DRI production hits a price floor tied to natural gas costs that renders it competitive for relatively narrow windows of time. However, ferrous scrap prices have sustained themselves at $350 or more per short ton for several years, and seldom has natural gas been as abundant and affordable as it is set to be in 2013.
As ferrous scrap recyclers from around the world gathered in Shanghai for the BIR Convention, Marcus predicted raw material costs are on their way to heading back in favor of scrap as a feedstock.
China’s ferrous scrap reservoir has been building, said Marcus. He forecasted that by 2025 China will have a ferrous scrap surplus of 145 million tons per year, “given the same EAF steelmaking and BOF (basic oxygen furnace) scrap usage figures.”
Even if China adds EAF capacity and charges more scrap into its BOF mills, Marcus foresees “75 million tons of surplus” scrap in China annually by 2025.
“Steel’s iron age is over,” said Marcus, who predicted some Chinese steel mills would be idled as that nation’s GPD growth rate subsides. “Who’s going to build a new integrated mill in that environment?”
Unfortunately for executives at steelmaking companies, a number of strategic missteps are likely to take place as they try to determine which feedstock to use, which mills to invest in and how to deploy assets in a changing environment.
The author is editor of Recycling Today and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.