Exide Technologies Files for Bankruptcy Protection
Exide Technologies, a manufacturer and recycler of lead-acid batteries, has filed a voluntary petition for reorganization in the District of Delaware.
According to Exide, only its U.S. operations, including its GNB Industrial Division, are included in the bankruptcy filing. The company says it plans to continue to operate globally without interruption during the reorganization.
In a prepared statement at the time of the filing, James Bolch, Exide president and CEO, said, “Operations, both in the U.S. and in the rest of the world, will continue to serve customers in a timely manner with the same quality products and outstanding customer care as they did before the filing. All postfiling obligations to U.S. suppliers will be paid on time and within terms. We intend to pay U.S. employees as usual and do not expect any material changes to their benefits. Outside of the U.S., obligations to employees and suppliers will not be impacted by the filing.”
To continue to operate while in Chapter 11, Exide reports that it has negotiated a $500 million debtor-in-possession financing facility.
“Our company has been burdened by a highly leveraged balance sheet, which has limited our ability to competitively invest in our businesses,” Bolch added. “Recently, our profitability has been impacted by unprecedented increases in our product costs —driven primarily by the market price of scrap lead in North America—as well as operational challenges in the U.S. and Europe which we have been unable to fully offset. After a great deal of consideration, we concluded a restructuring of our balance sheet and our operations was the best path forward for the company.”
LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS
Ontario Government Proposes New Waste Reduction Strategy
The province of Ontario has proposed legislation that, if passed, would require producers to take responsibility for recycling products they sell.
The Waste Reduction Act would encourage producers to turn more waste into new products, which, legislators say they believe, would generate new investment and create jobs. Ontario’s proposed Waste Reduction Strategy, which has been released for public and stakeholder feedback, offers a blueprint and timeline for implementing the proposed legislation.
The Waste Reduction Act is designed to boost recycling in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors, starting with paper and packaging materials. The proposed act seeks to protect consumers from eco-fees by ensuring recycling costs are included in the advertised price of a product. The move would motivate companies to make their recycling processes more economical and competitive, according to proponents of the proposed legislation.
Other provisions in the act are designed to bring about improved oversight and accountability for waste diversion by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of individual producers, the provincial government, municipalities and a new Waste Reduction Authority.
The act would allow for greater producer funding of the Blue Box program, easing the financial burden on municipal property taxpayers, and would foster innovation in product and packaging design, according to Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment.
“We want an Ontario where waste becomes worth in the form of a cleaner environment, new investment, new recycling factories, new jobs and new Ontario-made products,” says Jim Bradley, Ontario’s minister of the environment. “Our proposed legislation can help get us there.”
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Boeing and Alcoa Close the Loop
Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, and Alcoa, headquartered in Pittsburgh, have formed a closed-loop program that they say will significantly increase recycling of aluminum aerospace alloys used during the production of Boeing airplanes. The announcement was made at the 2013 Paris Air Show.
The closed-loop recycling program will entail the intermodal transport of aluminum alloy scrap, including advanced alloys, from Boeing plants in Auburn, Wash., and Wichita, Kan., to Alcoa’s Lafayette, Ind., plant for melting into new aerospace materials.
According to an Alcoa news release, the program calls for the recycling of 2XXX- and 7XXX-series aluminum alloys used to produce Boeing’s wing and fuselage components. The forms will include aluminum extrusions, sheet and plate products. At the outset, the companies say they expect about 8 million pounds of aluminum to be recycled per year.
Alcoa says the closed-loop recycling program also creates a blueprint that could be expanded to recover scrap from Boeing subcontractors and could be expanded to include other aluminum scrap forms, including chips that remain after the machining of parts.
“This program will maximize the value of aluminum scrap materials throughout the supply chain while also reducing waste,” says Leslie Shuman, supply chain director for Alcoa’s Aerospace, Transportation and Industrial Rolled Products.
Canada Fibers Expands Toronto MRF
Toronto-based Canada Fibers has unveiled its expanded Arrow Road MRF (material recovery facility) in Toronto. The company says the MRF is the largest of its kind in North America and is equipped to recycle residential material as well as industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) recyclables. (For a profile of Canada Fibers, see the feature article “Versatile Performer” in the October 2012 issue of Recycling Today, available online at www.RecyclingToday.com/rt1012-canada- fibers-success.aspx)
Canada Fibers has a contract to process recyclables collected through Toronto’s Blue Bin program. The MRF’s first phase opened in 2010. This 25-metric-ton-per-hour single-stream facility targeted industrial, commercial and institutional materials, including what Canada Fibers characterizes as difficult-to-recycle streams from public spaces and residue from conventional residential MRFs.
The company says its Arrow Road MRF now can handle material from residential and IC&I sources combined at a rate of more than 60 metric tons per hour. Canada Fibers adds that the MRF is likely to recover and process 350,000 metric tons per year and that its goal is to achieve a 97 percent recovery rate.
The company’s Arrow Road MRF complex includes the following equipment:
- 10 optical sorters;
- 20 vacuum hoods (to recover plastic film);
- Bag-breaking technology;
- Disk screen technology; and
- A continuous loop feature designed to optimize and maximize the recovery of recyclables.
A video of Canada Fibers’ Arrow Road MRF can be viewed at www.RecyclingToday.com/canada-fibers-mrf-expansion-toronto.aspx.
Behr Iron Acquires Morris Tick Co.
Behr Iron & Metal, Rockford, Ill., has acquired Morris Tick Co., a scrap metal recycling company based in Bloomington, Ill.
Jodi Behr, vice president of marketing for Behr Iron & Metal, says the acquisition is part of the company’s move to strengthen its presence in the Midwest. Following the acquisition, she adds, Behr will update and upgrade the Morris Tick yard to make it more environmentally secure and more welcoming to peddler traffic.
According to a local press report, Morris Tick has been in business for four generations, having opened in 1898.
Behr, with more than a dozen locations throughout the Midwest, also recently opened a new auto shredder in Peoria, Ill., and will be seeking additional scrap to send to the facility.
As well, the company recently celebrated the grand opening of its yard in Rochelle, Ill. The facility is located on 40 acres and includes a building in excess of 85,000 square feet with a 50-foot-high ceiling, enabling Behr to locate its processing equipment indoors. The facility includes an indoor drive-through nonferrous buyback center that can hold up to 10 cars at a time, the company says.
In an announcement following the grand opening of the Rochelle facility, William Bremner, Behr president and CEO, said, “Behr Iron & Metal is pleased to expand its regional recycling footprint with a full-service, indoor, drive-through facility in the heart of Rochelle. It is our mission to operate environmentally sound, clean and convenient recycling services.”
LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS
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Los Angeles to Ban Plastic Grocery Bags
The Los Angeles City Council has voted 11-1 in favor of banning the use of single-use plastic bags at pharmacies, food stores and large stores in the city. Customers who want paper bags will have to pay 10 cents per bag, according to the ordinance.
The vote follows a similar measure that was defeated in the California State Legislature in May.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the ordinance into law June 26. The ordinance will be phased in during 2014, reaching larger stores Jan. 1, 2014, and smaller retail operations July 1, 2014.
Businesses that fail to comply with the law will face a $100 fine for the first violation, a $200 fine after the second violation and a $500 fine following the third violation. Fines will be imposed for each day the violation continues.
One of the groups that had expressed opposition was the Progressive Bag Alliance, based in Washington, D.C. Following the vote, its chairman, Mark Daniels, said, “By voting to ban plastic bags and impose a 10-cent tax on paper bags, the Los Angeles City Council has sent a terrible message to manufacturers, small businesses and working families in the city of Los Angeles. After recently being voted down in the state Senate, the California Grocers Association continues to peddle this bag ban and tax scam around the state because big grocers stand to make millions from collecting every penny of the tax on paper bags. This ordinance has been sold to the public through junk science in the name of the environment, but bag bans and taxes don’t help the environment—they make things worse.”
He adds, “A tax on consumers is hurtful and, worse, a ban on plastic bags threatens the jobs of the 1,000 hard-working employees of Los Angeles area plastic bag manufacturers.”
Copart Acquires QCSA Holdings
The auto recycling company and remarketing firm Copart, headquartered in Dallas has acquired the vehicle remarketing firm QCSA Holdings Inc., Davenport, Iowa, from the private equity firm Kinderhook Industries. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
QCSA Holdings has grown through the consolidation of four acquisitions. The company processes more than 100,000 vehicles per year through 39 auction facilities in 14 states. QCSA Holdings operates under the brand names Quad City Salvage Auction, Crashed Toys and Desert View Auto Auction.
Paul Cifelli, managing director at Kinderhook, says, “QCSA’s outstanding management team was able to execute upon its growth strategy, which was accelerated through a successful buy-and-build initiative. The breadth and scale of QCSA operations offers significant strategic value to Copart. QCSA is well-positioned to continue to expand its business under Copart’s leadership.”
Copart operates a total of 203 facilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
John Lindle, CEO of QCSA, says, “QCSA is excited to be joining forces with Copart as the company enters its next phase of growth. Copart has a long-standing focus on the salvage sector and understands our industry. The Kinderhook team fully supported the company’s growth strategy through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Our partnership with Kinderhook has been pivotal in getting QCSA to this important day.”
Cor Carruthers, managing director at New York-based Kinderhook, says, “The sale of QCSA demonstrates Kinderhook’s investment strategy of partnering with strong management teams and building successful companies that attract strategic buyers. The employees and management team of QCSA have built an agile organization which provides high quality service to its customers. We are confident that the QCSA team together with Copart will continue to build on that legacy.”
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SRS Dallas Plant Achieves Certifications
Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS), with Americas headquarters in Chicago, has reported that its Dallas plant has earned OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 14001:2004 certifications.
OHSAS 18001 is an international occupational health and safety management system standard designed to help organizations manage and control health and safety risks and improve performance. Certification follows an audited verification of an organization’s health and safety management system.
ISO 14001 is an international environmental standard designed to help organizations establish, implement, maintain and improve its environmental management system and performance.
“These two certifications represent our commitment to provide electronics reuse and recycling services that adhere to the highest standards in health, safety and environmental protection; standards that continue to be the core elements of the Sims Recycling Solutions culture,” says Steve Skurnac, president of SRS. “We take great pride in our safe work culture and in our continuous improvement of and excellence in recycling.”
Axion Recycled-Content Plastic Used to Build Bridge
Axion International Holdings Inc., New Providence, N.J., a developer of recycled plastic and plastic composite technologies, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 29 for a bridge in Logan County, Ohio, made of its Struxure 100-percent-recycled infrastructure building products. Axion announced the purchase order for the bridge in September 2012.
Logan County Engineer Scott Coleman said the durability, expected life span of more than 50 years and environmental benefits of using 100-percent-recycled materials weighed into the decision to use Struxure. Logan County hopes to achieve zero-waste status by 2020.
Struxure is made from a mix of recycled materials of which 80 percent is postconsumer plastics and 20 percent comes from car bumpers and dashboards.
“Axion supplied our Struxure infrastructure building materials,” says Dave Crane, Axion executive vice president of building products, “and we consulted on the engineering of the bridge as well. We are very confident of the performance and value Struxure products deliver. For years, 70-ton tanks have been driving over a similar Struxure bridge on a U.S. army base.”
According to Steve Silverman, Axion president and CEO, “Advancements in technology are creating new economics and feasibility around recycled building materials. We are seeing increased adoption of our high performance, proven infrastructure grade building materials that make sense for communities, both financially and environmentally.”
Axion says the 24.6-foot Onion Ditch Bridge is the longest made from 100-percent-recycled plastic materials in North America and the second bridge of its kind on a public road; Axion had earlier built a bridge using Struxure in York, Maine.
New York State’s St. Lawrence County Department of Highways has purchased Struxure to repair and restore bridges. Other tank and railroad bridges have been built using Struxure on domestic military bases.
KAB, Beverage Firm Provide Recycling Grants
The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS), headquartered in Plano, Texas, along with Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Stamford, Conn., have introduced the Park Recycling Bin Grant Program. In its first year, the Park Recycling Bin Grant program will work to establish or expand recycling opportunities at public parks. DPS has committed to a one-year collaboration with KAB to fund the placement of the recycling bins.
Tim Gratto, vice president of sustainability for DPS, says, “We are pleased to be working with KAB to develop meaningful solutions that support public space recycling. The DPS/KAB Park Recycling Bin Grant Program makes recycling easier and more accessible for consumers in their favorite parks and public spaces while also aiding efforts to reduce litter.”
In total, 33 grants are being awarded to local and state governments in 23 states. The grants will provide 710 durable, permanent recycling bins in a variety of park settings, KAB and DPS say.
A full list of the communities receiving grants is available at http://irecycleonthego.wordpress.com.
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Nebraska Awards $1.9 Million for Tire Collection, Recycling Projects
Mike Linder, director of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, has announced that the state is awarding $1.93 million to support 101 tire recycling and cleanup projects across Nebraska.
“Nebraskans pay a $1 fee for every new tire they purchase,” says Linder. “These grants put that money into use locally to help manage scrap tires. We like to see the highest possible beneficial use of these old tires, and these projects help us reach that goal.”
Nebraskans generate more than 1.5 million scrap tires each year, about one tire for every person in the state. The grants will be used to reimburse individuals and organizations for crumb rubber purchases and will help prevent public health and environmental problems by eliminating tire piles, Linder says.
The grants are part of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Grants program, which is administered by NDEQ.
The list of grant recipients is available at www.RecyclingToday.com/FileUploads/file/ Recycling/NebraskaTireGrants.pdf.
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OCC Recycling Rate Tops 91 Percent
According to the Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA), Elk Grove Village, Ill., 91 percent of the corrugated packaging used in the United States in 2012—29 million tons—was collected for recycling, making it the most recycled packaging material.
The CPA is a corrugated industry initiative that is jointly sponsored by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) and the Fibre Box Association (FBA).
The CPA also reports that more than 50 percent of the OCC collected in the United States for recycling is used to make new containerboard. An additional 12 percent of the collected OCC was used to make recycled paperboard, and 34 percent was exported.
Glass Recycling Returns to Birmingham, Ala.
The city of Birmingham, Ala., has announced that it will resume collecting glass at its downtown recycling center. Waste Pro, Longwood, Fla., will provide a roll-off container and assist the city in finding and shipping the collected glass to markets in the South.
Since glass was excluded from local recycling efforts nearly 10 years ago, the Alabama Environmental Council (AEC) has been accepting glass at its recycling center for use in cement manufacturing. Argos, previously LaFarge, had been paying to haul the glass to its plant in Calera, Ala., where it was stored and pulverized before being added to the company’s concrete mix. However, Argos stopped accepting glass earlier this year.
“It has been very disappointing for us to have to tell people they couldn’t drop off their glass, but we have been searching for another recycling opportunity,” says Michael Churchman, executive director of AEC. “Since this is one of the only places to recycle glass in our area, we have been working to find another outlet and are extremely pleased that Waste Pro has stepped up to help be a leading recycler in central Alabama.”
George Nicholson, a representative from Waste Pro, says, “We’re happy to be able to help find solutions for recycling in the Birmingham Metro area. We have equipment and regional partners that can accept glass, so we reached out and developed a plan with AEC to be able to begin recycling glass again.”
Longer term, AEC and Waste Pro are considering pulverizing the glass themselves and marketing the material to firms that can use it as either cullet or as an aggregate.
Brookfield to Sell Longview Assets
The venture capital firm Brookfield Asset Management Inc., headquartered in Toronto, has reached an agreement to sell Longview Timber and Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging in two separate transactions. The sales are expected to generate $3.675 billion for Brookfield.
Under terms of the first agreement, Brookfield will sell Longview Timber, which consists of about 645,000 acres of timberlands in the Pacific Northwest, to Weyerhaeuser for $2.65 billion including the assumption of debt.
Reid Carter, managing partner of Brookfield Timberlands, says, “Although we are selling our Longview timber assets, we believe that timberland investments provide significant benefits to institutional investment portfolios and have a strong long-term potential for growth. Going forward, we will continue to pursue new timberland investment opportunities through our private fund initiatives with institutional investment partners.”
Brookfield also agreed to sell its Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging assets to KapStone Paper and Packaging for $1.03 billion. Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging operates an integrated paper mill in Longview, Wash., and seven container plants in the Pacific Northwest. Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging produces kraft paper, containerboard and corrugated boxes.
Cyrus Madon, senior managing partner in Brookfield’s Private Equity Group, says, “We acquired these timberlands and manufacturing assets as one business in 2007 and restructured the business, separating the manufacturing business from the timberlands and engaging in an operational turnaround of the manufacturing business by our private equity fund. While the timing of the sale transactions is coincidental, for investors in our funds these transactions represent monetization at excellent returns and puts each of these assets into the hands of strategic buyers who will be able to take them to the next level.”
Film Recycling Group Adds Members
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C., has announced that Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., KW Plastics Recycling, Mil-tek and Verdeco Plastics have joined its Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG). The FFRG is a self-funded working group of the ACC.
“We’re committed to this important industry priority,” says Rick Wagner, Chevron Phillips global sustainability manager. “We hope engagement with this group adds momentum to the team and its efforts in improving recovery rates.”
Shari Jackson, FFRG director, says, “We’re extremely pleased to add the sustainability thought leaders from these companies to the FFRG team. Their participation in our group will drive growth in plastic film recycling that exceeded 1 billion pounds in 2011 and confirms their commitment to supporting effective programs that will further increase bag and film sustainability.”
The ACC says FFRG has relaunched its website, www.plasticfilmrecycling.org, which includes new resources and enhanced features, including an expanded recycler directory database. The site also features a case study directory; downloadable resources for retailers, including updated educational posters; and information on the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s (SPC) film recycling label.
The website also will include a drop-off directory that is searchable by zip code.
Founding members of the FFRG include Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Berry Plastics, Wisconsin Film and Bag, Petoskey Plastics, Sealed Air Corporation, SC Johnson, Avangard and Trex.
© Lockheed Martin
AnythingIT Receives Contract from Lockheed Martin
Fairlawn, N.J.-based AnythingIT Inc., an information technology recycler serving government and commercial clients, has announced that it has been awarded a three-year nationwide contract to provide electronics recycling and remarketing services to Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Md.
According to CEO David Bernstein, “We are excited and honored to have secured this contract to provide IT electronics recycling and remarketing services to Lockheed Martin Corp. This contract reaffirms AnythingIT’s leadership position as well as the effectiveness of our services to customers in managing their legacy IT equipment processes.”
He adds, “We continue to focus on the disposition of assets in an environmentally compliant manner combined with providing market-driven asset values for our customers. Furthermore, we are well positioned to be an effective solution to businesses and operators for years to come.”
Services to be provided under the contract include removal of IT equipment from client sites nationwide, detailed inventorying services, Department of Defense-approved data destruction services, remarketing and recycling.
Shapiro Metals Opens New Dallas-Area Location
Shapiro Metals, headquartered in St. Louis, has opened a new scrap metal recycling facility in Denton, Texas. The location, near Dallas, is the company’s ninth facility. Shapiro Metals already has two scrap yards in the Texas cities of McAllen and Laredo.
The facility, which includes a 40,000-square-foot warehouse and a Harris HRB baler, will handle industrially generated nonferrous scrap from the area.
Bruce Shapiro, president of Shapiro Metals, says the company sought the Dallas-area location because it will allow the company to grow its business in Texas.
Shapiro says the facility is a greenfield operation. “All of our locations are new. We believe in growing organically.”
The Denton yard will employ 10 people.
Kentucky Issues Recycling Grants
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has announced more than $1.4 million in grant funding awarded to two recycling projects in Henderson County, Ky. According to a news release from the governor’s office, more than $900,000 will be spent on the expansion of the Tri-County Alliance Recycling Center and $500,000 will go to the Hugh Sandefur Training Center to develop an electronic scrap recycling program.
“My administration is constantly looking for methods to be more economically and energy efficient,” says Beshear. “Both of these projects enhance efficiency by decreasing environmental waste and increasing job opportunities. I applaud the local, state and federal partners who have helped fund these new recycling projects in Henderson County.”
Funding for the Tri-County Alliance Recycling Center, founded in 1994, includes $800,000 in Multi-County Coal Severance funds; $100,000 in Delta Regional Authority funds; and $33,485 in recycling grant dollars through the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management Kentucky Pride funds.
The funding will be used to construct a centralized recycling center that will collect, process and market recyclables for all three counties that make up the Tri-County Alliance. Additionally, the facility will have the capacity to collect recyclables from other counties.
The new 3,000-square-foot recycling center is currently under construction in Henderson.
The Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center is a nonprofit organization serving three Kentucky counties. To resolve its financial struggles, the center has negotiated a partnership with Atlanta-based ReWorx to reclaim and recycle electronic scrap in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.
The partnership is designed to:
- Reduce the illegal disposal of electronic scrap in western Kentucky landfills;
- Retain and grow regional jobs in collection, processing and sorting of electronic scrap to prepare it for reclamation; and
- Offer a long-term solution to the center’s potential future deficits.
A total of $500,000 in Multi-County Coal Severance funding will support expansion and implementation of the service.
CPIA Releases Report on Flexible Film Packaging
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), Mississauga, Ontario, along with the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF), Barrie, Ontario, and Stewardship Ontario (SO), Toronto, have released a report on the flexible film plastics packaging industry. The joint project, initiated in the fall of 2012, examines the current and potential options for flexible film collection, processing, sorting and end uses.
The report was undertaken by the consulting consortium of Reclay StewardEdge, Resource Recycling Systems and Moore Recycling Associates. Advisory support for the project was provided by Pac Next, which coordinated the provision of technical information from its membership.
The groups say plastic films currently represent 35 percent of the plastics packaging stream in the province of Ontario, with some types of flexible films growing at more than 5 percent per year. According to the CPA, given the volume and growth, this packaging stream must be effectively managed after use.
The objectives of this project were to conduct a comprehensive study of flexible film packaging in the marketplace and in Ontario households to understand what is currently recyclable and the issues encountered at material recovery facilities (MRFs) and plastic reprocessors. The project also sought to identify technologies that can sort film in a MRF or at a reprocessing operation, identify possible packaging design changes to increase recyclability and assess collection costs for film.
The CPA says the report is intended to provide a basis for informed decision making by governments and industry in their efforts to improve the recyclability and diversion of flexible film plastics.
Findings of the report include the assertion that excess recycling capacity exists in North America for clean polyethylene film (PE) being generated. According to the consortium, collecting mixed films with PE film presently is not economically viable because of the lack of cost-effective sorting technologies and end market uses. However, mixed films can be used as an energy source or converted to a fuel for which there is excess demand.
The full report is available at www.plastics.ca/_files/file.php?fileid=itemy TWHUVJURT&filename=file_Final_ Flexible_Film_Report.pdf.
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E-Waste Systems Acquires Surf Investments
The electronics recycling and reverse logistics company E-Waste Systems Inc. (EWSI) has acquired the electronic scrap and mobile computing company Surf Investments Ltd., which is based in Irvine, Calif.
EWSI, with corporate offices in London, Shanghai and Los Altos, Calif., says it expects the acquisition to add $1 million in annual revenue.
Surf Investments is a registered collector of electronic scrap in California and recognized as a warranty-authorized center for repair, returns and resale by a number of larger OEM manufacturers.
“This acquisition extends our eWaste brand and sets our West Coast operating foundation,” says Martin Nielson, CEO of EWSI. “The California market is a top priority for EWSI, and this acquisition will push our e-waste brand deeper, and the local presence allows greater efficiencies for our revenue acceleration initiative.
“This acquisition is a milestone for EWSI due to its strategic geographical position and the solid credentials and licenses it owns,” Neilson continues. “It brings benefits immediately and complements our branding, technology and revenue acceleration core focuses.”
Upon completion of the acquisition, Surf will operate under the E-Waste Systems brand name from its Irvine location.
Julie Peterson Mindiola, founder of Surf Investments, will remain with the company in an executive capacity, while Kimberly Crew, the majority shareholder and president of Surf, will join EWSI’s advisory board.
“I am looking forward to helping EWSI achieve its goals and to promote the cause of highly compliant end-of-life solutions. We both have a lot we can achieve together,” Crew says.
Mindiola, who founded Surf in 1979 and manages its operations, adds, “We see a significant opportunity to grow our business with the support of the EWSI team under the eWaste System brand.”
CEA Releases CRT Glass Survey
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Arlington, Va., has released the results of a national survey on cathode ray tube (CRT) glass management conducted by the Northeast Recycling Council.
The CEA says that while ample markets and downstream vendors appear to exist for recycling CRT glass, about 20 percent of recyclers report difficulties and are seeking solutions to avoid stockpiling material. According to the study:
- Ample markets and downstream vendors exist for most electronics recyclers who responded to the survey;
- Recyclers often rely on intermediary or downstream vendors to process glass;
- The amount of CRT volume sent for processing remains the primary cost differentiator, with smaller volumes incurring higher per-unit costs; and
- Market supply of CRTs is relatively stable or even decreasing for at least half of respondents.
The CEA-funded survey was conducted during two weeks in March and April 2013. A total of 82 companies, of which 70 were invited and 12 were unsolicited, completed the online survey. Among the 70 companies invited to complete the survey, 90 percent are certified electronics recyclers.
In recent years, demand for CRTs has dropped drastically as newer LCD, LED and plasma technologies have become more affordable and widely available. Recovered CRT glass had traditionally been used in the creation of new CRT displays, but the end-use markets for CRT glass have decreased considerably.
“As the uses for CRT glass decline, the consumer electronics and recycling industries have come together to find solutions for recycling this glass,” says Walter Alcorn, vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability, CEA.
PC Rebuilders & Recyclers Certifies to RIOS
PC Rebuilders & Recyclers (PCRR), based in Chicago, has achieved RIOS certification, now making it an R2/RIOS (Responsible Recycling Practices/Recycling Industry Operating Standard) certified electronics recycler. R2/RIOS is designed to demonstrate a facility’s commitment to operating to quality production, environmental and health and safety standards. The company received its RIOS certification in February 2013, and has been R2 certified since January 2012.
RIOS is a management system designed to improve the productivity and efficiency of operations and serves as an alternative to the combination of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards. To earn RIOS certification, PCRR underwent a third-party audit to verify compliance with quality, environmental, health and safety standards.
PCRR primarily focuses on reusing computing equipment. The company, a Microsoft authorized refurbisher, says it is the largest computer refurbisher in Illinois.
“We implemented the RIOS management system because it is the right thing to do for our employees, customers and the environment,” says Willie Cade, founder and CEO of PCRR. “Adding RIOS to our R2 certification reaffirms PCRR’s commitment to providing quality refurbished electronic equipment in an environmentally responsible way.”
San Francisco-based TechSoup recently selected PCRR to become its newest refurbishment partner for the Refurbished Computer Initiative (RCI), which supplies low-cost PCs to charities and libraries.
“PCRR’s R2/RIOS certification gives us the assurances we need to deliver the best refurbished equipment possible and provide environmentally responsible recycling to our members,” says Jim Lynch, electronics recycling/reuse director at TechSoup Global. “We absolutely need our refurbished IT equipment to be as dependable as new PCs.”
“As an industry leader in computer refurbishing, PCRR’s RIOS certification showcases the importance of certification for all electronics recyclers, including those focused on refurbishment,” says Robin Wiener, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI). ISRI is program administrator for RIOS.