WM Recycle America Acquires Greenstar
WM Recycle America LLC, a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc. (WMI) based in Houston, has acquired Greenstar LLC from Ireland-based NTR plc. The deal will provide Waste Management’s customers with what the company says is greater access to recycling solutions by adding the operations of one of the nation’s largest private recyclers to WMI’s already extensive recycling network.
Last year, the acquired operations of Greenstar and its subsidiaries managed about 1.36 million tonnes of recyclables for more than 12,000 customers at 12 MRFs. With this acquisition, Waste Management will have capacity to manage about 14 million tonnes of recyclables per year.
“Acquiring Greenstar advances our growth and transformation strategy to extract more value from the material that we manage,” says William Caesar, president of Waste Management Recycle America.
Some of Greenstar’s facilities are located in the eastern half of the United States. The company also has a large presence in Texas, with operations in Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas.
Dutch Recycler Raided by Police over Alleged Fraud
In late January the Rotterdam location for Netherlands-based Peute Recycling was raided by Dutch police in connection with alleged fraud and illegal waste shipments the company made in 2011 and 2012. In a statement, Recycling Peute has denied the charges made by the Netherlands’ Public Prosecutor.
The environmental team of the Rotterdam Police undertook a search of Peute over fraud and illegal transboundary shipments within Europe and to Asia that the company undertook in 2011 and 2012.
In its charges, the Dutch law enforcement agencies say that Peute has been suspected of shipping material that was contaminated with household waste.
The Public Prosecutor added that accompanying documents were supposedly forged to hide the material that was contained in the illegal shipments.
However, Peute rebutted the charges. “We are transparent at all levels and have fully co-operated. The accusations by the Justice Department are unjust and unfounded,” said Peute Recycling in a statement.
“We are completely familiar with the European regulations related to processing and transport of paper and plastic destined for re-use. We are convinced that we fully comply with all rules at all times.”
In the statement, the company says it has never had any problems with the nature and the composition of its material flows over the past 52 years. “We therefore are very saddened that the Justice department draws a negative image of our activities without any prior investigation. This damages our company and our image unrightfully and not only unfairly discredits our company but our 80 employees too,” the company says. “As ever, we fully focus on our service to our customers and suppliers and confidently look forward to the results of the investigation.”
>CARPET RECYCLING UK
Group Reports Increase in Carpet Recycling
The organisation Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK), which is managed by resource recovery specialist Axion Consulting, has reported that the diversion of carpets from landfills in the U.K. increased to 21.4% in 2012, a 30% increase from the prior year’s diversion rate of 16.5%.
According to CRUK, 85,000 tonnes of carpet were diverted from landfills in 2012; CRUK has set a target of a 25% diversion rate by 2015. CRUK notes that of the 85,000 tonnes diverted in the U.K., about 36,000 tonnes were either recycled or reused, while 49,000 tonnes were redirected to energy recovery through cement kilns and power generation plants.
The amount of waste carpet recycled grew in 2012 by 12.5%—4,000 tonnes—as new outlets have developed and established ones have grown.
In a news release, Laurance Bird, CRUK director, says the achievements are a testament to sustained efforts across the entire supply chain in capturing rising waste tonnages, plus entrepreneurial commitment to developing new outlets and markets for all types of carpet waste.
“While an estimated 78.6% of end-of-life carpet still ends up in landfill, our goals for 2013 will continue to drive higher carpet recycling rates through a number of initiatives, including local authority encouragement on segregation,” Bird says.
BIR Expresses Concern over Fraudulent Deals
The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is warning scrap metal recyclers about a scam that has been uncovered where scrap metal recyclers are being offered nonexistent cargoes of scrap metal. According to the BIR, throughout early 2013 there have been reports that cargoes of scrap metal have been offered to companies at reduced prices. Further, the BIR notes, these deals were accompanied by documents confirming the quality of the goods being offered.
After verification through the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), BIR says it became apparent that the documents were not authentic: In several cases, the same documents had been presented on multiple occasions with different company names. This suggests that either the same individuals were behind these offers, or that the documents were available in the public domain and ready to be manipulated by fraudulent individuals. According to the IMB, an analysis of the offers revealed that they were often made in the name of real traders, whose identities were cloned for fraudulent purposes.
The BIR warns that one strategy seemed to be the creation of a new website with a domain name similar to that of the genuine company, featuring contact details but with different telephone numbers. In the meantime the IMB found out that at least one of these numbers was used for multiple companies.
IMB also pointed out that if a potential buyer would be sufficiently tempted by these offers and agree to take a sample cargo, he would be provided with a set of shipping documents and a link to an online cargo tracking site to monitor the progress of these cargoes, which were allegedly transported by a well-known carrier.
The BIR has an agreement with IMB to share information on fraud and theft in the recycling industry.
Amcor Opens New Paper Machine in Australia
Amcor Ltd. has officially opened its newest recycled-content paper machine at its mill in Botany, New South Wales, Australia. The Australian firm invested more than AUD$500 million (€390 million) to build the new facility. Construction of the facility began in 2011.
In a statement made during the grand opening, Nigel Garrard, managing director of Amcor Australasia and Packaging Distribution, said, “This is the most sophisticated recycled paper making machine in Australasia. It produces high-quality 100% recycled brown paper that is stronger, more consistent and has an improved colour for our customers.”
When fully operational the paper machine will produce more than 400,000 tonnes of paper per year. It is the ninth paper machine operating at Amcor’s Botany paper mill site.
“This state-of-the-art recycled paper machine replaces three older machines aged between 43 to 52 years, reducing water consumption by 26%, energy usage by 34% and the amount of waste sent to landfill by 75%,” says Garrard in a statement.
European Plastics Group Warns of Market Failures
The European Plastics Recyclers (EuPR), a trade association representing associations and companies that cover 80% of the European plastic recycling industry, has expressed alarm over the future of the PET recycling industry in Europe.
In a statement released by the organisation, the EuPR says that the current collection infrastructure for PET plastics has reached its limit and the collection of PET bottles is stagnating at around 50% while the balance of the uncollected PET is still landfilled or incinerated.
“Europe is not maximising the sustainable use of a valuable resource such as post-consumer PET,” says Casper van den Dungen, chairman of the EuPR PET Working Group. As well, because of lightweighting and bottle design, the average costs of recycling have increased substantially in recent years, and the increases cannot currently be offset by further economies of scale, he adds.
A news release from the EuPR says Europe is seeing an increase in demand for recycled PET, which has resulted in an increase in the investments in new recycling lines.
However, van den Dungen says that “the combined effect of these market failures are causing recycling plants to operate at well below 75% of their capacity.”
EuPR members recycle more than 3 million tonnes of plastic scrap per year.
> ENERGY FROM WASTE
Shanks Signs Long-Term Contract
The U.K.-based firm Shanks Group has signed a 25-year contract with the Wakefield, U.K. Council that could be worth around £750 million. Under the contract, Shanks will build a residual waste treatment facility at South Kirkby, U.K., which will employ processes to treat and recycle waste from the Wakefield District. The facility will process up to 230,000 tonnes per year of municipal solid waste. Shanks says that under the project the Wakefield authority could realize a landfill diversion rate of close to 90%.
Through the Shanks project, materials delivered to the facility will be converted into a refuse derived fuel, which will be processed at a multi-fuel plant being built at the Ferrybridge Power Station. A separate materials recycling facility will separate and process all recyclables. Remaining organic waste will be treated using an autoclave. The contract also will allow Shanks to take over a network of household waste recycling centers and transfer stations.
Stora Enso Cutting Newsprint Production
Stora Enso, based in Helsinki, Finland, has announced plans to close two of its newsprint machines at its newsprint mills in Sweden. The company expects to have the closures completed by the middle of 2013. The closure of the two machines will reduce Stora Enso’s newsprint production by roughly 3.4% of the European newsprint capacity.
Stora says the permanent shutdown of its paper machine at its Hylte mill will reduce newsprint capacity by 205,000 tonnes, while the shutdown of a paper machine at its Kvarnsveden mill will reduce its newsprint capacity by 275,000 tonnes.
Stora Enso says the moves reflect the continued erosion of the newsprint market in Europe. The company also announced plans to reorganise its logistics service center throughout Europe and to close a number of locations.
Palm Recycling Becomes Sole Supplier to Palm Paper
Palm Recycling’s commercial division has announced that it has become the sole purchaser and supplier of recovered fibre for its parent company, Palm Paper, and its paper mill in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, U.K.
Palm Recycling will control more than 550,000 tonnes of fibre materials per year as well as the management of paper stocks. The company says the move is designed to ensure a reliable and constant input of high quality recovered fibre as well as adequate stock levels at Palm Paper’s Kings Lynn mill.
Palm Recycling previously supplied slightly more than 50% of Palm Paper’s raw material requirement through its U.K. press room partnerships, local authority contracts, recycling bank schemes and direct paper purchasing.
PVC Window Recycling Grows in UK
Axion Consulting, Bramhall, U.K., has reported that more than 1 million unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC-U) post-consumer window frames are being recycled in the U.K. every year through Recovinyl, an initiative of the European PVC industry. Recovinyl was created in 2003 as part of a Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment to advance the sustainable development of the PVC industry by improving production, minimizing emissions, developing recycling technology and boosting the collection and recycling of vinyl scrap.
According to Axion, the most recent figures show that nearly 25,500 tonnes of PVC windows were recycled in 2011, representing 52% of the 48,500 tonnes of PVC recycled. In addition to window frames, other materials collected and recycled through Recovinyl’s program includes pipes and fittings, cables, flexible PVC and rigid PVC films. The total collected equates to more than 1 million windows.
“These figures are an impressive achievement and clearly demonstrate the sustainability credentials of PVC as a building material that can be easily recycled and re-used, as well as the on-going industry commitment to more sustainable practices,” says Jane Gardner of Axion Consulting.
UPM Slashing Production at European Paper Mills
Finland-based company UPM has announced plans to slash the production of printing and writing paper by around 580,000 tonnes. The cuts will take place at its mills in Finland, Germany and France.
The company cited the continued decline in demand for printing and writing paper and significant overcapacity throughout Europe as reasons for the cuts.
Additionally, UPM has recently announced plans to cut production of coated magazine paper by around 270,000 tonnes per year at its UPM Stracel paper mill in France. Combining the cuts at Stracel and the new cuts UPM will be removing around 850,000 tonnes of capacity in early 2013.
The most recent announced cuts include the permanent closure of paper machine 3 at UPM Rauma mill in Finland; the permanent closure of paper machine 4 at UPM Ettringen in Germany; the sale or other exit of UPM’s Docelles mill in France; and possible streamlining in the paper business and UPM’s global functions.
According to UPM’s plan, its Rauma and Ettringen machine lines, which both produce uncoated magazine paper, will be permanently closed during the first half of 2013, removing around 420,000 tonnes per year from the market.
“The target of the planned actions is to ensure the efficient use of UPM’s remaining capacity,” says Jyrki Ovaska, president of the UPM Paper Business Group.
SMM Reports Findings of Inventory Investigations
Sims Metal Management Ltd. has released its report on a previously announced investigation of inventory valuation issues at two of the company’s facilities in the U.K. The report has determined that a write-down of inventory of $78 million will be required. The write-down adjustment has been independently verified by SMM’s external auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), with $16 million of the inventory write-down to impact the company’s first-half fiscal 2013 results, and the balance to be reflected in the restatement of results for prior periods.
The report also found that due to the losses, the company’s impairment charges related to goodwill and other intangible assets are, in the aggregate, $354 million. About $291 million of this impairment charge relates to North America Metals and will be recorded against the fiscal 2013 result; $63 million of the impairment charge related to U.K. Metals and Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS) U.K. and will be reflected in restatements of prior period results.
According to the committee, the company undertook a thorough investigation at SMM’s Newport and Long Marston facilities in the U.K.
The write-down represents around 29% of the value of inventories in the U.K. and 9% of inventory on a group-wide basis before the write-down. The committee found no evidence of control deficiencies or inventory miscalculations at any other locations.
WasteTech-2013 Set For Late May in Moscow
This year’s WasteTech event, the 8th International Trade Fair and Conference for Waste Management, Recycling, Renewable Energy and Environmental Technologies, will be held at the International Exhibition Centre in Moscow May 28-31, 2013. The event is organized by Sibico International in cooperation with ECWatech Ltd. Over its history, WasteTech has evolved into one of the largest forums in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for waste management, recycling, renewable energy and environmental technologies, according to the event’s organizers.
The biennial event draws environmental and municipal enterprises and companies. The conference planning team notes that in 2011 WasteTech attracted 6,317 visitors as well as 309 companies from 23 countries and featured 6,000 square meters of indoor and outdoor exhibition space.
This year’s program features a chain of conferences, seminars and roundtables on various aspects of waste management and environmental technologies. Events are prepared in cooperation with international and local associations, research institutions and companies. Conference show organisers say attendees can expect to gain critical knowledge about the emerging waste and environmental sector in Russia and CIS, receive up-to-date information about the latest trends and outlook of the market, and find reliable partners, dealers and agents for business growth and advancement. More information on the event can be found at www.waste-tech.ru.
EMR Acquires Scottish Scrap Dealer
European Metal Recycling (EMR), a United Kingdom-based metals recycling firm, has acquired the scrap metal company Henry Gray, which operates a scrap processing facility in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. With the purchase, EMR now has seven collection centers in Scotland and more than 70 throughout the U.K.
According to EMR, the acquisition of Henry Gray has “secured EMR’s expansion into the Fife area of Scotland.” In a news release, the company says development work is already underway at the site with a new double weighbridge planned for installation in the near future. The improvements are designed to ease congestion at the entrance and maximize onsite efficiency.
“This is an exciting opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” says William Gray, founder of Henry Gray, who has now joined EMR’s management team. “It’s business as normal for us, but with the added security and [the]backing of one of the world’s biggest and most successful scrap metal companies.”
“We’ve been eager to move into Fife for some time now,” says EMR Manager Andrew Sheppard. “We’re looking forward to building the already strong Henry Gray scrap metal business further and have welcomed the founding family into the EMR Group.”