As part of a consent order recently entered in Iroquois County Circuit Court, Milford Auto Parts must pay a civil penalty of $20,750 to resolve a six-count complaint Madigan’s office previously filed. The attorney general’s complaint alleged, among many violations, that the company violated tire storage and disposal regulations at its facility at its Milford location, and its faulty operations posed considerable risks of pollution.
“The facility was operating in violation of state laws that ensure the public’s health and safety,” Madigan says. “In addition to paying a considerable penalty, the company has agreed to remove the dangerous materials from the site as part of a comprehensive plan to clean up the area.”
Madigan’s complaint notes that the attorney general’s office previously filed suit against Milford Auto Parts in 2006 for similar violations. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency initiated new inspections at the business beginning in 2010, and inspectors observed thousands of tires heaped in piles on the property in violation of state regulations that aim to minimize health and safety risks, including potential fires, runoff pollution and the spread of the West Nile Virus. Additionally, Milford Auto Parts was delinquent in paying annual storage site fees mandated by state law.
A lull has settled across Europe regarding nonferrous metals. Prices have come off their lows from earlier this summer, though the best to be said is that there is some support at present levels.
In the latter weeks of this summer, prices rallied as some buyers pointed to optimistic economic numbers coming out of Europe. More recent data show that the long slide in the European economy is stabilizing. Granted, a significant amount of work remains to be done before there is wholesale improvement in Europe.
Supporting a moderately improved European economy, a recent report from Bloomberg notes that industrial production in the 17 nations that use the euro gained in June for the fourth month in five, according to European Union data. A composite eurozone purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.4 in July from 48.7 in June, according to data company Markit.
The overall improvement in the auto industry, which is a big consumer of metal, has been one of the positive signs that market optimists point to.
Lending further support to a slowly recovering European economy, the firm Eurostat reports that second quarter gross domestic product for eurozone countries expanded by 0.3% compared with the first quarter, beating economists’ expectations for a 0.2% increase. The improvement follows six consecutive quarters of contraction in the eurozone.
While the overall eurozone economy is improving, countries in southern Europe continue to see difficulty for the next several months. Meanwhile, countries in northern Europe, notably Germany, appear to be showing early signs of economic growth.
Reflecting the improvement, copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have been gaining over the latter half of this summer, with prices in mid-August at their highest in more than two months.
While Western Europe’s economy is showing signs of improvement, China, the key consumer of copper scrap, continues to show signs of distress, which could cap improvements in European and U.S. copper scrap markets.
According to several market analyses, economists expect to see China’s factory gauge show a preliminary reading of less than 50, which indicates that the Chinese economy is contracting. The country, which was seeing double-digit growth in its economy only several quarters ago, is now struggling to grow at the 7% level.
Despite China’s slower economic growth, Shanghai Metals Market has reported that a recent survey of 24 Chinese copper smelters shows that 53% expect copper prices on the LME to increase to $7,400-$7,500 per tonne.
Aluminium markets also may be nearing a turning point. Despite prices declining to multiyear lows earlier this year, several larger producers say they see some upside, though a significant improvement will take several quarters.
Rusal, the Russia-based aluminium producer, says it expects to see stronger demand for aluminium through 2013, though prices likely will see downward pressure for the next several months. Although prices in mid-August perked up a bit, the overall trend for aluminium has been toward the downside. In a report on its results for the first half of 2013, Rusal says aluminium prices on the LME declined by nearly 8% compared with the first half of 2012.
In response to slumping prices and a quarterly loss, Rusal, the largest aluminium producer in the world, drastically reduced its aluminium output by 1 million tonnes, about 4.5% of its global aluminium production, over the first half of this year. The company’s board has announced plans for further reductions throughout its aluminium production chain.
Rusal is one of many aluminium producers who have announced plans to cut their production.
Alcoa, which announced capacity cuts of 460,000 tonnes in May, will temporarily shutter one of its aluminium smelters in Brazil, removing 124,000 additional tonnes of capacity.
Earlier this year Alcoa permanently closed its Fusina primary aluminium smelter in Italy, reducing its global smelting capacity of 4.2 million tonnes per year by 44,000 tonnes.
Stainless and nickel markets throughout Europe also appear challenging. A recent report from the Germany-based stainless steel service center Damstahl states that while demand for stainless steel during the first quarter of 2013 improved from the prior quarter, it is significantly lower than for the same time in 2012.
The shutdown of Outokumpu’s Krefeld, Germany, melt shop caused a steep decline in stainless steel production this year. Outokumpu also is looking to sell its former Inoxum plant in Terni, Italy.
Tomra Sorting returns to Birmingham, U.K.’s NEC event centre this September to demonstrate its autosort 4 at the RWM event set for 10-12 Sept. 2013. Representatives from Tomra also will highlight the company’s latest innovations in sensor-based sorting technology, with a strong focus on commercial and industrial (C&I) waste management.
The company says visitors to its stand (Hall 17, Stand H19-G18) will be able to learn more about the company’s innovative approach to some of the key challenges facing the UK’s C&I recycling industry, including:
• Separating and recovering valuable fractions from C&I trommel and screen fines
• Identifying a long-term, sustainable alternative to RDF as a waste treatment process
• Recovering high quality, high-value end materials from zorba (shredded nonferrous metals originating from End-of-Life Vehicles or WEEE)
• Reducing copper contaminants in ferrous scrap (including copper armature known as meatballs)
The company reports it also will showcase its Titech autosort 4 solution with specialists Birds Recycling Solutions, Dynamic Handling Systems Ltd. and The Compressor Specialists coming together to demonstrate the fully operational kit for the first time at the show. Visitors will be able to see live demonstrations of Titech autosort 4 in the show’s outside area at stand OA151. Tomra says the autosort 4 is suitable for a variety of applications, including C&I, municipal solid waste (MSW) and mixed dried recycling (MDR) materials recovery facilities. The autosort 4 is designed to recover a wide array of high quality, profitable fractions from different waste streams, including packaging, paper, household waste and plastic, Tomra says.
Sharon Kneiss, EIA president and CEO, says Germain’s expertise in the two areas will allow her to immediately serve as an industry authority on waste and recycling issues. She will work with the EIA Landfill Institute and EIA’s Recycling Committee and will focus on ensuring EIA members have the latest information and analysis on waste handling and diversion. Germain will work to bring the industry perspective to regulators and build relationships with regulatory agencies on behalf of the industry. Germain’s duties also will include public speaking and media interviews.
Prior to coming to EIA, Germain was the engineering and technology chief for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, where she oversaw environmental monitoring and compliance, engineering, building and vehicle maintenance and landfill gas facility design and operations for the state.
In addition, Germain served as the international president of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), which recognized her with its Distinguished Individual Achievement Award in its Landfill Division.
Kneiss says, “I have no doubt that Anne’s background and expertise in waste and recycling management will enable her to build a well-respected program that delivers technical information about waste management technologies, including the engineering and use of landfills; recycling and composting; and emerging technologies for waste reduction.”
She adds, “I look forward to seeing her expand our resources for NSWMA-WASTEC members, become a spokesperson for the industry and facilitate our efforts to offer leadership on all things waste and recycling.”
- Two dozen types of scrap imports banned by China in 2018
- Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics collaborates to make trash bags from recycled plastic scrap
- RMA reports scrap tire piles have declined by 93 percent
- China’s pullback leading to fiber price plunges
- China asks to ban mixed paper and many plastic scrap grades