November 3, 2014
RTGE Staff


Novelis opens production facility in Germany

Novelis, an aluminium rolling and recycling firm headquartered in Atlanta, officially has opened its aluminium ingot production facility in Nachterstedt, Germany. The company calls the facility the largest aluminium recycling center in the world.

The aluminium production plant, costing approximately €196 million (US$258 million), will consume up to 400,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap per year. The recycling plant will convert the aluminium scrap into ingots that will be consumed by Novelis’ European manufacturing operations.

Aluminium ingots produced at Nachterstedt will be hot rolled at Novelis’ facilities in Norf, Germany, and Sierre, Switzerland, and supplied to company operations across Europe for further processing. The company says finished coils of aluminium sheet will be delivered to customers primarily in the automotive and beverage can markets.

According to Novelis, the facility features technology for aluminium scrap sorting, decoating, melting and casting. The company also reports that the facility will allow Novelis to process a wide range of scrap types, helping to create a more efficient closed-loop recycling system and increasing Europe’s domestic scrap consumption.

Phil Martens, president and CEO of Novelis, says, “The Nachterstedt recycling center is a significant step toward our goal to be the world’s low-carbon aluminium sheet producer, shifting our business model from a traditional linear approach to an increasingly closed-loop model.”

Martens continues, “This new facility further strengthens Novelis’ leadership in Europe, and together with our major recycling operations in Asia, North America and South America, solidifies Novelis’ position as the global aluminium recycling leader.”

Over the past three years, Novelis says it has invested approximately €345 million ($500 million) in improvements that have resulted in the doubling of its secondary production capacity to 2.1 million tonnes per year and increasing its recycled content from 30% to 46%.

“This strategy will enable us to accelerate and capitalize on the sustainability potential of aluminium as a lightweight, infinitely recyclable metal and to dramatically reduce the embedded carbon in our products,” says Martens. “In an increasingly energy- and carbon-constrained environment, we are convinced it will be a key source of competitive advantage for our company—and for our customers.”

“In developing the recycling and casting facility, we implemented best-in-class technologies to ensure that it meets the highest standards of operational efficiency and environmental excellence,” says Erwin Mayr, Novelis senior vice president and president of Novelis Europe. “To feed the facility, we are expanding and diversifying our scrap purchasing network to ensure the highest quality scrap is recycled back into the same product whenever possible, conserving more metal, reducing waste and using less energy than ever before,” he adds.


Duesmann & Hensel Recycling commissions plasma smelter

Duesmann & Hensel Recycling, a company that specializes in catalytic converter recycling services, has commissioned a new plasma smelting furnace in Karlstein, Germany, with an annual capacity of 2,000 tonnes. The furnace will recover platinum, palladium and rhodium in the smelting process.

Duesmann & Hensel, based in Aschaffenburg, Germany, says it is able to offer customers more flexible processing solutions for spent catalytic converters with the new smelter.

“With the integration of the plasma smelting furnace in our value chain, we are significantly differentiating ourselves from classic processors in our industry. This is an investment into the future and will allow us to react flexibly to market changes as well as to customer requirements,” says Clemens Hensel, managing partner at Duesmann & Hensel Recycling. “Based on our comprehensive technical know-how, we are able to adapt and control processes specifically. The investment also gives us greater flexibility over the long term,” Hensel adds.

The newly implemented plasma smelting furnace has been designed to optimize the recovery of precious metals from spent automotive catalytic converters. The company says the process ensures the most efficient, environmentally sound smelting process for the material containing precious metals.

In addition to Germany, Duesmann & Hensel, founded in 1988, has a presence in Australia, Austria, China, the Czech Republic, France, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company offers a complete range of services related to precious metal recycling.



China’s MEP considers decentralizing scrap import licensing

China’s national Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has proposed the decentralization of what it calls “solid waste import license approval,” which is the terminology it applies to scrap import shipments.

According to a 22 Sept., 2014, report in Beijing-based Resource Recycling magazine, the MEP has received sufficient input to create a draft of the decentralization notice, which was to be issued in October 2014.

Citing a report it received from the Shandong Materials Recycling Association, Resource Recycling reports that during the transition period, pending licenses issued by China’s MEP “will be automatically postponed to Feb. 28, 2015.”

In the new system, should it take effect, “the provincial environmental protection department is responsible for approval” when recycling companies seek environmental permits.

A “national information system” will remain using online reporting to track scrap import licenses, though “environmental protection departments will no longer issue paper licenses,” according to the Shandong Province association. This information will be passed on to China’s national Customs department.

Provincial environmental protection departments will continue to report their decisions, and the national MEP information system will “automatically generate classes [of licenses].” Some provinces may take longer than others to create a system through which importers can apply for and eventually print out their own licenses.



BIR seeks to reduce trade barriers on scrap and recycling equipment among WTO countries

The Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) reports that 13 member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the European Union (EU) are taking part in discussions in Geneva toward the possible creation of an Environmental Services and Goods Agreement relating to secondary raw materials and machinery and equipment used by recycling industries. WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property.

If achieved, the BIR says, the agreement could lead to a reduction or elimination of tariffs and nontariff barriers on machinery and equipment that is necessary for optimising the sorting and processing of scrap into quality-controlled secondary raw materials. Furthermore, such an agreement would help improve industrial competitiveness by way of improved access to secondary raw materials (scrap).

The BIR reports that many members of the WTO currently impose an inefficient mix of tariffs and nontariff barriers on the trade in both secondary raw materials and in machinery and equipment used by the recycling industries around the world.

“Reducing or eliminating those tariffs and nontariff barriers would bring benefit to the global environment, boosting the circular economy on a global scale, improving resource efficiency and minimising waste and unwanted emissions to air, land and water,” comments BIR Environmental & Technical Director Ross Bartley regarding ongoing discussions at the WTO in Geneva.

The BIR says the 13 countries and the EU together comprise 86 percent of global trade in environmental goods. The 13 countries involved in the discussions are Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Costa Rica, Hong Kong China, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland and the United States.

“BIR, the world federation of the recycling industries, encourages its affiliated national associations and companies to promote to each of their WTO negotiators that secondary raw materials, as well as machinery and equipment used by the recycling industries, are added to the WTO list of environmental goods,” Bartley says.



Stainless steel enjoys output boost in first half of 2014

The Brussels-based International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) says stainless steel melt shop production for the first half of 2014 increased by 10.6% year on year from 2013.

Total global production of 20.9 million tonnes in the first half of 2014 is up 2 million tonnes compared with the 18.9 million tonnes of output in the comparable period of 2013.

The ISSF says production increased in all parts of the world except for Central and Eastern Europe. Production in China grew by 16.7%, followed closely by an output boost in North and South America of 16%.

Stainless steelmakers in Western Europe and Africa produced 4% more steel in the first half of 2014 compared with the year before, while production in Central and Eastern Europe fell by 5.4%, according to the ISSF.



SITA boosts recycling presence with acquisition of Dutch packaging firm

SITA, a subsidiary of Paris-based Suez Environnement, has announced that its Dutch location has acquired the recycling division of Houweling Group, a Netherlands-based supplier and distributor of packaging products, which is designed to strengthen its plastics recycling business in the country.

The acquisition includes two production lines for recycling polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) into usable raw material. The company says it expects to produce 3,600 tonnes of recycled plastic granules per year.

Houweling Group has specialized in the international trade in packaging, transporting and warehousing. As a side business, the company had been handling the recycling of its nonreusable, returnable packaging internally by grinding and selling the product into new plastic products.

Following the acquisition, Houweling Group will focus on its core business of collecting used plastic products and packaging and delivering it after they have been cleaned,, dried and retested by customers; the unusable plastic will be ground into granules by SITA and will be returned to raw material that can be produced back into plastic containers and packaging products.

In selling its recycling division, Marc Houweling, CEO of Houweling Group, says, “Disposal is not part of our core business, and we want our international position as a packaging supplier to strengthen.

“By combining the knowledge of both parties, we are able to reinforce each other,” Houweling says.

“With the acquisition of Houweling’s recycling activities, we expand our business with the industrial production of recycled plastics,” says Wiegerr Droogh, SITA’s managing director.


Recycling Today Events plans Paper Recycling Conference India

The Recycling Today Media Group, a business unit of GIE Media, Valley View, Ohio, has announced plans to introduce Paper Recycling Conference India in 2015. The event expands the group’s successful paper and plastic recycling events held in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Paper Recycling Conference India will be 29-30 Jan., 2015, in New Delhi at the Taj Palace Hotel.

The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association, the Indian Pulp & Paper Technical Association and the Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association are supporting the conference. As well, Waste & Recycling India magazine and Waste & Recycling Middle East magazine are organising partners.

“India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion is some 15% of the global population,” says James R. Keefe, publisher of the Recycling Today Media Group. “As well, it is estimated that consumption of paper in India is projected to reach 13.95 million tons (12.66 tonnes) by 2015-2016. Further, annual recovered paper requirements are projected to jump from 8 million tons (7.26 tonnes) currently to some 16 million tons (14.5 million tonnes) by 2025. These factors all contributed to our belief that is was important to bring our Paper Recycling Conference to India.”

He adds, “We’re pleased that the event has been embraced by the local industry and that we’ve received such tremendous support. Our global network of industry contacts allows us to work closely with people who have an intimate knowledge of the local market. We’re adding to that a global perspective as we begin to fill out the program with speakers who can provide unusually valuable market insight.”

The conference website will be updated continuously with speaker, sponsor and exhibitor information. The website also serves as a hub for registration details and networking events.

In addition to hosting industry conferences, the Recycling Today Media Group publishes Recycling Today, Recycling Today Global Edition, Construction & Demolition Recycling, Storage & Destruction Business (SDB) and Renewable Energy from Waste magazines as well as websites, e-newsletters and directories.

Produced by Media Fusion Fze., Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Waste & Recycling Middle East is the region’s only dedicated business magazine providing in-depth coverage of the rapidly emerging waste management and recycling industry throughout the Middle East.

Waste & Recycling India, produced by Mumbai-based Virtual Info Systems Pvt. Ltd., focuses on the solid waste and recycling industries providing information and solutions leading to a cleaner and zero-waste environment.



GIE Media Inc. moves to new corporate headquarters

GIE Media Inc., the parent company of the Recycling Today Media Group, has moved to new U.S. offices in Valley View, Ohio. The company publishes Recycling Today, Recycling Today Global Edition, Construction & Demolition Recycling, Storage & Destruction Business and Renewable Energy from Waste, in addition to numerous other titles in a variety of industries.

For several years the company has maintained two U.S. offices in northern Ohio: one in Richfield and one in Cleveland. With the 2014 acquisition and renovation of the newly purchased Valley View building, the company has again centralized its operations to a single corporate location.

“We’ve made considerable investments to support the technology that drives our business and provide all of GIE’s team members with a modern, efficient and productive workplace,” says Christopher Foster, CEO of the company.

The 25,000-square-foot (2,300-square-metre) building accommodates the company’s 90-plus employees and allows ample room for growth.

“We’re excited to bring our team members under one roof in our new, centrally located office space,” Foster says.

Throughout its history, GIE has continued to invest in the development of leading-edge publications for the industries it serves. GIE also has continued to expand its portfolio through multimedia platforms, video and database management tools.

“Our new headquarters includes a green room for video production as well as the state-of-the-art networking and technology necessary to support our print, multimedia and conference businesses,” Foster adds.

Richard Foster founded GIE Media Inc. in 1980 with one magazine and a staff of three employees. Today, the company serves 25 industries through its magazines, multimedia, e-newsletters, conferences, reference books and other forms of business media.

The staff of the Recycling Today Media Group can be reached at the main telephone number of 001-216-393-0300. Direct-dial numbers for individual staff members of the Recycling Today Media Group also have changed and can be obtained by emailing your contact directly.



European secondary smelters promote WEEE standards

As part of wider efforts to ensure the proper treatment of electronic scrap (WEEE), four of the largest copper and precious metals refinery companies in Europe—Aurubis, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany; Boliden Group, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden; Glencore, based in Switzerland; and Umicore, based in Brussels—have worked with the European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA) to define normative requirements and governing principles for final processing of obsolete electronics. The EERA says its objectives includes gaining influence at the EU level for the recycling industry and helping to direct the electronics recycling industry’s growth throughout Europe.

Following the consultation, the four companies have come up with what they are terming the WEEE end-processing standard, which has been co-produced with Eurometaux, the European Association of Metals, Brussels. The standards were finalized this past spring. At that time, each of the four companies was invited to implement its requirements as part of its total quality management.

The EERA and Eurometaux say all four have signed the agreement to implement the standard within the next two years.

The EERA and Eurometaux say they are seeking to bring in more companies to adopt the standards. Further, the two groups say they hope recyclers will be encouraged to reference the end-processing standard as a requirement in their contracts with WEEE take-back systems, WEEE recyclers or end processors.

Peter Willbrandt, CEO of Aurubis AG, says, “Aurubis, as the largest copper recycler worldwide and one of the major international companies involved in the processing of electrical and electronic equipment materials and fractions, has actively contributed to the standard signed. Environment protection is one of the pillars of our corporate policy. Sustainable management of our business and operations is a central element of our strategy. Therefore, we welcome the new standard and express our sincere hope that further companies and associations will become signatories to the present standard.”

According to Kerstin Konradsson, president of Boliden, ”With our over 30 years of recycling experience, and as a world leader in e-scrap recycling, Boliden is very proud to have been part of developing the end-processing standard. By complying with this new recycling standard, we believe that further steps towards a more sustainable society are taken.”

Meanwhile, Hugo Morel, Umicore’s executive vice president for recycling, says, “Umicore is satisfied that this standard has been created to help set a level playing field in the world of e-scrap recycling. This should undermine inappropriate recycling operations that rely on environmentally unsound and unethical sourcing. As one of the largest and most complex precious metals recycling activities in the world, we are proud to have participated, within the industry and together with expert organizations, to this important step towards a more sustainable recycling chain,” he adds.

Claude Bélanger, general manager of Glencore’s Horne smelter, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, observes, “The Horne has always been very supportive of the end-processing standard, as it reflects both the Horne smelter’s own standards and practices which have been in place for many years. As a major consumer of preprocessed end-of-life electronics, the Horne smelter views this standard as a major step for the electronic recycling industry and a step in the right direction with regard to other industry standards being developed. Sustainable management of resources is a must in our industry, and the standard being signed today is a demonstration that it can only be achieved through rigorous and constant controls. The Horne is proud to have participated in the development of this standard and to have reached consensus with other major end processors.”



Bio Pappel to acquire Mexican paper company

Bio Pappel, which describes itself as the largest paper company in Mexico, has reached an agreement to acquire all the assets of Mexico-based Grupo Papelero Scribe, which has been manufacturing printing and writing paper at five facilities since it was formed in 2006. Grupo Scribe also operates a trading company.

With the purchase, Bio Pappel will have more than 30 production sites in Mexico and the U.S. Bio Pappel says the acquisition is part of its strategy to grow and integrate its operations in North America and Latin America.

The deal is contingent on approval from Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission.

If the deal is completed, Bio Pappel and Scribe would become the principal subsidiaries of Group Bio-Pappel, which would be the largest and most integrated manufacturer of paper and paper products in Latin America.

With the acquisition, the two companies would control from 18% to 20% of the Mexican pulp, paper and cardboard market in Mexico, according to several sources.



AkzoNobel’s coating technology could boost paper recycling

AkzoNobel, a Netherlands-based producer of specialty chemicals, paints and coatings, has developed a coating technology that makes paper cups recyclable and compostable. The EvCote Water Barrier 3000 coating is made from plant-based oils and recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles.

“This is an industry-changing innovation, which could have a significant impact in terms of providing economic and environmental benefits along the value chain,” says Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel executive committee member responsible for performance coatings. “The new coatings technology will help restaurant owners and cup producers to reduce their waste.”

AB Ghosh, AkzoNobel managing director, industrial coatings, adds, “There has already been strong interest in our product, and we expect it to prompt a major transformation in paper cup production, much like the move from wax to the current polyethylene process around 40 years ago.”

The company estimates that 200 billion paper cups are used around the world every year, but AkzoNobel says recycling the material is nearly impossible without incurring prohibitive costs or greatly diminishing the quality of the paper.

However, when paper coated with EvCote is recycled, the quality of the paper fiber remains intact, which means the paper can be reused in the production of other paper products, the company explains. In some cases, AkzoNobel claims, because the fibers are strengthened by the coating, paper produced from the material can even achieve higher strength than the original, uncoated paper. AkzoNobel notes that an additional advantage of its coating is that it enables paper mills to recapture 100 percent of the paper scrap from the production process that is currently sent to landfill.

“The cost of paper represents the highest single cost for cup makers, so recycling the industrial scrap means that there are both cost and environmental benefits,” says Gil Sherman, market development manager at AkzoNobel’s paper coatings business.

The EvCote barrier coatings, with up to 95% renewable content, protect paper surfaces and can be used in numerous applications, the company says.



DS Smith acquires Croatian company

The Plastics Division of London-based DS Smith has announced the acquisition of Kaplast d.d., a Croatian injection molding company. The Croatian firm manufactures plastic products and specializes in returnable beverage and food packaging.

DS Smith says the acquisition and subsequent integration of the firm will allow the company to provide its customers with added value and increased manufacturing capabilities, service offerings and combined experience in innovative injection molded transit packaging for a variety of industries.

“The acquisition of Kaplast builds on our market leading position in Europe and will allow us to grow our injection molded product offer in the region where we already have injection molded and extruded plastic operations,” says Hans Van Der Looij, managing director of DS Smith’s Plastics Rigid and Flexible Packaging European group.

“We are excited to combine the strengths of these two dynamic organizations,” says Ivan Feitl, general manager of Kaplast, and DS Smith Plastics’ Croatian operation. “Together, we can bring a new energy and heightened strategic approach to those we serve by capitalizing on synergies and our expertise in injection molding plastics packaging.”

“Our shared niche markets will allow us to leverage our service offerings, combined experience and industry knowledge,” says Paul Baeyens, managing director of DS Smith Plastics, Injection Molded Products. “In addition, by combining the resources of both companies, we can better meet the needs of our clients as they grow and expand.” 



Resource Association publishes ReQIP

The U.K.-based recycling group Resource Association has published the second stage of ReQIP (the Recycling Quality Information Point), which the organization describes as a resource for understanding quality requirements for various recyclables. The Web-based resource is designed for U.K. recyclers.

The first phase of the project was launched in June of 2014 and established the maximum overall level of contamination that could be handled by recyclers of major commodities, according to the Resource Association. The first phase of the project also published sample specifications from recyclers.

The second stage of the project, released in early September, discusses the impact specific contaminants have on the quality of the recyclables as well as the impact contaminants have on commodity market values. A reference chart indicates the maximum level of contamination recyclers can accept if the material is to be considered suitable for high-quality recycling.

The association says the information will provide recyclers and local authorities with the ability to gauge the effect individual contaminants have on the market value of recyclables.

The decision to introduce the quality specifications follows a decision by the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) not to publish specific guidance for implementing the Waste Regulations, the organization says. The industry has been encouraged to lead and provide its own specifications pertaining to high-quality recycling. Resource Association says ReQIP is one such framework with regard to feedstock requirements for U.K. reprocessors.

This project has been coordinated by Peter Mansfield & Associates, a member of Resource Association. The company says the information was compiled from 36 reprocessor companies and associations.

The project comprises three key elements: a summary quality specifications table, sample specification documents and a contamination value chart. These elements are available on the ReQip website.

Used in conjunction, the resources provide information on the detailed quality requirements by materials sector for U.K. reprocessors, highlighting those materials considered detrimental to the “integrity” of the raw materials supplied to reprocessors.

The information is published with their approval, the association says, and represents quality specifications information for close to 13 million tonnes of recyclables processed in the U.K.

Materials with specifications include commodities such as paper, glass, plastics and metals, green and wood wastes and a range of other materials, including batteries, textiles and beverage cartons.