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Recycling Today Staff October 7, 2013

METALS

The Pritzker Organization Acquires TMS International
TMS International Corp., headquartered in Glassport, Pa., and The Pritzker Organization LLC (TPO), headquartered in Chicago, have announced a deal under which business interests of certain members of the Pritzker family will acquire TMS in an all-cash transaction valued at $1 billion, including refinanced third-party debt. TPO is the merchant bank representing the interests of certain members of the Pritzker family.

TMS, through its subsidiaries, including Tube City IMS Corp., is the largest provider of outsourced industrial services to steel mills in North America as measured by revenue. The company provides mill services at 81 customer sites in 12 countries and operates 36 brokerage offices from which it buys and sells raw materials across five continents.

Raymond Kalouche, president and CEO of TMS, says, “We have built a world-class, outsourced industrial services company over the past six years during our partnership with Onex. With this transaction, we are pleased to be able to maximize stockholder returns while positioning ourselves to continue to deliver exceptional value for our customers and expand our global operations as a privately held company, with TPO as our new long-term partner.”

Tom Pritzker, chairman and CEO of TPO, says, “TMS is a leading provider of mill, procurement and logistics services to the steel industry, with an exceptional management team and a proven track record of delivering value to its customers. We are delighted to have the opportunity for TPO to participate in and support the growth of the business over the long term.”

He adds, “Throughout TPO’s history, we have partnered with strong management teams to build durable businesses for the future. We look forward to working closely with the TMS management team in a similar fashion to help them build on their impressive track record of success.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Upon completion of the transaction, TMS will become a privately held company, and its common stock will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange. TMS’ board of directors has unanimously approved and declared advisable the definitive merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby. Following the execution of the definitive merger agreement, Onex Corp. and certain of its affiliates, the holders of about 60 percent of the outstanding shares of TMS common stock, executed a written consent adopting and approving the definitive merger agreement, TMS reports.


METALS

SMM Reaches Settlement in Scrap Theft Case
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has announced that Sims Metal Management (SMM), New York, has agreed to pay a $4.1 million fine as part of a settlement to a civil case brought by the city of San Francisco and Contra Costa County, Calif.

In an effort to halt the market for stolen scrap metal, the state has passed laws designed to prevent, deter and detect metal theft by imposing requirements on companies purchasing material. Scrap metal dealers must take steps to determine that material they purchase is not stolen. Under the law, scrap metal dealers must photograph, fingerprint and record the identification of individuals selling certain types of scrap metal. Unless a statutory exception applies, dealers also must wait three days before paying the seller.

Sims, which owns and operates eight metal recycling facilities in Northern California, consistently violated these laws, according to the district attorneys.

During the investigation of SMM, undercover officers in San Francisco and Contra Costa County offered to sell the company utility wire, communication wire and public utility fixtures. The two district attorneys say SMM’s employees purchased the clearly “stolen” material and failed to record the required information about the sellers. A review of the company’s records revealed that the failures were just the tip of the iceberg, according to the district attorneys. They say that for many years SMM violated the laws by not holding payments for the required three days or by buying scrap metal without requiring identification or other information from the sellers, for example.

Under the settlement, SMM must pay $4.1 million in civil penalties and costs. The company also will be bound by a permanent injunction designed to ensure good business practices and prohibit future violations of the law, the district attorneys say. By entering into this injunction, SMM is agreeing to procedures that will make it a model for California metal recyclers in the future, they add.

Gascón says, “Metal theft threatens the well-being of our infrastructure and costs the community dearly. My office is committed to utilizing all tools necessary to attack the marketplace of stolen metal.”

Contra Costa County’s District Attorney Mark Peterson says, “California is facing an epidemic of metal theft. The economic cost of metal theft cannot be calculated. It is not enough to go after the metal thieves alone. Recycling companies must be required to act responsibly because they can deter metal theft. The Contra Costa and San Francisco District Attorney’s Offices are working together to make metal theft less appealing for thieves by helping to ensure that recycling companies follow the law.”


PAPER

Newark Recycled Paperboard Shifts Operations
Newark Recycled Paperboard Solutions, headquartered in Cranford, N.J., a manufacturer of 100-percent-recycled paperboard products and collector and processor of recovered fiber, has announced plans to close two mills in the Midwest and Northeast.

Newark’s Franklin, Ohio, plant, which currently produces laminated panels, spines and floor protection products, will add tube and core manufacturing. The company says the move will strengthen Newark’s Milwaukee facility, which will increase its converting capabilities in the laminated panels division.

With the change, Newark Recycled Paperboard will close its Greenville, Pa., facility.

Newark’s Chicopee, Mass., operation will become the primary facility for the Northeast and will continue producing tubes and cores. Meanwhile, the company’s Lawrence, Mass., facility will be consolidated into the Chicopee operation.

“It makes economic sense and provides a strong platform to support our valued Newark customers,” says Frank Papa, CEO and president of Newark Recycled Paperboard. “These changes mark another step in Newark’s continued vision to move our manufacturing where we can best serve our customers. Both of these moves will enable us to be more efficient and supply quality products to our customers in a quicker time frame.”

Papa adds, “Newark continues its dedicated focus on quality, sustainability and better ways to service our customers. On the heels of a strong performance last fiscal year, we’re making the decision to reinvest in several operations.” The geographic shifting of operations is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013.


METALS

SMM Sells Facilities in Alabama and Mississippi
Steel City Recycling LLC (SCR), a newly created company formed by a number of scrap metal industry veterans, has acquired New York City-based Sims Metal Management’s (SMM) auto shredder in Birmingham, Ala., and an SMM scrap metal facility in West Point, Miss.

SCR, headquartered at the newly acquired Birmingham location, has an auto shredder, mobile and stationary shear and HRB nonferrous baler on site. Additionally, the facility has an idled wire granulator that SCR says it may restart.

While the West Point location will be used as a feeder yard for the Birmingham plant, it also has a shear in operation, which will allow that yard to conduct its own processing when needed, says John Marynowski, a principal of SCR.

SCR was formed by members of the Rifkin family, who own MetalX, Waterloo, Ind.; the Dreher family, who own Jefferson Iron and Metal Brokerage, Birmingham, Ala.; and Marynowski, a scrap metal veteran and president of Atlanta-based Intonu.

According to the Greater Fort Wayne (Indiana) Business Weekly, Chuck Miller, president of SCR, says the company will focus on processing a range of ferrous and nonferrous metals. Miller previously worked for Commercial Metals.

Marynowski says SCR will operate separately from any of the partners’ other businesses, and no members of any of the families are employees of the firm.

According to published reports, the three families behind SCR are joint partners in ARC (Alabama Reclamation Center), a 250-ton processing facility that has been designed to reclaim metals from auto shredder residue.

MetalX President and CEO Danny Rifkin says SCR is a “natural extension of the ARC deal in the region.”

Of the recently acquired businesses, Rifkin says they “establish a platform for the growth of Steel City Recycling into the leading scrap recycling company in that region,” according to the Fort Wayne Business Weekly.

“The partners have a long history of successful joint ventures together, and we’re confident that our outstanding leadership will build an excellent organization,” he adds.

Combined, the acquired facilities have 50 to 60 employees, the majority of whom work out of the Birmingham site.


PAPER

Spectra Recycling Acquires SP Recycling Plant
Spectra Recycling, a privately owned recycling firm based in Maryville, Tenn., has acquired SP Recycling’s Knoxville, Tenn., recycling facility. The transaction was completed July 1, 2013. The facility processes old newspapers, old corrugated containers, mixed paper and office grades of recovered fiber.

Steven Dixon, president of Spectra Recycling, says the company now has a total of three recycling facilities in Tennessee. The company also has two facilities in Maryville.

Dixon says that following the purchase, Spectra will shift all of its fiber processing, and some equipment, to the Knoxville plant. The facility also will continue to purchase material from the public and will provide containers and pickup service.

He adds that the company’s Jackson Street facility in Maryville will handle a wide range of plastics, electronics and nonferrous scrap metal while the company’s Brookdale Road facility will handle fluids, batteries and other regulated materials.


METALS

Alcoa Announces Further Cuts to Aluminum Production
The aluminum firm Alcoa, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has announced plans to reduce its production of aluminum by 164,000 metric tons by ending production at two locations. The cuts are part of Alcoa’s earlier announced plans to reduce its aluminum capacity by 460,000 metric tons to balance supply and demand. Alcoa initially announced the cuts in May 2013.

To reduce its capacity by 164,000 metric tons, the company has decided to permanently remove one potline at its Massena East plant in New York. The closure will remove 40,000 metric tons from the market. Additionally, Alcoa will temporarily curtail 124,000 metric tons of aluminum from its smelter operations in Brazil. The closures and curtailments are expected to be complete by October 2013, the company says.

“We committed in May to review our global smelting capacity for possible curtailment to maintain the company’s competitiveness,” says Bob Wilt, president of Alcoa Global Primary Products. “Aluminum prices, including premiums, have fallen to four-year lows, and we continue to operate in an uncertain, volatile market,” he adds.

As of mid-August, Alcoa has announced closures or curtailments representing 269,000 metric tons of the 460,000 metric tons placed under review in May. This includes the permanent closure of 105,000 metric tons of capacity at Alcoa’s Baie-Comeau smelter in Canada. In addition, Alcoa permanently closed its Fusina, Italy, smelter, representing 44,000 metric tons that were not part of the May review.

Once the Massena and Brazil closures and curtailments are complete, Alcoa will have idled 16 percent, or 646,800 metric tons of smelting capacity, the company says.


METALS

Gerdau to Idle Cambridge, Ontario, Melt Shop
The steel company Gerdau, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, has announced plans to idle the melt shop at its Cambridge, Ontario, steel mill complex.

In early August, Philip Bell, a spokesman for the company, says Gerdau will taper off its melt shop operations during the next several weeks. Gerdau expects the melt shop to be idle until the end of the year at least, Bell says, though the company will continue to monitor market conditions to determine if a restart of its Cambridge melt shop is warranted.

Gerdau says it expects a total of 100 employees to be laid off as a result of the idling.

According to Gerdau, “Due to the slower than expected economic recovery and the impact of imports, the company has decided to shift billet production from its smaller melt shop at the Cambridge, Ontario, mill to its larger melt shop in Whitby, Ontario, which has the capacity to produce enough billets for both mills under current market conditions. The Cambridge rolling mill will continue operating with billets supplied from Whitby.”

The company adds, “Staffing level adjustments are expected to take place over the next several weeks as the company applies the provisions in its collective bargaining agreement and evaluates available job opportunities at the Cambridge and Whitby mills. We will continue to make our full range of products and work closely with customers to ensure their requirements are met.”

In related company news, Gerdau also has idled its automobile shredder in Buffalo, N.Y. Bell says the facility will continue to take in material from peddlers and other sources, however.


METALS

Ben Weitsman Opens Port of Albany, N.Y., Facility
Upstate Shredding – Ben Weitsman, Owego, N.Y., has opened its newest scrap metal recycling facility at the Port of Albany in Albany, N.Y. The Albany plant, to be called Ben Weitsman of Albany, is the company’s first facility with direct water access to export markets.

“After 13 years of hard work and dedication by our entire organization, opening at the Port of Albany makes this dream come true and sets our company firmly on the path to reaching our goal of $1 billion in annual sales,” says Adam Weitsman, owner and president of Upstate Shredding – Ben Weitsman.

A grand opening ceremony was held at the location Aug. 10, 2013. According to Upstate Shredding, after securing the property, the company invested $15 million to equip the facility, which will act as a retail scrap yard, a scrap processing center and an export yard. The yard is entirely paved and has new structures, scales and processing equipment.

The company says at least 40 full-time jobs were created with up to 60 full-time positions expected by the time the facility is at full capacity.

“Having direct access to export facilities will greatly hone our competitive edge and allow us to further tap into domestic and worldwide markets,” says Weitsman. “Our goal as a company is to dominate scrap in the Capital region by appealing to customers of all types and paying them the highest prices for their scrap metal. We have spared no expense in creating a state-of-the-art scrap metal recycling facility that the Capital region has never seen.”

The company has 12 scrap yards in Ithaca, Jamestown, Rochester, Syracuse, Owego, Allegany, Liberty and Binghamton, N.Y.; as well as in New Castle and Scranton, Pa.


LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS

New York Approves Call2Recycle Battery Recycling Plan
Call2Recycle, headquartered in Atlanta, has announced that it has been approved as the first battery recycling plan in New York state by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The New York State Rechargeable Battery Act, signed into law Dec. 10, 2010, requires makers of select rechargeable batteries to collect and recycle the batteries statewide in a manufacturer-funded program.

“Call2Recycle has served as the voluntary program in New York since 1996 and, with this formal approval by the DEC, a shared responsibility approach to recycling batteries is confirmed,” says Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle. “We look forward to continuing our efforts across the state.”

Call2Recycle provides a network of collection locations throughout New York where residents can drop off used rechargeable batteries at no cost. Retailers that sell rechargeable batteries are required to accept used rechargeable batteries from consumers during normal business hours and must post signs informing consumers that a program is available at that location.

Residents can visit www.call2recycle.org to find a free collection site or visit national retailers such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s, RadioShack and Staples.

More information on battery recycling in New York is available at www.call2recycle.org/newyork.


LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS

OSHA Withdraws Proposed Rule to Amend On-Site Consultation Program
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn a proposed rule to amend its regulations for the federally funded On-Site Consultation Program. OSHA says it is withdrawing this rule based on stakeholder concerns that proposed changes, though relatively minor, would discourage employers from participating in the program.

“The On-Site Consultation Program, including recognition through the Safety and Health Recognition Program (SHARP), is a valuable way to assist small-business employers who are working to improve their workplaces,” says Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “We remain committed to encouraging participation in this program.”

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 29 CFR 1908, Consultation Agreement, published Sept. 3, 2010, provided clarification of the length of the exemption period given to recognized sites that have been removed from OSHA’s programmed inspection schedule and the initiation of certain unprogrammed inspections at both sites that have achieved recognition and sites undergoing a consultation visit.

OSHA administers and provides federal funding for the On-Site Consultation Program, which offers free and confidential safety and health advice to small and medium-sized businesses across the country, with priority given to high-hazard work sites. The program conducted 30,000 visits to small business work sites, covering more than 1.5 million workers in fiscal year 2012. Employers who successfully complete a comprehensive on-site consultation visit, correct all hazards identified during the visit and implement an ongoing safety and health program to identify and correct workplace hazards may achieve status in OSHA’s SHARP. Exemplary employers who obtain SHARP status receive an exemption from OSHA’s programmed inspection schedule during a specified period.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance.


PLASTICS

New Hampshire Plastics Recycler Expands
Plastics recycling firm Poly Recovery, Portsmouth, N.H., is expanding its capacity, enabling the company to recycle up to 22,500 tons of material annually.

Poly Recovery embarked on its expansion project in early June, on the same day it was awarded the 2013 Business Recycler of the Year at the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) 32nd Annual Northeast Recycling Conference & Expo.

John Pelech, owner of Poly Recovery, says the additional space and new machinery will be necessary to handle the more than 20 tractor-trailers full of unprocessed material sitting outside the company’s warehouse, which also is “overflowing with processed goods.”

Pelech says Poly Recovery has acquired an additional 15,000 square feet adjacent to its location in Portsmouth. He says the expansion will help Poly Recovery as it works with its customers in New England.

Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth is one of those customers, with its Director of Operations Joe Thorner saying of Pelech, “He has truly been an innovator in creating value for products that Redhook previously paid to landfill. Poly Recovery’s development of a recovery method for ‘poly’ resins and finding a vendor to purchase those resins is astounding.”

Red Hook was among the companies that nominated Poly Recovery for the NRRA’s Business Recycler of the Year.


LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS

ISRI Issues Statement on Bans and Fees for Disposable Shopping Bags
At its July board meeting, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), based in Washington, D.C., formulated and released a policy that addresses efforts to ban or apply fees to single-use shopping bags. The association says these regulations fail to look at the impact that recycling of these bags has on the market.

“ISRI members that recycle paper and plastic bags are quite concerned that policymakers are banning bags and creating fees without considering the real impact on recycling and the recycling industry,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Rather than bans and fees that take away jobs and increase costs to consumers, policymakers should take advantage of the great economic and environmental opportunities associated with responsibly recycling these bags.”

Joel Litman, president of Texas Recycling/Surplus Inc., Dallas, and ISRI’s Paper Stock Industries (PSI) chapter, says, “Policymakers and consumers are often surprised to learn the important economic role that paper and plastic bags play in the continuous life cycle of paper and plastic products. Our company is designed to recycle these bags into valuable commodity-grade materials that are then sold to manufacturing plants to make finished products around the globe. This is a win-win for the local economy and the environment.”

ISRI’s recently released policy encourages retailers to provide convenient collection of plastic bags. The association says increased efforts by retailers to collect and recycle used bags will offer the convenience paper and plastic bags provide while reaping the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. In 2011, ISRI points out that an estimated 151 million pounds of bags and sacks were collected for recycling, a 19 percent increase from the prior year.

ISRI’s policy calls for:

  • Promoting a free and fair, competitive, market-based system for the trade of recyclable materials;
  • Supporting a competitive marketplace that does not restrict, direct or interfere with the free flow of recyclables;
  • Opposing bans and fees on paper and plastic bags that are being manufactured into useful commodity-grade materials and sold into viable, commercial markets without subsidies or noncompetitive, fixed pricing; and
  • Promoting the recycling and economic opportunities associated with the collection, processing and reuse in finished products (paper and plastic bags).


AUTO RECYCLING

Pick-N-Pull to Open Auto Recycling Plant in Rhode Island
Schnitzer Steel Industries, Portland, Ore., has signed a purchase agreement for a 14-acre parcel of land at Rhode Island Resource Recovery’s Lakeside Commerce Center in Johnson, R.I., where the company will establish an automobile recycling facility.

Schnitzer will invest $5 million to build the auto recycling facility, which will operate under the name Pick-N-Pull. The facility, which the company says it expects to be fully operational by the first half of 2014, will be able to accommodate up to 600 automobiles at once.

Schnitzer also says the facility likely will create 25 new jobs. Schnitzer’s Pick-N-Pull division operates 61 facilities throughout the country. The division also recently acquired three auto recycling locations in the New England area.

When the automobiles have been stripped of their valuable parts, the auto hulks will be shipped to Schnitzer’s auto shredder, also located in Johnston, where they will be shredded.


MUNICIPAL

Pratt Industries Partners with New York City
Conyers, Ga.-based Pratt Industries, which operates a recycled-content paperboard mill on Staten Island in New York City, has provided a grant to the New York City’s Downtown Alliance to purchase 16 BigBelly solar-powered paper recycling collection units for locations determined to be high-traffic pedestrian sites in lower Manhattan.

“What is extremely unique about this program is that it enables access for recycling of paper instead of it getting thrown in with other trash, so it can be recycled more easily, right here in New York City at our 100-percent-recycled paper mill,” says Myles Cohen, president of Pratt Industries’ Recycling Division. “Our New York City paper mill has been in continuous operation since 1997 and since its opening has saved almost 90 million trees by using only recycled paper that would have might otherwise been sent to a landfill.”

In March of 2013 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced an initiative to encourage public space recycling in New York City. In his State of the City address, Bloomberg renewed his administration’s commitment to doubling the city’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017.

“The New York City Department of Sanitation has 25,000 litter baskets placed around the five boroughs to collect light street litter,” Sanitation Department Commissioner John Doherty says. “But we have also placed out more than 1,000 public space recycling bins to capture recyclables that previously would have been going to landfills. These new paper recycling bins donated by Pratt will help the city to reduce its waste and dramatically increase paper recycling on our streets.”

BigBelly Solar paper recycling stations are solar powered and remotely monitored via wireless technology. The recycling stations will be paired with sited BigBelly litter units.


ELECTRONICS

DP Electronic Recycling to Expand
DP Electronic Recycling, Elkhorn, Wis., has announced plans to expand with the addition of a second electronics recycling facility.

Dale Helgeson, CEO of DP Electronic, says the company is leaning toward establishing the facility in Fort Smith, Ark.; however, DP Electronic also has been working to site a facility at the Whitewater Technology Park in Whitewater, Wis.

If DP Electronic receives approval for the Whitewater site, the company says it will close its current Elkhorn facility and shift operations to that facility.

Regarding the second facility outside of Wisconsin, Helgeson says, “We have come to terms with the facility in Arkansas.”

He adds that the Arkansas facility is strategically located near a number of larger cities. “It is a great logistics area,” he says. “Not only is the location close to a number of large urban centers, but the facility also is very close to a range of transportation options, which will help in shipping material to and from the facility,” Helgeson says.

He adds that the company is working on securing financing presently.

DP Electronic is looking at a facility that measures roughly 127,000 square feet and that will allow it to branch out from manual disassembly of obsolete electronics by adding a shredder as well as a process to recycle CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors. Helgeson says DP Electronic has a patent pending process that will convert the CRTs into flooring tile.

When fully operational, the new facility will offer a range of services, including end-of-life recycling, asset management and data destruction services.


PLASTICS

Commercial Plastics Recycling Opens Mississippi Plant
Commercial Plastics Recycling Inc. (CPR), Tampa, Fla., has expanded its plastic recycling operations to Bay St. Louis, Miss. The operation is located in a 30,000-square-foot facility on 33 acres with rail siding inside the Port Bienville Industrial Park.

The new plant handles postindustrial and postcommercial plastics, such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE (high-density polyethylene), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), HIPS (high-impact polystyrene), LDPE (low-density polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), SAN (styrene acrylonitrile) and PC (polycarbonate). Capabilities in place include shredding, grinding and screening. The facility also has room for additional equipment and growth, according to CPR.


METALS

Industrial Services and Blue Equity Part Ways
Industrial Services of America (ISA), Louisville, Ky., has ended its agreement with Blue Equity LLC, also based in Louisville, which was providing ISA with day-to-day senior executive level operating management supervisory services.

The two parties had entered into a management services agreement April 1, 2013. At the time the parties entered into the management agreement, ISA issued 125,000 shares of its common stock to Blue Equity at $4 per share and granted the company options to purchase 1.5 million shares of its common stock at an exercise price per share of $5, subject to shareholder approval.

At the annual meeting of ISA’s shareholders July 16, 2013, shareholders voted not to approve the options to purchase 1.5 million shares that had been granted to Blue Equity and, as a result, the options terminated.

Following the failure of ISA’s shareholders to approve the option grant, Blue Equity delivered a letter to ISA stating that it was officially terminating the management agreement, effective July 31, 2013. Blue Equity also has demanded payment of a monthly management fee of $85,000, along with reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, through July 31, 2013.

In addition, Blue Equity has notified ISA of its intention to exercise its right to cause the company to redeem the 125,000 shares of common stock for $4 per share, the price at which Blue Equity had already purchased those shares, payable Sept. 30, 2013.

On May 7, 2013, the ISA board of directors appointed Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing director of Blue Equity, to the positions of director and CEO of ISA. However, the board and Blue were unable to negotiate mutually agreeable terms and conditions of his service in those positions, and Blue did not accept either position, ISA reports.


PLASTICS

Command Packaging Opens Recycling Plant in California
Command Packaging, a Vernon, Calif.-based manufacturer of reusable shopping and restaurant bags, has broken ground on a 130,000-square-foot agricultural plastic recycling facility in Salinas, Calif. The facility, called Encore Recycling, is scheduled to start operations in October.

According to Command, when fully operational, Encore Recycling will be able to recycle more than 100 million pounds of plastics per year.

The company says it expects to add 40 jobs in October and to have more than 100 employees in 2014, eventually growing the staff to 500 people.

“Encore Recycling is leading the way to help California create the standard for a sustainable and closed-loop recycling system throughout the United States,” says Pete Grande, CEO of Command Packaging and Encore Recycling. “Implementing a sustainable recycling model that works for the consumer, the grocery store and the environment is a win-win for all. People love plastic. It’s part of our everyday lives. Instead of trying to eliminate it, we need to create a ‘smarter’ plastic and Encore is doing that.”

Command Packaging says its Encore Recycling business will partner with growers to collect, wash and recycle agricultural plastics that are currently being disposed. The facility will recycle the plastic into reusable bags called Smarterbags, which will be used by grocers in the state.

“We have established a hub system where growers can drop their plastic off at one of our conveniently located drop-off sites where we will bale it and send it to our processing facility in Salinas,” Grande says.

He adds that the types of agricultural plastics to be recycled include fumigation film, mulch film, drip tubing, hoop housing and processor film.

The new facility will provide complete recycling services, including sorting, shredding, washing and pelletizing.


METALS

Aleris to Consolidate Briquetting Operations
Aleris International Inc., Cleveland, has announced plans to shutter its Hammond., Ind., aluminum plant and shift production to the company’s aluminum briquetting facility in Elyria, Ohio

. In an announcement made in early July, the aluminum producer said it would halt operations and close its Hammond plant by July 31, 2013. The company will then expand aluminum recycling operations at its Elyria facility soon after.

Jason Saragian, a spokesman for Aleris, says the Elyria expansion will include adding a second shift and from 10 to 15 employees. The Elyria plant presently has 10 employees. Adding a second shift will essentially double output at the plant.

The Elyria plant makes slag conditioners and deoxidizers, which help remove excess oxygen and impurities during steelmaking. Customers include steel mills and service centers in the U.S. and Canada.


ELECTRONICS

Export Global Metals Expands into Electronics Recycling
Hillsboro, Ore.-based Export Global Metals Inc. (dba EG Metals Inc.) has announced that it is investing $4 million in a shredding and processing system for end-of-life electronics.

The R2/RIOS (Responsible Recycling Practices/Recycling Industry Operating Standard) certified electronics recycler says it will be able to provide secured chain of custody transport, full video documented destruction and sorting of all computer electronics, specifically hard drives and circuit boards, into secondary commodities, including copper, aluminum, tin and plastics.

“Being able to securely transport, process and separate computer electronic components domestically will increase our ability to service large commercial customers concerned about how and where their computers and their computer data is being processed,” says EG Metals General Manager and Vice President of Operations Peter Van Houten.

Construction and implementation of the new equipment began in July, with full production commencing in September 2013, the company says. Van Houten says EG Metals’ 15,000-square-foot electronics recycling plant will house a Q140 shredder from SSI, Wilsonville, Ore., as well as multiple vibratory magnets, an eddy current and a Titech CombiSense optical sorting system.

“Our goal is to ensure that as computer electronics are received and processed they leave as metal commodities (copper, tin, aluminum, precious metals) ready to be shipped directly to the smelter or refiner,” he adds.

EG Metals says it expects this investment to expand its capabilities as well as the quality of the material it produces. The company says it also expects to grow its workforce by more than 25 percent during the next year as a result of the new processing system.

“This investment is not only good for our business but it’s [also] good for Oregon, for Hillsboro and for our customers,” says EG Metals President Danny Jones.


GLASS

Ripple Glass Seeks Glass from Iowa City
The city of Sioux City, Iowa, has been confronted by the challenge of keeping glass in its curbside collection program. The hauler, Gill Hauling, who has been contracted to collect recyclables, has voiced concern that glass has declined to a level that has no perceived value.

Gill Hauling has sought to drop glass from the materials it handles. The collected recyclables had previously been shipped to FirstStar Recycling, an Omaha, Neb.-based recycling company. However, Ripple Glass, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., which says it has a ready end market for scrap glass, has offered to take in all glass containers.

Nancy Utter, director of business development for Ripple Glass, says the company already has end markets for clear, amber and green glass. She says two predominate cullet streams are produced. Segregated amber is used by Verallia, a bottler in Sapulpa, Okla., which makes new bottles for Boulevard Brewery. A three mix, fine-grind cullet will be used by Owens Corning’s Kansas City, Mo., plant to make fiberglass insulation.

Utter says Ripple Glass supplies cullet to companies that produce countertops and tile.

Under a proposal offered by Ripple Glass, the company would spot several glass bunkers throughout the city where the material could be collected.

According to local reports, the Sioux City Council directed city staff to obtain more details on what it would cost to allow Ripple Glass to take over glass recycling. Gill Hauling would service the roll-offs and consolidate the glass into truck-load quantities at Ripple Glass’ transfer station.


MUNICIPAL

California Resource Recovery Association Recognizes RethinkWaste
The California Resource Recovery Association, Sacramento, Calif., has recognized RethinkWaste, the joint powers solid waste authority for 12 communities in San Mateo County, Calif., with its Outstanding Recycling Program award at its annual conference and trade show, Aug. 13, 2013.

The award reflects RethinkWaste’s recycling, compost and solid waste collection and processing system redesign, including the launch of the CartSMART and BizSMART recycle, compost and garbage collection services in January 2011; the redesigned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified Shoreway Environmental Center, which features new single-stream processing equipment and expanded public recycling services; and a new environmental education center and tour program designed to educate and engage students and the general public on all aspects of sustainability.

“It’s very gratifying to receive statewide recognition for our strong recycling and composting efforts here in San Mateo County,” says Kevin McCarthy, RethinkWaste’s executive director. “This award recognizes efforts that were over five years in the making, encompassing incredible complexity and outstanding work by our agency staff, board of directors and contractors with strong support throughout from elected officials in our service area.”

RethinkWaste owns and manages the Shoreway Environmental Center, which receives all of the recyclables, organic materials and waste collected in its service area.


ELECTRONICS

Veolia Relocates Massachusetts Electronics Recycling Plant
Veolia Environmental Services, based in Chicago, officially opened its new electronics recycling facility in West Bridgewater, Mass., Aug. 22, 2013.

The 55,000-square-foot facility, located on 40 acres, has been designed to handle a range of obsolete electronics as well as fluorescent lamps, ballast, batteries and mercury-bearing waste.

“As technology improves, we’re able to break down and reclaim even more materials, especially hazardous materials, and prevent them from entering the waste stream,” says Jim Bell, CEO and president of Veolia ES Technical Solutions. “Our investment in this facility represents our commitment to finding better solutions for lighting and electronic waste as well as ways to minimize the impact of waste on our environment.”

The company says equipment at the facility is able to recycle more than 99 percent of a fluorescent lamp by weight. Veolia separates these lamps into their glass, aluminum and mercury-bearing phosphor powder components, reclaiming the mercury and working with partners to recover rare earth elements from the lamps’ phosphor powder.

Veolia currently processes about 15.5 million pounds of lighting and electronic scrap per year. Additionally, the company collects 10.5 million lamps per year for recycling.

Veolia relocated the 75 employees from its existing electronics recycling facility in Stoughton, Mass., to the new facility, which has been retrofitted with the most up-to-date technology, the company’s spokeswoman adds.

The facility serves industrial, commercial and government organizations across West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and New England. Veolia also will provide recycling services to residents of West Bridgewater for free through the town’s transfer facility.


ELECTRONICS

ERS International Receives E-Stewards Certification
ERS International, headquartered in Toronto, has received e-Stewards certification for its Chicago-area electronics recycling facility. The Basel Action Network (BAN), Seattle, developed and administers the e-Stewards program.

Through a third-party audit process, e-Stewards certification ensures ERS International’s customers that data are secure, no prison labor is used, toxic electronic waste is not exported to developing nations and does not end up in landfills or incinerators, according to BAN.

“We are delighted to see ERS International add its name to the growing list of e-Stewards electronics recycling companies recognized as industry leaders,” BAN Executive Director Jim Puckett says. “They are among the recyclers that are willing to go the extra mile to be truly socially and environmentally responsible with their customers’ e-waste.”

Established in 2003, ERS International has grown globally with 11 locations in six countries.

“With the addition of our new state-of-the-art facility in Chicago, we continue to help people ‘Do What’s Right’ with an innovative, one-stop, environmentally responsible recycling solution,” says Alfea Principe, global director of corporate compliance at ERS International. “Leading organizations around the world trust ERS International to recycle their unwanted electronic equipment due to our emphasis on detailed audited processes, innovative technology and the reliable strength of our security.”


AUTO RECYCLING

Pull-A-Part Acquires Two Southwest Locations
Atlanta-based Pull-A-Part has added to the number of auto parts stores it operates with the acquisition of U-Pull-It Auto Parts’ locations in Brownsville, Texas, and Tucson, Ariz. The acquisitions are the first for Pull-A-Part in both states. Pull-A-Part now owns 25 used auto parts stores in 12 states.

U-Pull-It, headquartered in Lakeway, Texas, is owned by Johnson Development.

“Our strategy is to expand the Pull-A-Part business by acquiring outstanding existing operations,” says Ross Kogon, president and CEO of Pull-A-Part. “The two U-Pull-It Auto Parts locations expand the Pull-A-Part footprint and will allow us to help more customers save money and let Pull-A-Part recycle more vehicles in an environmentally responsible way.”


ELECTRONICS

Dataserv USA Certifies to E-Stewards
The Basel Action Network (BAN), Seattle, has announced that Dataserv USA Inc.’s Dayton and South Brunswick, N.J., plants have been certified to the e-Stewards standard. BAN developed and administers the e-Stewards program.

Charles McFadden, vice president of operations for Dataserv USA, says, “Having e-Stewards certifications and meeting the standards for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and Responsible Recycling (R2) make us part of a select group of recyclers. The toxic metals found in electronic devices easily become environmental pollutants if not managed properly.”

Jim Puckett, BAN executive director, says, “We welcome Dataserv USA and congratulate them for achieving the ‘gold standard’ for global responsibility. There are far too many recyclers out there that simply export your old TV or computer to developing countries rather than properly managing it. Certified e-Stewards recyclers have undergone the industry’s most rigorous independent audit process and can demonstrate that they are managing all of the toxic materials and sensitive data responsibly.”

Thomas Holdberg, global director of compliance and recycling for Dataserv, says e-Stewards certification assures its customers the company meets the highest standards.


ELECTRONICS

Capital Scrap Metal Expands through Acquisition
Capital Scrap Metal LLC, headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla., has announced the purchase of Coastal Scrap Metal, West Palm Beach, Fla. Coastal Scrap Metal is a full-service scrap metal dealer specializing in electronic scrap.

The 25,000-square-foot warehouse and retail facility will enable Capital Scrap Metal to expand its market share in the south Florida region, according to the company. Capital Scrap now will be able to purchase and warehouse large volumes of e-scrap, as well as ferrous and nonferrous scrap, in Palm Beach County.

The site will include state-of-the-art identification systems and state-certified digital scales, as mandated by the new state of Florida scrap metal recycling laws.


PLASTICS

AstroTurf Closes the Loop
AstroTurf, a Dalton, Ga.-based company, has begun recycling synthetic turf. The company says it has become the first vertically integrated manufacturer of the synthetic turf to fully recycle turf fields.

Under AstroTurf’s recycling program, specialized machinery removes the infill when a field is being replaced. Afterward, the field is cut into strips, rolled up and shipped to AstroTurf’s recycling facilities in Dalton. There, the rolls are ground up, melted into pellets and re-extruded into new plastics.

According to the company, all elements of the field are recycled (including the backing, secondary coating, tall pile polyethylene fibers and the nylon RootZone).

Postconsumer uses for synthetic turf include pallets and other industrial applications.

Bryan Peeples, AstroTurf president, says, “Bringing sustainable solutions to our customers has always been an important AstroTurf goal. We are proud to introduce this groundbreaking environmental initiative and to lead the industry by example once again.”


ELECTRONICS

E-Waste Systems Continues Acquisition Spree
E-Waste Systems Inc. (EWSI), an electronics recycling firm headquartered in London, has entered into a letter of intent to acquire the electronics recycling firm 2TRG of Cincinnati.

According to EWSI, the acquisition is expected to add more than $5 million in annual revenue and more than 12 million pounds of material processed per year. The company says the acquisition could result in an increase of 75 million pounds of material annually.

2TRG operates two facilities—a 140,000-square-foot recycling plant in Cincinnati and a facility in New York that is more than 50,000 square feet. 2TRG is certified to the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) and e-Stewards standards and is ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 compliant.

“I am personally thrilled to be teaming up with Carol (Weinstein, founder and CEO of 2TRG) and her team,” Martin Nielson, CEO of EWSI, says. “She founded her company with the highest standards in mind and has delivered all that and more. The credentials she has attained are impeccable, and we could not be happier to join forces with Carol.”

Adds Nielson, “2TRG has invested more than $1.2 million in e-waste recycling equipment upon which we can jointly build. The location in Ohio is very strategic from a logistics position, while the New York operation provides full e-waste recycling certification in that most important state.”

Weinstein adds, “We recently entered into a teaming agreement with EWSI and have already begun some commercial collaboration, so this is a very logical next step for us. The principles we worked hard to see implemented now have the chance to be extended globally with EWSI and the team. Our commitment to zero landfill and to being on the leading edge of setting the standards of compliance are a perfect complement.”

According to EWSI, all 2TRG employees will be retained and EWSI intends to use the Cincinnati unit as a strategic operational hub for the Midwest and to build upon the New York location to expand into the Northeast. Weinstein will remain as CEO of 2TRG and join EWSI’s management team.

2TRG was formed in 2004 as Technology Recycling Group. The company changed its name to 2TRG in 2006. Since then, 2TRG has invested more than $1.2 million in equipment, including CRT Heaven and Shred-Tech systems. In 2011, 2TRG was ranked No. 816 among the Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies and in 2012 was named a Blue Ash, Ohio, Business of the Year.


TIRES

Tennessee Awards Tire Recycling Grants
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau have announced that 44 tire recycling-related grants have been awarded in the Volunteer State.

The scrap tire recycling grants total more than $3.6 million in fiscal year 2014-15. The grants are supported by Tennessee’s Solid Waste Management Fund, which receives revenue from a fee on the purchase of new tires.

Tennessee recycles an estimated 55,000 tons of passenger tire equivalents per year, according to the DEC. Beneficial end-use methods for scrap tires include using tire-derived aggregate in civil engineering projects, crumb rubber for asphalt paving and molded rubber products. The majority of Tennessee’s scrap tires are used as tire-derived fuel (TDF).

“The keys to this program’s success are the efforts of our local county and community partners,” Haslam says. “Reducing the number of tires in landfills and redirecting the tires to a better use helps conserve Tennessee’s natural resources for future generations.”

The Tennessee General Assembly authorized scrap tire grants in the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991. The grants assist counties with the collection, processing and transportation of the tires to beneficial end-use facilities. Counties are reimbursed $1 per eligible tire and are required to provide at least one scrap tire collection site. Counties may charge an additional fee if the grant is not adequate to cover costs.

The fund is administered by the DEC and $1.25 from the $1.35 predisposal fee collected is used to supplement the counties’ costs for scrap tire recycling and services.


ELECTRONICS

Electronics Recycling Fundraiser Benefits Camp
Brockport, N.Y.-based Sunnking Inc. has raised more than $12,640 during its 2013 E-Scrap 4 Camp drive.

The company, in partnership with Camp Good Days and Special Times, created the program three years ago to facilitate the recycling of old electronics from participating locations in the New York cities of Buffalo and Rochester. The funds generated through the drive help to fund Camp Good Days and Special Times, in Mendon, N.Y., which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, adults and families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life challenges.

The program collected more than 421,000 pounds of electronics in 2013. Since its inception in 2011, E-Scrap 4 Camp has recycled a total of 991,006 pounds of electronics, with Sunnking donating more than $30,000 to Camp Good Times. A complete list of participants and weight of electronics collected can be found by visiting http://sunnking.com/2013-e-scrap-4-camp-results.

During the month of April, Sunnking provided free supplies and free pickups to participating organizations. Organizations were encouraged to collect old and unwanted electronics from employees, friends and family; Sunnking made a monetary donation to Camp Good Days for every pound of electronics recycled. 2013 marked the first year that Rochester organizations were included in the campaign, and as a result an additional 102,900 pounds of electronics were collected.

“Once again we are thrilled with this year’s participation and growth in the E-Scrap 4 Camp program,” says Adam Shine, director of business development at Sunnking. “The level of support that Sunnking experienced from the community to help raise money for Camp Good Days was overwhelming. With the combined efforts of the participating organizations throughout Buffalo and Rochester, we were able to beat last year’s donation. Many children facing the harsh realities of cancer will now have the ability to participate in year-round activities with Camp Good Days to help take their minds off of their unfortunate circumstances. We are excited to continue this program again in 2014.”

Gary Mervis, chairman and founder of Camp Good Days, started the camp in 1979 following the diagnosis of his youngest daughter, Teddi, with a malignant brain tumor. Camp Good Days has served more than 44,000 campers.

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