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Recycling Today Staff November 5, 2013

PAPER

Pratt Selects Indiana for New Board Mill
Pratt Industries Inc., Conyers, Ga., has announced plans to build a recycled-content paperboard mill in Valparaiso, Ind., adjacent to the company’s existing box plant.

The Valparaiso facility, to operate under the name Pratt Paper (Indiana) LLC, is expected to be completed by July 2015 and will cost $260 million, the company says. The mill will occupy a new 250,000-square-foot plant and will include a wastewater pretreatment facility and road improvements. When fully operational, the facility will be able to produce 360,000 tons of recycled-content board per year.

“This new facility will allow us to better service the needs of our expanding customer base, not only in the Midwest but throughout the United States,” says Anthony Pratt, owner and chairman of Pratt Industries. “Indiana is a perfect fit for us. We’ve been a part of the business community here for many years now, and we know there is a skilled, reliable workforce available to us.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Pratt up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the number of Indiana residents the company hires. Northern Indiana Public Service Co. also has offered Pratt an estimated $15 million in additional energy and infrastructure incentives, while Valparaiso has offered tax abatement and tax increment financing and conduit financing through $200 million in industrial revenue bonds.


LEGISLATION & REGULATIONS

Truth or Consequences
According to a Chinese customs official, among the goals being met by China’s Operation Green Fence has been more truthful documentation that has helped collect more appropriate levels of tax revenue.

In a presentation at the 2013 China National Resources Recycling Association (CRRA) International Recycling Conference & Exhibition in early September, Chen Zejun of the China Customs office in Guangzhou said the scrutiny under Operation Green Fence has cut down on “false reports” that had been used by importers as a form of tax evasion.

Chen said collecting appropriate taxes and import duties was a goal that China Customs, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) had as it developed and introduced Operation Green Fence.

Chen told attendees, “There is a lot to be recycled, but it has to exceed certain standards. You cannot dump nonrecyclable or nontreated waste on other countries.”

She said Green Fence was designed to address four problems:

  • The importation of low-value waste;
  • The selling or lending of import certificates;
  • False reports on import documents pertaining to the product enclosed or the value of the scrap product in the container; and
  • The resale of imported scrap to nonimport certificate holders.

Importers caught violating these four points of emphasis risk being put on a “black list” that will make reapplying for certified import status difficult, said Chen. “Do not take a risk,” she warned attendees. “The short-term benefit is not the worth the long-term risk [of being on the black list.] Compliance is important.”

In her role with the Commodity Price Information Office of China Customs, Chen said she had been involved in ensuring descriptions and values on shipment paperwork matched what was enclosed. After several months of enforcement, she said there was less evasion because of material “recategorization” or because of low stated values.

The CRRA 2013 China International Recycling Conference & Exhibition was Sept. 3-5 at the San Li New Century Grand Hotel in Hangzhou, China.


METALS

Alcoa to Combine UBC, Scrap Purchasing Operations
Pittsburgh-based Alcoa has announced plans to combine Evermore Recycling, its group that buys aluminum in the packaging market, with its aluminum scrap purchasing group, which buys aluminum used in markets such as aerospace, automotive and industrial, into a single organization that it will call Alcoa Recycling.

The two groups combined collected about 1.4 billion pounds of aluminum scrap in 2012.

Michael Boyle, Alcoa director of metal management, who will oversee Alcoa Recycling, says, “The vast majority of our partners in the marketplace have the capability to supply both scrap and UBCs (used beverage containers) to Alcoa for recycling. This new organization will now interface with the market as one entity.”

With the merger, the name Evermore Recycling will be discontinued.


PLASTICS

ISRI and APR Release Common Plastic Scrap Specs
The Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) and Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) have partnered to publish plastic model bale specifications designed to provide clarity and uniformity within the plastics and recycling industries.

The associations say the model bale specifications resulted from the work of the Plastic Scrap Spec Taskforce.

“With the creation of uniform specifications, now everyone in the plastics recycling industry can speak the same language,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Recognizing a need within the industry, the joint taskforce first sought to develop collective specs for more popular grades and now will work in cooperation to issue specifications for additional grades. This first-of-its-kind collaboration better sets the parameters for agreements between buyers and sellers.”

The new model specifications include bulky rigids, tubs and lids with bulky rigids and tubs and lids without bulky rigids.

Both associations will still publish the model specs individually, but they will be based on the same description to avoid competing standards.

ISRI has released its specifications as part of its updated “Scrap Specification Circular.”

“The goal of APR is to secure more good material that is available for reclamation,” says Tom Busard, chairman of APR and vice president of Plastipak Corp. “We have had industry bale specifications for many years. By working with the scrap industry, we hope to identify and capture more plastic packaging that may not have been separated and made available for recycling. We are always looking for sources of good, clean material and hope these joint efforts will help us achieve that goal.”

The taskforce says it is seeking input from other stakeholders who are interested in uniform scrap specifications for additional grades.

The plastic model bale specifications can be viewed at www.plasticsrecycling.org/rigid-plastics/public-access-rigid-plastics-information/model-bale-specifications.


MUNICIPAL

Casella Lands Contract with New Hampshire City
Concord, N.H., has awarded Casella Waste Systems a 10-year waste and recycling collection contract that includes solid waste and recycling management services.

“We’re pleased the city of Concord saw not only the economic value of working in partnership with us but the potential long-term resource conservation and recycling expertise we bring to the community, as well,” says John Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems. “We’re eager to give Concord’s citizens the same level of service they’ve enjoyed for many years plus a path to conserve and sustain even more resources,” he adds.

The agreement provides for residential curbside collection of municipal solid waste and recycling, transfer and disposal of the city’s solid waste, operation of the city’s transfer station, waste and recycling collection services in Concord’s downtown district, yard waste collection and collection services for municipal agencies, events and activities. The company says it expects to handle more than 30,000 tons of solid waste and recyclables through the contract.

Casella presently provides service for Concord through the city’s current contract with BBI Inc., which Casella acquired in late 2012.

Casella’s new contract with Concord begins July 1, 2014. The agreement covering the transfer and disposal of Concord’s solid waste begins Jan. 1, 2015, and all portions of the contract run through June 30, 2024. The contract has an option for two five-year extensions.


METALS

Kennametal to Acquire ATI’s Tungsten Materials Business
Kennametal Inc., a specialty metals manufacturing firm headquartered in Latrobe, Pa., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Allegheny Technology Inc.’s (ATI) Tungsten Materials Business for $605 million.

Pittsburgh-based ATI’s Tungsten Materials Business is a producer of tungsten metallurgical powders as well as tooling technologies and components. The business has approximately 1,175 employees across 14 facilities globally and consists of two divisions: ATI Firth Sterling and ATI Stellram.

The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to close before the end of the calendar year, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions, according to Kennametal.

“ATI’s Tungsten Materials Business brings vital strategic assets that are an excellent complement to Kennametal, especially given our common focus on operational excellence and industry-leading material science,” says Carlos Cardoso, Kennametal chairman, president and CEO. “The addition of the expanded material and tooling technologies of ATI’s Tungsten Materials Business will enable us to offer more to our customers around the world. We look forward to building on our respective strengths to accelerate growth while generating even greater value for our business and ultimately our shareholders.”

This acquisition is aligned with Kennametal’s growth strategy and positions it to further diversify its portfolio, according to the company. Kennametal says it expects to capitalize on the material technology capabilities, engineered components and world-class tooling products of ATI’s Tungsten Materials Business to expand its presence in the aerospace and energy markets.

The company also notes that the acquisition will accelerate its previously announced plans to expand capacity and develop an advanced tungsten carbide recycling facility in the United States to serve global markets. The company also estimates that this will reduce planned capital expenditures by $30 million to $35 million and adds that it expects to achieve economy of scale six to eight years earlier than prior projections.


MUNICIPAL

Republic Services Opens MRF in Texas
Republic Services Inc., a Phoenix-based waste management and recycling company, has officially dedicated its newest material recovery facility (MRF) in Fort Worth, Texas. The 90,000-square-foot MRF will serve customers in Dallas, Denton, Parker and Tarrant counties.

The CP Group, San Diego, built the processing system used at the MRF.

Craig Mikolajchak, general manager of Republic Services in Fort Worth, says, “This facility will provide our customers and community with more efficient, clean and safe recycling options and much needed capacity.”

The MRF will collect and process all plastics marked 1 through 7, a wide range of paper, old corrugated containers, glass, aluminum and other recyclables.

According to Republic, the MRF uses a highly automated Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system, enabling continual monitoring of the sorting process and automating the baling and storage of finished commodities.


PAPER

IP to Close Alabama Paper Mill
International Paper (IP), Memphis, Tenn., has announced plans to permanently close its Courtland, Ala., paper mill. IP says it will shutter the plant in stages, with full closure expected by the first quarter of 2014. The closure will reduce IP’s uncoated and coated freesheet production by 950,000 tons, of which 765,000 tons is uncoated freesheet.

IP attributes the closure to declining demand for uncoated freesheet throughout North America over the last 15 years.

After the closure, IP’s printing and communications paper business will consist of four mills focused on uncoated freesheet, bristols and specialty papers: two uncoated freesheet mills in Eastover, S.C., and Riverdale, Ala.; and two specialty paper mills in Georgetown, S.C., and Ticonderoga, N.Y.


PLASTICS

APR Releases Summary of Recycling Design Guides
The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), Washington, D.C., has published an executive summary of its recently released recyclability design guidelines for packaging and containers.

Executive Director Steve Alexander says that while the organization has published its design guidelines for the past 14 years, recently many nontechnical audiences, including consumer product companies, marketing and brand managers and packaging design experts have expressed the need for a quick reference summary version of the guidelines.

“As one of its core missions, APR has always sought to provide packaging designers with specific information to allow for informed decisions,” Alexander says. For the past 14 years, the APR Recyclability Guidelines, which are based on actual industry experience, have provided that guidance to industry. These guidelines describe how a package design might impact conventional mechanical plastics recycling systems, be improved to avoid recycling problems and be optimized to make plastic packages more compatible with current recycling systems.

Alexander adds that the summary will help to provide a broader audience with an understanding of how the technical aspects of container and packaging design will have an impact on the ability of the package or product to be recycled. “Recyclers tend to be the last to know about the impact of a new product or package design on the ability of the package to be recycled,” he says. “Hopefully, this summary will help a broader audience consider the downstream implications of the recyclability of a package during the conceptual development stage.”

Individuals interested in accessing the document APR Design for Recyclability Guidelines: An Executive Summary can do so online at www.plasticsrecycling.org/ images/stories/doc/apr_dfr_executive_summary_08_2013.pdf.


MUNICIPAL

ReCommunity Opens Delaware MRF
ReCommunity, Charlotte, N.C., held a grand opening for its newest material recovery facility (MRF) in Wilmington, Del., in late August. The opening of the MRF, the 35th the company operates, occurred at the start of a 20-year agreement between ReCommunity and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). The MRF will serve the entire state.

“Recycling is important to Delaware’s economy and environment,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell at the grand opening. “ReCommunity’s investment and its technological innovation perfectly align with statewide universal recycling programs with the goal of turning waste streams into economic opportunities for Delaware by ensuring material and resource recovery. We also welcome ReCommunity’s commitment to the state’s recycling requirements—reflecting the company’s recycling leadership in the 21st century.”

ReCommunity invested $15 million to repurpose the existing 64,000-square-foot facility, which included the installation of sorting equipment at the Delaware Recycling Center (DRC) to process aluminum, plastic, paper, cardboard, steel cans and glass collected from throughout the state.

Prior to ReCommunity opening the MRF, DSWA collected recyclables at one of two transfer stations in the state, transporting the material to MRFs outside of Delaware, including ReCommunity MRFs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The MRF, supplied by Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eurgene, Ore., features advanced automated sorting capabilities and can process more than 35 tons per hour, with the capacity to process more than 160,000 tons annually, ReCommunity says.


CERTIFICATION

ISRI Restructures RIOS Pricing
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., has restructured pricing for its Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) to make it easier for nonprofit organizations to become RIOS certified, the association says. ISRI adds that RIOS certification is a globally accepted quality, environmental, health and safety management system designed for and by recyclers.

RIOS membership now will be available for a flat annual fee. Beginning immediately, all facilities are eligible for this new cost structure. These changes are permanent and reflect an ongoing effort to improve industry-wide practices through certification, ISRI says.

ISRI members will pay $1,250 to certify an initial facility and $1,200 for each additional facility certified. Governmental and nonprofit recyclers will pay $1,000 to certify their first facility and $1,350 to certify each additional facility. The standard RIOS rate is $4,200 for the first facility and $3,500 for each additional facility.

“With the changes to the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) Standard, this is an ideal time for facilities to enroll in the RIOS program to comply with R2:2013 provision,” says RIOS Director Darrell Kendall. “The pricing initiative further raises awareness of the RIOS certification while offering recycling facilities of all sizes access to the best standard in the industry.”

Kendall can be contacted at dkendall@certifymerecycling.org or at 202-662-8528 for more information.


METALS

Sims Plans to Delist from NYSE
Sims Metal Management Ltd. (SMM), with headquarters in New York and Australia, has announced its plans to voluntarily delist its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The delisting of the company’s ADRs is expected to become effective on or about Oct. 11, 2013, according to SMM.

The company’s ordinary shares are unaffected by the decision and will continue to be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), according to an SMM news release. Following the NYSE delisting, the company’s securities will not be listed on any exchange in the United States, but in the near-term SMM says it expects to retain an ADR program in the U.S. on the “over-the-counter” (OTC) market, which will allow shareholders to have the option to trade shares.

The company also says it will seek to deregister from the U.S. securities market.

“When accomplished, deregistration will reduce administrative costs and the complexity that is associated with a dual listing in both the U.S. and Australia,” according to SMM.

Deregistration cannot occur until criteria relating to average daily trading volume or the number of holders of the ADRs are met, which is not anticipated until October 2014 at the earliest, according to the company.

“Sims Metal Management will remain incorporated in Australia and will continue to be subject to the relevant corporate and securities laws of Australia and the United States,” the company states.

Regarding holders of the ADRs, SMM says, “There is no requirement to sell ADRs. Shareholders can choose to buy, sell or retain their ADRs following delisting from the NYSE.” The company adds, “If shareholders choose to trade their shares in the future, they will do so via the OTC market.”

SMM operates about 270 recycling facilities. During its 2013 fiscal year, the company generated about 63 percent of its revenue from its operations in North America.


MUNICIPAL

Department of Justice and CalRecycle Announce Recycling Fraud Bust
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the state Department of Justice (DOJ) have arrested Amado Nieva, the owner of Save Us Recycling, Sun Valley, Calif., for allegedly defrauding the state of more than $500,000 over more than one year.

CalRecycle says the arrest is part of the state’s efforts to combat beverage container recycling fraud. It follows a month-long DOJ investigation in which Nieva reportedly received empty beverage containers from Nevada and illegally claimed refunds in California for them.

According to CalRecycle, the DOJ’s case against Nieva was initiated by a referral from CalRecycle investigative auditors, who also provided technical assistance with DOJ’s execution of the search warrant that resulted in Nieva’s arrest.

The DOJ investigates and prosecutes criminal cases on behalf of CalRecycle, which has administrative authority over the state’s beverage container recycling program. During the course of its investigations, CalRecycle says it may take actions to deny questionable reimbursement claims from recyclers, issue financial penalties against recycling operations that break the rules and remove those who commit fraud from participating in the program. CalRecycle also may refer cases to the DOJ for possible criminal investigation.

In the case of Nieva, DOJ enforcement officers say they observed a 53-foot tractor-trailer deliver used beverage containers (UBCs) from Las Vegas to a storage yard in California. DOJ says Nieva was seen taking the containers from the storage yard to two processing centers, redeeming them for California Redemption Value (CRV).

Served with a search warrant, Nieva admitted he had received a truckload of out-of-state beverage containers as many as six times per month for more than a year, resulting in more than $500,000 in illegal CRV claims.

CalRecycle estimates that it pays out between $30 million and $50 million per year in illegal redemptions for out-of-state containers that are not eligible for CRV.


PAPER

Cascades to Add Tissue Machine in Oregon
Cascades Inc., Kingsey Falls, Quebec, has announced plans to install a second paper machine at its St. Helens, Ore., plant. Boise Inc. previously operated the machine.

The machine will be reconfigured to produce 55,000 tons of tissue paper per year, bringing the total tissue paper capacity of the St. Helens site to 120,000 tons per year, Cascades says. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $35 million, with startup planned for the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the company.

“We have targeted the West Coast as an area of growth for us,” says Suzanne Blanchet, president and CEO of Cascades Tissue Group. “This machine will manufacture hand towels and napkins for the away-from-home market. The retrofitting of an existing machine will allow us to bring the additional capacity to this market at a reduced capital cost and on a faster timeline than if we were to build a new machine. Moreover, the addition of a second machine will allow us to improve the overall operating efficiency of the St. Helens operation as a whole.”

Mario Plourde, president and CEO of Cascades Inc., comments, “This investment fits perfectly with our stated strategic objective of prioritizing investments in the tissue and packaging sectors. The addition of this machine combined with other ongoing projects will further strengthen Cascades’ growing position in the North American tissue market.”

Cascades Tissue Group, a division of Cascades Canada ULC, is the fourth largest tissue paper manufacturer in North America. Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fiber, employing more than 12,000 people across more than 100 units in North America and Europe.


MUNICIPAL

Connecticut City Sees Jump in Recycling Participation Rate
Bill Finch, the mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., has reported a sharp jump in the city’s recycling participation rate, attributing much of the increase to the city’s switch to single-stream recycling as well as to the expansion of its Recyclebank rewards program citywide.

Mayor Finch says the city’s recycling participation rate increased by 67 percent compared with the previous two-year period.

“Increasing recycling rates is one of the highest priorities of our BGreen2020 initiative,” Finch says. “We know that increasing recycling rates means a cleaner community for the residents of Bridgeport, a lower carbon footprint and money saved for the city. During my tenure as mayor, we have launched several initiatives to help improve our recycling efforts, including switching to single-stream recycling, increasing outreach efforts thanks to the Mayor’s Conservation Corps and rewarding residents for recycling thanks to Recyclebank, who has been instrumental in our success and has been a great partner.”

Bridgeport’s BGreen2020 initiative was introduced in 2008 to create jobs, save residents money and reduce Bridgeport’s carbon footprint. BGreen’s efforts also included the introduction of single-stream recycling and the distribution of 64-gallon roll-out carts to the city’s households in September 2011.

Along with boosting its participation rate, the city of Bridgeport also says it has avoided approximately $130,000 per year in tipping fees and has earned more than $100,000 in new revenue from its participation in Southwest Connecticut Regional Recycling Operating Committee (SWEROC), the regional multitown group that encourages regional cooperation on recycling.


MUNICIPAL

Sims Municipal Recycling Touts Role in New York City Program
Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR), New York, says it will play an integral role in New York City’s “Recycle Everything” campaign, which launched July 29, 2013.

This new program is the largest expansion of New York City’s recycling program in 25 years and is set to double the city’s current recycling rate to 30 percent by 2017, city officials say.

SMR will process and market all of the metal, glass and plastic collected through New York City’s new and expanded recycling program.

“Our relationship with Sims has allowed city residents to recycle more types of plastics, making great strides in helping us meet the mayor’s recycling goal,” says New York City Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. “We are thankful for this partnership and are looking forward to the future of a cleaner, greener New York City.”

Prior to New York City’s program expansion, the only plastics accepted for recycling were PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and HDPE (high-density polyethylene) bottles and jugs. However, SMR’s new material recovery facility (MRF), set to open in the fall of 2013 in Brooklyn, N.Y., will allow New York City residents to include a wide range of rigid plastics, such as toys, hangers, crates, tubs and other food containers, for recycling in addition to HDPE and PET containers. A full list of acceptable and nonacceptable materials, including batteries and electronics, can be found at www.simsmunicipal.com/NYC/NYC-Recycling-Program.

“This initiative comes at a great time for us as we prepare to open our state-of-the-art recycling plant in Brooklyn,” says Tom Outerbridge, general manager for SMR. “This new facility will bring approximately 75 new jobs to the area and will include an education center to teach children about the importance of recycling.

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