Departments - Newsworthy

September 3, 2014


Philadelphia exceeds waste diversion goal

In 2012 the city of Philadelphia exceeded its goal to divert 70 percent of its waste from landfill for the second consecutive year, according to a recent report issued by Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s Office of Sustainability. According to the “Greenworks 2014 Progress Report,” half of all waste generated by the city was recycled while 23 percent was used for energy production.

The report also notes that in 2013 the Philadelphia Streets Department began diverting all its waste from landfill through a combination of recycling and waste-to-energy (WTE) practices.

To achieve a 73 percent diversion rate, the Philadelphia Streets Department captured more than 1.3 million tons of recyclables in 2012, the report states. Residential recycling reached an all-time high of 122,680 tons, which puts the curbside recycling rate at 21 percent, the report notes.

As well, a record 80 percent of construction and demolition (C&D) debris was diverted in 2012.

The Philadelphia Streets Department supported a variety of citywide recycling and waste reduction efforts in 2013, distributing 60,000 recycling bins to city residents and publishing its first “Business Recycling Toolkit.”

The “Greenworks 2014 Progress Report” is available from the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability at progressreport.pdf.



Severstal North America sells steelmaking assets

Severstal North America has sold its two U.S. steel mills for more than $2.3 billion. The company is a subsidiary of Russia-based OAO Severstal.

Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI), headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of Severstal Columbus LLC from OAO Severstal for $1.625 billion in cash, while AK Steel, based in West Chester, Ohio, has acquired Severstal’s Dearborn, Michigan, subsidiary for $700 million. The acquisition includes a coke-making facility and interests in three joint ventures that process flat-rolled steel products.

The steel minimill in Columbus, Mississippi, is one of the newest and most technologically advanced mills in North America.

SDI says the acquisition expands its annual steel production capacity by nearly 40 percent to 11 million tons. Additionally, the purchase of Severstal Columbus will give SDI increased exposure to the high-growth oil sector and automotive segments, which will complement SDI’s existing market offerings, the company says.

“The acquisition of Columbus represents a significant step in the continuation of our growth strategy,” says SDI CEO Mark Millett. “It leverages our core strengths and at the same time fulfills our initiatives to further increase value-added product and market diversification,” he adds.

“We have been positioning our balance sheet and organizational structure for growth such as this,” Millett continues, “and we believe this acquisition will result in a prudent capital structure that will allow us to again return to our preferred net debt leverage of less than three times trailing EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) within a reasonable time frame. The expected earnings accretion and increased scale make this transaction a meaningful strategic opportunity for our shareholders and all of our employees.”

The Columbus facility, commissioned in 2007, is reportedly one of the only North American flat-roll mills to have 76-inch-wide hot roll, 74-inch-wide cold roll and 72-inch-wide galvanized sheet capabilities. The mill has an annual hot-roll production capacity of 3.4 million tons.

Following the original commissioning in 2007, between August 2007 and November 2011 Severstal North America installed a second electric arc furnace (EAF), ladle metallurgy furnace, caster, tunnel furnace, hot-dip galvanizing line and a heavy-gauge push-pull pickle line at the Columbus mill complex.

SDI presently has five steel mills, six steel processing plants, two iron production facilities and six steel fabrication plants as well as more than 90 metals recycling locations operating under the name OmniSource.

Regarding its acquisition of Severstal’s Dearborn assets, James Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel, says the move “furthers our automotive strategy and strengthens our carbon steelmaking footprint.”

The Dearborn plant produces flat-rolled steel for the automotive, construction and appliance markets. AK Steel says the Dearborn steel mill’s blast furnace, which was rebuilt in 2007, is among the most efficient and productive blast furnaces in the world for its size.

The plant began operating a new pickle line tandem cold mill and a new hot-dip galvanizing line in 2011 and can produce 2.5 million tons of finished steel per year. Upon completion of the acquisition, AK Steel’s annual shipments are expected to exceed 7.5 million tons.



Matalco to build aluminum billet plant in Ohio

Matalco Inc., Brampton, Ontario, has announced plans to build an aluminum billet manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio. The company currently operates two facilities that predominantly use aluminum scrap to produce remelt, extrusion grade aluminum billet and forging stock. Matalco says the new plant will strengthen and expand its presence in the North American aluminum market.

Matalco will invest more than $100 million to build the 200,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, which is near Youngstown in northeastern Ohio. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 175,000 tons of various series of aluminum billet.

Raw material for the facility will be aluminum scrap, primarily in the 600 series, says Robert Roscetti, Matalco director of corporate development. “However,” he adds, “We also use P1020 ingot as part of our production process. Also, our plan is to grow and expand our market share into the 3000 and 4000 series alloy markets.”

“The Matalco announcement has been a long time coming, as the chamber has been working with Matalco leadership for over a year and a half,” says Sarah Boyarko, Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce vice president for Economic Development, North America.

The company says it expects to hold a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2014, with the plant fully commissioned in early 2016. Matalco says it expects production to be up to full capacity by 2019.

“This significant investment clearly demonstrates our unwavering commitment to serve our customers and expand our market share,” says Armand Sanguigni, president of Matalco Inc. “After a lengthy selection process, we decided on Lordstown as the site of our new plant because of its location relative to our market, its exceptional workforce and the comprehensive incentive package and assistance provided from both the state and local levels.”

Matalco currently has two plants—one in Brampton and one in Canton, Ohio. Combined, these plants produce 175,000 tons of aluminum billet per year.

The company is an affiliate of Triple M Metal LP, a large scrap metal recycler also based in Brampton.

Roscetti says the expansion will include and integrate Triple M Metal LP’s nonferrous operations to procure and handle all of Matalco’s aluminum scrap requirements as well as to process other nonferrous materials independently and separately from Matalco.

Matalco and Triple M are part of The Giampaolo Group, which also includes Venture Steel Inc., a steel processor and distributor of metal with a focus on flat-rolled steel products, and Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP), an electronic asset management and electronics recycling firm.



ReCommunity acquires New Jersey company

The Charlotte-based recycling firm ReCommunity (profiled in the July issue of Recycling Today, available at has acquired JFD Associates, a Farmingdale, New Jersey, recycling company. With the acquisition of the family-owned company, ReCommunity owns and operates five processing operations in New Jersey.

“Their commitment to their customers and their community-centric vision for resource recovery is perfectly aligned with our core values and brand,” Sean Duffy, president of ReCommunity, says of JFD. “We have worked with JFD for several years prior to this acquisition, and this is an excellent next step to bring enhanced service to JFD’s long-term customers.”

Joseph Derrico and Andie Holt founded JFD over 10 years ago.

“We are excited at the opportunity to join forces with ReCommunity,” says Holt, who will be joining the company as a regional controller for several regions, including the Mid-Atlantic. “Being part of a larger organization that shares our vision and values will provide expanded opportunities for our customers, vendors and employees,” he adds.

ReCommunity presently has 33 facilities in 14 states.



Pull-A-Part to open Pittsburgh location

Pull-A-Part, headquartered in Atlanta, has announced plans to open a new used auto parts retail facility in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. The facility, near Pittsburgh, will be the company’s first in Pennsylvania and represents the first step in its plan to expand into the Northeast.

The company says it has acquired a 72-acre brownfield site where it will build a retail facility and service areas for its do-it-yourself used auto parts business. The company says it currently is developing a site plan as part of its construction permitting process and expects the facility to open in early 2015. Pull-A-Part says it expects to have 2,000 end-of-life vehicles at the site at any given time.

“The greater Pittsburgh area represents a strong market opportunity for Pull-A-Part, and the officials in West Mifflin have been extremely cooperative in helping us select their community as the best location for Pull-A-Part to make its first investment in Pennsylvania,” says Ross Kogon, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Pull-A-Part.

“By expanding into western Pennsylvania, Pull-A-Part will be able to help more customers save money on used auto parts and be able to recycle more vehicles in an environmentally responsible way,” Kogon says. “We look forward to serving new customers and being part of the community fabric in Pittsburgh.”

With this addition of its Pittsburgh facility, Pull-A-Part will operate 29 used auto parts stores in 13 states.



Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference releases speaker lineup

The roster of speakers at the 2014 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference in Chicago will include prominent executives, traders and operations experts who are helping to steer the recycling industry in the United States.

Among the prominent speakers who will be appearing in Chicago from Oct. 8-10 are Ron Gonen, CEO of the new Closed Loop Fund for recycling. Before heading the Closed Loop Fund, Gonen served as deputy commissioner of sanitation, recycling and sustainability in New York City and is the founder of RecycleBank.

The Closed Loop Fund is an initiative spearheaded by Wal-Mart and supported by major corporate funding sources, including Campbell Soup Co., Cargill, General Mills, Monsanto, Kellogg Co., PepsiCo, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Unilever and Wal-Mart itself. The goal of the initiative is to make recycling collection more widely available to Americans by investing some $100 million in collection infrastructure projects.

The conference, which is organized by the Recycling Today Media Group and co-hosted by the Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), will be at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.

Speakers and panelists include representatives from all links in the recycling loop, such as:

  • Tom De Rue, Gemini Corp. NV;
  • Allen Clifford, Mediterranean Shipping Co. (USA) Inc.;
  • Mike Di Placido, Khanna Paper Inc.;
  • Tamsin Ettefagh, Envision Plastics;
  • Kerry Getter, Balcones Resources;
  • Andrew Kern, Smurfit Kappa Group;
  • Al Metauro, Cascades Recovery and Green by Nature EPR;
  • Patty Norris, Federal International;
  • Kelly Rooney, Advanced Disposal;
  • Ron Sherga, EcoStrate SFS;
  • Jonathan Sloan, Canusa Hershman;
  • Calvin Tigchelaar, Resource Management Co.; and
  • Cris Villano, Wausau Paper Towel & Tissue LLC.

More information about the event, including how to register, can be found by visiting



Connecticut board mill to close

Fusion Paperboard, headquartered in Versailles, Connecticut, has informed 145 workers at its recycled-content paperboard mill in nearby Sprague, Connecticut, that it intends to close the mill in September 2014.

An article on the website of the Norwich (Connecticut) Bulletin says regional economic development officials have declared their intentions to explore how to keep the mill open.

Fusion Paperboard filed a notice with Connecticut’s Department of Labor Thursday, July 24, 2014, of its intention to cut 145 jobs when it closes the mill and the company office in Versailles Sept. 22, 2014.

On its website,, the company states that it “buys brown fiber recycled material [and] recycles more than 160,000 short tons of fiber each year.”

Fusion says it focuses in particular on procuring material from the surrounding New England region.



Pennsylvania revises scrap metal theft law

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has passed a bill designed to make it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen railway materials and will require stronger credentials to be a scrap dealer or recycler.

SB 1077, which was sponsored by Sen. David Argall, adds railroad materials to the list of items that may only be sold to a scrap processor or recycler through a commercial entity. Pennsylvania’s scrap material theft prevention law mandates that items such as beer kegs, detached catalytic converters, metallic wire and construction material, cannot be sold by individuals.

Passed by the Pennsylvania Senate, the bill is now Act 79 of 2014 and was amended to include language from a similar proposal introduced by Rep. Tina Davis.

Davis’ amendment included several key tools designed to combat scrap metal theft, including requiring scrap processors and recycling facilities to register with the state police, directing the state police to post and maintain a statewide registry of scrap processors and recycling facilities on its website and giving courts the authority to impound vehicles linked to scrap metal thefts.

The bill was signed into law June 26, 2014, and takes effect 60 days from that date.



NCER lands contract to handle Oregon E-Cycles program

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has chosen the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER), based in Vienna, West Virginia, to manage and maintain the statewide collection, transportation and recycling network under Oregon E-Cycles.

All electronics manufacturers participate in the state contractor program unless they choose to participate in and meet the qualifications for an individual or group recycling program.

The state DEQ continues to administer the overall Oregon E-Cycles program.

Through a competitive bid process, NCER demonstrated its ability to fulfill program requirements and provide additional time-saving tools that it will use to operate efficiently and to provide savings to manufacturers funding the electronics recycling program, the organization says.

NCER has managed the Oregon E-Cycles state contractor program since the program began in 2008.

Jason Linnell, NCER executive director, says, “For the past six years, the NCER-managed contractor program has provided convenient electronics collection for Oregonians with rigorous environmental standards for recycling, all while providing a cost-effective solution for manufacturers.”

DEQ’s new contract with NCER begins Jan. 1, 2015, and ends Jan. 31, 2018. It includes an option for a one- to three-year extension.

NCER reports to Oregon DEQ and is tasked with providing efficient and cost-effective statewide collection, transportation and recycling services for computers, monitors and TVs for participating manufacturers; convenient and available year-round collection services statewide free to households, businesses and nonprofit organizations that employ 10 or fewer individuals or to any person giving seven or fewer covered electronic devices to a collector at any one time; oversight to assure that collectors, transporters and recyclers participating in the state contractor program adhere to Oregon DEQ’s environmental management practices and collection system standards; and accurate, auditable tracking and reporting.



Study highlights need for state data on metal theft

The Council of State Governments (CSG), based in Lexington, Kentucky, has released a report that looks at the national problem of scrap metal theft. CSG researchers, working in collaboration with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, sought to determine whether the legislation passed by different states was having an impact on scrap metal theft.

A significant amount of the existing legislation focuses on placing regulations and requirements on transactions at scrap metal recycling facilities where thieves might attempt to sell stolen goods.

The report notes that all 50 states have passed some form of legislation designed to curb metal theft through the regulation of transactions at scrap metal recycling facilities. Additionally, states continue to introduce additional legislation or modifications to existing laws at a steady pace. During the 2013 and 2014 sessions, for example, legislators introduced more than 220 bills aimed at stopping metal theft and passed 51 of them, the report states.

“All 50 states have laws on the books dealing with metal theft crimes, and all have differing regulations, requirements, penalties and other variables,” says Robin Wiener, ISRI president. “New laws and regulations are often the result of political reactions to high-profile crimes without any real analysis of how to address the crime as a whole.

“To solve this, the scrap recycling industry sought to find out if crime rates could shed any light on what laws seem to work best when it came to reducing the crime of metals theft. Armed with this knowledge, we can work with state legislatures to pass more effective legislation,” Weiner adds.

Common state laws include:

  • requirements for scrap metal recyclers and dealers to create and maintain records on transactions, including reporting transactions to an electronic database, a minimum retention period for records, a description of the material being purchased, photos and/or video evidence of the seller and/or the material being purchased and a description and/or the license plate number of the seller’s vehicle;
  • stricter identification requirements for scrap metal sellers, including a license or picture ID requirement, fingerprinting and establishing proof of ownership;
  • restrictions on payments;
  • registration or licensing requirements for scrap metal recyclers and dealers; and
  • enhanced criminal penalties for metal theft offenses.

“We wanted to know if those laws were affecting metal theft rates or if certain kinds of legislation were more effective at stopping metal thieves,” says Jennifer Burnett, CSG program manager for fiscal and economic development policy and the study’s primary author. “To begin evaluating metal theft legislation, however, we needed to know exactly how much theft was occurring.”

After finding no existing source of compiled theft data for states, CSG researchers surveyed states and local law enforcement officials to determine if reliable statistics could be collected.

“No state is comprehensively tracking metal theft crime statistics,” Burnett says. “While some local jurisdictions are collecting their own data, those data have a number of limitations when it comes to evaluating the impacts of state legislation.”

The study recommends that state leaders continue to discuss ways to solve the metal theft problem. It concludes that how states begin to collect the necessary data to evaluate their policies will be the key to resolving the problem.

The full report on the national scrap metal theft problem from the CSG is available online at



Caraustar to acquire Newark Group

Caraustar Industries Inc., based in Austell, Georgia, has entered into an agreement to acquire The Newark Group. The deal is subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

Caraustar is a manufacturer of 100-percent-recycled paperboard and converted paperboard products. The company is owned by the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, headquartered in Miami.

The Newark Group, headquartered in Cranford, New Jersey, manufactures paperboard, linerboard, tubes and cores and other packaging products from recycled fibers. The company also operates a network of recycling facilities throughout the U.S. that supplies its mills as well as other domestic and overseas mills. The Newark Group operates more than 20 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Michael Patton, CEO of Caraustar, says, “The acquisition of The Newark Group is a major milestone in our growth journey. Bringing together the strengths of our respective companies will dramatically expand our manufacturing and distribution capabilities to better serve our growing customer base.”

Tenno Tsai, managing director at H.I.G. Capital, says, “The combination of these highly respected companies will significantly build upon our investment in the recycled paperboard industry.”

Caraustar serves the four principal recycled boxboard product end-use segments: tubes and cores, folding cartons, gypsum facing paper and specialty paperboard products. The company’s operations are primarily in the South, though it has a modest presence in the upper Midwest.

The Newark Group has a large presence in the northeastern U.S. as well as plants in the South, Midwest and West Coast.


ISRI launches website to help combat metal theft

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has launched, a website designed to assist in the fight against the crime of metals theft.

ISRI says the site serves as an online resource for law enforcement, prosecutors and the recycling industry by providing practical tools, success stories, news, legal resources, FAQs and background on fighting metals theft.

“The recycling industry is fully committed to being part of the solution when it comes to preventing metals theft,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “ provides law enforcement, prosecutors, the recycling industry and other community stakeholders with key information and techniques that can be used to help prevent metals theft as well as build cases and prosecute crimes when they do occur. Through our continued outreach efforts, we hope to strengthen our existing partnerships while building new ones.”

ISRI says the site offers the ability to send theft alerts to local recyclers; success stories as submitted by law enforcement across the country; tools geared toward law enforcement, prosecutors and recyclers; a comprehensive glossary of terms on stolen commodities; and industry insight and knowledge provided by an ISRI team of experts.

ISRI also has upgraded its, an online alert system to notify scrap yards of nearby metals theft, and has announced the creation of the Law Enforcement Advisory Council that is comprised of experienced law enforcement officers, prosecutors and security personnel who are tasked with developing a multi-layered training program to assist law enforcement in metals theft prevention and prosecution.



Pratt opens new recycling facility in South Carolina

The paper company Pratt Industries, headquartered in Conyers, Georgia, has opened its newest recycling facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Company President Myles Cohen says the new recycling plant—Pratt’s third in South Carolina and its 15th overall—will serve the needs of businesses, cities and counties within a 100-mile radius and bring economic and environmental benefits to the area.

The 72,000-square-foot building will accept residential and commercial recyclables, including paper, plastics and metals. The paper processed there will be shipped to Pratt’s recycled board mill in Conyers.

The new plant is expected to handle 100 tons of recovered fiber and 150 tons of recyclables per day.