Companies Launch Recycling Education Campaigns
Several companies and recycling-related organizations began outreach campaigns this fall—many timed to start on America Recycles Day, Nov. 15—to educate the public, especially young people, about the benefits and ease of recycling.
The American Chemistry Council’s (Washington, D.C.) “Plastics Make It Possible” campaign sponsored a “Recycling RV” that traversed the East Coast for three weeks last fall, from Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., spreading the message, “Don’t Be Trashy. Recycle.” Stops included the Pennsylvania State University vs. Brown University homecoming game and the Philadelphia Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon. The RV offered visitors a chance to play recycling games, win prizes, learn about the plastic recycling process, take selfies, and see unexpected products made from recycled plastic. Visit plasticsmakeitpossible.com.
Unifi (Greensboro, N.C.), maker of Repreve recycled fiber, and Marvel Universe LIVE! (Palmetto, Fla.) kicked off a national initiative in schools that encourages children to recycle at home, at school, and at play. For the Charlotte, N.C., launch, the local schools, Boys and Girls Club, and Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Division hosted a 10-day, citywide student recycling contest that brought in nearly 200,000 plastic bottles. Marking the contest’s end was a live stunt by the Marvel Universe LIVE! performers. Winning schools received tickets to the Marvel show while it was in Charlotte. The show uses Repreve fiber in concourse signage and cast and crew apparel. The companies plan additional recycling contests for Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., as part of Repreve’s national #TurnItGreen movement to build awareness about plastics recycling. Visit www.repreve.com.
The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (Albany, N.Y.), Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, and Council for Textile Recycling (both in Abingdon, Md.) launched the “Clothes the Loop NY” clothing and textile recycling education campaign in New York. According to CTR, 95 percent of all used clothing and other cloth household products can be recycled, but the current reuse/recycling rate for these items lingers at 15 percent nationwide. The groups estimate that recycling the 1.4 billion pounds of textiles New York residents dispose of annually would create 9,600 jobs in the state. Visit www.nytextiles.org.
In related outreach news, K-12 schools across the United States can participate in PepsiCo’s (Purchase, N.Y.) Recycle Rally program to promote beverage container recycling. Recycle Rally equips students, faculty, and staff with educational materials, incentives, and tools to promote beverage can and bottle recycling in their communities. Participating schools can win cash prizes, lunch bags, school supplies, gym equipment, and gift cards. The program is part of PepsiCo’s strategy to drive the U.S. beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018, from its current 42-percent rate, as reported by the American Beverage Association (Washington, D.C.). Visit www.pepsicorecycling.com/programs/recyclerally.
Coca-Cola Exits the Recycling Business
The Coca-Cola Co. (Atlanta) has closed Coca-Cola Recycling, the beverage container recycling operation it established in 2007, according to a report in Plastics Recycling Update (Portland, Ore.) and other media. Coca-Cola will focus on developing its recycled material supply sources instead of directly buying and selling recyclable materials, according to a company spokesperson. Coca-Cola Recycling recovered aluminum and PET beverage containers and sold recycled materials to Coca-Cola’s container manufacturers. Coca-Cola reports it will continue the recycling bin grant program it funds in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful (Stamford, Conn.), and it has joined the Closed Loop Fund, which provides low- or no-interest loans to municipalities and private companies to build recycling infrastructure. Visit us.coca-cola.com/home.
Recycling Reinvented Sets Goals Beyond EPR
Recycling Reinvented (Shoreview, Minn.), a nonprofit originally dedicated to increasing U.S. recycling rates through extended producer responsibility for packaging and printed paper, is expanding its mission to include support for other state policies that will increase high-quality collection and processing of recyclables. It lists unit-based pricing for solid waste, disposal bans on recyclables, recycling service provision requirements, and funding for local government recycling education and enforcement as examples of policies it might support. Visit recycling-reinvented.org.
Asphalt Production Trending Greener
In 2013, asphalt mix producers used 72 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement and 1.7 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles in the production of asphalt pavement mixes, according to the latest survey by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (Lanham, Md.) and the Federal Highway Administration (Washington, D.C.). Those recycled materials saved more than 68 million tons of virgin aggregate and about $2 billion compared with the use of virgin asphalt binder, the groups said. A greater proportion of asphalt mix used recycled and reclaimed material in 2013 than in 2012, even though the tonnage of such materials was flat due to a drop in total asphalt production in 2013. Survey respondents also reported using nearly 1.2 million tons of ground tire rubber, steel, blast furnace slag, steel slag, and other recycled material in 2013. Visit www.asphaltpavement.org.
SERI to Seek R2 Accreditation
Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (Boulder, Colo.) will apply for American National Standards Institute (Washington, D.C.) accreditation for its R2 standards development process. ANSI accreditation of the R2 standard development process will lend significant additional credibility to the standard, it says, challenging other, nonaccredited standards in electronics recycling to demonstrate similar accountability. Visit www.sustainableelectronics.org.
Groups Launch Plastic Bag Anti-Litter Campaign
Tenants’ associations at six New York City Housing Authority developments are participating in a pilot recycling education program to reduce litter. Sponsored by the Black Leadership Action Coalition, the Bodega Association, The Safety Net Project of the Urban Justice Center (all based in New York), and the Washington, D.C.-based American Progressive Bag Alliance, the program will use art and education to inform young residents about the benefits of recycling and the ease of recycling plastic bags. The groups aim to demonstrate that recycling is an effective way to keep the city cleaner without a tax on plastic bags, which the coalition calls a burden on low-income families and senior citizens. The New York City Council is considering a 10-cent tax on single-use retail and grocery store bags. Visit www.bagthetaxnyc.com.
Novelis Boosts Recycled Content of Can sheet
Novelis (Atlanta) plans to convert all of its beverage can body sheet production to its evercan sheet, which is certified to contain 90 percent recycled aluminum, by the end of 2017. Novelis produces evercan sheet at facilities in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. It also has pledged to assist other aluminum manufacturers in certifying the recycled content of their beverage sheet.
In related news, Novelis has received certification for the recycled content of its can end sheet production in North America. It will make the evercan end sheet available globally later this year, it says. Visit www.novelis.com.
Openings and Expansions
- Potomac Metals (Sterling, Va.) will build a new 64,475-square-foot building on an 8-acre property in Sterling, Va., to house its warehouse, processing center, and corporate offices, including trucking, brokerage, mobile, and sales divisions. The processing facility will have a heavy-duty, two-ram baler, two full-sized truck scales, multiple ground buy/sell scale platforms linked to the company’s proprietary scale-data software, and a zero-emissions electric material handler. This will be Potomac Metals’ eighth location, joining four others in Virginia, two in Maryland, and one in West Virginia. The company projects a May 2015 completion date. Visit www.potomacmetals.com.
- Republic Silver State Disposal (North Las Vegas, Nev.), a subsidiary of Republic Services (Phoenix), is building a recycling facility in North Las Vegas that will double the residential recycling capacity in southern Nevada to 1,000 tons of mixed recyclables a day. It is constructing the new 110,000-square-foot plant next to its existing 88,000-square-foot facility, creating the largest residential recycling complex in the United States, the company says. The plant, which will employ 180 people, will have a learning center to show visitors the recycling process. Republic Services expects the Southern Nevada Recycling Complex to be operational in the third quarter of this year. Visit republicservices.com.
- Crown Equipment Corp. (Bremen, Ohio) has opened an ISO 9001:2008-certified production plant to build the 2.4-liter LPG engine for its C-5 series industrial forklifts. The company will produce the engines at a 165,500-square-foot facility in Troy, Ohio, and transport them to its Greencastle, Ind., plant, where it assembles the C-5 series forklifts. John Deere Power Systems (Waterloo, Iowa), which developed the high-performance engines with Crown, had been supplying the engines since Crown launched the C-5 series in 2009. Visit crown.com.
Mergers and Acquisitions
- Acme Refining (Chicago) is now Pure Metal Recycling and under new ownership. Upon his retirement, Acme owner and president Larry Baron has sold the company to Christopher Dandrow, who will serve as CEO. Brett Baron will become company president. The company plans to maintain Acme’s seven facilities in and around Chicago and construct a state-of-the-art, fully enclosed shredder at a new location in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, adding up to 100 full-time jobs. Visit www.puremetalrecycling.com.
- Aleris International (Cleveland) will sell its North American and European recycling and specification alloy businesses to Signature Group Holdings (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) for $525 million in cash and Signature stock. Aleris’ global recycling and specification alloys business is the largest independent aluminum recycler in the world, the companies say. The sale will include 18 production facilities in North America and six in Europe. Visit www.aleris.com or www.signaturegroupholdings.com.
- Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling (Owego, N.Y.) has acquired Murtagh Scrap Handling (Rome, N.Y.), a family-owned company established in 1986. Upstate plans to invest $3 million in renovating the existing facility, including new buildings and equipment, paving, and new fencing and landscaping; add 10 jobs; and retain all current employees. It will operate the facility seven days a week under the Ben Weitsman of Rome name. Visit upstateshredding.com.
- Alcoa (New York) will sell its 50.3-percent ownership stake in the Mount Holly aluminum smelter in Goose Creek, S.C., to the smelter’s minority owner, Century Aluminum Co. (Chicago). The smelter’s annual production capacity is 229,000 mt. Visit www.alcoa.com or www.centuryaluminum.com.
- NewPage Corp. (Miamisburg, Ohio) and its affiliates New Page Wisconsin System (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) and Rumford Paper Co. (Rumford, Maine) have agreed to sell the Biron paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids and the Rumford pulp and paper mill to Catalyst Paper Corp. (Richmond, British Columbia) for $74 million. The acquisitions will increase Catalyst’s annual production capacity by 995,000 mt, or 65 percent, the company says. Both mills can produce paper with up to 30 percent postconsumer recycled fiber content; the Rumford mill also can burn tire-derived fuel in its cogeneration boilers. Visit www.newpagecorp.com or www.catalystpaper.com.
- AMCS Group US—the new name of PC Scale Technologies (Oxford, Pa.) after AMCS Group (Howell, Mich.) acquired the company in February 2014—has acquired Transvision (Copenhagen, Denmark), a route optimization technology company. The acquisition will allow AMCS Group US to add route optimization and scheduling systems to PC Scale’s products for the recycling and waste-management industries. Visit www.pcscale.com, www.amcsgroup.com, or www.transvision.eu.
- Liebherr Construction Equipment Co. (Newport News, Va.) has entered into agreements with Bejac Corp. (Placentia, Calif.) and Nueces Power Equipment (Corpus Christi, Texas) that will expand Liebherr’s distribution in the western and southwestern United States. Bejac and Nueces will provide dealer sales and service for the full line of Liebherr earthmoving and material-handling equipment, with Bejac serving Liebherr customers from seven locations—six in California and one in Phoenix—and Nueces serving customers in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Visit www.liebherr.com, www.bejac.com, or www.nuecespower.com.
- IPS Balers Mfg. (Baxley, Ga.) and American Baler Co. (Bellevue, Ohio) have selected Ohio Baler Co. (Cleveland) as the exclusive dealer of their baler lines in Ohio and portions of other surrounding Midwest states. Visit www.ipsbalers.com, www.americanbaler.com, or www.obcbaling.com.
- Cable Management (Meriden, Conn.) is now the exclusive North and South American distributor of Metal Marketing’s (Donje Psarjevo, Croatia) wet closed-loop separation systems, which allow clean water to be reused repeatedly for copper recovery from tailings in wire-chopping operations. Visit cablemanagementusa.com or www.metal-marketing.hr/en/.
- Green Metals (Georgetown, Ky.), Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (Erlanger, Ky.), and AK Steel Corp. (West Chester, Ohio) have partnered to recycle cast iron borings and engine swarf generated at Toyota’s U.S. powertrain manufacturing facilities. Green Metals receives the material at its plants in Kentucky and Alabama and ships it to a Green Metals facility in Eleanor, W.Va. That facility processes the material into pucks of a specific size and chemistry and ships them to AK Steel, which uses them in steel products for Toyota vehicles. Visit www.gmiky.com, www.toyotanewsroom.com, or www.aksteel.com.
- Tiremaker Omni United (Singapore) and clothing and footwear company Timberland (Stratham, N.H.) are producing Timberland Tires, which they are designing to use a rubber formulation they later can recycle into soles for Timberland footwear. Omni United will manufacture the high-end tires in the United States in three product categories and more than 90 sizes. The two companies have developed a take-back program in which tire dealers ship end-of-life Timberland Tires to Liberty Tire Recycling (Pittsburgh) facilities for sorting and segregation. Liberty will send the tires to dedicated North American recycling facilities that will process them into crumb rubber, then sheet rubber, for shipment to Timberland outsole manufacturers. The companies expect the first tires will be recycled in late 2017. In the interim, they are seeking alternative recycled rubber compounds for a special line of boots with outsoles inspired by Timberland tire treads. Visit www.timberlandtires.com.
- The South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors (Columbia, S.C.) and Recleim (Atlanta) have created a recycling path for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning units. Recleim will buy used HVAC systems from South Carolina contractors, remove them at no expense to the contractor or customer, and provide a certificate of destruction at the customer’s request that confirms Recleim’s responsibility for fully processing all components according to standard recycling practices that meet or exceed federal, state, and local requirements. SCAHACC members may direct a portion of the payment they receive from Recleim to the association to pay their annual dues. Recleim processes the units at its recycling center in Graniteville, S.C. Visit www.recleim.com or www.scheatingandair.org.
- Flooring wholesaler E.J. Welch Co. (Earth City, Mo.) is the newest partner in flooring maker Tarkett’s (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) ReStart recycling and reclamation program. As a consolidator in the ReStart program, E.J. Welch will collect clean, postinstallation commercial flooring scrap—including rubber, vinyl and linoleum tile and sheet, wall base, floor finishing accessories, and tread cuttings—and return it to Tarkett to be repurposed or recycled. E.J. Welch serves flooring distributors, contractors, and installers in Illinois, northwest Indiana, southeast Wisconsin, and eastern Missouri. Visit www.ejwelch.com or www.tarkettna.com.
- The Shredder Co. (Canutillo, Texas) and C&G Group (Daverio, Italy) announced in November they will pool their expertise in engineering and technology to design and manufacture new features for shredding plants worldwide. C&G designs and manufactures shears and balers under the Taurus and Sasco brands as well as minimill shredders and preshredders. It plans to begin offering its customers TSC hammermill shredders up to 2,000 hp. Visit www.theshreddercompany.com or www.taurusweb.it.
Honors and Milestones
- The American Chemistry Council (Washington, D.C.) has selected Geo-Tech Polymers (Westerville, Ohio), GreenBlue (Charlottesville, Va.), and QRS Recycling (St. Louis) as the winners of its 2014 Innovation in Plastics Recycling Awards. The annual awards recognize those that advance plastics recycling through innovative technology, products, and initiatives. ACC honored Geo-Tech Polymers for its patented process for removing coatings and labels from used plastics; GreenBlue for collaborating with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition on a set of labels for consumer packaging that provides material-specific recycling instructions; and QRS Recycling for its plastics container recovery facilities, which collect and process plastics local material recovery facilities do not recycle. Visit plastics.americanchemistry.com, geo-tech.com, www.greenblue.org, or www.qrsrecycling.com.
- Battery Solutions (Howell, Mich.) has become the first battery recycler to achieve R2/RIOS™ certification, meeting the requirements of R2:2103 and the Recycling Industry Operating Standard™ for quality, environmental, and health and safety performance. Visit www.batteryrecycling.com, www.sustainableelectronics.org, or www.certifymerecycling.org.
- Sonoco (Hartsville, S.C.) has awarded a bronze Sonoco Sustainability Star Award to its Newport, Tenn., mill for its landfill reduction efforts, part of Sonoco’s companywide goal to make 10 percent of its facilities landfill-free. Working with recycler TLR Solutions, the Newport mill now recycles nearly 20 percent of material it previously was sending to landfill, primarily byproducts of the mill’s operations and materials sorted out from incoming fiber such as glass, staples, baling wire, and ceramics. Visit www.sonoco.com.
- Rexam Beverage Can North America’s (Chicago) home office retained its first-place crown in the 2014 Great American Can RoundUp Industry Challenge, an annual competition sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute (Washington, D.C.). Rexam’s Chicago headquarters recycled 78,000 pounds of aluminum cans, raising more than $45,300 for local charities and receiving an additional $2,000 charitable donation from CMI. Rexam’s Chicago office was one of 51 can manufacturing plants and corporate offices in the national competition, which collected and recycled 217,350 pounds of aluminum beverage cans between January and September 2014. Visit www.rexam.com or www.cancentral.com.
- Cascades (Kingsey Falls, Québec) has earned the Innovation and Environmental Protection Award from the Conseil des entreprises en technologies environnementales du Québec (Montréal) for its Respak product, an alternative to polycoated cardboard packaging for the food and food services industries. Produced from 50-percent-recycled fibers, Respak is impregnated with a barrier that repels water, oil, and grease but is recyclable and compostable, Cascades says. Its environmental impact is half that of polycoated cardboard, according to the company’s preliminary life cycle assessment. Visit www.cascades.com/en/respak.
- NewPage Corp. (Miamisburg, Ohio) has earned two American Forest & Paper Association (Washington, D.C.) 2014 Leadership in Sustainability Awards. NewPage’s Duluth, Minn., mill won for its Recycling Recovery Program, which creates partnerships with local civic organizations to recover cleaner paper for recycling. The Escanaba, Mich., mill received honors for an initiative that reduced water consumption throughout the mill’s operations. The reduced water use led to reductions in heating, pumping, and water treatment costs for the mill. Visit afandpa.org/sustainability or www.newpagecorp.com.
- PittMoss Development (Pittsburgh) has received the 2014 William M. Heenan Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award from the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (Middletown, Pa.). The award recognizes Pennsylvania companies that are expanding the use of recycled materials and developing markets for recycled-content products in the state. PittMoss produces a sustainable alternative to sphagnum peat moss that’s manufactured from recycled paper combined with organic and nutrient additives. Each year, the United States imports 1.1 million tons of sphagnum peat moss from Canada, where it is harvested from peatbeds that are drained and degraded in the process, the company says. Visit pittmoss.com or www.parmc.org.
- Metal Shredding Solutions (San Antonio) will mark its 10th anniversary April 5. The firm is a full-service provider to the shredding industry, including serving as a shredder manufacturer and downstream system provider. Visit www.metalshreddingsolutions.com.
- OneSource Freight (Tempe, Ariz.) has joined the R2 Recycling Leaders program of Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (Boulder, Colo.). As a program member, it pledges to support sustainable electronics recycling, consider R2 certification when selecting recyclers, and champion worldwide responsible electronics reuse and recycling. Visit www.onesrc.com or www.sustainableelectronics.org.
- The Atlas Copco Group (Stockholm) has been added to the United Nations Global Compact 100 Stock Index. To be included in the stock index, established in 2013, a company must adhere to the UN Global Compact’s 10 principles on the environment, human rights, labor, and anti-corruption and demonstrate strong financial performance. Visit www.atlascopco.com or www.unglobalcompact.org.
- Manitou (Ancenis, France) captured the top listing in its industry sector in the Gaïa Index, a stock market index comprising the 70 highest-rated companies for corporate social responsibility among the 230 companies listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, excluding those in the benchmark CAC 40 index. The Gaïa Index assesses small and medium-sized companies’ transparency and the maturity of their CSR policies, practices, and performance. Visit www.manitou-group.com or www.gaia-index.com.
- 2014 marked the 70th anniversary of Martin Engineering (Neponset, Ill.), a family-owned manufacturer of bulk material handling equipment that specializes in conveyor products and vibrator solutions. The company, which owns 350 patents, operates 27 offices in 16 countries. Visit www.martin-eng.com.
- Wastequip (Charlotte, N.C.) has earned its second consecutive “Best Place to Work in Charlotte” award from the Charlotte Business Journal, which honored the company this year specifically for its community impact. The publication selects the annual winners based on survey results in which employees discuss what qualifies their workplace as “great.” Wastequip employees praised the open-office environment at the company’s new Charlotte headquarters building as well as its commitment to giving back to the community. Visit www.wastequip.com or www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/feature/best-places-to-work/2014.
- The World Steel Association (Brussels) has released its 2014 Steel Statistical Yearbook. The resource contains data from 2004 to 2013 on the global production, export, and import of steel, iron ore, pig iron, and direct-reduced iron as well as the apparent use of steel and the export and import of steel scrap. Download a PDF of the document free from www.worldsteel.org, or order print copies through the website by clicking on the Publications tab.
- The Outlook for Global Recovered Paper Markets study from RISI (Bedford, Mass.) provides a historical analysis of the international recovered paper market from the 1990s onward as well as a five-year outlook for the sector—to 2019—based on key regions and 120 countries. The study provides an overview of trends in developing countries—including recovery rates, expected supply growth or reduction, and domestic demand forecasts—and reviews their exporting sectors, export demand, and export destination trends. In addition to looking at scrap paper collection systems and recovery rates in emerging economies, such as China and India, the study analyzes the future demand, supply, and trade of recovered fiber in developing regions and reviews changes in their trading patterns and relevant legislation and policies. The study also outlines the structure of the recovered paper sector, identifying prominent end users, processors, and traders of secondary fiber. Visit www.risi.com/recoveredpaper.
- A new 11-minute video produced by Dart Container Corp. (Mason, Mich.) and Moore Recycling Associates (Sonoma, Calif.) educates the public about collecting and processing PS and EPS. The video highlights companies that are collecting these materials at a material recovery facility and separating, grinding, and densifying them for sale to plastics recyclers. Those recyclers remove contaminants and wash, dry, and extrude the material into blocks they sell to plastic product manufacturers. The manufacturer in the video shreds and pelletizes the blocks to use the PS as feedstock for new products. Visit youtu.be/UAYl8zrOQZo.
- A 2014 National Waste & Recycling Association (Washington, D.C.) national survey reported that one-third of U.S. residents are unsure about what materials belong in their household recycling bins. In response, NW&RA, Keep America Beautiful (Stamford, Conn.), the Solid Waste Association of North America (Silver Spring, Md.), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Washington, D.C.) have launched a campaign to help clarify recycling requirements for consumers. The campaign’s “Top 10 in the Bin” illustrated list of the most widely and easily recycled items in the United States was released to coincide with America Recycles Day, Nov. 15. Download the list as a flyer or poster at americarecyclesday.org/toolkit.