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Global Steel Output Declines

World crude steel output fell 2.8 percent in 2015, from 1.67 billion mt in 2014 to 1.62 billion mt, with production declining in all regions except Oceania, the World Steel Association (Brussels) reports.

Looking at production by region, Asia’s crude steel output totaled 1.11 billion mt, down 2.3 percent, year on year; Europe—consisting of countries in the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States—produced 303.9 million mt, 3.2 percent less than in 2014; North American output dropped 8.6 percent, from 121.2 million mt to 110.7 million mt; and production in South America, Africa, and the Middle East declined 2.5, 0.2, and 0.5 percent, respectively, worldsteel says. Oceania, meanwhile, produced 5.7 million mt of crude steel in 2015, up 4.6 percent, year on year.

Looking at the five largest steelmaking countries, China produced 803.8 million mt, or 2.3 percent less than in 2014; Japan made 105.2 million mt, down 5 percent; India had 89.6 million mt of output, up 2.6 percent; the United States made 78.9 million mt, down 10.5 percent; and Russia made 71.1 million mt, a year-on-year slip of 0.5 percent, worldsteel says.

The downward trend in global crude steel output continued in January 2016, with the 66 countries reporting to worldsteel producing 128 million mt, down 7.1 percent compared with January 2015. Visit www.worldsteel.org.

SA, Newell Ink Acquisition Deal

SA Recycling (Orange, Calif.) has acquired a 50-percent interest in Newell Recycling Southeast (East Point, Ga.) and retains the option to purchase the other 50 percent in the future. SA Recycling says it will manage Newell, which has four shredders—in Doraville, East Point, Lawrenceville, and Savannah, Ga.—and 13 feeder yards in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The two companies have worked together to restructure Newell’s operations, SA Recycling says. Visit www.newellrecycling.com or www.sarecycling.com.

Recyclers Shutter Operations

Sims Metal Management (New York) announced in February plans to close or sell 25 of its scrap feeder yards in the second half of fiscal year 2016, ending June 30, with the majority of the operations in the central North American region. These changes, combined with Sims’ previous closure of 10 facilities in the first half of fiscal 2016, will trim its workforce by 500 employees and reduce its processing capacity 6 percent, the company says.

In related news, Sims Recycling Solutions (West Chicago, Ill.)—Sims’ electronics recycling subsidiary—has closed its Elkridge, Md., processing facility because it lost a contract to handle devices from U.S. military branches. The Baltimore Business Journal reports the 96,000-square-foot site had 86 employees. According to Sims, Regency Technologies (Twinsburg, Ohio) won the contract to handle U.S. military e-scrap for areas east of the Mississippi River, and Global Electronic Recycling (Phoenix) has the contract for processing e-scrap in the western United States. Visit www.simsmm.com or www.simsrecycling.com.

Faced with what it described as “operating losses and a lack of liquidity,” Pure Metal Recycling (Chicago), formerly Acme Refining Co., closed in December. Pure tried unsuccessfully to attract a buyer last year. The company, which liquidated its assets, had seven locations in Illinois and Indiana. Visit www.puremetalrecycling.com.

N.J. Law Allows Mobile Hard-Drive Shredding

A new law in New Jersey allows electronics processors in the state to provide mobile hard-drive shredding as long as they hold AAA certification from the National Association for Information Destruction (Phoenix). The owner or operator of the mobile unit must submit proof of its AAA certification to New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection and send all materials processed in the mobile unit to a DEP-authorized recycling center or to “an otherwise authorized recycler that operates in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances.” About 24 e-recyclers in New Jersey can provide NAID-certified mobile destruction services for hard drives, the association says. The new law, which Gov. Chris Christie signed in January, gives businesses more options for electronics data protection and shredding, NAID says. Visit www.naidonline.org.

Can Roundup Raises $85,000 for Charities

More than 40 facilities participated in the 2015 Great American Can Roundup competition, recycling 193,213 pounds of aluminum cans and raising more than $85,000 for local charities, says the Can Manufacturers Institute (Washington, D.C.), which organized the event. The roundup encourages companies and organizations to recycle aluminum cans and donate recycling proceeds to local schools, charities, and other organizations. Rexam Beverage Can North America (Chicago) took first place in the challenge, collecting more than 61,000 pounds of cans and earning about $24,500 for local charities, as well as an extra $2,000 for winning the event, CMI says. The second-place winner—Ball Corp.’s Findlay, Ohio, plant—recycled 38,364 pounds of cans, valued at roughly $17,400, and it received an additional $1,000 award to donate. Ball’s Rome, Ga., plant took third place by recycling 10,199 pounds of cans and raising $4,000 for charity, CMI says. Visit www.canroundup.com, www.cancentral.com, www.rexam.com, or www.ball.com.

Steelmaker Suspends EAF Plans

United States Steel Corp. (Pittsburgh) has postponed construction of a 1.6 million net ton electric-arc furnace at its Fairfield Works facility in Birmingham, Ala., because of challenging market conditions in the oil and gas and steel industries, it says. Construction will resume when markets improve, the firm says. Visit www.ussteel.com.

NASCO-OP Declares 2015 Dividend

The National Association Supply Cooperative (New Philadelphia, Ohio) has announced a 0.5-percent patronage dividend for 2015. The dividend, which is calculated on purchases NASCO-OP members or associates make through the cooperative, reduces the purchase price of supplies and equipment, the group says. The recycling industry’s buying cooperative, which offers discounted equipment and supplies, is available free to members of ISRI, the Automotive Recyclers Association (Manassas, Va.), the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (Ottawa), and the National Demolition Association (Wash­ington, D.C.). Visit ww.nascoop.com.

Companies Adopt New Monikers

■ Tube City IMS Corp. (Glassport, Pa.) has changed its name to TMS International Corp. The company’s former name stemmed from the consolidation of two previous companies—Tube City Iron & Metal Co. and International Mill Service—but its new name better reflects its integrated operations and global presence, the firm says. Visit www.tmsinternational.com.

■ PopScrap (Middletown, Calif.), a provider of scrap point-of-sale and point-of-purchase solutions, has changed its name to WeighPay Solutions to reflect the expansion of its customer base beyond scrap recycling to other scale-based industries, it says. Visit www.weighpaysolutions.com.

Ford Super-Duty Trucks Shift to Aluminum

Novelis (Atlanta) will supply high-strength, military-grade aluminum for the F-series super-duty trucks from Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, Mich.) to make the trucks more lightweight. The company’s aluminum alloys will go in each truck’s body and bed, reducing its weight up to 350 pounds, the firm says. The weight reduction will allow the trucks to have tougher underbody components, such as a high-strength frame, stronger axles and springs, and larger brakes and driveline parts, Novelis says. The F-series super-duty trucks will have the second-highest volume of aluminum after the Ford F-150, which trimmed 700 pounds of weight by using aluminum parts. Visit www.novelis.com or www.ford.com.

Equipment Sales and Installations

■ ICE Recycling (Lake City, S.C.) has spent more than $1 million to install a customized baler from International Baler Co. (Jacksonville, Fla.) and upgrade the electrical supply in its facility. Recycling Equipment (Newton, N.C.) installed the new baler, which is designed to allow ICE to bale core tubes and conventional recyclables. The baler is a hybrid with a modified charge box that increases the density of bales from 1,250 pounds per bale to more than 1,400 pounds, allowing ICE to load an additional 8,000 pounds of material into an export container, the company says. Visit www.icerecycling.com, www.intl-baler.com, or www.gogreenrei.com.

■ Herbold Meckesheim USA (North Smith­field, R.I.) has installed an 80-panel rooftop solar energy system that can produce 28,000 kW of electricity—enough to power its 10,000-square-foot facility, the company says. The system, which takes up about 20 percent of the facility’s roof space, allows Herbold to achieve its goals of reducing energy costs and supporting environmental stewardship issues, it says. Visit www.herboldusa.com.

■ Shanks Waste Management (Buckingham­shire, England) has installed two sorting systems from Machinex Industries (Plessisville, Quebec) that will process about 230,000 mt a year of solid waste and recyclables from homes and businesses. One system is a mixed dry recyclables sorting plant that can process up to 19 mt an hour—36,000 mt a year—of plastics, glass, metal containers, paper, and corrugated, achieving a 95-percent purity rate using screens, optical sorting, and a glass cleanup system, Machinex says. The second system removes different materials—principally organics and ferrous and nonferrous metals—from residual waste at 30 mt an hour, yielding a final fraction that meets standards for producing refuse-derived fuel, the firm says. Visit www.machinextechnologies.com.

Openings and Expansions

■ Chris Kaye, a 20-year veteran of the automotive catalyst recycling industry, has founded Kaye Consulting Group. The company will help autocat producers, generators, and collectors increase revenue at every phase of their operations, “whether it’s increasing the profitability of selling their catalytic converters by the piece or refining them directly,” Kaye says, adding that he can help customers avoid “costly mistakes, wasted time, and unsure outcomes.” Visit www.kayeconsultinggroup.com.

■ Jean-Guy Hamelin, former president of Société Nationale des Ferrailles (Laval, Quebec), is founding a new scrap recycling operation named Total Metal Recovery in Laval, according to news reports. The facility, sited at a 3 million-square-foot industrial park, will have an automobile shredder capable of generating 250,000 net tons of shredded ferrous scrap and 15,000 tons of nonferrous scrap annually. The new plant is scheduled to begin operating in the fourth quarter. Hamelin had exited the scrap business in 2007 when he sold SNF to Montreal-based American Iron & Metal.

■ RES Polyflow (Perry, Ohio) plans to build a facility in Ashley, Ind., that will convert 100,000 tons of scrap plastics annually into 17 million gallons of ultra-low-sulfur diesel and gasoline blendstocks. The company will invest $90 million in the initial construction of the 80-acre facility and could spend an additional $92 million to build and equip the plant by 2019. RES expects the operation to create 136 new jobs by 2019 and double its production when fully operational in 2021. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered up to $900,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s jobcreation plans. The Ashley location—the company’s first operation to use its plastics-to-fuel conversion technology—could serve as a hub for additional RES plants throughout the Midwest, the firm says. Visit www.respolyflow.com.

■ Nucor Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.) has reopened its Nucor Steel Louisiana direct-reduced iron plant in Convent, La., due to improving market conditions. The company temporarily suspended production at the end of 2015 for planned maintenance, and it kept the location closed until the end of January because of the challenging economic conditions. Visit www.nucor.com.

■ Entsorga West Virginia (Kearneysville, W.Va.) broke ground in January in Martinsburg, W.Va., to build the first U.S.-based resource recovery facility that uses a mechanical biological treatment to produce solid recovered fuel, or SRF, from municipal solid waste, the company says. Apple Valley Waste in Kearneysville, which currently collects residential MSW for landfilling, has agreed to transport the material it collects in three West Virginia counties—Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan—to the Entsorga West Virginia facility. The facility then will use the HEBioT mechanical biological treatment system to recover biomass from the mixed MSW, which contains paper, plastics, and other carbon-based materials, and convert it to SRF. The facility also will recover recyclable commodities, such as ferrous and nonferrous metals, during the process.

At capacity, the new plant—scheduled to open in early 2017—is expected to produce about 50,000 tons of SRF annually, which will go under a long-term contract to the Essroc cement plant in Martinsburg. Essroc will combine the SRF with coal and use it as fuel to produce Portland cement. The SRF meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards as an engineered fuel and is not subject to the EPA’s incinerator rule, Entsorga says. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority has issued $25 million in tax-exempt, private-activity bonds to pay for the project, the firm says. Entsorga West Virginia is a joint venture of Apple Valley Waste Technologies, Entsorga USA, and Chemtex International. Visit www.entsorgawv.com, www.applevalleywaste.com, or www.chemtex.com.

■ Société Internationale Métallique (Bécancour, Quebec) has selected Midrex Technologies (Charlotte, N.C.) and its construction licensee Primetals Technologies (Alpharetta, Ga.) to provide equipment and oversee the technological aspects of building a 2 million mt-a-year hot-briquetted iron plant in Bécancour. The operation, which will produce HBI using the Midrex NG process, will be one of the largest HBI modules in the world, Midrex says. Construction will start in 2017, with plans for the plant to begin operating in 2019. The facility will be in the Bécancour Waterfront Industrial Park on the St. Lawrence River, a year-round, deep-water port connected to North American railroads and other road infrastructure, Midrex says. Visit www.midrex.com, www.primetals.com, or www.imetallics.ca.

■ REDWAVE, a division of BT-Wolfgang Binder (Gleisdorf, Austria), has founded REDWAVE Waste, a subsidiary that will sell automated mechanical sorting and processing technologies to the waste processing sector. The new company will focus on operations that wish to convert waste into secondary fuel and recover recyclables, as well as on facilities that want to compost organic waste. REDWAVE Waste has a staff of 20 experts who previously worked at Waste Tec and Herhof Umwelttechnik, which REDWAVE “amalgamated” into the new company. Visit www.redwave.at/en/.

■ Carpet America Recovery Effort (Dalton, Ga.) has formed the California Council on Carpet Recycling, an 18-member advisory group that will provide guidance to CARE on California’s carpet recycling efforts. The new council will help CARE ensure that all aspects of the product chain are considered as it works to divert more carpet from land disposal, improve waste prevention and reuse efforts, raise recycling rates, and strengthen the economic viability of products made from recycled carpet. Visit www.carpetrecovery.org/carpetcouncil.

Awards and Milestones

■ Sims Recycling Solutions has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification for the quality management systems at all of its sites in the United States. The International Organization for Standardization reviews its ISO standards every five years for possible revisions, and the 2015 revision has structure improvements to make it easier to use with other management system standards, SRS says. The new version also focuses on risk-based thinking and preventing undesirable outcomes. Visit www.simsrecycling.com.

■ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected LG Electronics USA (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.) to receive the 2015 Gold Tier Award in its Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge. The award recognizes LG’s efforts to increase the reuse and recycling of used electronics, send 100 percent of the used electronics it collects to third-party-certified recyclers, and publicly share detailed information about its electronics management practices. The EPA also lauded LG for its nationwide efforts to educate the public about the importance of third-party-certified recycling. In 2015, LG collected and recycled nearly 25,000 tons of used electronics, the company says. Visit www.lgrecyclingprogram.com or www.epa.gov.

■ Ohio University and Louisiana State University are the two winners of the 2015 GameDay Recycling Challenge, a competition that encourages college football fans to reduce waste and increase recycling. Ohio University won for achieving the highest diversion rate, 95.71 percent, defined as its recycling and organics recovery as a percentage of total waste generated, while LSU won for recycling the most material, 86,400 pounds. Overall, 99 colleges and universities participated in the 2015 competition, recycling or reusing 2.1 million pounds of bottles, cans, paper, corrugated, and other materials, as well as composting or recovering 457,000 pounds of food during the fall football season. The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a partnership of the College and University Recycling Coalition, Keep America Beautiful, and RecycleMania. Visit www.gameday challenge.org.

New Distributors

■ IMRO Maschinenbau (Uffenheim, Germany) has selected TAV Holdings (Atlanta) as the exclusive representative of its magnetic separation technology in North America. IMRO manufactures systems that separate, sort, and recover metals from various material streams, such as automotive shredder residue, electronic scrap, incinerator bottom ash, plastics, and glass. IMRO’s systems include the RCSX-E series ultra-high-frequency eddy-current separator for recovering nonferrous fines smaller than 1/8 inch. This new agreement expands TAV’s portfolio, which includes turnkey systems with proprietary screening technology, conveying systems, density-separation processes, and sensor sorters. Visit www.tavholdingsinc.net or www.imro-maschinenbau.de/en/.

■ ZenRobotics (Helsinki) has selected Blue Group (London) to distribute its ZenRobotics Recycler, a robotic waste sorting system, in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The system uses artificial intelligence technology to identify and recover materials in mixed waste streams. Blue Group will install the ZenRobotics Recycler in the recycling facilities its BlueMAC plant manufacturing division develops. Visit www.zenrobotics.com or www.blue-group.com.

Resources

■ The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (Montreal) has produced a report about the present and future recyclability of end-of-life batteries from electric-drive vehicles, such as hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and electric-only battery-powered vehicles. As EDVs become more common, more EDV batteries are reaching the end of their useful lives or becoming obsolete. The CEC report reviews the types of EDV batteries commonly used in North America and the best practices and technologies for recycling the battery components. Currently, only a few North American recycling companies have the ability to process the batteries, the report says. Although nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion EDV batteries have recycling opportunities because of the value of nickel and cobalt, recycling infrastructure needs to keep up with changes in battery technologies, especially for batteries with lower intrinsic material value. With better recycling processes, more diverse types of EDV batteries can be recycled, the report says. CEC also calls for legislation that can ensure environmentally sound management of the batteries. Visit www.cec.org.

■ The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (Charlottesville, Va.) has released a free position paper outlining its opposition to biodegradability additives for petroleum-based plastics. The additives are marketed as enhancing plastic sustainability by making the material biodegradable, but an SPC evaluation shows the additives do not make the plastics more sustainable—and they may cause more environmental harm, the group says. Such additives do not make the plastics compostable, and they can have adverse effects in the recycling process, SPC notes. In addition, the additives can cause plastics to become extensively fragmented and generate micro-pollution before they biodegrade. Further, when such plastics do degrade, they release fossil carbon into the atmosphere, boosting greenhouse gas emissions, the group says. Visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

■ A new interactive website helps consumers in the United States and Canada find locations where they can recycle polystyrene foam packaging in their communities or through mail-back programs. Users can enter a ZIP code to find locations that accept protective packaging, such as foam used in electronics packaging, and food packaging, such as coffee cups, clamshell containers, egg cartons, and meat trays. The site also identifies whether the foam packaging is collected curbside or through drop-off programs. Moore Recycling Associates (Sonoma, Calif.) oversees the website, and the Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group of the American Chemistry Council (Washington, D.C.) sponsors it. Visit www.psfoamrecycling.org.

American Metal Market (New York) says it will launch a Mexican scrap price index starting in June. Price assessments initially will focus on the Monterrey market for five ferrous grades: No. 1 busheling, plate and structural scrap, heavy melting scrap, shredded scrap, and turnings. The publication says it will add assessments for five more regions—north, Bajio, central, Puebla, and southwest—in the next year. AMM will give the scrap prices in U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos, and it will offer them weekly because Mexican mills do not buy on monthly formulas, it says. Call Lisa Gordon at 412/880-4992 or visit www.amm.com.

■ Metal Bulletin Research (London) has a new white paper, Outlook for 2016: Stainless, that addresses the future of stainless steel markets and predicts how nickel prices could fare in 2016 after their record lows in 2015. As the new year began, nickel prices were not “falling as fast as they were a few months ago,” the report says, noting that some market participants believe “nickel prices are now oversold and thus due for a rebound,” which would boost stainless steel prices. Yet some nickel producers continue to increase output to lower unit costs and generate revenues to pay down debts, which continues to affect price levels, the report says. Visit www.metalbulletinresearch.com.

Design Competition Promotes Sustainable Products

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (San Francisco) and 3-D software maker Autodesk have selected four winners in their second Product Design Challenge, which recognizes creators of products that use safe, recyclable materials and are designed for a circular economy. The challenge selected winners in four categories:

■ Gabriella Jacobsen, a student at Virginia Tech, was the best student project winner for her Onward Bag, which addresses the issue of plastic bags that pollute oceans and waterways and seeks to reduce overall plastic waste and carbon dioxide emissions. The bag is made from 60 to 70 recycled plastic bags, organic cotton canvas, canvas thread, and biodegradable dye.

■ Barent Roth, a designer and educator, won the best professional project category for his BikeShare helmet. The unisex helmet, made for the bike-share community, uses a recycled aluminum foam shell and a sustainably grown cork liner to maximize protection while minimizing bulk and weight. All the materials are either recyclable or compostable.

■ The Engineers for a Sustainable World chapter at the Rochester Institute of Technology won in the best use of Autodesk Fusion 360 category for creating a recyclable broom with a bristle head made of biodegradable material that users can replace separately from the broom’s other components.

■ In the best use of aluminum category, Michiel Meurs and other team members won for designing the AtoB seat, a public transportation seat made of recycled aluminum, recycled PET, and formaldehyde-free bamboo plywood. The manufacturer can reclaim the seat for reuse or recycling of its materials.

Each winner received $2,000 in the contest, which attracted participants from 18 countries, Cradle to Cradle says. Visit www.c2ccertified.org.

U.S. Scrap Exports ContinueD to Slide in 2015

The United States exported roughly 37.45 million mt of all types of scrap in 2015, down 6 percent from 2014, and the value of those exports slipped 16 percent, to $17.6 billion, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. International Trade Commission. Last year was the fourth consecutive year of declines in U.S. scrap export volume and value. From 2011—the record year for U.S. scrap shipments in terms of volume and value, at 51.8 million mt and $32.6 billion—U.S. scrap exports have fallen 28 percent by volume and 46 percent by value, averaging an 8-percent annual decrease in volume and a 14-percent annual decrease in value. In 2015, U.S. exports of ferrous scrap suffered the greatest year-on-year setback among scrap categories, dropping 16.5 percent by volume, with declines for specific grades ranging from 6 to 83 percent. Among the bright spots for U.S. scrap exports last year, shipments of No. 1 copper (bare bright) rose 34 percent from 2014, while UBC exports jumped 134 percent, battery lead scrap rose 78 percent, and OCC increased 9 percent.

Research Project Examines Recycled Glass in Roads

Researchers from École de Technologie Supérieure (Montreal) are studying the possible environmental benefits of integrating recycled glass in road construction. Professors Michel Vaillancourt, Alan Carter, and Daniel Perraton will study how postconsumer glass components affect the performance of asphalt mixes and other materials used in road construction. The research project will focus on developing roadway materials that are more durable and environmentally friendly while creating a market for glass collected in Quebec’s curbside program. The researchers will study different asphalt mixes on test slabs in Montreal in 2017, the university says. They expect that glass integrated in asphalt will improve drainage and insulation qualities, which will give roads a longer service life, and that glass-containing roads will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated during asphalt manufacturing. Visit www.ecoentreprises.qc.ca/glass.

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