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U.S. Plastic Bottle Recycling Inches Upward

The U.S. recycling rate for postconsumer plastic bottles reached 31.8 percent in 2014, up from the 30.9-percent rate in 2013, according to the National Post-Consumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report. In all, U.S. consumers recycled over 3 billion pounds of plastic bottles in 2014, 97 million pounds more than in 2013, making 2014 the 25th consecutive year Americans increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling, the report says.

Looking at the results by major resin category, collections of PET bottles totaled 1.8 billion pounds in 2014—up 14 million pounds—although the recycling rate slipped slightly, year on year, from 31.2 to 31 percent. U.S. consumers, meanwhile, recycled 1.1 billion pounds of HDPE containers—a gain of more than 62 million pounds compared with 2013—which boosted the HDPE recycling rate from 31.6 to 33.6 percent, the report says. PP bottle recycling grew even stronger, jumping 17.5 million pounds to reach 79.5 million pounds for the year and achieving a recycling rate of 44.9 percent, up from 31.8 percent in 2013, the report says.

Domestic reclaimers processed a higher proportion of all types of postconsumer plastic bottle materials in 2014, the report says. Though the number of pounds exported rose slightly, overall collection increased faster, reducing exports’ share of the market to 21.9 percent, the lowest level in six years. The strength of the U.S. dollar and the growth in domestic reclamation capacity contributed to the decline in exports, according to the report.

Regarding overall U.S. plastic bottle recycling trends, the report notes that single-stream curbside collection continues to grow, increasing recycling participation rates, but a lack of access to away-from-home recycling inhibits collection of more plastic bottles.

The Association of Plastic Recyclers and the American Chemistry Council, both in Washington, D.C., released the report, which Moore Recycling Associates (Sonoma, Calif.) wrote based on a survey of reclaimers. Visit plastics.american and select Education and Resources.

Study Touts Recycled Paper’s Green Advantages Over Virgin

New Leaf Paper (Oakland, Calif.) says its Reincarnation recycled coated paper has less than 1 percent of the impact of virgin paper in terms of environmental factors such as climate change, ocean acidification, water use, habitat destruction, and logging, according to a life-cycle analysis SCS Global Services conducted for the company. The study is the first in the paper industry to use the new LCA standard, which ANSI is in the process of accrediting, New Leaf says. Visit

Pilot Project Tests Labels For Refurbished Computers

The new R2 Ready for Reuse label project from SERI (Boulder, Colo.) seeks to give buyers of used computers more information on the refurbishment history of their purchased devices. The pilot program asks participating R2-certified computer refurbishing and recycling companies to attach unique serial numbers to R2 Ready for Reuse computers. Buyers can look up the serial number and see the testing record for each device to ensure it is in good condition and was refurbished responsibly, SERI says.

Five companies are participating in the R2 Ready for Reuse program’s pilot stage, which runs from January to June. Initially the program will gather data on how the labels are used, their effectiveness as a sales and transparency tool, and the effectiveness of the online database, SERI says. The pilot phase also will gauge interest in the computer repair and refurbishing industry and other factors. After the first phase, project partners will evaluate its progress and decide whether to expand the program to include more companies. Microsoft and PC Rebuilders & Recyclers (Chicago) support the initiative along with SERI. Visit

LME Steel Contracts Tap Physical Market Prices

The London Metal Exchange will use physical market prices for its two new steel-related futures contracts, selecting assessments from Platts for steel rebar and The Steel Index for ferrous scrap. The LME ferrous scrap futures contract will use the Turkish Scrap Imports HMS #1&2 80:20 price as the monthly settlement price, the exchange says. Visit,, or

Updated Standard Targets It Sustainability Features

TCO Development (Stockholm) has updated its sustainability certification for information-technology products. The revision has new criteria for reducing hazardous nonhalogenated, flame-retardant substances and replacing them with safer alternatives. The certification also now bans four phthalates TCO identified as the most hazardous: DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP, the company says. A third party verifies the IT products that achieve TCO Certified standards to ensure they meet environmental and social responsibility criteria throughout the product life cycle, from manufacturing to use to end-of-life handling, TCO says. Visit

Pet Water Bottles Are Lighter, Greener

The average weight of a half-liter, single-serving PET water bottle has decreased since 2000, and the bottles now have more recycled content, according to a study from Beverage Marketing Corp. (New York). From 2000 to 2014, the average weight of such bottles declined 51 percent, to 9.25 grams, saving 6.2 billion pounds of PET resin, BMC says. The recycled PET content of bottled water packaging increased from 3.3 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2014, with rPET use increasing 8 percentage points in 2014 alone, the company says. Visit

Corporate Transitions

■ Cambridge Iron & Metal Co. (Baltimore) has closed, citing the poor market conditions in the scrap recycling industry. The company stopped receiving scrap at its 14-acre facility Dec. 2 and closed its doors Dec. 31 after liquidating some of its equipment, says President Neal Shapiro. The company, founded in 1909, was one of the oldest recycling operations in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area. It was family owned and operated throughout its entire history, the firm says. Visit

■ ARC Broward Electronics Recycling Services (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) has changed its name to ARC Broward IT Asset Recovery to better reflect its services, it says, which include IT destruction and sanitization, data security, and electronics collection and recycling. Visit

■ Alcoa (New York) has announced plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies. One company, which will take the Alcoa name, will have five business units focused on global primary products: alumina, aluminum, bauxite, casting, and energy. The new Alcoa will have 64 facilities around the world and about 17,000 employees. It will be the world’s fourth-largest aluminum producer and will have the world’s largest bauxite mining portfolio, Alcoa says. The second company, which will get a new name before the transaction is complete, will handle global engineered products and solutions, rolled products, and construction and transportation solutions, supplying components to the aerospace and automotive industries as well as other markets. It will have 157 locations globally and about 43,000 employees, the firm says. Each company will have an independent board of directors that includes members of the current Alcoa board. The company says it will finalize this corporate split in the second half of 2016. Visit

■ NACCO Materials Handling Group (Cleve­land) has changed its name to Hyster-Yale Group. The company, a subsidiary of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, designs, engineers, manufactures, sells, and services lift trucks and aftermarket parts under the Hyster and Yale brand names. Visit

Openings And Expansions

■ In October, Covanta Holding Corp. (Morristown, N.J.) opened a new scrap metal processing operation in Fairless Hills, Pa. The facility cleans and sorts ferrous and nonferrous metals recovered from some of Covanta’s waste-to-energy facilities in the Northeast, the company says. It can process up to 12,000 tons a month and has access to a deep-water port for loading bulk cargo ships for domestic and international shipments. Covanta recovers about 500,000 tons of post-burn metals annually, it says. Visit

■ Republic Services (Las Vegas) opened its new Southern Nevada Recycling Center in North Las Vegas, Nev., in November. The facility, which can process 2 million pounds of recyclable material a day, or 70 tons an hour, features “advanced recycling technologies” such as five optical sorters that use 2-D and 3-D technology, touch-screen controls, and tablet-based monitoring and management. The facility also features new glass-recovery and cleanup technology and a rooftop solar array with 1,776 panels. More than 75 percent of the 110,000-square-foot building is made from recycled or remanufactured steel, the company says. The building’s interactive learning center and observation room offers informational displays and videos as well as a live video stream of recycling operations, while the observation deck gives a 360-degree view of the recycling process. The new center is adjacent to an existing 88,000-square-foot recycling facility, making the two buildings the largest residential recycling operation in North America, Republic Services says. Visit

■ Cascades (Kingsey Falls, Quebec) has invested CA$26.4 million at its Norampac corrugated board conversion plant in Drummondville, Quebec, to install a new corrugator and increase the plant’s production capacity. Cascades completed the 45,000-square-foot expansion in November, and it expects the new corrugator to start operating in January, the company says.

Cascades also is investing CA$4.5 million in new equipment at two of its plastic-product facilities. It will spend CA$3.5 million at Plastiques Cascades in Kingsey Falls to replace a thermoforming line, add a pre-padding solution to the production line, and install automated packaging lines. The remaining CA$1 million will go toward a new thermoforming line for Cascades Inopak in Drummondville. Both operations make plastic food-packaging products with recycled content. Visit

■ Sennebogen is expanding the production areas and warehouses at its Straubing, Germany, headquarters by approximately 377,000 square feet. The company also is building a new 72,000-square-foot production shop for assembling and painting large components and for finishing work and quality control. The company says the expansion will help increase its capacity for manufacturing large machines. The first construction phase includes building a paved surface for technical approval of telescopic cranes and rope excavators. Crews also will build the warehouse and shipping area, featuring a new 180-ton Sennebogen 5500 crawler gantry crane in the center of the site to hoist and handle heavy components. The second construction phase, which will start in mid-2016, includes building the new assembly and paint shop for large machines, Sennebogen says. Visit

■ U.S. Shredder and Castings Group (Mira­mar Beach, Fla.) relocated its shredder castings and wear part warehouse to Fort Wayne, Ind., to gain more space and be more centrally located for customers, the company says. Visit

■ Spectro Analytical Instruments (Kleve, Germany) has opened a new application and demonstration laboratory in Irvine, Calif. The lab has the company’s most recent instrumentation and technology for elemental analysis, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and optical emission spectroscopy using arc and spark excitation. The lab will offer technical events, training sessions, and instrument and application demonstrations, the company says. Visit

■ Metso Recycling (San Antonio) has added a large parts inventory for scrap shears and balers at its distribution center in Columbia, S.C. The company expects the new inventory to improve customer service in the area, expedite delivery of parts to customers to help them minimize downtime, and reduce freight charges by offering parts closer to customers’ operations, it says. Visit

■ Ravne Knives (Ravne na Koroškem, Slovenia), which manufactures industrial knives for the recycling industry, has opened its first U.S. location in Des Plaines, Ill. Ravne’s long-term objective is to strengthen its brand visibility and marketing presence, the company says. Visit

Mergers And Acquisitions

■ Fenix Parts (Westchester, Ill.) has purchased Tri-City Auto Salvage (Greensboro, N.C.), a full-service automotive recycling facility, for $6.6 million in cash and 42,363 shares of Fenix common stock, the company says. The acquisition gives Fenix access to a larger inventory of parts and helps it expand its distribution, dismantling, warehouse, and yard capacity, the company says. The Tri-City operation is Fenix’s second location in North Carolina and its 16th facility overall. Visit or

■ WESSCO (Louisville, Ky.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Louisville-based Industrial Services of America, has entered into an asset purchase agreement to buy ISA’s waste services segment for $7.5 million in cash, less $150,000 for any potential working capital adjustments. The deal covers substantially all the assets of Computerized Waste Systems, ISA’s commercial, retail, and industrial waste and recycling management services business, and Waste Equipment Sales and Services Co., an equipment sales, rental, and maintenance business for commercial and industrial waste and recycling customers. ISA sold these assets to better position it for future growth and opportunity, the company says. Visit

■ Novolex (Hartsville, S.C.) has bought Wisconsin Film & Bag (Shawano, Wis.), a manufacturer of custom PE bags and films that also handles recycled materials. The company operates a converting plant and a plastics recycling plant near Shawano and has about 175 employees. Visit

■ Resolute Forest Products (Montreal) has acquired Atlas Paper Holdings (Hialeah, Fla.) for $156 million, including working capital. Atlas, a manufacturer of branded and private-label tissue products using virgin and recycled paper, and its 350 employees will continue its existing relationships and commitments to suppliers and customers, Resolute says, and most employees and management will remain under Atlas Paper’s current structure. Atlas operates three tissue machines with an annual production capacity of about 65,000 tons; 14 converting lines in Hialeah and Sanford, Fla.; and a paper recycling facility in Tampa, Fla., the company says. Visit and

Sage Sustainable Electronics (Columbus, Ohio) has acquired Hugo Neu Recycling (New York), the electronics recycling subsidiary of Hugo Neu Corp. HNR’s customers now can use proprietary tools such as the Sage Bluebook and the Sage Central customer portal, as well as a range of IT life-cycle products to reduce costs, recover value from used electronics, and keep data safe, the companies say. Sage has opened a processing line at Hugo Neu Corp.’s 130-acre industrial facility in Kearny Point, N.J., while keeping its headquarters in Columbus and its facilities in Baltimore, Columbus, and Reno, Nev., it says. Visit and

■ Dynamic Recycling (Onalaska, Wis.) has acquired the assets of Minnesota Computers Corp. (Minneapolis). The acquisition will help Dynamic expand its footprint in the refurbished computer hardware industry, the company says. Minnesota Computers will keep its Minneapolis facility, continuing its operations under the new ownership, Dynamic says. Visit

■ Blancco Technology Group (Alpharetta, Ga.) has acquired Tabernus (Austin, Texas), a company that provides software for removing data from hard-drive storage devices. The acquisition supports Blancco’s goal of expanding its business-to-business data-erasure software business, adding customer security solutions, and integrating with Internet of Things technologies, the company says. The acquisition also eliminates redundancies in the marketplace and allows the company to build new and better products, Blancco says. Visit 

Honors And Milestones

■ Automotive recycler Pull-A-Part (Doraville, Ga.) received an E3 Award from the Metro Atlanta Chamber in the clean tech innovation category for its sustainable solutions in the recycling industry. The awards recognize companies, organizations, and people who conserve Atlanta’s natural resources, create clean technologies, and support sustainable projects, the chamber says. Visit or

■ The Better Business Bureau of the Upstate (Greenville, S.C.) gave C&C Metal Recycling (Greenwood, S.C.) its Business of Integrity Award in the marketplace ethics category for companies with 11 to 49 employees. The award recognizes C&C’s “high ethical standards of behavior towards customers, vendors and employees,” BBB says. Visit or

■ The American Chemistry Council presented its Innovation in Plastics Recycling Award to three companies in 2015: Demilec (Arlington, Texas) converts PET scrap into polyols for use in spray foam insulation products. The company says it has recycled more than 300 million plastic bottles into such products, and it expected to use over 35 million bottles for the spray foam in 2015.

ACC recognized Publix Super Markets (Lakeland, Fla.) for recycling rigid plastic packaging such as commercial-sized HDPE and PP containers. The supermarket chain has more than 1,100 stores and nine distribution centers that optimize its back-of-the-store recycling stream to bale clean plastic for recycling, ACC says.

The Recycling Partnership (Falls Church, Va.) received ACC’s award because of its work facilitating public–private partnerships to increase curbside recycling programs. The organization provided 115,000 large recycling carts and improved public education in cities such as Florence, Ala.; Columbia, S.C.; Richmond, Va.; and East Lansing, Mich. TRP’s work established recycling programs that collect wide-mouth plastic containers as well as bottles from 18,000 homes. These efforts could help recover an additional 22 million pounds of plastic over the next 10 years, ACC says. Visit,,, or

■ The Information Management Group (Wellington, New Zealand) is the first secure information destruction service in New Zealand to achieve AAA certification status from the National Association for Information Destruction (Phoenix). TIMG is AAA-certified for the physical destruction of paper records, micro media, computer media, and other nonpaper media, NAID says. Visit or

■ Kyle Wiens—co-founder and co-owner of iFixit (Palo Alto, Calif.), a company that promotes electronics repair and reuse—received the Jim Lynch Lifetime Achievement Award at the Electronics Reuse Conference, held in New Orleans in November. (Scrap profiled Wiens’ work promoting electronics repair and reuse in the November/December 2015 issue.) Visit

■ Keep America Beautiful (Stamford, Conn.) presented the Vision for America Award to Caterpillar (Peoria, Ill.) and Doug Oberhelman, its chairman and CEO, for the company’s corporate commitment to sustainability and its “significant progress toward its aggressive sustainability goals.” Caterpillar recycled over 90 percent of its byproduct material in 2014, and it reduced the greenhouse gas emissions intensity and energy intensity of its operations by 38 percent and 28 percent, respectively, from 2006 to 2014, KAB says. Visit and

■ Sonoco Recycling (Hartsville, S.C.) gave the Sonoco Sustainability Star Award to seven plants for reducing waste. The gold-level award, for facilities that achieve a 99-percent landfill-diversion rate, went to Dillons Jackson Dairy (Hutchinson, Kan.), which supplies its OCC to Sonoco’s Hutchinson paper mill. At the silver level—a 95-percent diversion rate—Sonoco recognized Sonoco Display and Packaging (Bolingbrook, Ill.) for recycling all of its recyclable materials at the plant. Sonoco Protective Solutions, which operates in a Sonoco-owned building in New Bern, N.C., also earned the silver award. Sonoco scaled its recycling operations so all of the tenants could collaborate to achieve the building’s 95-percent diversion rate, it says.

Four locations received the bronze award for their efforts to significantly reduce waste. Sonoco Paper in Brantford, Ontario, recovered waste through reuse. Sonoco Plastics in Addison, Ill., started an education campaign to show staff how much recyclable material was going to landfill, which motivated employees to increase their recycling efforts. Sonoco Plastics’ Forest City, N.C., location increased its recycling output to Sonoco Recycling and another local recycling partner, while the company’s Waynesville, N.C., location increased its OCC and packaging recycling. Visit

■ Evergreen Packaging (Memphis), which manufactures gable-top beverage cartons, earned the American Forest & Paper Association’s Leadership in Sustainability Award for creating a recycling logo tracking system for its cartons and encouraging its customers to include the logo on their cartons. The logos let consumers know the cartons are recyclable, the company says. Shoppers look at the package to see if it’s recyclable, and they are less likely to recycle it if the logo is absent, Evergreen says. Visit or

■ Brady (Cambridge, England) earned a 2015 Commodities Business Award from Commodities Now, earning top honors for commodity logistics in the commodity market development category. The prize recognizes Brady for its logistics management suite for yard management and trading activities. Visit or

■ Company Wrench (Carroll, Ohio) received the 2015 Business Ethics Award from the Fairfield County Rotary Clubs and Lancaster Eagle-Gazette for embodying the guiding principles of the Rotary Club’s four-way test. In particular, Company Wrench raised money for United Way and hosted charity auctions for the Wounded Warriors Project. The company’s owners and employees also started a charity program called Recycled Cycles to collect, repair, and donate bicycles to underprivileged families in Fairfield County, Ohio. In addition, Company Wrench hosted its second Operator for a Day event at its Carroll headquarters in September, giving the public an opportunity to operate heavy equipment and local charities a way to connect with the community, the company says. Visit

■ Recom (Hwaseong, South Korea) is the first e-Stewards-certified recycler in Asia. Recom established the first dedicated e-recycling facility in South Korea in 1997 and promotes responsible e-scrap management and recovery, e-Stewards says. The company also has a research and development center that evaluates incoming materials to identify the best recovery options. Visit

Manufacturers Expand Dealer Networks

■ Caterpillar dealers will be the exclusive sales and support outlets in the United States and Canada for Lefort hydraulic shear/balers and balers, including stationary, portable, and mobile units. Lefort offers 14 models with cutting force ranging from 330 to 2,200 tons, box lengths from 16 feet 4 inches to 32 feet 9 inches, and drive power from 70 to 1,500 hp. Visit or

■ Redhead Equipment (Regina, Saskatch­ewan) now offers sales, parts, service, and financing for Sennebogen (Stanley, N.C.) material handlers in Saskatchewan. The company has seven locations and more than 100 technicians in the province, Sennebogen says. Visit or

■ Orion Equipment (Seattle) is the new dealer for promotion, sales, and service of all Liebherr Construction Equipment Co. (Newport News, Va.) material handling and earthmoving equipment in Washington and Oregon. Orion will offer sales, parts, equipment rental, overhaul, and repair services from its two locations in Seattle and Vancouver, Wash. Visit or

■ Papé Material Handling (Eugene, Ore.) is the authorized and exclusive Hyster dealer for eight counties in Southern California, Yuma County in western Arizona, and the Baja Norte region of Mexico. Johnson Lift, a division of Johnson Machinery Co. (Riverside, Calif.), covered those territories before Papé Material Handling acquired Johnson Lift, Hyster says. Visit,, or

■ Hyster-Yale Materials Handling (Cleveland) has authorized Gregory Poole Equipment Co. (Raleigh, N.C.) as a dealer for its Hyster lift trucks in most of Virginia and portions of North and South Carolina and West Virginia. The company also became an authorized dealer of Yale lift trucks in portions of the Carolinas and Virginia. Visit or

■ Modern Group (Bristol, Pa.) is the authorized forklift dealer for Hyundai Forklift (Norcross, Ga.), covering Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City from its seven locations, Hyundai says. Visit or

Equipment Sales And Installations

■ MetalX (Waterloo, Ind.) has installed new RIMAS NT/P software from Shared Logic Group (Holland, Ohio) for its purchasing, sales, accounting, and inventory needs. MetalX says it chose the software because Shared Logic understands the needs of the scrap industry and has a strong customer-service reputation. It will start using the software at its Waterloo facility, then install it at three other locations, the company says. Visit or

■ Lapin Metals (Rovaniemi, Finland) has installed a new Taurus CH973 compact shear/baler from C&G Group (Daverio, Italy). The baler features a 200-kW electric motor, 900 tons of shearing force, a 23.5-foot-long squeeze box, and three hydraulic cylinders per wing, each delivering 400 tons of compacting force, the company says. The new unit is Lapin Metals’ third Taurus machine. Visit


■ The 2015 Steel Statistical Yearbook from the World Steel Association (Brussels) offers 2005–2014 data on crude steel production by country and process, steel production by product, steel trade by product, apparent steel use, and apparent steel use per capita by country. The report also covers production and trade of pig iron and direct-reduced iron, as well as production and trade of iron ore and trade of scrap. The statistics are from members of worldsteel and other international organizations.

The association also has published the Sustainable Steel Policy and Indicators 2015 Report, which addresses the steel industry’s contributions to and performance in economic, environmental, and social sustainability arenas, worldsteel says. The report highlights the steel industry’s performance in 2014 based on eight sustainability indicators it has tracked since 2003, such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy intensity, and material efficiency. Download a free PDF of the yearbook or the indicators report from

■ The Global Aluminum Industry Outlook by Product & Sector to 2025 from Metal Bulletin Research (London) provides more than 250 pages of information on primary, secondary, and downstream aluminum markets across regions, select countries, and end-user markets. Visit

■ MarketsandMarkets (Pune, India) predicts the global recycled paper management market could grow 2.55 percent a year from 2015 to 2020, with a value of about $43.35 billion by 2020. Its report on the Waste Paper Management Market covers such paper products as containerboard, newsprint, paper and paperboard, tissue, and pulp substitutes, analyzing the key factors driving or restraining growth and identifying global opportunities, the company says. Visit

■ The American Wood Council (Leesburg, Va.), Canadian Wood Council (Ottawa), and Building Materials Reuse Association (Chicago) have developed a new website to serve as a directory of wood reuse and recycling resources in the United States and Canada. The site’s searchable, sortable business directory lists companies that accept wood products for reuse or recycling as well as locations where builders and consumers can find such wood products for their own use. The individual listing page shows contact information; it also allows companies to claim their own listings and users to indicate whether the information is incorrect or out of date. The site’s sustainable wood guide offers articles, information, glossaries, and citations for additional resources. Visit

■ The Product Stewardship Institute (Boston) has published two new guides to help state and local government officials address the challenges of recycling scrap carpet and used mattresses in safe, cost-effective ways. The guides provide tools so governments can increase awareness of recycling opportunities and best practices, collaborate with stakeholders such as suppliers and recyclers, implement convenient and effective collection systems, and increase market development opportunities for recycled components from mattresses and carpet. The guides—Advancing Carpet Stewardship How-To Guide and Advancing Mattress Stewardship How-To Guide—also lay the groundwork for extended producer responsibility legislation, PSI says. Visit

■ In a report titled Global Green and Recycled Mobile Phone Market 2015-2019, Big Market Research (Portland, Ore.) predicts recycled mobile phones could attain a 17-percent compound annual growth rate by 2019. Among the trends driving this growth is the introduction of certifications to reduce illegal or improper e-scrap disposal, the report says. Growing demand for mobile phones also raises concerns about supply shortages, leading manufacturers to consider the advantages of using recycled metal, batteries, and plastics, the report explains. The report addresses key trends driving or challenging the recycled mobile-phone market, covering major vendors and the future opportunities and threats they will face. Visit www.bigmarket 

Mobile Classroom Brings It Assets To African Students

About 80 students at the Tuleeni Orphans Home in Tanzania now have access to laptops, tablets, and other technology thanks to a mobile classroom called the DigiTruck. The unit, made from a shipping container, is a multifunctional IT lab that communities can use as a classroom, clinic, or gathering place, says Close the Gap (Brussels), a non­profit that provides refurbished computers to communities in developing countries. The solar-powered DigiTruck can travel throughout remote areas of Africa where electricity is difficult to access, and it can accommodate up to 18 students at a time.

 Arrow Electronics (Centennial, Colo.), DigiTruck’s first sponsor, refurbished and donated the laptops, tablets, printers, routers, and LED TV flat-screen monitor for the mobile classroom. The DigiTruck will stay at the orphanage until early 2016, when it will move to a new location. Arrow says it will donate all of the laptops and IT equipment to the orphanage, then provide a new batch of refurbished equipment for the DigiTruck’s next stops throughout other parts of Africa. Close the Gap plans to build additional DigiTrucks with Arrow’s sponsorship, and four other companies have pledged to sponsor similar units, Arrow says. Visit or