Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 17 hours 23 min ago

Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Just a week away

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:58
Resource Recycling Conference 2014: Just a week away

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sept. 10, 2014

If you haven't signed up for the best meeting of the minds in recycling, the time to act is now. The Resource Recycling Conference kicks off next Monday, Sept. 15.

This year's conference is taking place in New Orleans and offers attendees a jambalaya of networking opportunities and educational events. The second annual Recycling Innovators Forum, the trade show hall, the sessions covering the biggest industry trends — it's all part of the conference experience.

Resource Recycling Conference 2014 is taking place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Sept. 15-17. Head to rrconference.com for more information on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.


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Rhode Island takes on contaminated loads

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:54
Rhode Island takes on contaminated loads

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Sept. 10, 2014

The group that operates the only MRF in Rhode Island says it has seen significant increases in contamination over the last year, and it's starting to more frequently fine municipalities that send heavily tainted loads.

Starting last week, the quasi-public state organization Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) began regularly enforcing a code in its municipal contracts that makes contaminated loads subject to a $250 fee.

RIRRC's director of recycling services, Sarah Kite, said three loads totaling roughly 22 tons brought in on Sept. 6 from the city of Cranston were rejected and hit with fines. In the past, RIRRC would issue only two or three contamination fines for an entire year.

"We're seeing a lot of food scraps," said Kite, "and also leaf and yard debris, construction and demolition debris, broken furniture, cables, ropes, textiles and more. The contaminated loads are just garbage."

Kite said the rise in contamination has come alongside the transition to single-stream collection in many of the state's larger municipalities. Currently, 14 towns and cities in Rhode Island offer automated single-stream pick-up of recyclables.

Kite said all was moving ahead smoothly until Providence, the state's capital and largest city with 225,000 people, switched to roll carts in 2013.

"Providence has the most to gain and the most to contribute, but what we're seeing unfortunately is they are causing the most problems," Kite said. "Looking back, I think the program needed to be implemented in phases. You start with different areas of the city and that way you can really target your educational efforts. The door-to-door was needed in a city as diverse as Providence."

Kite said RIRRC sent out notices to municipalities in early July alerting them to the fact the enforcement action would start up this month. She said the timing was tough because Labor Day weekend tends to be a time of heavy waste generation and thus improper use of recycling bins. But she thinks when towns and cities see the load rejection charges on their September bills, they will be quick to deepen communication with residents.

"Public works directors are saying, 'I need a stick,'" said Kite. "Hopefully, this will help them prove their point they need more ongoing education."

The RIRRC's MRF processes 130,000 tons of material per year. When a load dumped onto the tipping floor is deemed overly contaminated, it gets moved to the group's landfill, which is located nearby. Still, that step causes headaches for officials trying to keep pace with the materials stream.

"We're the only MRF in the state," Kite said. "We need to be operating 50 tons an hour and can't shut down."

Contamination also appears to be a concern in nearby New York City. A recent story cited 2014 data showing recycling violations up 47 percent six months through the year.

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Recyclebank celebrates a decade

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:50
Recyclebank celebrates a decade

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sept. 10, 2014

Recycling rewards company Recyclebank has hit its 10-year anniversary.

Founded in 2004 by Ron Gonen, now the CEO of the Closed Loop Fund, Recyclebank has worked with roughly 300 communities to collect upwards of 5.8 billion pounds of material for recycling.

"Recyclebank was developed to change the way we think about sustainability and recycling. We believe that personal actions can and do make a big difference, that people prefer the carrot over the stick when it comes sustainability," said Javier Flaim, Recyclebank's CEO, in a press release. "Our 10-year anniversary is not just a celebration for Recyclebank, but a celebration for those communities, brands and partners who have worked tirelessly to truly make an impact on local recycling rates and, ultimately, pave the way for a greener future."

The company, which started as a program to provide incentives for communities and individuals to increase collection of recyclables through advanced tracking and data technology, has expanded over the years. Just recently, the company launched its own online store, OneTwine.com, where residents can purchase sustainability-minded goods.

According to the latest data from Recyclebank, 2013 saw partnerships across the country lead to 1.5 billion pounds of material getting collected and recycled. That haul accounts for just over 25 percent of the company's all-time collection totals.

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2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: See the finalists make their pitches

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:48
2014 Recycling Innovators Forum: See the finalists make their pitches

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Sept. 10, 2014

The organizers of the 2014 Recycling Innovators Forum have identified the eight proposals that are moving on to the final presentation stage as they compete for a combined $40,000 in cash prizes and valuable industry exposure.

Complete information on each of the concepts and the individuals behind them can be found here. The competition is divided into two categories — Enterprise/Institution for entries that came from a larger company and group and Garage Innovator for proposals from small startups and teams — and four finalists were selected on each side. The second annual competition received more than 60 proposals.

The final presentation round will take place the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 15 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside during the first day of the Resource Recycling Conference. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception where all Innovators Forum presenters will be on hand to answer questions and develop industry contacts.

To learn more and register for the Forum for free, click here.

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NewsBits

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:40
NewsBits

Sept. 10, 2014

Green Sky Industries of New Jersey last week informed its more than 100 employees it is abruptly closing both of its processing facilities in the state due to "declining business conditions." A holder of more than 75 municipal contracts, Green Sky was said to be hampered by Green Fence-related markets for recycled commodities overseas.

Targeting "young people with empty cans and empty wallets" at music festivals in Sweden, McDonald's has begun accepting emptied containers in exchange for food. Armed with black recycling bags, consumers can now trade in 10 cans for either a hamburger or cheeseburger at select McDonalds restaurants in Sweden. Want a Big Mac? That'll cost you 40 cans.

Approximately 43 billion packages manufactured by Tetra Pak were recycled worldwide in 2013, the packaging and food service company has announced. Tetra Pak, which employs more than 23,000 people and supplies to more than 170 countries, recently released its 2014 Sustainability Updateand the document is available online.

Recycling fines are up 47 percent in New York City, the New York Post has reported. Those fines, which totaled 56,000 citywide during the first half of 2014, are likely connected to the city's April 2013 inclusion of rigid plastics in its recycling program – any rigid plastic found in trash bags is considered a punishable a violation of the city's recycling law.

Vermont's Universal Recycling Law may target increased recycling and composting in the state, but at least one municipality is considering doing away with its longtime curbside recycling program because of it. The town of Middlebury, Vermont, which has had curbside recycling since 1990, is weighing a handful of options that will either expand the service – meeting the requirements of the law – or let curbside be handled entirely by the private sector.

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Bill Caesar leaves Waste Management

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:27
Bill Caesar leaves Waste Management

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Sept. 4, 2014

Waste Management's top recycling executive is parting ways with the firm after a tenure that saw early financial gains and late hurdles.

Bill Caesar, president of WM Recycle America and WM Organic Growth, is leaving the company this month, a Waste Management representative told Resource Recycling. The move is tied to a corporate reorganization publicly traded Waste Management is currently undertaking.

"As part of our broader effort to align our corporate functions with the strategic priorities of the company and to better support the needs of the business, we’re doing a bit of restructuring of the teams that support the recycling business, a business that continues to be a very important part of our overall portfolio," said Toni Beck, WM corporate spokesperson. "Given this, Bill Caesar has decided to leave the company mid-September. As leader of both the company’s recycling business and its portfolio of investments in new technology and services businesses, Bill’s disciplined and focused leadership has paid tremendous dividends and we wish him much success as he moves on to new opportunities."

Caesar joined Waste Management in 2010 as the company's chief strategy officer and, at the time, recycling revenues were soaring. Reflecting in large part the volatility of recycling markets in recent years, the company's performance in the sector was erratic during Caesar's time with the company.

According to the company's annual financials, revenues from the recycling business in 2010 totaled $1.17 billion, signifying a major jump from 2009's $741 million in revenues. In 2011, revenues were even higher, reaching $1.58 billion.

Caesar took over as WM Recycle America president in January of 2012. That year, after four consecutive years of gains, revenues fell to $1.36 billion. In 2013, with Caesar still at the helm, revenues improved, coming in at $1.48 billion but failing to reach 2011's record highs.

Throughout Caesar's time with the company, Waste Management increased its number of mostly single-stream materials recovery facilities (MRFs) throughout the country, a trend underscored by the January 2013 acquisition of Greenstar Recycling and that firm's dozen MRFs.

In November of 2013 Caesar gave an extensive interview with Resource Recycling, noting the recycling side of Waste Management was taking notable financial hits because of China's Green Fence restrictions on scrap imports.

The company has not named a replacement for Caesar, and it has not announced any further recycling wing-specific cuts as part of the reorganization.

Caesar was a key force behind making Waste Management a founding sponsor of the annual Recycling Innovators Forum, which rewards "inventors and innovative organizations with game-changing ideas on how to advance recycling." [Ed: Resource Recycling's parent company, Resource Recycling, Inc. is also a founding sponsor.]

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