Resource Recycling Magazine

Updated: 20 hours 31 min ago

Seasonality continues for UBC prices

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:44
Seasonality continues for UBC prices

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 5, 2014

The value of recovered aluminum cans rose in each month of the first quarter of this year, climbing by about 11 cents per pound during this period. Is this an anomaly?

Price details in Resource Recycling’s market database over the past eight years show that 60 percent of monthly price movements in the first quarter are upward, with March having the highest likelihood of any month in the year to see prices rise.

In comparison, the middle of the year is when prices often decline. For example, the likelihood for UBC prices to decline in any month in the second quarter is 67 percent, with July being especially weak.

While the first quarter is when prices often rise the most, the fourth quarter also typically sees prices go up, but with a little lower likelihood on a monthly basis.

Some industry players suggest UBC prices rise in the early part of the year as aluminum companies boost their output of cansheet in anticipation of late-spring demand. Orders in the first quarter often exceed UBC supply. Then, when a glut of recovered cans hits the market in the warm months of summer, buyers push prices back down.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

Colorado steps toward paint stewardship law

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:43
Colorado steps toward paint stewardship law

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

March 5, 2014

A bill to establish an industry-led paint collection program in Colorado has passed in the state's Senate and now moves to the House.

If the product stewardship effort becomes law, Colorado will become the eighth state to usher in such legislation, joining California, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The Colorado bill calls for a fee to be added to the retail price for all architectural paint sold in containers that are 5 gallons or less in size -- those fees would fund collection efforts. At least 90 percent of Rocky Mountain residents would have a collection site within 15 miles of their homes, and all paint manufacturers selling products into the state would be required to participate.

The paint plan would be administered by paint industry trade group the American Coatings Association (ACA) and its PaintCare entity, which has worked to bring product stewardship frameworks to the other states with paint collection programs. According to ACA, paint collection bills have also been introduced in Washington and New Hampshire. Other states expected to consider legislation soon include Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

In the Colorado Senate, the bill met opposition from Republicans, who voted against the measure because language was not added to cap the retail fee at 75 cents per gallon. Ultimately, the bill passed by a narrow margin: 18-15.

Alison Keane of PaintCare said House Republicans may show similar hesitations, but she said adding a fee limit would cut down on the proposed program's flexibility. Fees may need to change over time to ensure the collection paradigm is sufficiently funded, Keane said, and current language in the legislation requires any fee changes to be approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

"Setting the fee or capping the fee in statute would mean we would have to go back to the legislature anytime there was any market fluctuation affecting the program, which would be impracticable," Keane told Resource Recycling.

If passed, the Colorado paint program would go into effect by July 2015.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

EU packaging recycling hits stride

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:42
EU packaging recycling hits stride

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 5, 2014

The 27 member countries making up the EU appear to have one thing figured out: how to recycle their packaging.

According to data submitted by member countries to the European Commission and analyzed in a new report by Europen, 64 percent of EU packaging waste was recycled in 2011.

The EU's combined recovery rate for packaging reached 77 percent during the year, with 13 percent of recovered materials sent for energy recovery.

Fifteen original member countries, including France, Germany and the U.K., combined for an overall recycling rate of 65 percent in 2011. The dozen more recent additions to the EU recycled 51 percent of packaging waste, the data shows.

Belgium, with an 80 percent recycling rate, posted the highest rate among countries. All countries met their respective recycling goals for the year.

Europen credits established annual recycling targets and yearly decreases in packaging waste going to landfills for the steadily rising recycling activity in the EU.

In 1998, 15 member countries sent more than 27 million tons of packaging to landfills, while just 12 million tons of packaging was landfilled in 2011 — by 27 member countries.

The U.S. EPA estimates Americans recycled 51.5 percent of packaging in 2012.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

Q1 typically sees price improvement for plastic bottles

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:41
Q1 typically sees price improvement for plastic bottles

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 5, 2014

Does seasonality come into play in the marketing of baled PT and homopolymer HDPE bottles? A review of pricing details in Resource Recycling’s market database over the past eight years shows it does.

The most pronounced effect is for the marketing of HDPE containers in the first quarter, when the average monthly price either went up or stayed the same in more than 90 percent of the months. The same positive effect held true for PET bottles in the first quarter, with more than 80 percent of the price agreements going up or staying the same. However, for PET recycling, the gains of the first quarter are often given back in the second three-month period, when prices went down more times than when they rose. The worst period for HDPE recycling is the fourth quarter, when declines are also more numerous than gains.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Wide world of recycling

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:41
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

March 5, 2014

An e-scrap bust turns up a huge load of illegal material in China. That story and more headlines are in our global rundown.

Chinese officials announced they recently uncovered nearly 80,000 tons of electronic scrap material that was smuggled into the nation by gangs. It is said to be the nation's largest-ever illegal e-scrap bust.

Staying in China but turning to paper: In comparison to a year ago, Chinese recovered paper imports declined 10.7 percent in January to 2.47 million tons. A principal cause of the decline was a 24.9 percent falloff in imports of old newspapers.

Two groups in Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, have created an approximately $6.3 million fund to boost recycling in the country. The Scottish Recycling Fund offers three- to five-year loans to help enterprises develop operations and technologies in realms such as sorting, reprocessing and remanufacturing.

The aluminum industry in the U.K. is the latest group to voice criticisms of the country's PRN system, a complex program that creates industry-funded packaging recycling initiatives. Novelis and other reprocessors say the value of aluminum PRNs is too low, which has in turn kept some industry players out of the system and skewed aluminum packaging recovery data.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

NewsBits

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 14:39
NewsBits

March 5, 2014

RockTenn has purchased the Simpson paperboard mill in Tacoma, Washington for $343 million. The two-machine facility, which employs 425 workers, produced 465,000 tons of linerboard and kraft paper last year from wood chips and recovered paper.

Officials in British Columbia announced Green By Nature EPR, a group backed by three large local processors and reclaimers, will be responsible for processing and marketing packaging and printed paper collected in the province's upcoming producer-led curbside recycling program. The Multi-Material BC collection effort is scheduled to begin on May 19

A group in New Orleans is once again collecting Mardi Gras beads after they get tossed amid the yearly celebratory event in the Big Easy. The organization, called Arc, last year collected and sorted 120,000 pounds of the material.

Recycling leaders in Athens, Alabama say the switch to larger carts and single-stream collection has boosted the resident participation rate by roughly 20 percentage points.

The paper industry-focused consultancy Forest2Market has put together a tutorial to help OCC collectors better understand the seemingly constant shifts in the market value of that material. Weather, export markets and price reporting emerge as the big three factors that push OCC price volatility.

A number of rural recycling programs in Indiana are reporting severe funding shortfalls due to depressed commodities markets. Officials say shutdowns of some recycling centers in the state may be looming.

In an effort to raise national diversion rates, the Environmental Protection Agency created an infographic spelling out the country's municipal solid waste realities. Perhaps the most attention-grabbing figure is this one: More than 95 percent of food scraps that could be composted are sent to landfills.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

National recycling rate stays flat

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 13:56
National recycling rate stays flat

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 28, 2014

Figures released today by the Environmental Protection Agency show the U.S. municipal recycling rate was 34.5 percent in 2012, a fall of 0.2 percentage points from the 2011 level.

The agency's municipal solid waste (MSW) report indicates Americans recovered around 65 million tons of MSW via recycling in 2012, a drop of roughly 1 million tons year-over-year. Composting volumes, meanwhile, grew from 20 million tons in 2011 to 21 million tons in 2012. Overall MSW generation in 2012 was about 251 million tons, up roughly 1 million tons from the previous year.

Most materials saw recovery rates remain flat from 2011 to 2012, though the paper category did see a notable drop. Newspaper and mechanical paper recovery decreased from 72.5 percent to 70.0 percent in the timeframe.

Aluminum's recycling rate also saw a decrease, dropping from 20.7 percent to 19.8 percent.

PET plastic bottles and jars, meanwhile, experienced a recycling rate bump of 1.6 percentage points from 2011 to 2012, and the national recycling rate for that category is now 30.8 percent.

The recycling rate for glass was 27.7 percent, up from 27.6 percent in 2011.

Look for expanded analysis of the EPA recycling figures in next week's Resource Recycling e-newsletter.

 

Fuel efficiency guidelines reach recycling industry

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:34
Fuel efficiency guidelines reach recycling industry

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

Stricter fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks could have ripple effects in the recycling industry.

In remarks at a Safeway Distribution Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, President Barack Obama announced the U.S EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) would work on the new standards "to take us well into the next decade."

No specific fuel efficiency targets were announced in the president's statement. But more details should emerge in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, to be released by March of 2015, with finalized standards issued in 2016 and going into effect in 2019.

Some recycling professionals have been critical of earlier efforts by regulators to boost fuel efficiency in the commercial realm.

A first set of standards, which went into effect this year, required recycling, yard debris and garbage trucks – belonging to the "vocational" category of trucks – to turn toward low rolling resistance tires. The change, according to Chaz Miller of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), flew in the face of a National Academy of Sciences study that questioned the value of the new tires for trucks making frequent stops, including haulers.

"Needless to say, EPA and [DOT's] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chose to make the use of low rolling resistance tires the only requirement for vocational tires in the first rulemaking," Miller, who serves as NW&RA's director of policy and advocacy, said. "I remain amazed at the indifference of EPA and NHTSA to the realities of vocational trucks."

Long haul or tractor trailer trucks, including trailers bearing recyclables, were also required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent for 2018 models.

According to a document recently released by the Obama administration, several "advanced technologies" will be considered by EPA and DOT in the next round of fuel efficiency guidelines, including "improved tire rolling resistance." Improved fuel efficiency guidelines, similar to those introduced for long haul trucks, could also be considered for medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

Plastics Recycling 2014: Recycling from single-stream sources

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:33
Plastics Recycling 2014: Recycling from single-stream sources

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

Balancing collection volume with quality is tough, and with single-stream curbside programs on the rise throughout the country, many MRFs and downstream processors are facing new challenges. How do collectors, recycling facilities and plastic processors at all stages of the value chain source, sort, process and sell plastics from single-stream?

Plastics Recycling 2014 will offer a session delving into the issue. With a specific look at single-stream collection and plastics processing in North Carolina and the Southeast, Scott Mouw of the North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach, Susan Albritton of Sonoco, and Scott Saunders of KW Plastics will trace the plastics recycling process from curbside commingled collection, to MRF, to plastic recycling facility.

Don't miss Plastics Recycling 2014, to be held March 11-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit www.plasticsrecycling.com.

Attendees are also invited to come early and stay late for some great additional events. On the afternoon of March 10, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) will host a technical forum. The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) will hold its winter membership meeting on March 13. And the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Environmental Division will hold the Global Plastics Environmental Conference March 12-14. Go to www.plasticsrecycling.com for more information.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

How I Spent My Grant: Awareness and zombies in Georgia county

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:29
How I Spent My Grant: Awareness and zombies in Georgia county

by Suki Janssen, Waste Reduction Administrator, Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division

Feb. 26, 2014

Here's our first installment of "How I Spent My Grant," a feature that takes a look at the ways recycling programs translate funding into actionable ideas. Does your municipality have a grant implementation success story? Email details to news@resource-recycling.com.

 

Municipality: Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Solid Waste Department

Grant: Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) Program 1: Matching Education grant ($5,000) and Program 2: CVP Test Kitchen grant ($10,000 and $15,000 marketing and creative support from CVP); awarded in summer 2013.

Implementation:

Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Recycling Division was selected to test traditional advertising using such outlets as print, radio and outdoor advertising to increase curbside recycling in the ACC Urban Service District (USD).

The ACC Recycling Division worked with CVP and DMC Agency LLC to create a marketing campaign around the idea of "Recycle MORE" and the www.RecycleMOREACC.org website. The MORE logo was used on five billboards, multiple ACC Transit buses (both inside posters and partial bus wraps), ACC Solid Waste Department truck wraps (both curbside trash and recycling trucks along with the ACC Recycling Division pick-up truck), and on T-shirts and plastic drink tumblers.

In addition to the traditional marketing pieces, the ACC Recycling Division held a two-hour Recycle MORE Day at a community recycling drop-off site located in Athens-Clarke County during the test period (more on the period below). This event hosted a live radio remote and offered an outlet for community residents to recycle all traditional materials plus MORE (nontraditional materials like medicine, batteries and bulbs). Participants at this event received Recycle MORE T-shirts and tumblers as a special thank you.

For three months, ACC Recycling Division measured curbside recycling rates for both inside the USD and in the General Service District (GSD). The GSD was used as the control group and didn’t see the MORE marketing pieces.

During the three month test period (August to October 2013) the curbside tonnages were as follows: GSD – 659 tons for 11,125 residents (118.47 pounds per resident) and USD – 536 tons for 8,500 residents (126.11 pounds per resident).

During the test period ACC realized a 5 percent increase in incoming tonnage from the previous three-month time period and a 3 percent increase from the same three-month period during the previous year.

Additionally, once the test period was over, the ACC Recycling Division expanded the MORE campaign to promote the placement of the new single stream pedestrian recycling bins in downtown Athens. There were 32 recycling bins “married” to 32 existing pedestrian trash cans. The recycling bins were created with the assistance of RecycleAway.com and feature easy-to-empty compartments, rain caps, green color and colorful stickers to differentiate them from the trash containers.

Finally, the ACC Recycling Division created a 60-second public service announcement promoting the proper use of the downtown recycling bins and recycling MORE. The ACC Recycling Division piggy-backed on the mainstream zombie craze (and the MORE campaign) and had staff members dress as zombies and take over the downtown for the making of the zombie PSA: It featured mindless zombies trashing recyclables in the downtown district instead of recycling. The PSA was unveiled just before Halloween and the same week as the season opener of the AMC show "The Walking Dead." The PSA was featured on local cable channels including AMC, Comedy Central, FX, History Channel, MTV, SyFy, Cartoon Network, VH1 and our local government station. To view the PSA, click here (click on Recycle MORE … Zombies!).

In summary, ACC Recycling Division was able to leverage its resources along with the original grant monies to create a fun and timely marketing campaign to reach a diverse community. The ACC Recycling Division staff encourages everyone to Recycle MORE so we are spared from the Zombie Apocalypse.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Haitian recycler awarded Clinton Foundation grant

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:28
Haitian recycler awarded Clinton Foundation grant

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

A Haitian recycling center is getting a boost from a former president's foundation.

Sustainable Recycling Solutions will receive $250,000 from the Clinton Foundation, the nonprofit group established by Bill Clinton, to focus recycling efforts on the nation's capital, Port-Au-Prince.

"This is a big deal," the former president told reporters. "It will clean up Port-au-Prince. It's good for the environment. It will stop the clogging of a lot of places in the city."

According to the Associated Press, Sustainable Recycling Solutions was formed in 2012 by a group of investors and aid workers. The company pays hundreds of Haitians to collect recyclables, which are used in the manufacture of new products.

The Waste Atlas suggests the country, with more than 10 million people, has an effective recycling rate below 1 percent, with all waste going toward "unsound disposal."

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Paper group battles all-out digitization

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:27
Paper group battles all-out digitization

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

As the federal government moves toward doing more of its business online, one group has gained some political traction by arguing for "paper options."

While stopping short of opposing the move toward digitization altogether, Consumers for Paper Options has brought up the needs of two societal groups: seniors and those without Internet access. According to the group's website, 30 percent of the U.S. population is without Internet "access" and, therefore, is reliant on paper communication from the government.

The shift away from paper over the last two decades has had a major impact on recycling programs and materials processors across North America as once-dependable revenue streams generated by recovered paper have shrunk considerably.

According to a Feb. 16 Washington Post article, money is also on the mind of Consumers for Paper Options – the Post points out the organization is funded, in large part, by the paper industry. The article links the group to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), one of the industry's largest trade groups, which assisted Maine Rep. Michael Michaud, a Democrat, in successfully removing language from a recent bill that would have digitized prescription information.

The government's position, in essence, is to cut down on costs and waste, while opponents stress the industry has made sustainability strides, especially through recycling. According to the AF&PA, paper recycling has reached 65 percent in the U.S.

Social Security statements and tax forms are among the major issues Consumers for Paper Options is tackling.

In a sign the group has made some successful political inroads, last month's budget deal required the government to start sending physical, paper copies of annual Social Security statements to the country's future retirees.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

Recycling Innovators Forum offers spotlight for problem solvers

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:26
Recycling Innovators Forum offers spotlight for problem solvers

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Feb. 26, 2014

Community engagement is one of recycling's most persistent challenges. From small collection depots, to state-of-the-art MRFs, the quality and volume of recyclable materials depends on the everyday choices made by individual consumers.

This is just one of the areas in which creative minds in the recycling industry think there is room for improvement. At last year's inaugural Recycling Innovators Forum (click here for a feature on the event), the winning idea included a mobile app, designed by Earth911 that helped consumers gauge the recyclability of different items. This year, ideas to boost consumer engagement are again attracting interest ranging from single inventors, all the way up to teams backed by larger organizations.

The second annual Recycling Innovators Forum is a competition to seek out the highest-return, most actionable new ideas to move recycling forward and is sponsored by Alcoa, the American Chemistry Council, Coca-Cola Recycling, Resource Recycling (the parent company of this publication) and Waste Management. The competition will be held on Sept. 15, the day before the start of the annual Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, and will award two $20,000 prizes to the top two of the 10 Forum finalists.

For more information about competing in, or attending, this free event, visit www.recyclinginnovators.com.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

NewsBits

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:24
NewsBits

Feb. 26, 2014

Environmental groups in Houston have descended upon a citywide plan to transition its waste and recycling program to allow residents to throw everything from a half-eaten sandwich to an aluminum can into one bin for collection. Once collected, the contents would be automatically sorted at a new "dirty" materials recovery facility, but environmentalists argue the plan gives up on residents doing their part and will hurt the value of recyclables.

Of the more than 10 million searches conducted through Earth911's innovative recycling directory, aluminum cans, motor oil and Christmas trees were the three most looked-up topics, leading the directory's top-13 list in 2013. The listings also provide recycling options for a host of products.

Mattress retailers in Connecticut are urging lawmakers to reshape the state's mattress recycling law to include a consumer recycling fee at point of sale. The change would replace fees retailers are currently required to pay to help fund the manufacture-run recycling effort for the bulky products.

A new online video gives visitors unprecedented access to Sims Municipal Recycling's 11-acre recycling facility in Brooklyn, New York. Sending a GoPro video camera through the sorting system, the Business Insider video shows the journey material takes on its way to getting sorted and baled.

Aerospace company Boeing and Kaiser Aluminum have teamed up to develop a closed-loop aluminum recycling program. The partnership will aim to recycle 22 million pounds of Boeing's aluminum scrap during the 2014-2015 production period, providing the company with recycled aluminum for use in aerospace sheets and plates.

To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here

 

.

.