Recycling Industry, Scrap, and Solid Waste News

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Baton Rouge Rethinks Glass Collection

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Like other cities struggling with curbside recycling programs, Baton Rouge is taking a second look at glass collection in its single stream system. Back in 2006, the city moved to a 64-gallon recycling cart from the previous 18-gallon size, in conjunction with moving to a "single stream" recycling system. While the single stream approach has increased recycling tonnage, it has also resulted in an increased amount of non-recyclable material ending up in the recycling stream, such as pizza boxes, dirty paper, light bulbs, broken mirrors and more.

Such errors have increased processing costs, putting pressure on the contract holder, Progressive Waste. “Our margins are not real great. We’re struggling,” David Quaife, the company's division manager for Baton Rouge stated in a local newspaper report. “A lot of companies around the country are having issues trying to stay profitable and trying to run facilities.”

Even though glass is commonly accepted in curbside recycling programs, it is often singled out as a material to stop recycling due to its low value (compare at $10 to $25 per ton versus aluminum at $980 per ton and plastic at $400 to $500), as well as contamination issues related to crushing of glass during collection.

New Tool Connects Recyclers with Congress is a new website launched by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), aimed at engaging informing and mobilizing members so they can be heard on important industry issues. Recyclers .

“The new advocacy site provides all the tools and resources for recyclers to become engaged citizens and voice their position on policy matters that impact how they run their business," stated Scott Horne, vice president of government relations for ISRI.

Current issues of note include:

  • Pass the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act 2015
  • Support the Ports Transparency Act;
  • Tell Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank; and

Participants may also share their stories about their involvement in an issue and their progress in reaching out to policy makers.

Illinois Governor Signs Electronics Recycling Bill

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed new legislation which addresses deficiencies in the current program. With local facilities struggling to stay afloat, the new bill is aimed at saving underfunded electronics recycling programs across the state. It will result in electronics manufacturers assuming responsibility for a broader range of items.

Clear Intentions Sets Sights at Keeping Mountains of Glass Out of Colorado Trash

The sobering truth is that only 17 percent of Denver’s recycled glass stream, in fact, gets recycled. That translates into only 1 out of every 6 bottles, ranking Colorado 49th in terms of glass recycling.

One key problem for glass recycling, and for curbside collection overall, is that broken glass cannot be readily recycled. Unfortunately, with glass being compacted in garbage collection, this is all too often a problem. Additionally, broken glass causes processing and contamination problems overall for single stream recycling.

This is where Clear Intentions enters the picture. The company, spawned from a college project by Brittany Evans, looks to recycle all glass. Like another glass company we have covered, Ripple Glass, it looks to provide glass container collection containers at businesses and other key locations, thus minimizing sorting requirements. This is a very positive story about an entrepreneurial effort to fill a void in the recycling system

Responsible Recycling (R2) Certification Received by Nave Communications

The Responsible Recycling (R2) certification, the highest industry standard for environmental responsibility and safety, has been awarded to Nave Communications, a subsidiary of ADDvantage Technologies Group, Inc. Recommendation for certification came after the successful completion of a third party audit with respect to its operational environmental performance.

"The implementation of R2 at Nave Communications has been a significant step in our continuous improvement of our processes at our facility," commented Doug Nave, President of Nave Communications. "In addition to our other certifications of TL9000, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001, our customers can be assured that we will responsibly manage their materials all the way to final disposition."

There are seven steps in the R2 audit, assessing in excess of 50 components of operational performance. R2 certification supports effective and safe recovery and reuse of end of life electronic equipment, while minimizing health and environmental risk, maintaining control of the downstream recycling chain, and demonstrating legal compliance both domestically and internationally.  

Recycling Industry Stands Down for Safety.

June 24th marked the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Safety Stand-Down Day today. In conjunction with the event, recyclers across the U.S. stressed their commitment to safety as a core value. Participating operations shut down production for at least one hour on each shift to provide safety awareness training. The training could take a number of different tacts, from formal employee instruction to a management walkaround, or other effective approaches to safety training.

In the weeks prior to Safety Stand-Down Day, ISRI provided a series of Safety Training Guides to members, each focusing on notable safety risks such as lockout Tagout, confined spaces, mobile equipment, machine guarding, and fall protection. Materials included handouts, in addition to OSHA fact sheets, videos, and PowerPoint presentations.

To find out more, as well as to access some valuable resources on these safety hot button topics, visit the ISRI Safety Stand-Down Day website.

Merits of Federal Metals Theft Legislation Questioned

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has united with the growing list of state leaders opposing Congressional attempts to impose what ISRI refers to as "a problematic federal solution to combat metal theft." NCSL wrote to all U.S. Senators in early June that the federal metals theft law “may preempt some state laws and hinder the work that is underway in the states to battle this problem.”

Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, said that a federal metals theft law is simply unnecessary as all 50 states have already enacted metals theft legislation. She suggested that such a federal law would increase complexity and confusion for federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, in addition to recyclers.

The letter is available online.

Rotochopper Adds Slow-Speed Industrial Shredder Line

In response to the needs of the industrial market, Rotochopper has introduced a new range of slow-speed shredders.

The first model to be introduced is the HTs-2, which made its debut at Waste Expo. Rotochopper describes the HTS-2 is an aggressive dual shaft shredder ideally suited to pre-process stumps, commingled construction and demolition debris, railroad ties, and other materials.

The HTS-2 helps recyclers to maximize the value of this range of materials that can be problematic for high-speed grinders through reduced maintenance costs and increased total uptime. 

“The introduction of the HTS-2 is the completion of a long-term Rotochopper plan and promise to provide our customers with a complete line of grinders from hammer-mill to hi-torque," says Vince Hundt, Rotochopper co-founder and International Sales Manager.

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