Archive for the Recycling News Category

Tech Provider Leverages Blockchain to Improve Recycling

RecycleGO’s Stan Chen discusses the company’s blockchain technology and how it will impact the waste and recycling industry.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

Corporate Growth Conference 2019: Kickstarting Your Business

Corporate Growth Conference 2019: Kickstarting Your Business
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It takes a strong leader to chart the course of a waste management organization.

At Waste Today’s Corporate Growth Conference, which took place Nov. 18-19 in Chicago, a panel of waste industry executives discussed what the path to success looks like in a session titled, “Kickstarting Your Business: Waste Management Success Stories.” Led by moderator Andy Schwartz, director at Lincoln International LLC, the panel consisted of Laurel Mountain Partners Managing Director Jeff Kendall, Lakeshore Recycling Systems CEO Alan Handley and Veolia North America President and COO Bob Cappadona.

Positioning for prosperity

The economy has continued to see a steady upswing since the Great Recession. While this has created opportunities, it has also required strategic direction to maximize revenues.

Kendall says that upon Laurel Mountain Partners selling its last garbage business in April, it was focused on taking an aggressive approach to the market.

“We’re working very hard really pushing price [before we sold],” he says. “We were being very aggressive from a sales standpoint. We were obviously working trying to build a new customer base and spending a lot of time managing our costs, as well. We weren’t really doing anything too special other than just running hard.”

Handley says that Lakeshore, whose business was primarily recycling at the beginning of the decade, has worked over the last several years to diversify its offerings in the wake of China’s National Sword recyclables ban.

“We really are trying to infuse as much automation into our processes as possible,” he says. “We are a heavy MRF-oriented company. We bring in somewhere around 2 million tons of waste from Chicago and the surrounding area a year. We recycle about half of that. We have people working 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the line picking material and harvesting out recyclables and diverting material. So anytime I can displace human input with mechanical input, that’s been a big driver for us over the last couple years.”

Handley says he envisions Lakeshore will be able to run a completely automated MRF over the next three to four years, with the exception of needing manual sorters on the presort line. This increase in automation will help the company improve contamination rates and reduce costs.

Additionally, Handley says that despite the strong economy, his company is working to diversity its offerings in the event a recession hits in order to mitigate risk.

“We’ve been continually developing more and more verticals and diversifying away from just recycling, which was our core business back in ’13,” he says. “And now, we’re the second largest port-a-potty company in Illinois, we’re one of the largest roll-off companies in the Midwest, we have a larger presence in residential and are developing more commercial business and we do street sweeping, too. We have lots of these different revenue streams and EBITA contributors so that if one division falls down, we have other ones that can pick it up. And that’s worked out really well for us over the last 18 to 24 months given some of the headwinds we had in the recycling market.”

Handley says that these different verticals allow the company to have a “plan B” on the shelf at all times should one part of the business begin to see some decline.

Cappadona says that Veolia has focused inward on improving the company’s position by trying to recruit the right type of employee who can grow with the organization.

“[Over the last several years], you just didn’t have the level of M&A activity and business activity we’re seeing now. … We’re in a different period for our business,” he says. “You’ve got things that you need to do in order to manage your existing team in a different environment. … In the [environmental services sector], we need people who can go out to our customers, operate a computer, communicate with a customer, drive a commercial vehicle, have a chemical awareness, typically have a chemical degree and work outside in the winter. [Our potential recruits have the option to go] work in a mirrored office building somewhere and probably get paid better in the beginning. In our environment, it’s a tough hire. We find people who truly enjoy what we do and have an appreciation for what we do.”

Cappadona says that once workers sign on to Veolia, the company aims to promote retention via various mentoring programs and achievement-based promotions and pay raises.

Elaborating on what Lakeshore does to recruit new employees in Chicago’s hypercompetitive job market, Handley says the fact that his company runs a union shop helps provide some stability with techs and drivers. He also says the company’s growth and consolidation in the market have made Lakeshore an attractive option for these professionals who want to work for a stable organization or one that can offer first shift schedules opposed to second or third shift. He says that Lakeshore has also started offering more externships and internships at local colleges and trade schools to attract younger workers who can come in and fill the company’s pipeline.

Considerations with M&A

Pursuing M&A activity has been a steady way for many waste companies to supplement their organic growth, but Cappadona says that operators need to ensure they have the right structure in place when considering making a move.

“I get up at employee meetings and everybody wants to know who we might buy and what are we doing [on the M&A front]. Those things sound great, but you’ve got to make sure that you’ve the foundation to support these deals and you’ve the team climate for it. Otherwise, you could become the next opportunity for somebody else [to acquire],” he says.

Kendall notes that when in the midst of M&A transactions, being able to partner with experienced and savvy private equity partners has been instructive for the waste businesses he’s been involved with.

“The money is critical and the deal structuring [expertise] is critical,” he says. “Oftentimes, we’ve had what I thought were very advantageous structures to management and we’re able to incentivize not only ourselves, but employees. So, having sophisticated private equity partners and support management helps you to put a structure in place where everybody makes out. We’ve always shared a lot of equity with key employees and it has worked out for all parties.”

Handley says that one of the things he’s learned through the years is that companies should be cautious about who they’re doing business with if an acquired company’s personnel is coming along as part of a deal. Lakeshore now requires those in leadership positions who are staying on during an acquisition to undergo the same psychological testing and team assessment as any other employee to ensure they are a fit with the company’s existing personnel.

Cappadona concluded the session by saying that ultimately, while the opportunity to grow through M&A can be attractive, the prospect of growth shouldn’t be enough to entice business leaders to be overly aggressive in pursuit of the wrong opportunities.  

“You have to balance wanting to innovate and not falling in love with the innovation or the deal to be able to make the right business fit decision for your organization,” he says.

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Source: Recycling Today
Corporate Growth Conference 2019: Kickstarting Your Business
<![CDATA[It takes a strong leader to chart the course of a waste management organization. At Waste Today’s Corporate Growth Conference, which took place Nov. 18-19 in Chicago, a panel of waste industry executives discussed what the path to success looks like in a session titled, “Kickstarting Your Business: Waste Management Success Stories.” Led by moderator Andy Schwartz, director at Lincoln International LLC, the panel consisted of Laurel Mountain Partners Managing Director Jeff Kendall, Lakeshore Recycling Systems CEO Alan Handley and Veolia North America President and COO Bob Cappadona. Positioning for prosperity The economy has continued to see a steady upswing since the Great Recession. While this has created opportunities, it has also required strategic direction to maximize revenues. Kendall says that upon Laurel Mountain Partners selling its last garbage business in April, it was focused on taking an aggressive approach to the market. “We’re working very hard really pushing price [before we sold],” he says. “We were being very aggressive from a sales standpoint. We were obviously working trying to build a new customer base and spending a lot of time managing our costs, as well. We weren’t really doing anything too special other than just running hard.”Handley says that Lakeshore, whose business was primarily…

Carolina Recycling Association

Can We Love the Aluminum Cup?

In order to do so, we need aluminum to be the best product it can be.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

EPA Releases PFAS Groundwater Guidance for Federal Cleanup Programs

The interim recommendations will provide clear and consistent guidance for federal cleanup programs and will help protect drinking water resources.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

Queen's Speech Addresses Plastic Exports Ban

In her speech for the State Opening of Parliament, the queen said environmental measures were to be “enshrined into law” as part of the proposed environment bill.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Proposes State-Wide Ban on Styrofoam

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the 5th proposal of his 2020 State of the State Agenda — prohibiting the distribution and use of expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, single-use food containers.

The post NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Proposes State-Wide Ban on Styrofoam appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

Environment + Energy Leader

EPA Finalizes RFS Volumes, Biomass Diesel Volumes

The EPA said it is committed to ensuring a net of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel is blended in 2020.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

CNG Tax Credit Renewed: What’s the Impact for Solid Waste?

A look at the key points from Stifel’s “CNG Tax Credit Renewed Retroactively—What is the Impact and When” report.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

EPA announces 2019 Electronics Challenge Awards winners

EPA announces 2019 Electronics Challenge Awards winners
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the winners of its 2019 Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge Awards, which recognize companies that are working to protect the environment. The agency reports that the eight companies it honored in 2019 diverted a combined total of 194,500 tons of electronics scrap out of landfills in 2018, which was sent to certified electronics recyclers instead.

“These companies represent the electronics industry’s leaders in sustainable product design and life cycle management,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The environmental benefits associated with keeping electronics out of landfills and recycling them for use in new products are enormous. EPA is proud to recognize the inventive and forward-thinking achievements of these companies.”

EPA will host a ceremony for the award winners at the Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The winners of the 2019 Electronics Challenge Awards Gold Tier Awards include:

• Dell Inc.

• LG Electronics USA Inc.

• Samsung Electronics

• Sony Electronics Inc.

• Sprint

• Staples Inc.

• TCL North America

• Xerox

• Vizio Inc. 

EPA further recognizes Dell and Samsung Electronics as the Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for innovation in an environmentally responsible way. These companies serve as examples in demonstrating environmental, social and economic outcomes for their organizations and the public that go above and beyond the requirements of the Electronics Challenge, the EPA states in a news release.

Dell is receiving the EPA’s Product Award for developing a closed-loop process for recovering rare earth elements from magnets in end-of-life hard-disk drives (HDDs). During the pilot, Dell diverted 660 pounds of magnet material from landfills to create 25,000 HDDs.

Also, Samsung is receiving the EPA’s Cutting-Edge Award for developing an affordable, upcycled and smartphone-based diagnosis camera to improve eye health care equality in underserved populations. Currently piloted in Vietnam, the camera extends the life of obsolete phones, uses 50 percent recycled content and is designed for easy reuse or recovery.

The EPA launched these awards in 2012 to encourage electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to send used electronics they collect to certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers, the agency reports in a news release. The challenge’s goals are to increase collection of electronic equipment for reuse and recycling, to promote data transparency and to reduce the environmental impacts of electronic scrap.

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Source: Recycling Today
EPA announces 2019 Electronics Challenge Awards winners
<![CDATA[The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the winners of its 2019 Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge Awards, which recognize companies that are working to protect the environment. The agency reports that the eight companies it honored in 2019 diverted a combined total of 194,500 tons of electronics scrap out of landfills in 2018, which was sent to certified electronics recyclers instead.“These companies represent the electronics industry’s leaders in sustainable product design and life cycle management,” says EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The environmental benefits associated with keeping electronics out of landfills and recycling them for use in new products are enormous. EPA is proud to recognize the inventive and forward-thinking achievements of these companies.”EPA will host a ceremony for the award winners at the Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The winners of the 2019 Electronics Challenge Awards Gold Tier Awards include:• Dell Inc.• LG Electronics USA Inc.• Samsung Electronics• Sony Electronics Inc.• Sprint• Staples Inc.• TCL North America• Xerox• Vizio Inc. EPA further recognizes Dell and Samsung Electronics as the Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for innovation in an environmentally responsible way. These companies serve as examples in demonstrating environmental, social and economic outcomes…

Carolina Recycling Association

US plastic bottle recycling rate at 29 percent in 2018

US plastic bottle recycling rate at 29 percent in 2018
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While domestic collection of plastic bottles for recycling increased by 52 million pounds, or 1.8 percent, in 2018, the overall recycling rate declined slightly by 0.4 percent, according to figures released by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), both of which are based in Washington, in the “2018 National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report.”

In 2018, 2.9 billion pounds of plastic bottles were collected for recycling, according to the report. However, the overall recycling rate for plastic bottles was 28.9 percent compared with 29.3 percent in 2018 and 29.7 percent in 2016. The five-year compounded annual growth rate for plastic bottle recycling declined 0.4 percent.

According to the report, exports of postconsumer plastic bottles declined in 2018, with 90 percent of the total number of plastic bottles collected for recycling remaining in the U.S. for processing. Less than 8 percent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and less than 14 percent of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles collected domestically were processed outside of the country, with less than half of exports leaving North America, the report notes.

Domestic PET reclaimer capacity utilization rose to 80 percent, while HDPE capacity utilization was 73 percent. The capacity utilization rate for HDPE bottles was 67 percent in 2017 and 66 percent in 2016. In 2017, the PET capacity utilization rate was about 71 percent, having declined from 2016’s figure of 73 percent.

“Plastics recycling is a vibrant, resilient industry that continues to remain strong in a challenging environment,” says APR President Steve Alexander. “Despite the reduction in export markets, demand for quality recycled material remains robust, and many recyclers are investing in updating and expanding our domestic infrastructure to meet that demand.”

“Brand owners have made public commitments to use significantly more recycled content in their products and packages in the months ahead,” says Steve Russell, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division. “And manufacturers across the value chain are creating more circular business models for using—and reusing—plastics. It is therefore increasingly important to get as much of the right plastics into the recycling bin as possible.”

According to the report, PET and HDPE bottles make up 97.1 percent of the U.S. market for plastic bottles, with polypropylene (PP) comprising 1.8 percent; low-density polyethylene (LDPE), 0.7 percent; and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), 0.3 percent. Together, PET and HDPE comprise 98.9 percent of bottles, recycled with PP comprising 1.1 percent.

 The “2018 United States National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report” is based on a survey of reclaimers conducted by More Recycling, Sonoma, California.

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Source: Recycling Today
US plastic bottle recycling rate at 29 percent in 2018
<![CDATA[While domestic collection of plastic bottles for recycling increased by 52 million pounds, or 1.8 percent, in 2018, the overall recycling rate declined slightly by 0.4 percent, according to figures released by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC), both of which are based in Washington, in the “2018 National Postconsumer Plastic Bottle Recycling Report.”In 2018, 2.9 billion pounds of plastic bottles were collected for recycling, according to the report. However, the overall recycling rate for plastic bottles was 28.9 percent compared with 29.3 percent in 2018 and 29.7 percent in 2016. The five-year compounded annual growth rate for plastic bottle recycling declined 0.4 percent.According to the report, exports of postconsumer plastic bottles declined in 2018, with 90 percent of the total number of plastic bottles collected for recycling remaining in the U.S. for processing. Less than 8 percent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and less than 14 percent of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles collected domestically were processed outside of the country, with less than half of exports leaving North America, the report notes.Domestic PET reclaimer capacity utilization rose to 80 percent, while HDPE capacity utilization was 73 percent. The capacity utilization rate for HDPE bottles…

Carolina Recycling Association