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Updated: 10 min 12 sec ago

The Recycling Partnership adds PepsiCo as a funding partner

4 hours 34 min ago
Photo: PepsiCo 

National nonprofit The Recycling Partnership, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, says PepsiCo, headquartered in Purchase, New York, has become its newest funding partner. The organizations have agreed to collaborate to increase recycling rates across America.

PepsiCo’s collaboration with The Recycling Partnership is designed to address the continued shortfall in U.S. recycling rates. Currently, less than half of recyclables in U.S. homes are getting captured; just 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year, according to “The Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling,” which was prepared by RRS, Anne Arbor, Michigan, and Moore Recycling Associates (now named More Recycling), Sonoma, California. The Recycling Partnership says it has directly assisted more than 400 local communities, improving curbside recycling for 17 million households. This work has resulted in the recovery of 115 million pounds of material, saving 382 million gallons of water and 164,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases. Each new funder expands The Recycling Partnership’s reach to improve recycling through local and national work, the organization says.

PepsiCo has already made significant efforts to cut packaging waste from its snack and beverage products. In 2015 alone, it removed approximately 100 million pounds of packaging and used 139 million pounds of recycled PET. Last year, PepsiCo announced new goals to strive to design 100 percent of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025 and to partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates.

“To meet our ambitious new goals on packaging waste and recovery, we need to find solutions that work at scale,” says Roberta Barbieri, vice president, global water and environmental solutions, at PepsiCo. “This starts with the design of our packaging, and PepsiCo is investing to ensure the materials we use are recoverable or recyclable. Beyond design, it is vital that we boost recycling rates in the United States, which remain too low. PepsiCo’s work with The Recycling Partnership will enable well-informed, collective investment in local recycling infrastructure and education and drive real environmental benefits in our communities.”

Joining The Recycling Partnership is the latest in a series of collaborations that PepsiCo is undertaking to tackle packaging waste.

  • PepsiCo announced in March 2017 an agreement with biotechnology leader Danimer Scientific on the development of biodegradable film resins for thin film packaging.
  • PepsiCo announced in May 2017 that it has joined the New Plastics Economy, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to bring together industry, government, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, students and citizens to build a more sustainable global plastics value chain.
  • PepsiCo, through the PepsiCo Foundation, is a founding member of the Closed Loop Fund, which is investing $100 million to raise recycling rates in the U.S., including through improved curbside recycling and materials processing.
  • Since 2010, PepsiCo Recycling has worked with more than 4,000 schools K-12 and with numerous college and university campuses and local communities in the U.S. to boost recycling and raise awareness of the importance of recycling. Since 2010, in schools alone, some 93 million cans and bottles have been recycled through PepsiCo Recycling.

“Leading companies understand that the packaging, product and service they deliver must be in alignment with their missions and goals,” says Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “Investing in recycling directly addresses climate change, delivering measurable reductions in greenhouse gases and water use. Moreover, those investments help communities thrive. Progress is built on commitment across the system, and we are pleased to welcome PepsiCo as a partner.”


Alberta recycling association to meet in October

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 18:00
The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) has announced its 2017 Waste Reduction Conference, with the theme “It Takes a Village,” will be held Oct. 11-13 at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Lake Louise, Alberta. The group says the conference is being designed to offer “an exciting and progressive array of current issues and high-quality speakers, including topics such as education, food waste, reuse, ICI (industrial, commercial and institutional) waste, and updates on Canadian programs, as well as a session introducing young waste reduction entrepreneurs.”


RCA says its keynote speaker will be Sudhir Suri of Montreal-based L’oeuf Architects, who will a message focusing on “resonant design.”


In addition to the keynote presentation, RCA says the conference “will deliver technical content through topics and speakers that promise to generate lively discussion, combined with ample networking opportunities and social events.” An exhibition area featuring at least 15 companies also is part of the event.


An early-bird registration rate applies until August 11, and hotel rooms at a special conference rate are subject to availability and reservations for them must be made prior to Sept. 10, says RCA. More information on the event can be found on this web page.


Manitoba touts 70 percent beverage container recycling rate

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 17:22
The Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA) says its Recycle Everywhere program has helped the recovery rate of empty beverage containers in the Canadian province of Manitoba reach 70 percent by the end of 2016. The CBCRA, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, helps collect aluminum, plastic, glass and carton-style beverage containers.


“I am thrilled that CBCRA has achieved a 70 percent recovery rate – the largest increase between 2010 and 2016 of any jurisdiction in North America,” says Cathy Cox, Manitoba’s minister of sustainable development. “The Province of Manitoba congratulates CBCRA and Recycle Everywhere on their tremendous progress toward reaching the government-mandated target of recovering 75 percent of empty beverage containers sold in this province. But it’s also Manitobans who have reason to be proud for their contribution to more recycling and a cleaner environment.”


The CBCRA says, through the Recycle Everywhere program, more than 55,000 bins have been distributed for free to public spaces in the province, and now “more Manitobans have access to beverage container recycling at work, home and at play than ever before.”


“The beverage containers recycled in Manitoba last year would fill more than 1,042 rail cars,” says Jim Goetz, chairman of the CBCRA board of directors. “What’s more, Manitoba’s third-party litter audits show that year after year, litter is decreasing in major centers, including Winnipeg, Brandon, Steinbach, Flin Flon and Thompson.”


Over a six-year period the recovery rate for aluminum, plastic, glass and carton-style beverage containers in Manitoba increased from 42 percent to 70 percent. “All of our initiatives combined allow CBCRA to fuel a circular economy where materials are not treated as waste, but as a resource, and packaging is considered in the full product life cycle,” says Ken Friesen, CBCRA’s executive director. “This allows beverage containers to have a new life after its contents are done.”


Recycle Everywhere promotes what it calls Canada’s first province-wide away from home beverage container recycling program. The program has partnered with communities, municipalities, schools, businesses, institutions, parks, festivals and events throughout Manitoba to provide them appropriate Recycle Everywhere bins free of charge. Partners arrange for the collection of what’s inside the bins with local recycling firms.


Founded in 2010, the CBCRA is a not-for-profit, industry-funded organization whose membership includes beverage brand owners and distributors. 


Closed Loop Fund invests in GreenMantra Technologies

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 05:24
GreenMantra Technologies, a clean technology company that produces polymer products from scrap plastics, has announced Closed Loop Fund will invest up to $3 million in an expansion of GreenMantra’s manufacturing operations in Brantford, Ontario.

The investment will enable GreenMantra to expand the capacity of its plant, which converts postconsumer and industrial scrap plastics, including films and bags, into high-value waxes, according to the company. These polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) waxes, marketed under the Ceranovus brand, are used in various industrial applications, including asphalt paving and roofing, plastics processing, adhesives and coatings.

The expansion will increase the plant’s annual capacity of 5,000 metric tons by an additional 2,500 metric tons per year. GreenMantra says it will help the company to meet growing demand for its polymer products, as well as increase the diversion of scrap plastics from disposal.

Closed Loop joins existing GreenMantra investors ArcTern Ventures and Cycle Capital Management in supporting the continued growth of the company. Both firms specialize in investing in companies focused on clean technology and sustainability.

“GreenMantra’s platform technology is an important innovation that builds a new regional market for postconsumer recycled mixed plastics,” says Margot Kane, chief financial officer and chief investment officer, Closed Loop Partners. “GreenMantra’s patented process enables the upcycling of plastic waste into higher value products and is directly aligned with our goal of funding replicable technologies that will help unlock additional investment in recycling.” 

Construction of the plant expansion is anticipated to begin later this year with start-up of the new capacity slated for third quarter 2018.

“We are pleased with Closed Loop Fund’s investment in our technology and their belief in our proven business model,” says Kousay Said, president and CEO of GreenMantra. “We are taking plastic waste that is destined for the landfill and cost-effectively transforming it into materials that add significant value to our customers’ products and processes. This investment will enable us to continue our rapid growth and provides additional credibility for our efforts.”

Closed Loop Fund is a $100 million social impact fund that says it is working to increase the recycling of products and packaging. Its investors are some of the world’s leading retail and consumer goods companies, including 3M, Coca Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Keurig Green Mountain, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle Waters North America, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Walmart Foundation


Call2Recycle campaign spotlights battery recycling safety

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 05:06
Call2Recycle Inc., a nonprofit organization headquartered in Atlanta, has launched the Charge Up Safety campaign to spotlight battery recycling safety.

The objective is to raise the awareness of safe collection and shipping practices among those involved in the collection and shipment process, including consumers, municipalities, retailers, sorters, processors and Call2Recycle employees, the organization says. 

Call2Recycle says it collects and recycles single-use and rechargeable batteries under 11 pounds (5 kilograms) and has diverted approximately 130 million pounds (59 million kilograms) from landfills during the past 21 years. The organization says safety-related and fire incidents involving hoverboards, cellphones, headphones and laptops have been “making the headlines,” with many of these incidents “being traced to batteries, further intensifying safety concerns.”

“Our No. 1 objective as an organization is the safe collection and recycling of batteries,” says Carl Smith, CEO and president, Call2Recycle. “We are launching Charge Up Safety to ensure that the importance of safety isn’t forgotten in our commitment to sustain the environment.”

Call2Recycle has launched a new safety portal, a one-stop hub of safety information on how to safely recycle and ship batteries. Collection site employees and consumers will be able to take an online training module that tests their battery handling knowledge. Instructions for handling damaged, defective and recalled batteries also are featured. Additional safety policies for collection sites, sorters and processors are being implemented, the group says. Organizations that do not follow the policies may be suspended or terminated from the program.

“As the volume and types of batteries in the marketplace expand, so do the risks for an incident,” adds Smith. “Rechargeable batteries can hold a residual charge, and when they come into contact with another metal they can cause a spark, which can escalate into a fire or explosion. At the highest risk are the lithium ion rechargeable batteries found in many of today’s portable devices such as cellphones, laptops, tablets and power tools.”

Smith continues, “Preventing accidents can be as simple as educating people to take the time to simply bag or tape each battery prior to dropping it off in the recycling box or before a box is shipped. Charge Up Safety is about continually assessing and enhancing our safety and compliance practices to ensure new safety policies are being embraced across our collection and recycling network.”

Nucor reports operating rate of 90 percent for Q2

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 04:02
Nucor Corp., headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced consolidated net earnings of $323 million, or $1 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2017. By comparison, Nucor reported net earnings of $356.9 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2017 and net earnings of $243.6 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2016.

Nucor and its affiliates manufacture steel products and operate facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Its products include carbon and alloy steel in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh.

Through the David J. Joseph Co., Cincinnati, Nucor also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI (hot briquetted iron and direct-reduced iron); supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap.

In the first half of 2017, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $679.9 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $331.2 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the first half of last year.

Earnings and losses before income taxes and noncontrolling interests by segment were as follows for the second quarter and first six months of 2017 and 2016 (in thousands):

Included in the first quarter of 2017 earnings are inventory related purchase accounting charges of $9.8 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, associated with the recent acquisitions of Southland Tube and Republic Conduit.

Nucor reports that its consolidated net sales increased 7 percent to $5.17 billion in the second quarter of 2017 from $4.82 billion in the first quarter of 2017 and increased 22 percent compared with $4.25 billion in the second quarter of 2016. Average sales price per ton in the second quarter of 2017 increased 5 percent from the first quarter of 2017 and increased 17 percent from the second quarter of 2016. Total tons shipped to outside customers were 6.75 million tons in the second quarter of 2017, a 2 percent increase from the first quarter of 2017 and a 5 percent increase from the second quarter of 2016. Total second quarter steel mill shipments increased 3 percent from the first quarter of 2017 and 7 percent from the second quarter of 2016. Second quarter of 2017 downstream steel products shipments to outside customers increased 9 percent from the first quarter of 2017 and 1 percent from the second quarter of 2016, according to the company.

In the first half of 2017, Nucor's consolidated net sales increased 25 percent to $9.99 billion compared with $7.96 billion in last year's first half, and total tons shipped to outside customers increased 6 percent from the first half of 2016, while average sales price per ton increased 19 percent.

The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used during the second quarter of 2017 was $313, an increase of 10 percent from $284 in the first quarter of 2017 and an increase of 35 percent compared with $232 in the second quarter of 2016. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used in the first half of 2017 was $298, an increase of 40 percent from $213 in the first half of 2016.

Overall operating rates at Nucor’s steel mills increased to 90 percent in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to 89 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2016. Operating rates for the first half of 2017 increased to 90 percent as compared with 84 percent for the first half of 2016.

Total steel mill energy costs in the second quarter of 2017 were comparable with the first quarter of 2017 and increased approximately $2 per ton compared with the second quarter of 2016, primarily because of higher natural gas unit costs. Total steel mill energy costs for the first half of 2017 also increased $2 per ton compared with the first half of 2016 primarily because of higher natural gas unit costs, according to Nucor.

“Our liquidity position remains strong with $1.6 billion in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments as of July 1, 2017, and an untapped $1.5 billion revolving credit facility that does not expire until April 2021,” the company notes.

In May, Nucor announced that it is investing an estimated $176 million to build a hot band galvanizing and pickling line at its sheet mill in Ghent, Kentucky. The new galvanizing line will expand Nucor Steel Gallatin's product capabilities and should have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons. Once the necessary approvals are obtained, Nucor says it expects to construct the galvanizing line and begin operations in two years.

In June, Nucor's board of directors declared a cash dividend of nearly 38 cents per share payable on Aug. 11, 2017, to stockholders of record as of June 30, 2017. This dividend is Nucor's 177th consecutive quarterly cash dividend, a record the company says it expects to continue.

The company says imports continue to negatively impact the U.S. steel industry. Through the first half of 2017, finished steel imports have increased an estimated 15 percent compared with the same period in 2016 and account for an estimated 27 percent share of the U.S. market. The industry continues to pursue trade cases to combat unfairly traded imports. Final determinations issued earlier this year against cut-to-length steel plate imports from 12 countries are having a positive impact as steel imports of these products have decreased in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, Nucor says.

Last month, the U.S. International Trade Commission made final injury determinations affirming the Department of Commerce's antidumping duties in the steel concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) case against Japan and Turkey, as well as final countervailing duties on rebar imports from Turkey. The Commerce Department also determined in late July that exporters from Taiwan have sold rebar in the U.S. at from 3.5 percent to 32 percent less than “fair value,” based on what it calls “factual evidence provided by the interested parties.”

In May, the government determined that there is a reasonable indication that the U.S. steel industry is materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of carbon and certain alloy steel wire rod imports from 10 countries.  As a result, the government will continue its wire rod antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, and is expected to issue preliminary duty determinations in the coming months.

The performance of the company’s steel mills segment, particularly the sheet mills and bar mills, decreased in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2017. Market conditions for hot-rolled sheet products have been challenging in light of aggressive competition, the company says.

The profitability of Nucor’s plate mills improved in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2017. The performance of the company’s downstream products segment improved in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the first quarter of 2017. The profitability of the downstream products segment in the second quarter of 2017 decreased from the second quarter of 2016 because of a highly competitive market environment and margin compression resulting from higher steel prices. In particular, the company says its rebar fabrication operations have experienced significant declines in performance from downward pressure on pricing caused by surges of rebar imports. Nucor says its raw materials segment's performance increased in the second quarter of 2017 relative to the first quarter of 2017 because of the profitable performance of its direct reduced iron facilities.

Earnings in the third quarter of 2017 should be in a range similar to that of the quarterly results of the first half of 2017. Nonresidential construction indicators, such as the Dodge Momentum Index and Architecture Billings Index, continue to suggest that construction activity will remain healthy through the end of the year, Nucor says.

The company also notes that it is encouraged by improved energy markets relative to 2015 and 2016. 


SDI sees decrease in sequential quarterly earnings in Q2 of 2017

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 02:48
Steel Dynamics Inc., headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has announced second quarter 2017 financial results that show solid performance, according to company CEO and President Mark D. Millett. The company reported second quarter 2017 net income of $154 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, with net sales of $2.4 billion. Comparatively, prior year second quarter net income was $142 million, or 58 cents per diluted share, with net sales of $2 billion. Sequential first quarter 2017 net income was $201 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, with net sales of $2.4 billion.

“The team delivered a solid performance for the second quarter 2017 despite hesitant customer order entry and significantly higher quarter-over-quarter steel imports,” says Millett.

“Our second quarter 2017 income from operations was $265 million with a trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) record of $1.4 billion,” he continues. “The decrease in sequential quarterly earnings was principally driven by our flat roll operations, as increased average scrap costs outpaced average sales price growth. As mentioned in our midquarter guidance, we had a planned galvanizing line upgrade at our Butler Flat Roll Division and also experienced some startup issues at our new Columbus Flat Roll Division paint line, which increased expenses and decreased value-added flat roll shipments in the quarter.”

Millett adds, “We believe the customer order hesitancy was related to anticipated scrap price changes rather than any underlying softness in demand. Additionally, customer inventory levels continued to be positioned at historically low levels. Steel demand from the automotive sector remained steady, as the construction and energy sectors continued to improve.”

He says operating income for the second quarter in the company’s metals recycling platform aligned with its performance in the first quarter, which he described as “strong,” even though shipments and spreads were somewhat lower in the second quarter.

“The fabrication group achieved another quarter of record shipments, a solid indicator that the nonresidential construction market is continuing a positive growth profile,” Millett adds.

Second quarter 2017 operating income for SDI’s steel operations decreased 22 percent, or $79 million, to $274 million sequentially, primarily related to two operational items within the flat roll operations and overall metal spread compression. During the second quarter 2017, the company further modernized one of its galvanizing lines at its Butler Flat Roll Division while also expanding the line’s annual value-added production capability by an additional 180,000 tons. The upgrade required the line to be down for three weeks in May.

Additionally, the company experienced quality issues related to the startup of its new Galvalume and paint line at its Columbus Flat Roll Division, resulting in line downtime. Combined, these two items resulted in higher costs and lower value-added shipments, reducing potential second quarter 2017 pretax earnings by an estimated $30 million, SDI says.

The company’s average steel product price increased less than consumed raw material scrap costs, resulting in steel metal spread compression. The second quarter 2017 average product selling price for the company’s steel operations increase $36 to $779 per ton. The average ferrous scrap cost per ton melted increased $39 to $303 per ton, SDI reports.

Second quarter 2017 operating income attributable to the company’s flat roll products decreased 22 percent compared with the sequential first quarter. Operating income from long products decreased 24 percent as a result of an 8 percent decrease in shipments, most significantly from the company’s Structural and Rail Division, despite record quarterly rail shipments. Structural and merchant steel volumes remain under pressure from excess domestic production capability, coupled with elevated import levels, SDI says.

The company’s steel production utilization rate was 91 percent in the second quarter 2017 compared with 95 percent in the sequential first quarter and to the estimated second quarter domestic industry utilization rate of 74 percent.

Second quarter 2017 operating income SDI’s metals recycling operations was $20 million compared to $21 million in the sequential first quarter. Higher average sales prices were offset by lower shipments, related in part to the company’s sale of certain southeastern U.S. locations at the end of the first quarter 2017, SDI says.

SDI’s fabrication operations recorded second quarter 2017 operating income of $20 million compared with sequential first quarter results of $24 million. The platform achieved a second consecutive quarter of record shipments. However, metal spread compression based on higher average steel input costs more than offset the improved volume, the company adds.

For the six months ended June 30, 2017, net income was $355 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, on net sales of $4.8 billion, compared with net income of $205 million, or 84 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $3.8 billion for the same period in 2016. Net sales in the first half of 2017 increased 26 percent. Although all platforms experienced improved revenue, the improvement was driven by higher average steel product pricing, SDI says. First half 2017 operating income increased $212 million, or 55 percent, to $600 million, based on improved earnings from the company’s steel operations. The average year-to-date selling price for the company’s steel operations increased $153 to $761 per ton. The average year-to-date ferrous scrap cost per ton melted increased $77 to $283 per ton, according to the company.

During the first half of 2017, SDI says it generated cash flow from operations of $321 million and maintained liquidity of $2.1 billion at June 30, 2017. The company also repurchased $138 million of its common stock during the first half of 2017.

“We remain optimistic that macroeconomic and market conditions are in place to benefit domestic steel consumption in the coming years,” Millett says. “Although U.S. automotive production has peaked, we believe North American automotive steel consumption will be steady and that there will be additional growth in the energy and construction sectors, especially for larger, public sector infrastructure projects.

“We continue to strengthen our financial position through strong cash flow generation and the execution of our long-term strategy. We are well-positioned for growth, and remain focused on delivering shareholder value through organic and strategic growth opportunities,” he says.


Waste Connections exceeds outlook for Q2

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 02:11
Above: Ron Mittelstaedt, Wate Connections chairman and CEO. Photo by Derrick Bryant.

Waste Connections Inc., headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, has announced that in the second quarter of 2017 its revenue totaled $1.18 billion, up from $727.6 million in the second quarter of 2016. The company adds that it exceeded expectations for the quarter and has updated its 2017 outlook as a result.

Waste Connections is an integrated solid waste services company that provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in mostly exclusive and secondary markets in the United States and Canada. Through its R360 Environmental Solutions subsidiary, Waste Connections is a leading provider of nonhazardous oilfield waste treatment, recovery and disposal services in several of the most active natural resource producing areas in the United States, including the Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford Basins. Waste Connections serves more than 6 million residential, commercial, industrial and exploration and production customers in 39 states in the U.S., and five provinces in Canada. The company also provides intermodal services for the movement of cargo and solid waste containers in the Pacific Northwest.

Revenue from the Progressive Waste acquisition completed June 1, 2016, was $511.4 million and $174 million in the current year and prior year periods, respectively. Operating income, which included $7.4 million in charges primarily related to share-based compensation costs associated with share-based awards assumed in the Progressive Waste acquisition, was $206.9 million. This compares to operating income of $63.5 million in the second quarter of 2016, which included $73.2 million of items primarily related to the Progressive Waste acquisition completed in that period, Waste Connections reports.

Net income attributable to Waste Connections in the second quarter was $123.7 million, or 47 cents per share on a diluted basis of 264.1 million shares. In the second quarter of 2016, the company reported net income attributable to Waste Connections of $27.5 million, or 13 cents per share on a diluted basis of 210.9 million shares. Shares and per share numbers reflect a three-for-two share split completed in June 2017, Waste Connections says.

Adjusted net income attributable to Waste Connections in 2017’s second quarter was $145.5 million, or 55 cents per share, versus $93.2 million, or 44 cents per share, in the prior-year period. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in the second quarter was $373.6 million compared with $233.6 million in the prior year period.

“Continued strength in solid waste volumes, recycled commodity prices and E&P (exploration and production) waste activity enabled us to once again exceed our outlook for the quarter,” says Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chairman and chief executive officer of Waste Connections. “Given our strong results in the first half of the year and expected continuing momentum from these trends, we believe we are on track to report approximately $1.45 billion of adjusted EBITDA in 2017, exceeding our initial outlook provided in February. More importantly, full year adjusted free cash flow, now estimated at approximately $750 million, or almost 52 percent of adjusted EBITDA, is also pacing ahead of initial expectations.”

Mittelstaedt continues, “We are pleased to report that our divestiture program is nearing completion, with the expected benefits greater than initially anticipated. Moreover, we are encouraged by our progress on potential acquisitions, for which we could fully utilize existing cash and projected excess cash flow over the next few quarters. In addition to funding potentially above average acquisition activity, our strong financial profile also positions us for another double-digit percentage increase in our quarterly dividend in October.”

For the six months ended June 30, 2017, revenue was $2.27 billion. This compares with revenue of $1.24 billion in the first half of 2016. Operating income, which included $159 million of expenses primarily related to goodwill impairment against the company's E&P segment resulting from the early adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board’s recent accounting pronouncement simplifying the test for goodwill impairment and items related to the expected divestiture of certain assets acquired in the Progressive Waste acquisition, was $233.3 million. That compares with $154.5 million for the same period in 2016, which included $82 million in costs primarily related to the Progressive Waste acquisition completed in that period.

Net income attributable to Waste Connections for the six months ended June 30, 2017, was $138.5 million, or 52 cents per share on a diluted basis of 264 million shares. In the second quarter of 2016, the company reported net income attributable to Waste Connections of $72.3 million, or 37 cents per share on a diluted basis of 198 million shares.

Adjusted net income attributable to Waste Connections for the six months ended June 30, 2017, was $275.5 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with $148.4 million, or 75 cents per share, in the first half of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended June 30, 2017, was $706.4 million. In the comparable period for 2016, that figure was $403.3 million.

Waste Connections says it has updated its outlook for 2017, which assumes no change in the current economic environment. The company says its outlook excludes effects of additional divestitures and acquisitions that may close during the year and expensing of transaction-related items. Based on this outlook, the company estimates its revenue is will be approximately $4.57 billion for the year compared with its original revenue outlook of approximately $4.45 billion.

Net income is estimated to be approximately $390 million, and adjusted EBITDA is estimated to be approximately $1.45 billion, or about 31.7 percent of revenue, as compared with Waste Connection’s original adjusted EBITDA outlook of $1.41 billion.

Net cash provided by operating activities is estimated to be approximately $1.19 billion, and Waste Connections estimates adjusted free cash flow of approximately $750 million, or about 16.4 percent of revenue compared with its original adjusted free cash flow outlook of approximately $725 million.



Taiwan to face exported steel duties

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 22:42
United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced an “affirmative final determination” in an antidumping duty (AD) investigation, finding that steel reinforcing bar (rebar, used to reinforce concrete) from Taiwan has been sold into the U.S. market at unfair prices.


The Commerce Department determined that exporters from Taiwan have sold rebar in the U.S. at from 3.5 percent to 32 percent less than “fair value,” based on what it calls “factual evidence provided by the interested parties.”


The Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of rebar from Taiwan based on these final rates.


“The United States can no longer sit back and watch as its essential industries like steel are destroyed by foreign companies unfairly selling their products in the U.S. markets,” says Ross. “We will continue to take action on behalf of U.S. industry to defend American businesses, their workers, and our communities adversely impacted by unfair imports.”


In 2016, imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Taiwan were valued at an estimated $53 million.


The Rebar Trade Action Coalition filed the case with the Commerce Department on behalf of its individual members, several of whom operate scrap-fed electric arc furnace steel mills, including:

  • Commercial Metals Co., Irving, Texas;
  • Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc., Tampa, Florida;
  • Nucor Corp., Charlotte, North Carolina;
  • Steel Dynamics Inc., Fort Wayne, Indiana; and
  • Byer Steel Group Inc., Cincinnati.


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is investigating to determine whether the domestic steel industry is being harmed by imports of rebar from Taiwan. The ITC is currently scheduled to make its final injury determination on or before Sept. 5, 2017.


If the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, the Commerce Department says it will issue an antidumping order. If the ITC makes a negative final injury determination, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.


Ad Rem offers mixed metals separation device

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:42
Menen, Belgium-based Ad Rem says its new Vulture heavy media plant offers a “compact and efficient installation” system for the separation of metals in zorba and incinerator bottom ash (IBA).


Ad Rem says, according to one recent study, the global market for aluminum scrap will vastly expand over the next five years, with an expected annual growth rate of more than 7 percent. Zorba, which is a nonferrous shredded metal mix containing predominantly aluminum, is one of the major sources from which more aluminum scrap can be extracted. Ad Rem says its Vulture can help with the task.


In the Vulture process, zorba or IBA is separated by means of a flotation drum operating at a density of 3,000 kilograms per cubic meter, or 5,050 pounds per cubic yard, using ferro-silicon (FeSi) as a medium. The aluminum floats and is ejected at the front of the drum. The sinking fraction, consisting of red and heavy metals, is transported through the drum and evacuated at the back. The medium is drained from the material in baskets connected to the medium drum, and the material is rinsed on vibratory screens. An internal water treatment system maintains what Ad Rem calls a clean closed loop rinsing circuit. The system has a capacity of from 10 to 40 metric tons per hour.


Ad Rem says its design team focused on reducing the medium consumption, saving 5 kilograms of FeSi for every metric ton of zorba material, when compared to many other flotation systems. This effectively enables recyclers to save more than $300,000 worth of FeSi annually for a 10-metric-tons-per-hour system, says the company.


“By separating zorba or IBA into aluminum and heavy metals, we can create an added value of at least $75 per metric ton,” says Brian Noppe, general manager at Ad Rem. “It also avoids sending zorba to China, helping the environment and the local economy,” he adds.


Ad Rem says many of its predecessor heavy media plants are currently in operation throughout Europe. “With their high efficiency, they have proven to be capable of producing a very high-grade aluminum concentrate requiring only a marginal operating cost,” says Noppe, adding, “With the Vulture, Ad Rem is ready to tackle the ever-increasing demand for clean aluminum scrap.”


Ad Rem NV was founded as a joint venture between Menen-based equipment maker Valvan Baling Systems and Menen-based recycler Group Galloo. Active since 2008, the company designs and supplies machines for feeding, treating and separating scrap and waste materials.


Commentary: Who is blaming whom?

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 17:38
I’m surprised to find out that less than 10 percent of the wonder material, plastic, is recycled each year. [According to study published in July 2017 the journal “Science Advances.”] I lined up alongside many others to contemplate with alarm the possibility that plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050! I’m keen to discuss what can be done to make sure this dire prediction never happens, but first a comment or two on why it’s there.


Prior to getting personally involved in plastic recycling, as a naive consumer I felt morally righteous to see the magic recycling triangle on the bottom of my squeezy honey bottle, as I spread its contents on my toast, in blissful ignorance to what “widely recycled” actually means. I’ve learned two things about this that have made me feel very uncomfortable.


Recycling, to the ill-informed old me, meant that my bottle was going to become another bottle and then another bottle, round and round the recycling loop. Sadly this, it turns out, is rather unlikely since the vast majority of plastic that is recycled becomes a lower grade material. My squeezy honey bottle is thus much more likely to end up as fabric and a milk bottle to become a timber replacement product, such as a railway sleeper or sheet material used in the building sector.


But this “cascade recycling” or “down cycling” as its often called, is not a bad thing. On the whole, it is good. It allows the material to have another life, but, at the end of this new life this material seems to be un-recyclable and suitable only for fueling an energy from waste plant. Well, until now that is, as the new approach of “chemical recycling” or “feedstock recycling” can give even this low-grade material a fresh start, as technology means we can turn such material into clean hydrocarbons that can used as feedstock for the production of new polymers.


The second thing I have learned about “widely recycled” is, in my mind, alarming. Living in the United Kingdom, I imagined a factory in say Birmingham doing this recycling, turning what they could into recycled pellets and responsibly paying to send the rest to an energy-from-waste facility. The reality is that 67 percent of the U.K.’s 2016 “recycled” achievement actually meant “put on a ship bound for the East Asia.” And the EU figures are not too dissimilar. Lay alongside this the list of the world’s worst ocean polluters: China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. An Ocean Conservancy report states that these countries account for 60 percent of plastic going into the ocean each year. Now I’m not saying that everything we send to Asia ends up in the ocean, but how certain are we that an appreciable amount does not?


This “exported” is equivalent to “recycling” construct begs the question: Why export this resource at all? Do they have technology in Asia that allows them to separate, wash and granulate more efficiently or more effectively than we can do in the EU? If not, then the reasons for sending it make me feel very uneasy as I munch on my honey-laden toast. If not a technological advantage their ability to recycle our material more economically than us at home has to be they are prepared to use low-cost labor to sort through this material by hand, avoiding the cost of the technology, or because there is no cost to the recycler for disposing of the material that they can’t recycle, or a combination of both.


Whichever way you look at it, “widely recycled” cannot categorically be dissociated with plastic in the ocean. It’s within our ability to do something about this. We could keep the economic value of this material at home, create the jobs to recycle it where it has been used and, in the process, gain certainty that our material is not exacerbating the plastic ocean situation.


So rather than looking disapprovingly at the ocean polluting statistics from the five Asian countries, perhaps we do well to remember the Biblical question, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Let’s agree to work together to recycle our resources at home.


(The author is the founder and CEO of United Kingdom-based Recycling Technologies, which converts plastic scrap into fuel oils, recycled-content liquid polymers and waxes.)


China’s MEP continues inspections, license suspensions

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 18:04
China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has begun posting to its website the names of recycling companies and manufacturers who have been found to fail inspections pertaining to how they handle imported scrap materials.


In the overall month-long inspection effort, as of July 22, MEP says “a total of 1,556 enterprises were examined [and] 954 companies cited for proposed punishment, accounting for 61 percent of the total number of enterprises.”


The update posted to the MEP’s website on July 24, 2017, states that most recently, “Sixty inspection teams [were sent] to check a total of 77 enterprises and found 43 enterprises suspected of environmental violations.” The inspection teams also have “put forward the proposed handling of punishment” in those cases, says the MEP.


Each of those 43 companies found in violation is then listed by the MEP, in a rundown that includes the company’s name, location and violations cited by the inspection team. Some violations involve machinery allegedly installed without proper licensing, while others are as minor as missing signage.


Examples from the last two detailed MEP reports posted include:


  • Tianjin Rong Chengxiang Minerals Co. Ltd., in the northern China city of Tianjin, found to have machinery including sintering machines and a pellet production line that “does not match” the government’s records;
  • Tianjin Aotong Metal Products Co. Ltd., in the same city, cited for construction projects not approved by local regulators as well as furnace dust collection that is “not standardized” and with “imperfect measures;”
  • Suning County Yintong Zhisu Separation Processing Co. Ltd. in Hebei Province, found to have plastic washing lines and paper and plastic separation technology that “does not match” its licensing records;
  • Ji’an Group Co. Ltd. in Jiaxing City, engaged in “unauthorized construction of the annual recycling of 5,800 tons of deinking sludge,” according to the MEP;
  • Shandong Stora Enso Huatai Paper Co. Ltd. in the city of Dongying, for a “hazardous waste temporary storage office [that] does not include the hazardous waste identification mark;”
  • Shandong Huatai Paper Co. Ltd., also in Dongying, also for “hazardous waste without a hazardous waste identification mark” and for “waste circuit board and other solid waste mixed storage;” and
  • Qingyuan City Yucheng Ante Plastic Trading Co. Ltd. in South China’s Qingyuan City, for not having approval for a granulation production line and for having a “PVC compounding production line that does not have supporting contaminant pollution control facilities.”


Recyclers who wish to remain anonymous say they are experiencing, or know of other companies that are experiencing, post-inspection penalties that include scrap import restrictions or suspensions lasting either six months or one full year.


Timken names new scrap division chief

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 16:27
Canton, Ohio-based TimkenSteel has announced several executive personnel changes, including a new appointee who will oversee the steelmaker’s scrap recycling operations.


In mid-July 2017, Timken announced that Bill Bryan has been named executive vice president of manufacturing and supply chain, a position that includes responsibility for the company’s metal recycling subsidiary as well as supply chain, information technology and overall manufacturing operations duties.


Bryan joined the company in 1977, serving in various positions related to supply chain, economics and information technology in both the United States and Europe. Throughout his career, his work in supply chain has focused on improving delivery, inventory management and manufacturing efficiency, according to Timken.


Other leadership changes announced by Timken include the retirement of Shawn Seanor, executive vice president of sales and business development. Also, Tom Moline is assuming the role of executive vice president of commercial operations.


“I speak for the entire organization in thanking Shawn for his contributions over 33 years of distinguished service,” says Tim Timken, chairman, CEO and president of the firm. “Shawn has helped strengthen our leadership in niche markets that value our clean steel and has built strong personal and technical relationships with our customers.”


Regarding the promotions for Bryan and Moline, Timken comments, “Tom and Bill worked closely with Shawn over the last year in developing a broader growth strategy for the company. These leadership changes will further fuel the execution of that strategy.”


Continues Timken, “In assuming responsibility for manufacturing, Bill will further integrate supply chain and operations to gain even greater efficiency while maintaining a primary focus on safety, quality and service.”


TimkenSteel uses scrap-fed electric arc furnace steelmaking technology to create tailored steel products and services, including large alloy steel bars and seamless mechanical tubing made of special bar quality (SBQ) steel. TimkenSteel operates warehouses and sales offices in five countries but makes all its steel in the U.S. The company posted sales of $870 million in 2016. 


UK recycling software adds blockchain capabilities

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 15:18
FRED (Fast Remote Entry of Data), which according to its developer Increase Computers is the most widely used recycling software in the United Kingdom, is incorporating blockchain technology into its product “to help connect parties involved in the recycling supply chain, from supplier and shipper right through to port operator.”


The integration is happening as part of a proof of concept trial being conducted by Marine Transport International (MTI), the developer of blockchain-enabled technology for the container logistics industry. In the trial, FRED software used by Welshpool, U.K.-based scrap company Parry & Evans Recycling captures data from shipments including weight, container number, commodity, seal number, piece count, load and container imagery, Annex VII documents, port of call and truck driver details.


Through MTI’s blockchain connection, this information is then shared with the hauler, shipper, port operator and ocean carrier “instantly,” according to a press release from MTI. Without the connection to the blockchain network, all the data would need to be uploaded into the individual parties’ systems, entailing dozens of e-mails and ways of formatting the information, says MTI.


“By incorporating blockchain into a live process, we’re tapping into a major opportunity to help the recycling industry hugely simplify the way it transports material,” says Phil Short, managing director of Increase Computers. “There has been a huge amount of hype about blockchain – with this proof of concept we’re involved in a real, practical application with significant global potential.”


After the trial, Increase says it intends to offer the feature to its customer base, which includes many of the largest recyclers in the U.K. “We now own a plug-in to the MTI network, which means we can support our customers to share their shipment information with everyone involved in the supply chain,” says Short. “The beauty of MTI’s technology is that it can integrate with other systems, so while it’s preferable that everyone is part of the same network, if they aren’t, we can still connect with them via EDIFACT [Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport, established by the United Nations], and take out the laborious process of booking shipments and moving recovered materials.”


Comments Jody Cleworth, CEO of MTI, “FRED is the U.K. market leader in recycled materials software, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them on this proof of concept to demonstrate the practical application of our blockchain technology in the recycling supply chain. Working with Phil and his team has meant we’re able to share all the data shippers, carriers, haulers and ports need to process shipments, without the accompanying workload. The shipping of recovered materials is necessarily heavily regulated, and we’ve had a real impact in simplifying the process while remaining compliant. The potential savings in time and money for less regulated commodities is huge.”


Woking, U.K-based MTI, which also has an office in New Jersey, says it specializes in moving cargo around the world by bringing technology and logistics together.


Gateshead, U.K.-based Increase Computers developed recycling-specific software FRED in the 1980s, with the latest version having been released in 2012. FRED is now operated by more than 500 users daily, according to Increase.


Weitsman organization adds scrap industry veteran

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 14:53
Owego, New York-based Upstate Shredding-Ben Weitsman has announced the hiring of George Ostendorf as the new general manager of its of New Castle, Pennsylvania, shredding facility.


The company describes Ostendorf as “a tenured veteran in the metals recycling industry.” As general manager in New Castle, Ostendorf will be responsible for overseeing and managing all operations and employees at the location, which is a division of Upstate Shredding. He has been assigned to improve and enforce all company policies and practices, and ensure that industry standards are exceeded and will be directly involved in all aspects of the operation “by providing management and leadership, guaranteeing that the highest levels of ethical conduct and professional standards are maintained by all company personnel at all times,” says Upstate Shredding-Ben Weitsman in a press release.


“Mr. Ostendorf brings with him an excellent record of maximizing profitability, as well as cultivating and managing productive workforce teams -- skills he’s proven through his work at Metalico,” says Adam Weitsman, CEO of Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling, referring to Ostendorf’s years with New Jersey-based scrap processing firm Metalico Inc.


“I’m confident his leadership will poise our New Castle operations for maximum success and efficiency, which will ultimately help position Upstate Shredding to further expand its feeder yard footprint into Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio,” adds Weitsman.


Prior to joining Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling, Ostendorf spent nearly a decade with Metalico. During that time, he managed Metalico’s operations in Rochester and Buffalo, selling nonferrous metals and building dealer and industrial relationships. He oversaw 150 employees and helped generate $80 million in sales, according to his new employer. Five years ago, he moved to Austin, Texas, to open his own yard, Worth Metal Recycling. Ostendorf is a Buffalo native and says he’s excited to return to the Northeast, along with his family.


Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling describes itself as the East Coast’s largest privately held scrap metal processor, operating 18 locations in New York and Pennsylvania. The company will process more than 1 million tons of ferrous and 250 million pounds of nonferrous scrap metal in 2017. Weitsman was honored as the top scrap recycling company in the world by S&P Platts Global in 2014 and 2016. The company also won the award for Scrap Company of the Year from American Metal Market in 2015 and 2016. 


Study examines production, use and disposal of plastics

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 11:24
A recent study on the production, use and disposal of plastics has the American Chemistry Council, based in Washington, commenting on its efforts to collaborate to expand recycling of the material and to promote energy conversion where recycling isn’t feasible.  

The journal Science Advances has published a study titled “Production, Use and Fate of All Plastics Ever Made” by Roland Geyer, Jenna R. Jambeck and Kara Lavender Law.

According to the study, 8,300 million metric tons of virgin plastics have been produced to date. As of 2015, approximately 6,300 million metric tons of plastic waste had been generated. Of that amount, the study estimates that only 9 percent has been recycled, 12 percent was incinerated and 79 percent was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. According to the study, if current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 million metric tons of plastic will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.

Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division, issued the following statement in response to the study:

“America’s plastics makers welcome this new look at global production, use and management of used plastics, and we look forward to continuing discussions on why plastics use is growing and how these advanced materials contribute to our safety, health and quality of life.

“Demand for plastics has grown in parallel with population growth, particularly in parts of the world where large numbers of people are rapidly moving out of poverty. Perhaps more to the point, even as plastics’ use continues to increase, plastics are helping to significantly lower environmental impacts. That’s because plastics are extremely efficient materials that allow us to do more with less in everything from medical devices to electronics to buildings to transportation.

“A study conducted by Trucost in 2016 found that plastics help reduce environmental costs by four times compared to alternatives. In packaging, for example, plastics enable significant environmental benefits, including reductions in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste.

“All of us have an obligation to use materials—including plastics—as efficiently as possible, to use them wisely and to recycle and recover as much as we can. Many experts agree that expanded waste management infrastructure is the key to addressing sustainable use of these resources.”

Russell says plastics manufacturers are partnering with nongovernmental organizations, governments and businesses to invest in waste management infrastructure, encourage the adoption of advanced recycling equipment and expand opportunities for energy conversion where recycling isn’t feasible. “For example, in the United States, we support a number of programs to improve recycling and recovery, including the Wrap Recycling Action Program, a public-private partnership to increase recycling of plastic wraps and bags at stores; Materials Recovery for the Future, which is researching how to process more flexible packaging at recycling facilities; Keep America Beautiful’s “I Want to be Recycled” campaign, which encourages consumers to recycle; and The Recycling Partnership, which works with communities and companies to improve local recycling.”

Russell adds, “Lightweight plastics offer significant environmental benefits throughout the life cycle of many products and packages, but we fail to maximize those benefits if we don’t manage these resources after we use them.”


World crude steel production up for the first half of 2017

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 11:08
Image: Dreamstime

World crude steel production for the 67 countries that report to the Brussels-based World Steel Association (WorldSteel) was 836 million metric tons from January through June of 2017, which is 4.5 percent more than was produced during the same period in 2016.

According to WorldSteel, Asia produced 576.8 million metric tons of crude steel in the first half of the year, an increase of 4.8 percent over the first half of 2016. The EU produced 86.1 million metric tons of crude steel in the first half of 2017, up by 4.1 percent compared with the same period of 2016. North America’s crude steel production in the first six months of 2017 was 57.4 million metric tons, an increase of 2.4 percent compared with the first half of 2016.

The Commonwealth of Independent States produced 49.7 million metric tons of crude steel in the first six months of 2017, declining 2.5 percent from the same period in 2016.

In June 2017, 3.2 percent more steel was produced than in June 2016, WorldSteel notes.

The countries reporting increased production are:

  • Spain, which produced 1.3 million metric tons of crude steel, an 8.1 increase relative to June 2016;
  • Korea, which produced 5.9 million metric tons of crude steel in June 2017, an increase of 7.7 percent compared with June 2016;
  • Turkey, which produced 3 million metric tons, an increase of 7.1 percent compared with June 2016;
  • China, which produced 73.2 million metric tons, 5.7 percent more than in June 2016;
  • Brazil produced 2.6 million metric tons for a 4 percent increase relative to June 2016;
  • Italy, which produced 2.1 million metric tons of crude steel, a 1.8 percent increase from June 2016; and
  • France, which produced 1.3 million metric tons, showing 1.3 percent growth over June 2016.

Countries posting declines in production for June 2017 are:

  • Japan, which produced 8.4 million metric tons of crude steel in June 2017, a decrease of 4.3 percent compared with June 2016;
  • Germany, which produced 3.6 million metric tons of crude steel, a decrease of 1.7 percent compared with June 2016; and
  • the U.S. produced 6.7 million metric tons of crude steel for the month, a decrease of 1.7 percent compared with June 2016.

The crude steel capacity utilization ratio was 73 percent for the month of June 2017, WorldSteel reports. This is 1.4 percentage points higher than June 2016 and 1.3 percentage points higher than in May 2017.




Back to the Roots to use How2Recycle Label

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:39
Back to the Roots, an Oakland, California, company that makes five-ingredient-or-less organic cereals and indoor herb and vegetable growing kits, is the latest company to begin using the How2Recycle Label.

The How2Recycle Label was developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of Charlottesville, Virginia-based GreenBlue.

"How2Recycle will be a great complement to Back to the Roots' sustainability message by featuring simple and consistent recycling instructions on their packaging," says Caroline Cox, How2Recycle project associate.

Back to the Roots will use the How2Recycle label on its line of organic stoneground cereal cartons, mini mushroom farm kit, self-watering planter, garden-in-a-can, garden-in-a-jar and its water garden fish tank. By using the label, Back to the Roots will make recycling easy for its customers by letting them know if the package can be recycled curbside, in a grocery store takeback program or if the consumer needs to check back with their locality to see if it's recyclable. How2Recycle also tells consumers if a packaging type is not yet recyclable.

Companies interested in joining How2Recycle can visit for more information or contact



Atlanta launches campaign to reduce contamination in recyclables

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:20
Photo: Dreamstime 

Atlanta’s Office of Resilience and Department of Public Works has begun working with The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit that applies corporate partner funding to improve curbside recycling systems in cities and towns across the country, to improve recycling in the city through the “Feet on the Street” public service and educational campaign.

The campaign launches July 24, 2017, as a pilot program in Atlanta, targeting one route in each of the city’s four quadrants. The campaign includes targeted messaging and direct feedback with the goal of reducing contamination in the city’s residential recycling bins and increasing the quantity and quality of recyclables.

Residents will receive direct mailings as well as be exposed to newspaper ads, social media posts and signage throughout town about what does and does not belong in their recycling carts. Additionally, city employees will walk each of the targeted recycling routes to “tip and tag.” They will tip the lids of recycling carts and tag those that contain contaminants. Contaminated carts will receive an informational “oops” tag that highlights the contaminant within, and the cart’s recyclables will not be collected. The effort to educate residents about what is recyclable has proven to substantially reduce contaminants in other cities, which saves cities money and makes the recycling process more efficient, The Recycling Partnership, which is based in Falls Church, Virginia, says.

“The city of Atlanta is working at the cutting edge of recycling, using specialized technology and smart collaborations to improve key aspects of service,” says Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “We are proud to work with such a progressive partner and applaud Atlanta for taking on this large issue that is affecting cities across the U.S.”

The street team will log contamination via smartphone app provided by Rubicon Global, an Atlanta-based waste management company.

“When people put the wrong items in their recycling carts, handling those materials costs taxpayer dollars,” says Michelle Wiseman of Atlanta’s Office of Resilience. “We want to help our residents correct these issues and recycle right. Our city is quickly becoming an environmental leader—not just in the U.S. but [also] in the world—and better recycling is an important step on that journey.”


Wendt Corp. celebrates 40 years in business

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 04:02
Wendt Corp., headquartered in Buffalo, New York, is celebrating 40 years in business in 2017.

Thomas A. Wendt founded the company in the garage and basement of his home July 15, 1977. In the four decades since, the company has grown to employ more than 100 people in two locations (its Buffalo headquarters and a technology center in Tonawanda, New York). Wendt Corp. says it owes this milestone and its success to its customers, employees, business partners and suppliers.

Wendt Corp. was formed initially to provide parts and service as well as engineering and consulting services to the scrap metal recycling industry. Today, the company, which is still family owned and operated, has grown into a world-leading manufacturer and systems integrator of automobile shredding and nonferrous separation equipment.

In a news release announcing its anniversary, Wendt Corp. states, “Throughout our 40 years, we’ve had the opportunity of working on many important projects and have manufactured and installed equipment all over the world. However, it’s the unique and creative solutions that have exceeded customers’ expectations along with the relationships we’ve made and maintained over the years that truly provides the most satisfaction.”

Wendt, who serves as chairman of Wendt Corp., says, “This milestone is a testament to Wendt’s commitment to continued product and process innovation, responsive customer service, manufacturing efficiencies and creative, ahead-of-the-curve thinking in a fast-paced industry. The hard work and dedication of the people throughout our entire organization have grown Wendt into the brand name it has become. We look forward to continuing our tradition of quality equipment and service for the next 40 years.”


To commemorate the occasion, the company hosted a dinner party for employees and business partners Saturday, July 15th, 40 years to the day to the company’s formation. A 200-page Wendt history book was presented to the attendees and includes more than 600 photographs.