Circular Economy? Design for Recycling, establish end markets

Key to success in circular economy initiatives is to promote the use of recycled and recyclable materials in the manufacturing stream and foster recognition that a product’s end-of-life value is inextricably linked to how it is made

Circular economy models strive to reduce CO2 emissions, decrease waste sent to landfills and preserve finite virgin materials. They are meant to establish full-producer responsibility for products, creating a cycle where materials are introduced back into the production stream at the end of their useful lives, rather than being disposed of. Whether for political, financial, or environmental motives, governments across the globe, corporations, and activists alike are promoting this model as a means to combat climate change. 

Two Canadian provincial governments have embraced the model so far. British Columbia is well established, and the Waste-free Ontario Act, passed last June, provides a "road map" for the province's transition to a circular economy. The sizable piece of environmental legislation from Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), and its two enabling regulations, promote improved product stewardship as a key strategy in reaching the "zero-waste" goal. 

The MOECC has been working quickly to advance this new sustainability model, and have recently begun the process of winding-up one of four existing stewardship programs. As policymakers dissolve and eventually re-establish these programs, perhaps it is necessary to ask whether product stewardship does anything to boost demand for secondary materials at all.

The recycling industry holds a critical position in the value stream - between the producers of goods, and the consumers of end-of-life products. As such, recyclers have a unique understanding of how existing markets dictate the demand for secondary materials, and should be considered a valuable resource for developing circular economy legislation. We believe merely replacing one stewardship program with the next does not address the driving force in economic models: there must be market demand for material in order for that material to hold value. 

Consumer products present a vast array of end-of-life scenarios depending on how they are produced and what they are made of. If there is a robust, well-established market for the material present at a product's end-of-life, implementing legislation that requires stewardship of that particular product is redundant - the demand in the market will make the material valuable enough for producers, recyclers and consumers to continuously cycle the material through the stream rather than landfilling it. For those products that do not hold value at the end of their useful lives, perhaps it is best to evaluate why the product was not made from recyclable materials to begin with. 

Some governments in other parts of the world are now emphasizing that a product's end-of-life value is inextricably linked to how it is made. A recent report from the European Commission to European Parliament, on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan, focuses on how crucial it is for the full product lifecycle to be considered when creating the most efficient and low-waste stream for secondary raw materials. The same report outlines an eco design initiative that aims to establish "product requirements... such as durability, reparability, upgradeability, design for disassembly, information, and ease of reuse and recycling."

Circular economy models must promote the use of recycled and recyclable materials in the manufacturing stream. For a circular economy to truly flourish, governments should first and foremost be inducing producers to design for recycling. Designing for recycling is a practical and economical approach to sustainability. Discouraging manufacturers' use of hazardous and difficult-to-recycle materials would allow recyclers to increase material recovery using existing technology and processes. 

Part of Ontario's strategy includes encouraging markets through procurement policies, and this is a promising development. Previous legislation has focused only on diverting material from landfill, but a functioning circular economy requires a market for the recovered material. Combining procurement policies with design for recycling would create ideal conditions for sustainable end-markets. Where competitive markets exist, material will always be well recovered. 

This article was originally published in Recycling Product News, Volume 25, Number 4, May/June, 2017.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Metals Recycling

​700 Series E-Crane at Stelimet designed for feeding the shear, improves on-site safety and efficiency

E-Crane's 700 Series, Model E4290 PD-E balance crane at Stelimet, Genk, Belgium features 29,7 meters outreach, and is mounted on a pedestal with a main pivot height of 15 meters.

At the end of December 2016, E-Crane commissioned a new 700 Series, Model E4290 PD-E at Stelimet, Genk, Belgium. Stelimet was looking for a crane for feeding a shear and stockpiling scrap around the shear. The ideal situation for Stelimet is to stockpile as high as possible in order to optimize the use of the storage area.  As the shear is operated by remote control, an excellent view into the shear was absolutely necessary.  Also, the liability, safety, energy consumption, and service reaction time of the supplier were important issues for Stelimet. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

China Announces Intent to Ban Certain Scrap Imports - ISRI Responds

Earlier today, China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of its intent to ban the import of certain scrap materials by year end. Among the items included on the list are most scrap plastics ("including polymers of ethylene, styrene, vinyl chloride and PET..."), mixed paper and slags and drosses. In response, ISRI President Robin Wiener released the following statement:

Read More

Tags
Organics Recycling
Composting

Maple Reinders Consortium announces Canada's First P3 Biosolids Project

MISSISSAUGA, ON - Maple Reinders announced that on June 29th, the Chinook Resource Management Group, a special purpose company of which Maple Reinders PPP Ltd. is a partner, achieved substantial completion on time and on budget for the City of Calgary's Source Separated Organics (SSO) and Class A Biosolids in-vessel composting facility. This project was delivered under a DBFOM* Public-Private Partnership (P3) model. In addition to being the first composting facility to be delivered under the P3 model in Canada, it is also the largest of its kind in North America, demonstrating the City of Calgary's commitment to sustainability and the diversion of renewable resources from landfill disposal.

Read More

Tags
Organics Recycling
Wood Recycling
C&D Recycling

Shredding It Out

Linder’s Urraco 95 mobile primary two-shaft shredder features a powerful engine, long working length and aggressive input.

Without question, the shredder plays a central role in the ever-evolving business of recycling and waste management, not only for processing metals, ELVs and tires but also for size reduction of an increasingly wide range of materials. The latest models easily handle everything from plastics and fibre, e-waste and ASR (auto shredder residue) to organics and biomass, as well as C&D debris and solid waste for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) applications. 

Read More

EPR in Canada: A Growing Reality or Still Only Aspirational?

Graph courtesy of EPR Canada.

In Canada, municipal solid waste is a provincial responsibility and all provincial and territorial jurisdictions have a range of legislation setting out how waste and secondary resources must be managed at their end-of-life. This includes packaging, printed paper, household hazardous waste, electrical and electronic equipment and a number of other products. 

Read More

Tags
Plastics Recycling
Industry News

Recycling Industry Adopts Position on Use of Degradable Additives in Plastic Packaging

(Washington, DC) - The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Board of Directors recently passed a series of changes to its policy positions, as well as a new policy on degradable additives in plastics packaging. The new policy is a result of the confusion over the use of terms "bio-degradable," "oxo-degradable," or "photo degradable" to describe plastics containing degradable additives, when in fact, evidence does not support their use meet common definitions of these terms.

Read More

Prototype hybrid wheel loader shows 50 percent fuel efficiency improvement in testing

Volvo Construction Equipment presented field test results for its LX1 prototype electric hybrid wheel loader at a press event in California, US, on July 12. The company organized the event alongside its customer Waste Management, which carried out the field tests, CALSTART, which conducted emission tests on the machine, and the California Energy Commission, which helped fund the LX1 project. Since the end of last year, the LX1 has performed hundreds of hours of real work in two applications at Waste Management facilities in California. 

Read More

On the Long and Winding Road to EPR

With initiatives that continue to push it ahead of other jurisdictions in Canada, the Province of British Columbia claimed the highest grade ever - an overall A - in EPR Canada's third scored report card on implementation of EPR programs, conducted in 2015. The report card assesses the progress each jurisdiction in Canada is making in adopting EPR policies and programs in compliance with their commitment to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment Canada-wide Action Plan on EPR that was approved in 2009. Launched in 2014 as Multi-Material BC (MMBC), Recycle BC is responsible for packaging and printed paper recycling, servicing over 1.7 million households - about 97 percent of those in the province - through curbside, multi-family or depot collection.

Read More

BKT TIRES designed for recycling operations

As one of the leading Off-Highway tire manufacturers worldwide, BKT has been able to find solutions even for the most demanding and toughest operating conditions in recycling applications by means of specially designed products for loaders and material-handling machinery. This sector and any related application areas appear to be fairly interesting in terms of tires that are subject to severe strain. Not only do they have to meet the requirements as far as resistance and durability are concerned, but they must also offer stability to the equipment and thus a certain level of comfort to the operator. 

Read More

Terex|Finlay hosts open day in Edinburgh

Terex|Finlay hosted an international open day in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 15 and 16, 2017. The event had a very international feel with dealers and end-user customers in attendance from North and South America, Europe, Russia, Japan and South Africa. In total over 350 dealers and customers visited the site over the two days. 

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling

Cobra 230 impact crusher serves multiple operations

EvoQuip offers a comprehensive portfolio of products to address the needs of the compact crushing and screening markets has launched a new addition to their impact crushing range: the Cobra 230 impact crusher. No matter what line of work you're in, whether it is Construction & Demolition, Asphalt Recycling, Quarrying or Contract Crushing the Cobra 230 is intended to improve profitability. 

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling
Metals Recycling

Bunting Magnetics Co. announces acquisition of Global Magnetics

Bunting Magnetics Co., the leader in magnet and magnetic equipment design, manufacturing and distribution, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Global Magnetics, Inc. The Florida-based company sells and distributes magnetic systems and mineral separation equipment designed and built by Master Magnets Ltd. throughout the United States, Canada, Central America and South America. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Machinex names new sales manager for western region

Machinex Technologies Inc., the USA subsidiary of Machinex Group, is proud to announce that Will Herzog has joined the company as a Sales Manager for the USA Western Region. Herzog's new role with Machinex will help to develop sorting systems solutions with customers, while providing the latest technologies on the market. He will ensure customers' satisfaction while supporting them in their future needs.

Read More

Tags
Industry News

BHS Names Rich Reardon Managing Director of Max-AI

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has named Rich Reardon Managing Director of Max-AI. During Reardon's decade long career with BHS he has served as BHS' Director of Sales and Marketing and most recently as Southwest Regional Sales Manager and Plastics Market Specialist. In his new role, Reardon will lead the company's Max-AI-related business development and Max autonomous system integration. 

Read More

Tags
Solid Waste

Increased diversion, Increased efficiency

Winters Bros. mixed-materials MRF includes newly installed Green Eye optical sorting technology and an MSW separation screen which will provide significantly enhanced recovery of valuable materials

Green Machine, the New Hampshire-based manufacturer of recycling and solid waste processing equipment and systems, recently completed a mixed-materials MRF upgrade for Winters Bros. Waste Systems based out of West Babylon, (Long Island) New York at one of the company's transfer and recycling centres. 

Read More