The recycling industry is in the midst of a seismic market shift. The world's largest importer of recycled material, and arguably the world's dumping ground for material with impurities, China, has said "enough" as it grapples with domestic environmental issues.
Paper Recycling News
Polycoated cartons, both aseptic (shelf-stable) and gable top (refrigerated) were given their own ISRI Paper Stock Industry (PSI) classification - PSI Grade #52 - in 2011. According to Isabelle Faucher, managing director of the Carton Council of Canada (CCC) this was a milestone for the industry.
Machinex was recently awarded the bid to provide a new single-stream material recovery system (MRF) for York County, South Carolina. The facility is planned to begin operations this July. This new system will allow the County to process the growing tonnage of residential recycling materials being generated in the surrounding area. Material is coming from 16 collection and recycling centres located throughout the County and this new facility will processes all collected recyclables.
The paper recycling industry has been working diligently over the last several years to improve the quality of the recycling stream. Through a collaborative effort, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries' (ISRI) Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter and ISRI's Paper Division - whose members include recyclers, paper mills, MRF operators and other industry stakeholders -- are working to improve the quality of recycled material through a reduction in contamination. This effort recently included an update to the "Guidelines for Paper Stock" in ISRI's Scrap Specifications Circular that among other changes, clearly lists items that are considered "Prohibitive Materials" and should not be included in the recycling stream. In addition, for the first time, "Zero Tolerance" is also defined.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced that Penn Waste has been named the winner of the SWANA Silver Excellence Award in the Recycling Systems category. The award will be presented at SWANA's annual conference, WASTECON, on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee.
The latest iteration of the scrap import restriction policies out of China, announced in March by China's Customs Authority, is called "Blue Sky 2018." Running for a 10-month period to the end of 2018, Blue Sky, in the words of the Chinese government, imposes "special actions against foreign garbage smuggling." [Click here for more on Blue Sky 2018.]
This May, ZenRobotics introduced their Fast Picker, the latest addition to the company's line of intelligent waste sorting robots. Featured in the above video, the Fast Picker is a result of decade-long experience in waste robotics and couples the most intelligent software with high-speed picking, according to ZenRobotics. Designed to improve the efficiency of MRF's, Fast Picker is ideal for lightweight material such as packaging (LWP) and dry mixed recyclables (DMR).
MSS, Inc., part of the CP Group, based in Nashville, Tennessee, has supplied a over 28 CIRRUS FiberMax optical sorter units for customers across North America, and says more units are on order. According to Greg Thibado, MSS vice president, "Since it was unveiled a little over a year ago, the FiberMax optical sorter has been a very popular choice for MRF operators who want to optimize fibre quality and reduce manual sorter head count at the same time, providing the cleanest fibre at high volumes."
International recycler TerraCycle is partnering with L'Occitane en Provence, a prestige beauty company offering products for high-quality skincare, body care, and fragrance, providing consumers with a free way to recycle all brands of beauty and skin care packaging. Through the L'Occitane Recycling Program, in partnership with TerraCycle, consumers can now drop off all brands of empty personal care and cosmetics packaging at participating L'Occitane full-price retail locations across the US to divert these items from landfills and receive a 10% discount towards one full-size product purchased that same day.
ZenRobotics, in conjunction with the company's participation at Waste Expo this week, has announced the latest addition to its line of intelligent waste sorting robots: the ZenRobotics Fast Picker for light material. According to the company, the new robot model is a result of decade-long experience in waste robotics and couples the most intelligent software with high-speed picking. Designed to improve the efficiency of MRF's, ZenRobotics Fast Picker is ideal for lightweight material such as packaging (LWP) and dry mixed recyclables (DMR).
The Max-AI AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) product line from Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has expanded with the release of the AQC-2 for paper sorting applications. Max-AI technology employs artificial intelligence (AI) to make material identification and selection decisions; high-speed robotic sorters carry out the sorting. The AQC-2 features two robotic sorters and is able to sort on belt widths up to 72" (1800mm). The release of the AQC-2 complements the earlier release of the AQC-1, which has been used to sort containers and contamination in plastics and metals, and to recover high value items from residue.
In collaboration with subsidiary National Recovery Technologies (NRT), Bulk Handlings Systems (BHS) has announced the launch of new technology that will provide Material Recovery Facility (MRF) operators unprecedented levels of information about their business. The Max-AI Visual Identification System (VIS) is powered by Max-AI® technology and provides real time material identification in recycling plants. The Total Intelligence Platform provides operators and other stakeholders powerful MRF and business intelligence. Both products will be on display at the upcoming WasteExpo and IFAT shows.
Industrial recycling at its core is a manufacturing process that creates products, but it is certainly not as simple or as streamlined as, for example, producing toothpicks. We don't have the luxury of controlled and predictable inputs, repeatable processes and identical outputs. While other industries have been heavily automated for decades, recycling has remained dependent upon people controlling inputs, making decisions and directly participating in the production process through manual sorting. The largest hurdle to overcome remains the inherent nature of the waste stream; it's highly variable and unpredictable, and includes everything - including the kitchen sink.
The Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) material recovery facility, built and installed, with equipment provided by Machinex, has been fully operational since mid-January. Located in Troy, Michigan, this new single-stream system plans to double its capacity from 15,000 to 30,000 tons per year, compared to the old dual stream operation. Material is sourced from several surrounding municipalities in the state of Michigan.
Fresh off major victories included in the tax reform law and through the resumption of U.S. Mint's Mutilated Coin Program and in advance of its 2018 Convention and Exposition, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has released its 2018 Advocacy Agenda. The Agenda highlights the recycling industry's priorities at the local, state, federal, and international levels related to Taxes & the Economy, International Trade, Energy and the Environment, Transportation & Infrastructure Development, Workplace Safety Initiatives, and Regulatory Policy.