MSS, Inc., the optical sorting division of CP Group, has received a patent for their PrecisionFlow eject hood for optical sorters.
York University study finds recycling bags better than carts at reducing contamination and program costs
Recycling bags could be key to righting Canada's recycling woes, reducing contamination, and capturing lost revenue, according to a new study by researchers at York University.
The York study "Thinking Beyond the Box" - an examination of collection mediums for printed paper and packaging waste using publicly available information and surveys with stakeholders - comes at a time when municipalities are grappling with meeting increasingly stringent standards from China, which buys around two-thirds of North America's recycling.
Cities across Canada have depended on the sales of these items to China - in some cases, they offset over 20% of the costs of the city's overall program - which is why it's critical that a solution be found.
Under its National Sword policy, China is refusing to accept recyclables with more than 0.5 per cent contaminated materials. Contamination includes food residue, non-recyclable materials, or products ending up in the wrong stream (i.e. plastic with paper).
To put it in contrast, cities like Toronto, Edmonton and Halifax, have reported upwards of 20 per cent contamination.
Peel Region is a prime example of the potential cost of contamination. After China turned away 13,000 tonnes of product from the region's paper recycler Canada Fiber, Peel Region will likely be saddled with a $1.7 million bill for the loss.
And the trend towards cart-based, automation systems could be exacerbating the problem, says Dr. Calvin Lakhan, co-investigator of the "Waste Wiki" project at York University, and the corresponding author of the report.
"From a municipal perspective, the contamination rate more than doubled if not tripled after switching to a cart-based collection system," he says. As a result, revenue from post-recyclable materials - the same revenue expected to offset the cost of these programs - has fallen.
The York study found that contamination was eight per cent lower in bag-based, or bag and box-based systems when contrasted with cart or box-based systems.
"To date, we've very narrow-mindedly focused on two solutions... it's very obvious that a third and if not preferable solution exists," says Lakhan. He points out that urban centres like Halifax and Edmonton already include bags as part of their recycling programs.
Recyclable bags restrict contamination to the individual bag rather than the entire recycling cart's contents, giving collectors an additional opportunity to screen the product for things like food residues or non-recyclable materials, improving recovery rates. They also offer households and businesses a chance to add-on capacity as needed.
"Under the current system, municipalities using only cart-based systems aren't getting the returns they should be," says Mike Pilato, general manager for Clorox Canada, (which sponsored the study but gave researchers "complete discretion and latitude" to conduct it as they saw fit). "Recycling bags give communities an opportunity to improve their existing system, while amortizing their current investment."
Lakhan's "Thinking Beyond the Box" study makes a compelling case for bringing recyclable bags into the equation as municipalities look to update their current systems to meet the changing demands from places like China. There is both a performance and cost advantage of using bags versus cart or bin-based programs.
"The title of the study captures it - municipalities haven't had this information to make educated choices," says Pilato. "As they're struggling with this new reality, recycling bags are an attractive option that allows them to make progress with their existing system while they think about another way to do things."
More from Paper Recycling
Canada Fibers awarded contracts to design, build and operate two technologically advanced recycling facilities
Canada Fibers Limited (CFL) has been awarded two contracts to design, build and operate advanced single-stream post-consumer Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Peel, Ontario. The Company is constructing an 80 thousand square foot greenfield facility in Winnipeg and is retrofitting the Region of Peel's existing MRF. Both projects involve advancements to recovery technologies in response to increasingly rigorous quality standards from industries utilizing post-consumer recyclable materials.
Machinex and Canada Fibers partnership to result in two of the most technologically advanced single-stream facilities in North America
Toronto-based Canada Fibers Ltd. (CFL) is building two single-stream recycling facilities in 2019 that will include the most advanced, high-tech fibre and plastics sorting and recovery systems in Canada. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, a completely new 30-tonnes-per-hour facility (approximately 80,000 square feet) is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall. In the Region of Peel, Ontario, the existing Peel Integrated Waste Management Facility MRF, owned by the Region, will be retrofitted for 31.5-tonnes-per-hour capacity, with the updated facility (approximately 85,000 square feet) scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020.
The good news for recovered paper exporters as the calendar flipped to another new year was China's issuance of almost six million short tons worth of import licenses in December. The first batch of permits issued by China's Ministry of the Environment, covering about 5.5 million tons, was more than double the amount of recovered paper allowed by China's first batch a year earlier.
Balcones Resources celebrated its 25th anniversary in business this month, growing from a small Austin-based paper recycler to a comprehensive environmental services company with facilities in Austin, Dallas and Little Rock. Balcones marked the milestone with a reception featuring a presentation of $25,000 in total donations to five Austin-area environmental organizations: EcoRise, Hill Country Conservancy, Keep Austin Beautiful, Shoal Creek Conservancy and Waller Creek Conservancy.
TOMRA Sorting Recycling has announced two additions to their North America product support team. Sean Hyacinth has been added as a field service engineer for TOMRA optical sorting equipment, while Kevin Javier Montalvo assumes the newly created position of customer project manager, recycling. Both team members will work directly with TOMRA dealers and customers to strengthen equipment service and project management throughout North America.
ZenRobotics Ltd. has appointed Wolfgang Schiller as the company's new CEO, effective immediately. Prior to ZenRobotics, Mr. Schiller was the Vice President Electronics Industry at KUKA AG, a leading supplier of intelligent automation solutions. According to ZenRobotics, as CEO, Schiller will be responsible for further developing ZenRobotics' business and accelerating the uptake of intelligent robots in waste management.
In the spring of 2018, Plessisville, Quebec-based Machinex introduced its new SamurAI sorting robot, which, according to the manufacturer, has since generated a lot of industry interest. Nearly six months after its launch, the response of the market has been very positive and nine robots have been sold to date. The first two SamurAI in Canada have just been installed in Quebec while six more robots will be installed by next year in Canadian sorting centers. Moreover, the company says they continue to have regular requests from customers who are greatly interested in this cutting-edge technology.
Greif, Inc., a global provider of industrial packaging products and services, announced December 20 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Caraustar Industries, Inc., the leading recycled paperboard and packaging solutions company, from an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, in a cash transaction valued at $1.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar year 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) recently announced the release of its seventh annual Recycling Industry Yearbook, providing the most up-to-date information and statistics about the U.S. recycling industry and global scrap marketplace. With a greater spotlight on the industry in the wake of rising trade protectionism around the globe, the publication provides the most comprehensive analysis of where the industry stands based on the most current data compared to previous years. It will also serves as a baseline for years to come based on the new global market realities.
The purpose of paper recycling is to produce high quality recycled paper, responding to the high-quality specifications required by paper consumers either from the graphic, hygiene or packaging sectors. In consequence, any collection scheme should be designed in a way to provide grades of paper for recycling adapted to the requirements of high value recycling, according to the EN 643 to the paper industry, either directly or after sorting. (EN 643 is the European List of Standard Grades of Paper and Board for Recycling.)
CP Group, the San Diego-based recycling solutions provider and equipment manufacturer, unveiled their Virtual MRF over a year ago. Now for the first time, it will be on display internationally at Residuos Expo 2018 in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico.
TOMRA Collection Solutions has become the first reverse vending provider to offer digital vouchers as a payout option for container deposit schemes, where consumers receive refunds when they return their empty bottles and cans for recycling at a reverse vending machine.
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper has partnered with One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, on the Lead2030 initiative - a competition to find youth-led practical solutions to drive progress on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mondi has committed $50,000 to fund a project that will make a tangible contribution to SDG12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production'.
This year's 19th edition of the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference North America, held in Chicago from October 17 through 19th and produced by the Recycling Today Media Group, was a very informative, well organized and well attended event, and a good reflection of the mixed feelings currently being expressed by the industry with respect to the state of paper and plastics recycling. On the technology side of the industry, things are largely positive. Business is good. From the latest plastics additive and stabilizing technologies designed to enhance the physical properties and thereby the quality of recycled plastics for compounders and other reprocessors, to the significant advances in sorting, screening and other equipment being put forward by leading manufacturers, it is clear that there is solid demand, and excellent solutions available to help profitably create better quality recycled materials from challenging input streams. The advances in this sector are in fact rapid and ongoing. The latest robotic and optical sorting, coupled with artificially intelligent (AI) "learning" technologies, are particularly impressive - making it difficult for anyone to deny that high-tech materials sorting has a huge role to play in the future of this industry.
The ReWall Company, which turns recycled food and beverage cartons into environmentally friendly building materials, is set to open a new facility in Colorado that will expand end markets for recycled cartons in the western United States. ReWall makes high-performance, sustainable building and construction materials out of recycled food and beverage cartons through a proprietary process that uses no chemicals or water. It takes about 400 cartons to produce one sheet of ReWall's hail-resistant roof cover board.
This past summer, Van Dyk Recycling Solutions sponsored and hosted a webinar titled "MRFs in Crisis! Where do we go from here?" During the webinar, Van Dyk's sales manager and process Engineer, Adam Lovewell, along with colleague Mark Neitzey, focused on the topic of how recycling businesses have been struggling to deal with China's changes in import policy. According to Lovewell and Neitzey, the so-called "China crisis" has exposed serious issues throughout the recycling industry and "we have hit a critical point where owners and operators need to take a hard look at their equipment's ability to handle changes in the stream."
Recycling Today Media Group's 2018 Paper & Recycling Conference North America, the 19th edition, opened officially Wednesday, October 17 in Chicago, following the third annual day-long MRF Operations Forum dedicated to best practices at material recovery facilities. Jim Keefe, RT's Publisher opened the 2018 MRF Operations Forum Tuesday morning by welcoming approximately 100 attendees and introducing the first session: "Dynamic MRF Operations". The title is an appropriate one -- reflecting the overall theme for the day: with changing incoming recycling streams combined with changing global end markets, MRF operations need to be dynamic - adapting to changes and changing the way they operate - to maintain profitability.
Epax Systems, a specialist in waste management with more than 30 years of experience, recently developed a new method to control industrial compactors and balers called Axxess controls. According to the company, over the last decade, safety and security have become concerns for multi-use property managers who are seeking to meet Occupational Safety and Health Administration's requirements for controlling balers and compactors in their facilities. Since 2017, clients of Epax Systems, inc. have increasingly communicated the need to improve on their traditional key switch systems, which requires employees to use an on/off key switch to control their compactor or cardboard baler.
CP Group has introduced the CP Anti-Wrap Screen, the California-based recycling equipment manufacturer's second new screen of 2018. The new CP Anti-Wrap Screen accurately separates newsprint and large fiber from material streams by using high-amplitude elliptical discs to agitate material.
TOMRA Sorting Recycling has published a new e-book providing advice for businesses who sort paper and cardboard for deinking and recycling. The new online publication addresses the intensifying commercial and regulatory pressures for higher recovery rates of deinked pulp and the fact that meeting these demands will require new technical solutions. The e-book introduces an exceptionally effective new solution.
National Recovery Technologies (NRT) has integrated the company's NRT SpydIR® optical sorter with Max-AI® technology, creating a revolutionary new sorter with detection abilities unmatched in today's optical sorter market, according to the company. NRT's SpydIR technology uses near infrared light (NIR) detection to identify plastics, paper, wood and other materials by material type. Max-AI technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify materials using a camera and neural network algorithm (NN). The NRT SpydIR with Max-AI optical sorter employs both detection technologies to create an optical sorter that is able to combine the information from each technology to deliver a unique sorting capability.
According to Austria-based Binder+Co, due to China's recently imposed scrap import restrictions, concerns are growing in Europe and in North America about how to cope with plastic waste. The industry is sceptical about reuse, because the required quality of secondary raw material is, for the most part, not ensured, and the use of plastic waste as alternate fuel in incinerators makes too little use of plastic as a valuable secondary raw material.
Canada Fibers Ltd. (CFL) has announced that it has filed a statement of claim with the Superior Court of Ontario asserting damages arising from breach of contract by the City of Hamilton. CFL's decision to file the claim follows over 12 months of negotiations with Hamilton staff that culminated in a recommendation by the City's staff proposing measures to resolve the breach and end the dispute. Unfortunately, Hamilton City Council has rejected the compromise recommended by staff and made it necessary for CFL to seek a remedy in the courts.
Norway's largest waste management company first to implement BHS Max-AI VIS to monitor outbound product quality
Norsk Gjenvinning (NG), Norways largest waste management company, has selected Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) to supply NG's new state of the art paper recycling system in Oslo. Operational in Q1 2019, the system will process 20 tonnes per hour (tph) and run three shifts to process approximately 120,000 tonnes annually. Noteworthy to this process is the inclusion of Max-AI VIS (Visual Identification System) units to monitor the quality of outbound paper.
International Baler Corp. (IBC) has begun production of their new ATX Auto-Tie baler series, a high-volume, "European style" baler for MRF and MSW applications. IBC is the first manufacturer to offer this class of machine in the USA. Built entirely in their plant in Jacksonville, Florida, IBC offers US customers a domestic alternative to the high cost and extended lead time of overseas shipping, parts, and service.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), has released the following statement in response to China's announcement that it will impose a retaliatory tariff on the import of all scrap commodities from the U.S.: "ISRI is already hearing from contacts in China that the announcement has caused consternation among Chinese consumers of U.S. scrap commodities. Although these tariffs will not be levied on imports from other countries, it is our understanding that other regions may not be able to fulfill all of China's demand. This is in line with other reports that the trade war has had an impact on the Chinese economy across many sectors.
American Baler's latest model horizontal single-ram combines quickness and high force for up to 30 tph capacity
According to American Baler Company, the 8043 horizontal single-ram model has proven itself as a workhorse in hundreds of recycling centres around the world.
Paperboard to replace plastic for Swedish card manufacturer and others, including products from IKEA and Apple
According to a press release from Iggesund Paperboard, part of the Swedish forest industry group Holmen, a number of global companies have replaced, or are doing trials to replace, the material in their gift cards - from plastic to paperboard. Sweden's largest cinema chain, SF Bio, has taken the plunge and is now replacing all its cards.
As part of L'Oréal USA's annual Volunteer Day, held June 12th, Garnier USA recently sponsored an opportunity with TerraCycle and GrowNYC where employees worked to install a community garden at the El Gallo Social Club in Harlem, New York City.
Swedish waste management company, Lundstams, invests in robotic sorting to increase resource recovery
The Swedish waste management company Lundstams Återvinning AB and Mared AB have agreed on the delivery of ZenRobotics waste sorting robots to one of their facilities in Northern Sweden. The new sorting line will allow Lundstams to process waste more efficiently and closer to the source. The robotic sorting line is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2019.
Future looks bright for recovered polycoated aseptic and gable top commodity prices according to Carton Council
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.
Tightening global purity targets have the industry searching for new markets and high-tech equipment solutions
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.
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 Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) recently turned to Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) to provide a turnkey technologically advanced recovery system, designed for processing up to 80 tph on two lines.
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).
In a press release this week, the Washington D.C.-based National Recycling Coalition poses the question: "The China crisis: who's crisis is it?" Their answer. "It is ours." Below are the full comments from NRC.