Tags
Plastics Recycling

Toronto pilot project evaluates feasibility of Styrofoam recycling

In partnership with CIF and the CPIA, study looks closely at densification and marketing of curbside collected Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

Output from a machine processing EPS in Toronto.
Output from a machine processing EPS in Toronto.

The Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF), with help from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), recently funded a pilot project in Toronto to evaluate the densification and marketing of curbside collected Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), commonly referred to by the trade-name Styrofoam. Support for this pilot project builds on previous CIF efforts to identify and overcome barriers to EPS recycling in Ontario. 

The City of Toronto currently accepts EPS as part of its curbside cart-based collection program. This latest pilot project is focused on EPS placed in plastics bags and manually recovered at Canada Fibre's Arrow Road MRF. At the facility, plastic bags of EPS are normally emptied into an MRF bunker, but for the purposes of this pilot, bags were hauled to Toronto's Dufferin Facility for densification using a RUNI SK200 densifier.

Following further sorting at the Dufferin Facility, nine pallets of densified EPS bricks (or blocks of densified EPS) were processed over an eight-day period. A total of 1,750 kg of EPS was densified, with each pallet containing approximately 200 kg of EPS bricks. After distribution of the densified EPS to potential re-processors for evaluation, no viable domestic market could be established for either the densified EPS, or standard baled material, at the existing quality. 

Another CIF Project, completed in 2014, concluded that the net cost to collect EPS curbside in urban centres ranged from $1,500 to $2,800 per tonne. Findings from this new densification pilot project supported the 2014 project conclusions.According to the CPIA, they have been assisting the City of Toronto over the last year by arranging for re-processing of EPS at a facility in Indiana on an as-needed basis. There there is not currently a sales contract in place for acceptance of baled or densified EPS.

Densified, palletized EPS.
Densified, palletized EPS.

At the end of this latest pilot project, a proposal was received by Toronto to accept baled EPS at a competitive cost per tonne. However, the proposal included possible energy-from-waste utilization and the city declined the offer.

While various efforts continue across Canada to seek cost-effective ways to collect and re-process EPS and create a sustainable end market, after almost 30 years, no consistent, reliable and cost-effective option appears to exist for curbside-collected EPS.

Ongoing efforts
Some Ontario municipalities continue to accept white EPS at depots. This alternative approach eliminates curbside collection and MRF processing costs, which can exceed $1,000 per tonne to manage. Even with no collection or MRF processing costs, the hauling costs from depots and fees charged to accept EPS by re-processors are substantial and not feasible for many municipalities. An exception is in the Town of Markham, which has been successful in securing a domestic market (to replace previous export) for its densified depot-collected EPS.

According to the CIF, despite tremendous effort by industry and municipalities over the past decade, EPS recycling remains challenging both operationally and financially. Costs have remained high and markets uncertain. However, post-use EPS remains a product with some significant global demand, for products including building insulation panels and extruded mouldings, in the U.S., Spain and Asian markets, provided strict quality criteria are met. 

Post-consumer resin
An October 2017 report by More Recycling indicates that the demand for Post-Consumer Resin (PCR) foam polystyrene exceeds supply by some 233 percent. Capacity to purchase PCR carries the provision that "price and quality specifications" must be achieved to access the markets. It is this provision that municipalities should weigh carefully before adding EPS to their program, according to CIF. The cost and feasibility of recycling PCR differs dramatically from that of clean post-industrial material and may prove to be prohibitively expensive or impractical for many municipalities to achieve.

With uncertainty surrounding the timing and final material composition of Blue Box Programs under varying individual producer responsibility plans, municipalities in Ontario and around Canada must carefully consider their approach to EPS recycling based on waste diversion goals and individual community economics.

In the meantime, the CIF says the polystyrene industry, through the CIF and the CPIA, is able to assist Ontario municipalities facing challenges marketing their materials.  

Resources relating to current quality specifications are available online at www.plasticsrecycling.org

This article was originally published as a blog by the Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF), and was adapted for publication in the September, 2018 edition of Recycling Product News, Volume 26, Number 6.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Fleets & Technology

How to select a heavy-duty engine oil for your waste fleet

Heavy-duty diesel vehicles that collect and transport waste and recyclables in urban environments, and which work at transfer station sites, material recycling facilities (MRFs) scrapyards and landfills, operate under tough conditions. In these settings, fleet managers are required to maintain high levels of monitoring on specialized vehicles to ensure optimum performance and safety of their employees. 

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling
Industry News

Need to recycle highlighted at Circular Driven Economy Symposium 2018

Delegates to the Circular Driven Economy symposium heard from a variety of speakers on topics focused on improved recovery and reuse of C&D materials, among others.

Delegates from all over the world joined together at the inaugural Circular Driven Economy Symposium in London on the 18th - 19th September, to learn more about the opportunities in recovered construction and demolition waste material (C&D waste). Speakers from research bodies like SINTEF, academic institutions like Queen's University Belfast, construction and manufacturing firms like LafargeHolcim and Mapei, and the European Commission all provided plenty for delegates to think about. 

Read More

Sponsored Content

Leading Edge Security Technology

Caliber Communications Inc. is a technology-based Canadian company that has created a flexible, cost effective and reliable replacement to physical guarding services. The company has engineered and developed a unique communications platform that operates on the cellular infrastructure anywhere in North America. To date, this platform has been specifically utilized for applications requiring remote security monitoring in a variety of  industries, locations and settings. The platform is completely modular and can be completely independent of existing infrastructure where no resources are available.  This allows the units to be set up anywhere they are required to provide effective security coverage. If power is not readily available, the units are designed to operate on very low wattage making solar power a viable solution.  All units provide 360 degrees of situational awareness with stationary cameras. Additionally, all units come equipped with a PTZ camera (pan, tilt, zoom) to drill into the images and gather specific data for evidence.

Read More

Tags
Fleets & Technology

Mack Trucks boosting fleet safety with pre-wire options for Lytx DriveCam

The Mack Granite (here in a roll-off configuration) as well as LR and TerraPro models, are now available with pre-wired Lytx DriveCam technology.

Refuse and recycling trucks are some of the busiest big vehicles on the road, and spend most of their time navigating streets that are filled with other vehicles, as well as pedestrians and other potentially dangerous obstacles. To protect their drivers and trucks from potential harm, fleet managers are increasingly turning to camera systems that can provide views of both the drivers themselves and the roadway around them, offering multiple ways to improve safety.

Read More

Tags
Fleets & Technology

Mountain Tarp rounds out full line with addition of new ESR2000 Electric Side-to-Side Lock and Roll Tarping System

Mountain Tarp rounds out full line with addition of new ESR2000 Electric Side-to-Side Lock and Roll Tarping System

Mountain Tarp, a Wastequip brand, has recently expanded its tarp line to include the ESR2000, an electric side-to-side lock and roll tarping system. Mountain Tarp is the leading manufacturer of flip tarp systems for dump bodies for paving and construction as well cable style systems, side roll and side flip systems for waste, landscaping, agriculture and scrap applications. 

Read More

Tags
Electronics Recycling
Industry News

‘Avoid the Spark' Campaign Continues Battery Safety Awareness in California

‘Avoid the Spark' Campaign Continues Battery Safety Awareness in California

Throughout October, the Avoid the Spark campaign -- a public education effort to reduce battery safety incidents -- returns to the Bay Area to engage the community. Efforts include local county battery collections, a cornerstone event benefiting the California Fire Foundation, and the launch of a dedicated battery safety resource webpage, www.avoidthespark.com. This second phase builds on the Avoid the Spark campaign launch in May, spurred by the growing epidemic of battery-related fires at recycling and waste facilities along with the hidden dangers of trashing lithium-based batteries.

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling
ELV Recycling

Sierra Recycling and Demolition has built success at the scrapyard based on reliable equipment, advanced technology and solid culture

Shortly after World War II, Ben Sacco came to California and started Sierra Bag Company, servicing the agriculture industry. In the late fifties, Sierra Iron & Metal was born when he dedicated a portion of his operation to scrap metal collection. He then added a baler to process scrap, which he found while visiting his homeland of Italy. Sacco eventually became the official North and South American distributor for the baler manufacturer, starting Sierra International Machinery, while at the same time continuing to operate his scrapyard, Sierra Iron & Metal. About 10 years ago, the business was passed on to Ben Sacco's two sons, John and Philip Sr., both of whom have been lifelong employees and contributors to the business. The scrap recycling part of the Sacco family business today operates as Sierra Recycling and Demolition Inc., run by Phil Sacco, while Sierra International Machinery, the recycling equipment manufacturer and distributor, is run by John Sacco - both out of Bakersfield, California. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Plastics Recycling

Emterra's Emmie Leung awarded CPIA 2018 Leader of the Year

Emterra's Emmie Leung awarded CPIA 2018 Leader of the Year

Widely recognized as a trail blazer in the Canadian recycling industry and a passionate supporter of sustainable growth and a circular economy in the waste resource recovery business, Emmie Leung, Founder and CEO of Emterra Group can now add a new accolade to her list of accomplishments. On October 3, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) awarded her their prestigious 2018 Leader of the Year.

Read More

Tags
Electronics Recycling

​Inaugural International E-Waste Day aims to raise public awareness

​Inaugural International E-Waste Day aims to raise public awareness

International E-Waste Day has been developed by the WEEE Forum, an international association of e-waste collection schemes, and 26 of its members and involves around 40 different organisations in 20 different countries worldwide. The inaugural event, set for Saturday October 13th, is being used to raise the public profile of e-waste and encourage consumers to correctly dispose of their e-waste with the resulting increase in re-use and recycling rates on the day itself and into the future.

Read More

Tags
Industry News
Solid Waste

GFL Environmental and Waste Industries announce merger

GFL Environmental Inc. ("GFL") based out of Toronto, and Raleigh, North Carolina-based Waste Industries have announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement in a transaction that values Waste Industries at a total enterprise value of US$2.825 billion (approximately C$3.65 billion). The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, is subject to customary regulatory approvals. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

ISRI survey indicates brands and government can help improve recycling behaviour

ISRI survey indicates brands and government can help improve recycling behaviour

While traditionally the effort to increase recycling rates has focused on education and awareness, a new study among over 2,000 Americans conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Institute of Scrap Recycling (ISRI) suggests action by brands and government may play a significant role as well. The poll revealed two-thirds (66%) of Americans agree that "if a product is not easy/convenient for me to recycle, I probably would not recycle it." The poll also provides insights into ways these two sectors can better drive recycling.

Read More

Tags
Plastics Recycling

​2018 APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign generates almost 7 million pounds of new demand in it's first year

​2018 APR Recycling Demand Champion Campaign generates almost 7 million pounds of new demand in it's first year

A program designed to expand market demand for recycled plastics has generated almost 7 million pounds of new demand in it's first year. The APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign, created by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) in 2017 to develop new markets for recycled plastics, announced year end results at a recent APR annual meeting in St. Petersburg, FL.  APR also announced several new participants who have committed to increase their use of  postconsumer resin (PCR) in the upcoming year. 

Read More

Tags
Organics Recycling
Waste to Energy

UK waste food-recycling pioneers rolling out fleet of biomethane gas powered trucks

Food waste recycling company and sustainability pioneers, Warrens Group, a third generation, 70-year-old family business operating in the North East Region of the UK, has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the region's foremost providers of agricultural and food waste recycling services. In recent years, Warrens have forged a place for themselves at the forefront of the industry, culminating in the launch of Warrens Emerald Biogas - the region's first foodwaste anaerobic digestion facility, built in 2012. The company currently collects and recycles over 115,000 tonnes of food waste to generate over 100 million kWh of clean, green energy every year - enough to power 19,000 homes.

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling
Wood Recycling

West Salem Machinery wood waste grinders feature easy maintenance and long-term productivity

West Salem Machinery wood waste grinders feature easy maintenance and long-term productivity

West Salem Machinery (WSM) offers rugged and reliable Horizontal and Vertical Grinders/Hogs, as well as screens and conveyors. WSM  wood waste processing machines feature a unique pivoting top case  that allows access to preventative maintenance areas, with all infeed components remaining in place. According to the Oregon-based manufacturer, their Ballistics Infeed Chute, included on their line of Vertical Grinders is a unique design that helps capture tramp metal and other uncrushables - helping to protect the grinder rotor and reduce maintenance expenses.  

Read More

Tags
Paper Recycling
Plastics Recycling

Axxess controls from EPAX designed to improve the safe use of waste compactors and balers

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.

Read More