ISRI adopts first comprehensive Transportation Policy
New policy to recognize and address the challenges of transporting scrap materials in a timely and cost efficient way
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Board of Directors recently passed a transportation policy to recognize and address the challenges of transporting scrap materials to the scrapyards and to the customer in a timely, and cost efficient way. Unfortunately, according to ISRI, the industry and others are experiencing severe truck shortages, rail service problems and increased costs, and inconsistent service on ocean shipping as less ships are being utilized globally. Additionally, the industry has seen labor issues that have snarled West Coast ports. This is the first time the organization has developed such a comprehensive transportation policy.
The new policy instructs ISRI to conduct the following activities:
• Educate federal and state lawmakers (including governors, attorneys general) and regulators (e.g., Department of Transportation, Surface Transportation Board) about the transportation problems facing the industry
• Reach out to various transportation associations (American Trucking Association, Association of American Railroads, American Waterways Association) and their member companies to make them aware of the difficulties the industry is experiencing and explore possible solutions
• Monitor, identify and/or craft legislative solutions including participation in infrastructure spending legislation, transportation improvement and oversight proceedings, etc.
• Work with transportation coalitions to craft realistic solutions
• Monitor the developments surrounding the Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for trucks identifying possible solutions without jeopardizing truck safety
• Urge more private investment in railcars to carry scrap including gondolas and boxcars
• Monitor the deployment of Positive Track Control (PTC) systems to prevent train accidents that disrupt rail lines
• Join forces with other industries to foster a new generation of truck drivers
• Monitor labor negotiations between port workers and port operators to prevent dockworker strikes or worker slowdowns
• Work with waterways and ocean shipping associations and coalitions towards increased capacity and infrastructure improvements
• Advocate with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and Department of Transportation (DoT), Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), and other regulatory agencies
• Assist industry efforts to minimize transportation costs, and increase efficiency, e.g. increasing roadway weight limits, lobbying for competitive railroad switching, etc.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.