The world needs more positive recycling stories. Article after article paints an inaccurate picture of our industry, often implying that recycling is pointless. Beyond the depressing side effect of being constantly inundated by negative news, what is the true cost of this type of media coverage and what can we do to protect our industry from it?
Recycling today's resources for tomorrow's future
Michigan recycler selects Doosan wheel loader with high-lift capabilities for day-to-day material handling
There may not be an industry or application that is tougher on equipment than scrap metal processing and recycling. Between hard-to-handle materials, heavy objects and long hours, equipment is expected to perform day in and day out, without a breakdown.
Located in Western Michigan, in the heart of Kalamazoo, is Schupan & Sons Inc. The company was started by Nelson Schupan in 1968. Today, the company employees about 400 people, with 10 locations total in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, and in August 2012, the company expanded to enhance its position in the marketplace.
Facility and Equipment Manager Rick Hutchins has nearly 30 years of tenure at Schupan & Sons, and is based at the facility in Kalamazoo, Mich. The facility is one of two scrap recycling processing centers; the other in Elkhart, Ind. Additionally, the company has two beverage plants in Michigan &mdash one in Grand Rapids and one in Wixom &mdash a brokerage office in Chicago and aluminum and plastic sales distribution, with locations in Kalamazoo and Detroit, Mich., and Toledo and Dayton, Ohio.
The company’s process is simple: Buy scrap and process it for the mills, whether it is baled, boxed or shredded. “Our biggest amount of volume is our non-ferrous material,” Hutchins says, “whereas our ferrous division is about a 5,000-metric-ton-a-month volume.” Hutchins says the company has survived the economic challenges in Michigan and national economic adversities because of strong leadership.
Schupan & Sons is led by Marc Schupan, son of founder Nelson Schupan, along with his brother Dan and Sister Dana Wardlaw and, according to Hutchins, is always looking for new ways to increase their sales and marketing abilities in the three different divisions.
“Marc is a person who believes the best people win,” he says. “He is someone who I call a forward thinker. Our aluminum sales division came from his idea of being a niche between the big suppliers of aluminum and the small job shops that couldn’t afford to buy large quantities.”
Schupan started a beverage container recycling division in 1986 and just seven years later, had recycled one billion aluminum cans. Another example of Schupan’s success can be found in the beverage division. Schupan & Sons has become a top-five company in the nation for beverage can recycling. In 1997, Schupan started the largest-volume beverage container recycling program in the United States, partnering with a Norwegian company called TOMRA.
At the Elkhart facility, Schupan & Sons needed a more powerful machine that was capable of lifting material and dumping it into open-top trailers. When it was time to evaluate his options, Hutchins looked at three different machines. One of his key measurements was the cost-per-hour for five years. The local Doosan dealer &mdash Carleton Equipment &mdash and another heavy equipment dealer provided the numbers Hutchins needed. Both dealers were selected for an onsite demonstration. Hutchins asked Carleton Equipment and the other equipment dealer to bring their wheel loaders to the Elkhart plant for a side-by-side comparison, and he asked the operators to drive and evaluate both machines, inside and out.
“The best indicator of the machine’s performance and comfort is the operator,” Hutchins says. “He’s the guy who will run it all day. By having the guys compare both models, it was a really good test of the machines. We liked the Doosan wheel loader and the per-hour costs that the dealer provided to us.” What initially pushed Hutchins and the operators toward the Doosan wheel loader was its appearance.
“The operators liked the stoutness of it,” he says. “We like strength and the Doosan wheel loader looks strong. The strength of the machine is important because we’re pushing, especially in steel turnings. If we want to load some steel bushing, it’s tough on the machine, really tough. In the end, we felt the Doosan wheel loader was going to do us a better job and going to last longer. It will go until its end; we won’t trade it in.”
After about a year on the job, the Doosan DL250 has about 1,400 hours on it, and Hutchins expects it to average about 2,000 a year, roughly four or five hours a day. “In our industry, abuse may be just operation because we’re hard on equipment,” Hutchins says. “Many will say that’s abuse, and we’ll say that it is inherent to our business.”
Jeff Neidlinger is the plant manager at the Schupan Industrial Recycling center in Elkhart, and he is the primary operator of the Doosan wheel loader. His first impression of the Doosan wheel loader was a positive one.
“It looked really sturdy, especially on the front arms where the bucket attaches,” Neidlinger says. “We do a lot of pushing, and the machine looked very sturdy.”
A big selling point for Neidlinger was the Doosan wheel loader’s cab. “The cab is very comfortable,” he says, “and the visibility is excellent. I can glance to one side or the other and see everything behind me, which is important because there are a lot of close quarters here, and a lot of activity. And, of course, I like the radio, heat and good air conditioning; it’s a joy to work with and work in it.” Much of Neidlinger’s workday is spent sorting materials, loading several trucks and pushing scrap material into bins. When loading, he appreciates the high lift capability of the DL250.
“The open-top trailers are 13 feet 6 inches high on the sides and are 10-feet wide,” Hutchins says. “We bulk load into those and we’ll take them to the mills. We wanted a wheel loader with high lift to go over the top of that. We can easily clear it with our Doosan DL250. We didn’t want to be just high enough from the hinge pin of the bucket to the top of the trailer. We wanted to take the lift all the way up, put the bucket all the way down, and the blade would clear the top of our trailer. And it does that.”
Sorting made easier
While the types of materials coming into the Elkhart facility may differ, the process for how they’re handled is seamless. Hutchins says Schupan employees separate loads when they arrive and grade them, in a 2-foot or 5-foot length.
“We grade scrap the way the mills want to process it,” Hutchins says. The sorting is done much more efficiently today than before. Previously, Hutchins says Schupan crews moved cranes out of production and helped load scrap materials into containers. He says with a crane and grapple, his crews were only getting half as much as a bucket and grapple on the front of a wheel loader.
“The ability to push the piles up higher was the other reason we selected a wheel loader with high lift,” Hutchins says. “We want to push our piles up higher. We have to start on the bottom and as we work up, as we work it up the pile, the resistance from the pile becomes more and more. The predecessor to our Doosan wheel loader didn’t have enough power to get those piles higher in the bin. The Doosan wheel loader can get them in and push them right up; our bins are only so big and we have to get them in there. We take them from the bin and dump them into the baler.
“Our productivity with the Doosan wheel loader has increased 100 percent over what we could do with our previous machine,” Hutchins explains.
Partnership in recycling
Schupan & Sons and its recycling facilities have gone beyond just accepting material from their customers, partnering with them to help them improve the value of the recyclables.
“We’ll visit our customers and tell them, ‘you have this amount of scrap, and we’re going to teach you how to make more money,’” Hutchins says. “Sometimes customers are comingling it all together. We’ll provide containers to help customers sort it. We work with our customers to help them get the best value out of their scrap. We don’t know anything about the widget they’re making, but we do know what to do with the scrap that is coming off of it. “Marc Schupan built our business on service,” Hutchins says.
“Customers are the No. 1 priority for us. We’re an honest company. We pay for every pound or ton that we purchase. This is a tough industry and it’s not promoted well.”
Long before Schupan purchased its Doosan wheel loader, it had a strong relationship with Carleton Equipment for compact equipment needs, specifically Bobcat® skid-steer loaders. Schupan has been a Bobcat skid-steer loader customer of Carleton Equipment for more than 30 years. Like the dependability of its Doosan wheel loader, Schupan required durable compact equipment for its processing and pushing needs.
“Throughout the years, it has been the solid relationship between Schupan and Carleton Equipment that has helped make us successful,” Hutchins says. “We’ve been able to run our Bobcat loaders at a cost-per-hour less than a good share of them. Carleton Equipment is always there for us.”
More from Metals Recycling
From fashion to recycling, Edward Kangeter, CEO of CASS, Inc. based in Oakland, CA, dives into the "ugliness" of the scrap industry and swaps memorable stories with Sierra International Machinery's John Sacco.
The Taurus Diablo scrap metal and auto baler DB62, available in North America through Ontario-based ELV Select, is designed for baling of cars and metal shred. According to ELV, these units are built to make very dense bales, with maximum density of 1,000 kg/m3, and to be quick and easy to transport as well as simple to operate, making them ideal for companies with multiple yards or for rental to other metal recyclers.
Silver Creek Recycling, located in Redcliff, Alberta, is a family business owned by Danny and Twila Luba and their son Bradyn. Bradyn's wife, Amanda, is a registered social worker. Danny and Twila Lubas' two daughters are Tajia, a business graduate working in commercial lending, and Taryn, a registered nurse. The family has operated Silver Creek Steel Mobile, a mobile recycling operation, since the late 1990s, servicing industrial locations throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, from large auto wreckers and landfills, to estate cleanups and oilfield demolition.
Gensco Equipment's new age of tools for heavy cable processing - Gensco Super Strippers - are designed to process standard and armoured electrical cable and other types of cable including PVC-covered , lead, rubber, nylon, Subsea, Tech, XLPE, REDA and insulated tubing.
Eriez introduced its Ultra High-Frequency (UHF) Eddy Current Separator in 2016 as a way for its auto shredding customers to generate significant additional revenue by recovering aluminum, copper and other nonferrous fines that had formerly been lost within the larger auto shredder residue (ASR) stream.
Greentec, based out of Cambridge, Ontario, has partnered with Conestoga College on Project Lexi -- a robotic cell that completely dismantles a computer hard drive in less than a minute. This innovation allows Greentec to recover all components within the drive.
July 26, Jennifer O'Connell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance (Youth Economic Opportunity), on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a $20-million investment in an $81.2-million project that will help Gerdau Ameristeel upgrade its facilities in Whitby and Cambridge, Ontario. The investment will modernize steel production lines, reduce manufacturing costs, reduce the amount of scrap metal going to landfills and improve production capability for billets, which are semi-finished long steel products used to produce other steel-based products such as angles, rebar, flats or channels. The investment will also create 108 jobs and maintain 710 more in Whitby and Cambridge.
Thermal Dynamics, an ESAB brand, has launched its new Cutmaster Black Series of enhanced performance plasma cutting consumables, which extend operating life by 60 percent compared to standard life electrodes. They are featured on the SL60QD 1Torch, which comes with the Cutmaster 60i handheld air plasma cutting system. Coupled with internal enhancements on the Cutmaster 60i, the new electrode design increases the unit's rated cut and piercing capacity to 3/4 in., a 16.6 percent improvement. The Cutmaster 60i can sever metal up to 1-1/2 in.
ShearCore has introduced their new FS145 Mobile Shear, the largest in their product line of attachments for the demolition and scrap recycling industries. Lead Designer, Ross Christenson says "the FS145 shear has been designed with less welds, fewer pieces, and is structurally stronger."
On August 3rd, 2019, Bunting Magnetics Co. will be celebrating its 60th anniversary as a company. Bunting Magnetics Co. is an industry leader in the design, manufacture, and sales of cutting-edge magnetic equipment used in applications such as magnetic separation, metal detection, conveyor systems, and magnetic printing cylinders. The main industries the company serves include the food and pharmaceutical industries, plastics, recycling, mining, printing, manufacturing, automotive, chemical, ceramics, textiles, and more.
A multitude of different configuration options make Lindner's mobile shredders and system solutions the perfect choice for universal waste processing. The company will be demonstrating just what is possible in the world of waste wood and light scrap recycling from 5 to 7 September at RecyclingAKTIV 2019 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler this week addressed members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) to discuss key issues related to the industry.
Eriez P-Rex rare earth scrap drums provide 50 percent greater recovery of ferrous from bottom ash for Covanta
Engineers at Covanta, one of the world's largest owners and operators of facilities dedicated to recovering energy from waste, reported an immediate 50 percent improvement in recovery of ferrous materials from bottom ash after upgrading a conventional scrap drum to an Eriez P-Rex®(Permanent Rare Earth Xtreme®) Scrap Drum at one of the company's United States facilities.
American Manganese Inc. (AMY) is pleased to report that the Company's contract lab, Kemetco Research Inc., has produced a high purity NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) hydroxide filter cake (shown above) during the final stages of the RecycLiCo Pilot Plant project. The filter cake was produced using a 35L batch sample of Pregnant Leach Solution that was collected during Stages 1 and 2 of the Pilot Plant project.
Celebrating their 60th year of commitment and service to their customers and the recycling industry, Sierra Recycling & Demolition was started by Ben Sacco in 1959. Now the sister company of Sierra International Machinery, the California-based recycling equipment specialist, Sierra has deep roots in recycling, and they have for 60 years. Based on this foundation, Sierra International Machinery states: "Our equipment is designed by recyclers for recyclers. At Sierra, we have the same experiences and challenges that other recyclers have, and we know the problems and the issues other recyclers face. We use the experiences from Sierra Recycling and Demolition, our engineers, operation managers, and service technicians to produce superior machines that we actively use in our own yard."
Cooperation between Dutch company Goudsmit Magnetics of Waalre and German company Sortatechas resulted in a mobile metal separator that separates both ferrous and non-ferrous metals from bulkflows. The companies will jointly demonstrate the Goudsmit Mobile MetalXpert at the Recycling Aktivin in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Metso Waste Recycling recently expanded its product line with the launch of two new pre-shredders - the K-series. In terms of performance and price, the new models will offer attractive alternatives for sites with production requirements between 5 - 45 t/h.
Innovation, safety and a reliable partner - that is what was important to the owner of Czech Republic-based mill service specialists Steelage, Jörgen Sassen.
CM Shredders has introduced a new single-shaft shredders line that features a "Smart-Ram" system which automatically adjusts ram pressure for maximum efficiency. The new CM SOLO series is ruggedly built and engineered for performance, durability and low cost of operation. Units produce minimal dust and require reduced power usage and manpower.
KINSHOFER offers an extensive range of excavator orange peel grapples for scrap, demolition, loading and unloading applications. Unlike competitive grapples, according to Kinshofer, the P-Series hydraulic system is fully enclosed and protected, reducing the risk of damage to hoses and other components. Additionally, the grapple's unique tine design enhances material penetration, increasing the amount contractors can safely secure in one cycle and saving time on the jobsite.
Frank van de Winkel, business development manager for TOMRA Sorting Recycling, will participate in a panel discussion during Harbor's 12th Aluminum Outlook Summit, held June 4-6, 2019, at Chicago's Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The Session 5 panel discussion will focus on North America's aluminum scrap & secondary market outlook, diving deep into emerging trends and market challenges. The session will take place in the Radisson's Atlantic Ballroom, starting at 8:25 a.m. on Thursday, June 6.
Some magnets are simple, like the small, hand-held versions that hold paper clips or which affix photos, calendars and notes to metal. Magnets attached to mobile material handlers to lift metal are much more complicated. Following are answers to some of the most popular questions often asked about lifting magnets, power supply sources and electrical control systems.
Many North American recycling businesses rely on the hard work of industry associations to help ward off burdensome legislation. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in the U.S. and the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries(CARI) in Canada provide members with educational resources, networking opportunities and advocacy muscle at home and abroad. These associations also have a long history of collaborating with one another to combat common issues.
A queue of old barges and tug boats idle and rock gently in the Fraser River, south of Vancouver, British Columbia. It could be an idyllic scene - but this is no watercolour painting. These old vessels are lined up to be demolished and turned into scrap metal.
The Schofield family's scrap yard is unique in Great Britain because of the materials it processes. Heaps of piled broken castings have been part of the landscape here for decades.
St. John's, Newfoundland-based Newco Metal and Auto Recycling, in April, commissioned an M6090 Modular Automobile Shredder Plant and Non-Ferrous Separation System from WENDT Corporation. The installation represents Newco's first automobile shredder and offers new market opportunities and economic advantages for processing the company's scrap metal.
The nation's recycling industry is calling on the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to address unreasonable railroad practices related to railcar supply and storage fees. Members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today testified before an STB hearing that rail is a critical mode for transporting ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, particularly for distances greater than 200 miles. Since many recycling facilities are served by only one major freight railroad, there are rarely alternative modes of transportation - which means scrap metal and other recycling companies are too often suffering poor rail service and seeing skyrocketing fees.
Ejvind Pedersen is a prominent figure in the global industry that supplies resources into the automotive sector. As CEO of Scanmetals S/A in Denmark, his company's specialties include turning incineration bottom ash (IBA) into pure metal fractions that reach primary raw material quality.
Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. ("American Manganese" or "AMY" or the "Company"), is pleased to report the Company has filed National Phase Patent Applications for the Company's flagship technology on recycling lithium-ion battery cathode materials. Seven additional countries have been selected for National Phase Applications for the Company's original PCT Application No. PCT/US2017/060794 filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization on November 9, 2017. In addition to US Patent No. 10,246,343, which was granted on April 2019, AMY has selected the following additional countries for the National Phase Applications:
Recycling industry calls on U.S. Mint to resume mutilated coin redemption program after unexpected shutdown
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) expressed concern over the announcement by the U.S. Mint to re-suspend the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program and is offering its expertise to work with the agency to identify and resolve any concerns as quickly as possible. Along with the Mint, ISRI shares the goal of recovering and recycling coins while protecting the program's integrity.
LBX Company has announced the Link-Belt 600 X4 Material Handler (MH) for the US and Canada. The 600 X4 MH features an electronically-controlled 362 horsepower Isuzu engine that meets EPA Final Tier 4 requirements, without the need for a diesel particulate filter (DPF).
The new Eriez NanoRanch A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Sorter uses vision to identify and sort a vast and customizable range of nonferrous materials, providing greater than 95 percent accuracy when the machine is trained with samples.
Eriez now offers expanded lab-scale testing services for the recycling industry. Testing is performed at the company's Central Test Lab (CTL), located in the Eriez Wager Road plant in Erie, PA.
The BPS Container Loading System is engineered to load 20-ft. and 40-ft. shipping containers quickly and efficiently for the export of ferrous and nonferrous metals. The three major components of this system are the vibratory hopper feeder, loading belt conveyor and system controls.
At bauma 2019 Liebherr presented two material handling machines: LH 18 M Industry and LH 26 M Industry, both specially designed for recycling applications. With these models, Liebherr says the company is positioning itself specifically in the field of small material handling machines, thereby expanding its product portfolio. As an example, for its electric material handling technology, Liebherr presented the LH 26 Industry with mobile undercarriage.
Bakersfield, California-based Sierra International Machinery has introduced the REB-X Press two-ram baler. The REB-X Press two-ram baler is designed to be easily transportable while maintaining a heavy-duty construction, remarkable performance and the ability to process a variety of material. According to Sierra, this portable two-ram baler is also highly adaptable and is the ideal machine for various applications at multiple facilities that need a baler to use on a rotational basis or during maintenance shutdowns, demolition projects, disaster cleanup, landfill projects, and rural locations.
Eriez latest model in the P-Rex scrap drum series will be among a wide range of magnetic separation and sorting equipment and technology the company will have on display at ISRI 2019 in Los Angeles, April 8-11. Other equipment technology will include the company's Shred1 Ballistic Separator, UHF Eddy Current Separator, and Metal Loss Monitor.
Liebherr USA, Co. Construction Equipment division is displaying two high performing material handlers and the most efficient wheel loader in the industry at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries 2019 convention and exposition in Los Angeles, California, to be held April 8-11.