Recycling Markets

California could become the first state to ban single-use plastics

13 Sep 2019

The ban in California could have impacts on the sector in other states, because any company importing goods to California would have to comply with its plastic standards. Much like California’s emissions standards tend to cause changes in the automotive industry nationally, such a bill has the potential to shift the plastic landscape more broadly.

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NERC releases report on updated domestic paper recycling capacity

3 Sep 2019

The list includes new paper mills along with existing mills that are closed or are still operating but are being converted to produce different end products (e.g. from newsprint to packaging).

It also includes two mill that will be using recycled feedstock other than OCC and RMP. One is a facilty desigined to produce paper pulp and plastic pellets using beverage cartons and aseptic packages as its primary feedstock. The other is a mill designed to use food contaminated paper from commercial sources. 

The mills are listed in rough order of their projected opening.

China to increase tariffs on US OCC and other materials

27 Aug 2019

U.S. exporters who are still moving OCC and other recyclables to China may face higher costs, after the Chinese government last week announced additional tariffs on key scrap materials.

OCC, newsprint and some higher-grade recovered fibers will face an additional 5% tariff when imported into China, according to an announcement from the Chinese government. The list also includes scrap aluminum.

NERC releases first of its kind regional blended MRF commodity value report

22 Aug 2019

Last year, in partnership with the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA), NERC formed a Regional Recycling Markets Development Committee.  The Committee determined that having regional information about the value of recyclable commodities would be extremely helpful for assessing regional market trends and would serve as an educational tool for promoting improved residential recycling and participation.  North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has been doing a similar survey for many years.  The results have been invaluable to recyclers, MRFs, and also munic

Space and cost concerns hinder commercial glass recovery

20 Aug 2019

A pilot project led by Colorado’s state recycling association revealed a number of impediments businesses in the region face when it comes to glass recycling. The group also suggested some solutions.

Recycle Colorado organized the six-month pilot project hoping to learn why more high-volume generators of glass don’t recycle the material. Colorado has about a 30% recycling rate for glass, despite the fact the state has two large bottle factories that consume cullet.

L.A. planners juggle goals, markets and huge volumes of material

15 Aug 2019

The second-largest city in the country also has a very ambitious waste diversion goal: 90% by 2025. That means Los Angeles must stay creative to continue managing the massive volume of recyclables its residents generate.

“We have a vast amount of bins all throughout the city,” said Robert Potter, city of Los Angeles division manager for the Bureau of Sanitation. “There are roughly 3 million containers that are out there on any given week.”

The city’s residential recycling program relies on city crews to service 750,000 single- and multi-family homes.

Companies plan investments in US recycled paper mills

13 Aug 2019

The past week brought several significant recycled paper capacity announcements, indicating future domestic outlets for mixed paper and OCC.

  • Shipping pulp from Kentucky to China: A Chinese company that purchased a U.S. paper mill will install a 700,000-tons-per-year recycled pulp and paper operation, taking in mixed paper and OCC and shipping the output to China for packaging production.

Scrap plastic exports plummet 43% this year, paper stable

7 Aug 2019

The latest figures indicate that the plastics recycling disruption is ongoing, and there are many indications the export situation will only experience more uncertainty. For instance, this decrease comes before the impact of the Basel Convention changes in scrap plastic shipping rules. And additional countries are publicly denouncing scrap plastic imports and calling for regulatory reform.

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