MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world
Rising hazard of waste moving outside the EU
As waste is increasingly moving across EU borders for recovery or disposal, a report by the European Environment Agency warns of a big rise in the export of hazardous waste to countries outside of Europe.
Increasingly stringent and harmonised waste policies in the EU have led countries to transport more waste material elsewhere. And the international trade in recyclable material is expected to continue to grow, the report states, driven by more recycling, growing competition for resources and increasing awareness of the value of waste.
Trade in hazardous waste is also expected to increase, although the driver in this case will be the need to treat waste in specific facilities that are not available in all countries.
Recycled granulates win plastics award
Reprocessor Interseroh Dienstleistungs and manufacturer Curver claimed the award for the Best Recycled End-Consumer Product from the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations.
A range of plastic containers and bowls, containing 100% recycled plastic granulates derived from consumer packaging, took the prize.
Interseroh said the granulates comprise “nearly exclusively” recycled plastics: “This secondary raw material is equal to virgin plastics in terms of quality and properties.”
Australia signs up to renew duty to Kyoto
Australia is set to renew its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and sign up to binding emission reductions through to 2020, in a move that has been hailed as a breakthrough for the long-running international climate change negotiations.
But New Zealand confirmed that it will not join its neighbour in signing up for a second phase of Kyoto, instead opting for a non-binding pledge on emissions reduction.
United Nations climate change negotiators and world leaders will meet in Doha from 26 November in an attempt to reach a series of agreements designed to extend the legally binding Kyoto agreement before it expires at the end of this year, as well as setting out a roadmap for a new treaty to be finalised by 2015.
Chinese call to focus on environment
China’s outgoing president Hu Jintao has used his keynote speech at the Communist Party Congress to call for a fundamental shift in the way the nation uses resources and a “revolution” in energy efficiency.
Hu highlighted the environment as one of China’s priorities, alongside the need for political reform, widespread economic growth, and efforts to tackle corruption. He said the world’s largest emitter of CO2 and second biggest economy should cut sharply its energy use, emissions and release of major pollutants.
“We will have a large-scale circular economy and considerably increase the proportion of renewable energy sources in total energy consumption,” he said.
Scrap price goes up at last at Tokyo Steel
Tokyo Steel has raised the scrap purchase price at one of its plants by ¥1,000 (£8) per tonne, suggesting that Japanese scrap prices may have finally bottomed out after falling to multi-year lows in the past few months.
Although the rise affects only deliveries to its Utsunomiya plant, located north of Tokyo, it marks the first increase in scrap prices since late August.
Since then, Japan’s largest electric arc furnace operator and effective benchmark price-setter has slashed its purchase prices by ¥7,000 per tonne.
Rubbish contractors protest in Indian city
With continuing problems at landfill sites, Bangalore’s waste crisis seems to be getting messier. Rubbish contractors staged a protest in front of the office of commissioner Rajneesh Goel demanding security for their vehicles.
After meeting the contractors, Goel announced that his department would form a squad of five officials who will manage the sites during the night. They will be posted at the landfills on a rotation basis.
SN Balasubramaniyam, a garbage contractor, said there was a need for increased security for vehicles, as well as employees, when they dump rubbish at landfills at night-time.
Scrap prices on the rise after hurricane
Delays at US ports following the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy have caused a tightness in the deep sea ferrous scrap market, supporting prices and helping to boost CIS-origin (from the former Soviet bloc) pig iron prices.
Scrap prices have increased by just under $10 (£6) in the past week to more than $400 per tonne, after deliveries were delayed by at least a week from some US terminals. Pig iron prices out of the CIS have risen by around $5 per tonne from last week.
Clean up restrictions in some areas
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is restricting rubbish clean-up and halting recycling pickups altogether in areas less affected by Superstorm Sandy. He is reducing pick-up days from three a week to two, or from two days a week to one in certain neighbourhoods.
He is also ordering sanitation staff to work 12-hour shifts and sending the extra manpower to areas that need help cleaning up the wreckage that Sandy left behind. Those areas include Staten Island, the Rockaways and south Brooklyn.
“I’ve been visiting the parts of our city hit hardest by the storm…and one thing I hear in all those places is the need for debris removal and the incredible work the Department of Sanitation is doing,” he said.
Waste collection unit combines technologies
Three companies - Curotto-Can, garbage truck body maker Heil Environmental and truck chassis company Autocar LLC - have forged a business partnership to promote what they say puts a new twist on collection.
Their ‘automated front-loader’ technology combines equipment from all three firms to improve efficiency and safety and reduce fuel consumption.
The companies worked for a year before showcasing the approach at this year’s Waste Expo in Las Vegas, creating a unit that is designed to be considered as a single system instead of a truck with add-ons.
Finns work in Namibia on waste collection
Finnish minister of European affairs and foreign trade Alexander Stubb and Namibia’s deputy environment and tourism minister Uahekua Herunga have launched the Molok Deep Collection System, a waste management system that offers a clean, effective and efficient collection point for a variety of waste.
Compact and hygienic, and said to be virtually odour-free, the system offers advantages, particularly where space is limited. Namibian company Rent-A-Drum was identified as a potential waste management partner for the Finnish waste firm Molok.