MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.
Sims adds third WEEE plant in Canada
Sims Recycling Solutions, Canada, has started its newest waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling facility in Laval, Quebec. The facility joins two Sims sites operating in Ontario and one in British Columbia.
Cindy Coutts, Sims Recycling Solutions, Canada, president, said: “Quebec, home to 24% of the Canadian population, is the latest province to implement WEEE recycling regulations.
“If Quebec’s volumes reflect those of other provinces driven by similar regulations, we can expect at least 25,000 metric tonnes of WEEE to be recycled in Quebec during the next year.”
Mattress group offers own recycling scheme
The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) said it does not want US states to pass stewardship laws aimed at mattress recovery and recycling. This would mean that producers are responsible for recycling a proportion of end-of-life mattresses.
The trade group represent-ing mattress manufacturers is so opposed to the proposals that it is seeking to convince Congress to pass a national stewardship law for its products that would pre-empt state laws.
The ISPA said it would function much like other stewardship schemes: consumers would pay a fee that would fund a stewardship ‘council’ tasked with collecting and recycling used mattresses.
Challenge of boosting household sorting
South Africa aims to have all households in its large towns separating their own waste by 2016.
Separating recyclables at household level is a requirement of the Waste Act. The National Waste Management Strategy requires that, in four years’ time, all metropolitan municipalities, secondary cities and large towns will have initiated programmes for separation at source.
But this will be a huge challenge because public awareness of recycling is low, and only 3.3% of urban householders recycled their waste in 2010.
Materials sorted by robots in Finland
Sita Finland and ZenRobotics, a manufacturer of robotic recycling equipment, have announced a deal for what they describe as the world’s first multiple robot recyclable materials sorting process.
Sita Finland will take delivery of two ZenRobotics Recycler (ZRR) systems: one ZRR Heavy Picker and one ZRR Fast Picker.
This brings the Sita Finland site at Helsinki to a total of three robotic systems.
A ZRR test system has been running at Sita Finland since 2011.
Model site buys fleet of miniature trucks
Dutch WEEE collection firm Wecycle has commissioned a fleet of miniature collection trucks for Madurodam, a park which showcases scale models of famous Dutch sights.
Small electronic devices and light bulbs account for an estimated 35,000 tonnes of the discarded products ending up in Dutch refuse bins each year, according to Wecycle.
The recycling authority underlines that, contrary to common perception, small WEEE comprises up to 75% recyclable content “with light bulbs even boasting 90% recyclability”.
Extending the collection fleet to the narrow streets of Madurodam is intended to highlight that handing in discarded devices and light bulbs should become an integral part of everyday life, according to Wecycle.
Guinness record for carton construction
A one-of-a-kind ‘pavilion’ created in Spain using around 45,000 milk cartons has secured the title from Guinness World Records of “the largest structure built from recycled materials”.
Architects from CUACS Arquitectura and designers from Sugerplatform realised the project by collecting Tetra Briks from the refuse of some 100 colleges in the Granada region. These were stacked in a zigzag, labyrinth-like pattern, featuring a large wall 100ft and a 23ft-high tower.
Each individual piece was locked in place using clips, with sandbags serving to keep the lightweight creation from blowing away.
Fewer batteries were recycled in 2011
Member companies of the European Battery Recycling Association (EBRA) recycled 35,000 tonnes of waste batteries in 2011, 2,000 tonnes short of the previous year’.
EBRA’s statistics cover all types of primary and secondary batteries from the consumer, industrial and automotive sectors, with the exception of lead-acid batteries. Nor do the figures take into account waste batteries which were collected and treated as part of WEEE.
According to general secretary Alain Vassart, the volume of primary and secondary batteries recycled at present does not exhaust available plant capacity because growth in the collection market for the consumer segment was lower than expected.
Higher health and safety risks linked to the increased recycling of different types of lithium batteries posed another challenge, he added.
Record year for ship- breaking yards
Shipbreaking yards in India demolished 527 vessels last year, breaking all previous records, according to ship demolition expert Star Matrix.
The figure represents an average of 1.4 ships per day. With 5.2 million tonnes being recycled from ships, such recycling in India contributed to 9% of total steel manufactured in the country.
Cash in on Indian recycling boom
A waste management and recycling conference in India has been set for 8-10 April, based at India Expo Centre and Martin Delhi.
The organisers of Waste Management & Recycling India (www.wmrindia.com)said the exhibition will provide a meeting place for businesses interested in capitalising on India’s waste management and recycling markets.
India’s population produces some 68.8 million tonnes of municipal solid waste a year - or 18,500 tonnes a day. If the current trend continues, the organisation has estimated that urban India will generate 160.5 million tonnes by 2041 and, during the next decade, some 920 million tonnes of solid waste will need to be managed.
Seeing a partner for urban mining in Chile
GTSO Resources, the mining subsidiary of Green Technology Solutions, is to evaluate potential acquisitions and partners in Chile’s urban mining sector.
GTSO chief executive Paul Watson said: “We are looking for partners that can provide comprehensive management services and processes for the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment in Chile.
“We are in talks now with some prominent e-waste recyclers there that we look forward to announcing and working with soon.”
Chile has been a major focus of GTSO’s efforts to expand its urban mining footprint. More than 95% of Chileans have a mobile phone. These have an average life span of less than two years, and a huge market is developing globally to keep the highly valuable and highly toxic materials used to build them out of landfills.