MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world
Coke enters French joint venture for PET
Coca-Cola Enterprises, which produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola products in Western Europe, is investing E6.5m ($8.4m) in a PET recycling facility and undertaking research aimed at influencing consumer recycling behaviour.
CCE is establishing a joint venture in France with PET recycler APPE to boost the capacity of its plastics reprocessing facility by 70%. The venture will invest in a new line at APPE’s existing recycling facility in Beaune and fund the trial and introduction of new technology. Once the upgrades are complete, the plant should recycle 20,000 additional tons of plastic into food-grade packaging per year, CCE says.
Solvay sets up rare earth recycling
Chemicals group Solvay is to open two rare earth recycling facilities in France following an investment totalling more than E15m (£12m). The Belgium-based group says it has developed a process for recovering rare earths contained in end-of-life equipment such as low-energy light bulbs, batteries and magnets which could “open up new growth opportunities”. The group started its rare earth project in 2007, with a focus initially on low-energy light bulbs. These contain six rare earths, lanthanum, cerium, terbium, yttrium, europium and gadolinium. According to Solvay, it is now in the position to recycle them while preserving 100% of their functional properties.
Underground waste pipe contract awarded
A contract to design and build a pneumatic collection system for household waste in Saint-Ouen, in the Seine-Saint-Denis region of France, has been awarded to SITA and its partners.
A partnership with engineering consultancy SAFEGE (a fellow subsidiary of Suez Environnement), waste management technology supplier ROS ROCA and BBJ architects won the contract to build an underground pneumatic waste collection system, which will feature 143 collection points.
Ljubljana plant for biogas and RDF
Vienna-based construction giant Strabag has been awarded a contract by the city council in Ljubljana, Slovenia for the RCERO Ljubljana solid waste treatment plant.
The plant will feature biogas generation from organic waste, production of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and recovery of recyclables.
The company said the contract is valued at E112m, and that the biogas plant will use its patented LARAN Plug Flow Digester technology for large scale dry digestion of high solid content waste.
Li Tong wins exclusive Chinese phone deal
China Electronics Enterprises Association (CEEA) has appointed Li Tong Enviro Tech Company as the sole official recycler of end-of-life mobile phones in China.
The company, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Li Tong Group, will be the pilot for the Comprehensive Use of Used Mobile Phones Scheme, which was initiated by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the CEEA to develop, implement and manage a reverse supply chain to recycle China’s discarded handsets. The pilot project is part of the country’s overall strategy to achieve a recycling target of 95% by 2015 under its 12th five-year plan.
UEM sells off end-of-life vehicle operations
Malaysia’s UEM Group Berhad is leaving the end-of-life vehicle recycling sector by selling the full stake in its Special Builders Sdn Bhd (SBSB) operation. According to the Kuala Lumpur-based company, the divestment is in line with the group’s strategy of “disposing non-core assets to realign its operations”.
The SBSB plant in Bandar Proton, which has scrapped roughly 47,500 vehicles since its launch in 2008, is to be sold via an open tender process to a qualified Malaysian entrepreneur. Apart from wanting to focus on its core businesses, the Malaysian group acknowledges it is pulling out of the ELV market in response to the government’s strategy to sell 10 non-core assets to Bumiputera companies.
Houston seeks boost with commingled
Houston has switched to commingled collection to boost the city’s record of only one-seventh of its rubbish being recycled.
Under what is being called Total Reuse: One Bin for All, residents would wheel everything to the curb in one bin and let the city sort it out. If Houston can find a private-sector partner to help it build what could be a $100m plant that would separate bottles from cans from paper from food from e-waste from yard clippings, the city would rise from being one of the nation’s laggards in municipal recycling to one of the paragons.
US PET rate stable on increased volumes
The 2011 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity in the US indicates that the recycling rate remains at 29.3%.
The report, produced by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, says the total volume of postconsumer PET bottles collected in the US was the highest measured to date at 1.604 billion pounds (728 kilotonnes); the total amount of recycled PET produced by US reclaimers reached a high of 667 million pounds.
Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman and vice president of global procurement and material systems for Plastipak Packaging Inc, said: “US reclaimers purchased a record 916 million pounds of postconsumer bottles in 2011, and 1.04 billion pounds of recycled PET went back into new product applications. These increases happened despite the effects of PET bottle lightweighting, which really played out this year to a greater extent than we’ve seen to date.
“The incidence of lighter bottles in the stream reflects manufacturers’ commitment to improving PET’s environmental footprint, but means additional handling for PET recyclers in the short term in order to produce the same weights.”
South Africa identifies need to collaborate
There is a need for government departments to work together to ensure an effective recycling economy that is buoyed by the thriving markets for recyclable waste, South African environmental affairs deputy minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi has said.
“It is important to continue to engage the private sector and create partnerships to deal with recycling,” Mabudafhasi said at a waste management conference in East London, Eastern Cape.
She said South Africans consumed over 3,629 million tons of packaging (metal, paper, glass and plastic) in 2008. Included in that is paper which is found in the waste stream. In that year, about 1,595 million tons of pre- and post-consumer waste was collected for recycling, a rate of 43.9%.
Although not all packaging and paper could be recycled, this area remained key for opportunities of recycling where municipalities could participate, according to Mabudafhasi.