MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.
Robots bring a touch of Zen to recycling
Dutch company Baetsen Recycling has purchased what is claimed to be the world’s first fully robotic recycling system. The ZenRobotics Recycler will be installed in February next year at an investment of more than e1m (£800,000).
Baetsen is bringing the Finnish artificial intelligence system to its location at Son, Netherlands. Once active, the system will recover concrete, bricks, stone and wood, as well as ferrous and non-ferrous metals, from construction waste.
Chief executive Hans van Roosmalen said recycling robots were “the future”.
Green partnership for solar panels
A US recycling company and a French solar technology firm have signed a partnership agreement to create a dedicated recycling solution for manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules selling in Europe and the US.
The collaboration between PV Recycling, of Tempe, Arizona, and Paris-based CERES, will include collection, handling, and material reclamation activities. The organisations pledge that the processing of PV modules will be carried out in an environmentally, socially and financially responsible manner.
Atlanta targets MSW with city-wide bins
A joint approach between the Curbside Value Partnership and the city of Atlanta will deliver around 65,000 new kerbside recycling bins across the city in October. Atlanta has a goal of achieving 90% diversion of municipal waste by 2020.
Combined technology uses university waste
Vancouver-based renewable waste gasification specialist Nexterra Systems has completed a combined heat and power (CHP) project with the University of British Columbia and GE. The company has also signalled a move into the expanding UK market.
Nexterra said the project is North America’s first commercial demonstration of a transformative system that combines its gasification and syngas conditioning technologies with one of GE’s Jenbacher internal combustion engines.
The Jenbacher gas engine will produce 2MW of clean, renewable electricity that will offset the university’s existing power consumption.
Shipbreaking is back on track
Having imported ships with an iron plate content totalling two million tonnes during the past nine months, Bangladesh’s shipbreaking business is back on track, according to industry experts.
Some 206 ships have been dismantled this year, a significant increase from the recent period when regulatory complexities plunged the sector into uncertainty.
Radioactive scrap from Japan is found
The Chinese coastal city of Ningbo has intercepted 9.26 tonnes of radioactive scrap metal, according to China Central Television (CCTV). The source of contamination is said to be Fukushima, Japan, where the nuclear accident occurred in March 2011.
Radiation levels soared 28% above those allowed by the Chinese government, CCTV reported. This information contradicts a previous online claim that more than 1,000 tonnes of contaminated metal had entered the port city with a radiation level roughly 200% over the national limit.
The metal was reported to have been imported by Ningbo Huanjin Recycling Metal Co, which belongs to Japan’s Taiwa Trade Co.
‘Africa’s busiest landfill’ moves to EfW
A South African energy-from-waste project, supported by environmental firm SLR Consulting, has been identified as one of the world’s most exciting infrastructure projects by KPMG. The project includes the recovery of energy from two landfill sites, Bisasar Road in Durban and Mariannhill.
The former takes up to 3,500 tonnes of municipal solid waste every day, making it Africa’s busiest landfill site. It currently generates and exports 6.5MW into the local electricity grid.
Waste management leads on new jobs
South Africa environmental affairs deputy minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi has said the waste sector offers great potential for job creation at the launch of a domestic waste collection pilot project at the Barolong Community Hall in Mahikeng.
The waste collection pilot is an Expanded Public Works Programme initiative. Mabudafhasi described the handover as “a milestone”
that reiterates the importance of integrated waste management.
Fake phone collection adds recycling points
Nokia has partnered with local mobile service providers and retail outlets in Kenya to collect and dispose of counterfeit phones, ahead of the planned switch-off of these devices.
The handset manufacturer has partnered with Safaricom, Airtel, Nakumatt, Naivas, Phonelink and Tuskys to ensure that an additional 100 collection points are set up across the country for consumers to dispose of the fake phones.
There has been mounting concern among environmental agencies and consumers about what will happen to the devices once they are discarded.
Lagos strategy wins it clean state claims
The Lagos Waste Manage-ment Authority (LAWMA) in Nigeria has hailed reports that the state has been rated as one of the cleanest in the country, despite a deep-rooted nationwide waste problem.
LAWMA said its strategy has been to bring a sense of collective responsibility to the heart of waste management, making waste minimisation a productive and participatory venture between the government and the people.
Landfill is no longer acceptable for waste
Kevin Campbell, chief executive of Australia’s largest waste management company, has said landfill was no longer an acceptable method of disposing of waste.
Transpacific Industries Group has paid AU$86m (£55m) in levies to state governments for landfill use in the past year, he said. Research showed that Australia produces the equivalent of 2.05 tonnes a person and this is growing at 5% a year.
Free drop off e-waste for householders
The Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform has launched TechCollection, a free e-waste collection service for householders and small businesses to drop off unwanted TV sets and computer products for recycling.
Launched at Moonee Valley Transfer Station by senator Don Farrell, the programme is one of three approved ‘co-regulatory arrangements’ that operate under the Federal Government’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme.