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Global news - 4 May 2013

MRW brings you markets, business and policy news from around the world.

Europe

EU rejects levy plan for vessel dismantling

The European Parliament has thrown out a proposal to impose a ship recycling levy on commercial vessels calling at ports in Europe, after objections from industry.

MEPs rejected their environment committee’s recommendation to insert the tax into draft EU legislation meant to limit the risks of health and environmental damage from the dismantling of vessels.

The Parliament called instead on EU regulators to propose by the end of 2015 an incentive-based system to encourage safe ship recycling.

International shipowners’ organisations said the provision was “an unacceptable tax on trade and will cause grave offence to the EU’s trading partners”.

Bloomberg, 18 Apr

Italian firm buys US metal recycler

Italian steel and engineering specialist Danieli has snapped up US company Riverside Products. The acquired business will adopt the name Danieli Riverside Products, with the Italian company taking control of primary facilities at Bettendorf in the US and satellite operations in the UK and China.

According to Danieli executive vice-president Emanuele Brusini, the Riverside product line and business units will be merged into the Danieli Centro Recycling division.

Riverside Products has been a supplier of highly engineered rotors and wear parts to the worldwide metals recycling industry for more than 50 years.

Recycling International, 22 Apr

Germany wants to use fewer metal imports

Germany wants companies to harvest metals, including rare earths, from recycled electronics as Europe’s biggest economy seeks to become less dependent on imports.

Germany could significantly reduce rare earth imports if companies recycled products such as mobile phones and computer hard drives, said environment minister Peter Altmaier at a UN International Resource Panel in Berlin.

China, the biggest supplier of rare earth elements, announced in 2010 that it would limit production.

While companies are already recycling some electronics, they are mainly targeting gold and ignoring other potentially valuable metals, which are lost in the process, Altmaier said.

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker, the UN panel’s co-chair, added: “We are throwing away 99% of the rare earths we are using.”

Germany has a target to double the efficiency with which it uses resources by 2020 from 1994 levels.

Bloomberg, 24 Apr

Asia/Middle East

Recycling plant is also a tourist attraction

A year after a recycling plant, jointly administered by two cities in the western Japanese region of Kansai, started operations, it is being developed as a leisure park and tourist attraction.

Some 8,000 local people have already visited the plant, helping to raise awareness on protection of the environ-ment by recycling valuable metals and plastic waste.

Ahead of Gominohi - Refuse Day, being observed on 3 May in Japan - the plant was being spruced up with amusement facilities.

Xinhuanet, 24 Apr

Palestinian kids are taught about recycling

A joint Israeli-Palestinian environmental project is teaching children at 10 schools across East Jerusalem, Palestine, about environmental issues including recycling.

Between 15 and 20 million cubic metres of rubbish and sewage are dumped each year in the Kidron Valley, which is near historic sites.

The Kidron Valley Project is the product of co-operation between Israeli lawyers, grassroots organisation Only Green, Friends of the Earth Middle East and the Water Resources Action Project.

Khaled Abu Khaff, a manager at Only Green, said: “In traditional Palestinian culture, no-one used to throw out anything: they would reuse it. With new materials such as plastics, nylon and so on, it became easier to throw away.” 

Christian Science Monitor, 22 Apr

North America

Companies pick up baton for Earth Day

Several companies announced recycling initiatives and milestones to mark Earth Day on 22 April.

Coca-Cola has granted $2.59m (£1.7m) during the next five years to Keep America Beautiful, which will purchase more than 50,000 wheelie bins, expanding the scheme across Chicago.

Telecoms company CenturyLink said its recycling programme had exceeded 70 million pounds (32,000 tonnes) during 2007-12.

EcoScraps, an organic lawn and garden products manufacturer, said in the past 12 months it had diverted more than 14,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill.

Environmental Leader, 23 Apr

Price rises improve clothing recycling

Clothes recycling is going kerbside in more US towns as global prices rise for used apparel, shoes and linens.

Since September 2012, more than a dozen local governments - in Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington state - have begun kerbside pickup of textiles, often in special bags next to bins containing paper and cans.

New York City has put clothing collection bins in 250 apartment buildings in the past two years.

USA Today, 20 Apr

College wins cash to boost student recycling

A southern California recycling and waste management company has pledged $500,000 (£322,000) to Orange Coast College’s recycling centre.

The money from Stanton-based CR&R Waste and Recycling Services, plus $1.5m already pledged from Associated Students, will fund the centre’s expansion.

This will include an educational centre, classrooms and increased parking. Visitors can drop off used electrical and electronic devices, as well as recyclable beverage containers, at the centre.

Daily Pilot, 23 Apr

County wants to get in the Zone for loans

Supervisers in Riverside County, California, have signed off on an application seeking to have the county designated a Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ).

Eight cities, seven unincorporated communities and an airport within the county are recognised as belonging to an RMDZ, but the designation will expire in August. The Board of Supervisors wants it renewed, this time encompassing the entire county.

If state officials grant the request, manufacturing facilities within the RMDZ would be eligible to apply for annual loans up to $2m to purchase equipment and expand recycling schemes.

Southwest Riverside News Network, 24 Apr

Africa

Kenyan county starts separating rubbish

William Kabogo, governor of Kiambu county, Kenya, has vowed to initiate a law that will ensure that residents separate rubbish for easier collection and disposal.

Kabogo said waste has been a menace in Kiambu for a long time. He said: “I will make a law for residents to separate garbage such as plastics and polythene so that it can be easier for waste management and recycling.”

The waste will be recycled for the generation of fertiliser that will be given to farmers to enhance production.

Rubbish sites will be managed by the county government. Kabogo warned that people caught dumping waste along the roadside will be prosecuted.

The Star, Kenya, 19 Apr

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