New methane energy generator; Belgium nears ELV goal; Canadian recycler goes under; milestone for US plastics recycling
Advance claimed in capturing methane from older landfill sites
In what it claims is an industry first, a Swedish company says it has developed technology to generate electricity and heat from methane gas emitted at older landfill sites.
The European Union Landfill Directive of 1999 states that flaring is only an option if it is impossible to extract energy from the methane gas. This has typically been the case at older sites where methane is of a lower grade than the 40% coming from newer ones. Cleanergy’s GasBox, above, is said to address this specific problem and is claimed to be the only technology able to produce both electricity and heat from a methane gas concentration down to 18%.
GasBox is already commercially deployed at several locations in Sweden (in collaboration with the Swedish Energy Agency) and has also been installed at closed landfill sites in Norfolk, Shropshire and Yorkshire in the UK.
95% ELV recycling target ‘within reach’ for Belgium
Some 94% of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) were recycled in Belgium last year - hailed by national association Febelauto as ‘a great leap forward’. The organisation notes in its annual report that 53 of Belgium’s accredited car recyclers have already reached or exceeded the EU’s recycling target of 95% for next year.
“This impressive figure has been achieved thanks to the continuous innovation of our recycling industry,” states Febelauto director Catherine Lenaerts.
Febelauto registered some 134,506 discarded vehicles for a year-on-year drop of 16% thanks, it is said, to lower car sales and exports of wrecks. Lenaerts said the association had to fight against competition from illegal recyclers.
US film and rigid plastic recycling hits milestone
United States recycling of post-consumer film packaging, which includes plastic bags, product wraps, and commercial shrink film, reached a minimum of 1.02 million tons in 2012, up 1% from 2011, said Moore Recycling Associates in its 2012 National Postconsumer Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Report.
According to the report, US and Canadian processors consumed 41% of the 2012 total, down 28% on 2011. The remaining 59% of collected film was exported, up 41% from the previous year.
Domestic reclaimers decreased their film purchases in 2012 for several reasons, including lower demand for their end products, processing challenges, and a shift toward just-in-time inventory management. In addition, some domestic consumers have moved away from purchasing the lower-quality material.
Canadian plastic recycler shuts down
One of the major plastic recyclers of Quebec, Recyc RPM, has shut its facilities in Beauceville and St. Damien and laid off 90 employees but announced that it is working on a restructuring plan.
The company reportedly owes $20m (£12m) and is in the process of submitting a payment proposal to its creditors. According to the firm, contaminated waste streams, inefficient recycling system and the lack of adequate government support were the main reasons that created problems.
Recyc RPM is the second major Canadian recycler to run into financial crisis, following Greenline Resins Inc. of Woodstock, Ontario.
Samsung South Africa embarks on WEEE programme
Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced a partnership with key industry stakeholders to educate consumers about WEEE and the disposing of electronic goods in an environmentally responsible manner.
Customers are being invited to visit one of 18 Makro retail stores across South Africa and use the recycling bins located at the entrance of the stores. Items that can be recycled include: mobile phones, IT equipment and household appliances.
The recycling campaign aims to collect an estimated 3 tonnes per month, per bin, during the campaign period.