Eliminate the presort 2.0 - Recycling Today

2022-07-02 07:49:29 By :

See how CP Group's products can provide quality separation for any business.

For the last five years, all the hype has been around CP Group's primary auger screen. Screw conveyors and screens have been used for decades in multiple industries but never before in residential and commercial single-stream recycling plants, until now. 

CP Group, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), created and brought this screening method to the North American market. After years of research and development, the company identified the right features and sizing for a successful material split. 

The auger screen is placed directly after the infeed conveyor and eliminates the presort. Cantilevered steel augers don’t wrap or jam. The true nonwrapping machine is a revolutionary and disruptive technology in MRF process flow and design. 

By fractionating the inbound stream, sorters on the auger screen postsort, see a reduced material burden depth. This allows MRF operators to run with fewer sorters while keeping their sorters safe. The small fraction bypasses sorters, which have sharps, glass and other small biohazards.

Fractionating creates more homogenous streams to let downstream equipment work smarter and not harder.

CP Group created version two of the auger screen, a patented nonround cantilevered steel auger that agitates material at a higher rate than the round augers. The OCC Auger Screen has successfully shown in multiple installations to create a clean old corrugated cardboard (OCC) end-product in commercial and single streams. 

CP Group's forward-thinking approach utilizes both auger screens to eliminate the presort and the typical OCC quality control station. 

In our industry, the people have always protected the machines. The way industrial automation should work is the machines should protect the people. This is what the auger screen does. 

CP Group is an OEM with 45 years of manufacturing experience, including:

Two of the company’s existing sites in Texas are among the locations being considered.

June 24, commodity pricing and information service ICIS reported that Eastman, a global specialty chemicals company headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, was considering Texas City, Texas, for a new chemical recycling project, citing an application for a tax break that the company filed with the tax office of the city’s school district.

Eastman tells Recycling Today that it is “exploring future growth options worldwide to expand production of polymers and intermediates from recycled plastic waste, which may include an investment at one of its global manufacturing locations.”

The company continues, “Eastman applied for tax incentives for its properties owned in Texas City and Longview, Texas, for a potential project. These filings do not in any way commit us to one of these two sites. The team is still going through a robust site selection process, and there could be multiple filings of this type in several places as we look for the most attractive locations for this investment. Once a location is chosen, the facility is expected to be complete in the 2025-2026 time frame.”

The future facility would be similar to the one that Eastman is building in Kingsport that uses methanolysis to convert end-of-life polyester products and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging that are difficult to recycle by mechanical means into recycled raw materials that will be used to produce the company’s specialty plastics. Eastman’s Kingsport site is one of the largest integrated chemical manufacturing plants in North America. At the time of the Kingsport announcement in early 2021, Mark Costa, Eastman CEO and board chair, told Recycling Today, “We evaluated a number of possible locations, and ultimately, we made the decision based on our scale and integration in Kingsport. Also, we were able to work together with Tennessee state officials to make this investment here.”

According to the company, the Kingsport methanolysis plant will contribute to Eastman achieving its sustainability commitments for addressing the plastic waste crisis, which include recycling more than 500 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2030 via molecular recycling technologies and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Eastman says it has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic annually by 2025.

During its 2021 Innovation Day last December, Brad Lich, Eastman executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said the Kingsport project was expected to begin producing at commercial quantities in 2023 and that the company expected to announce at least one additional circular economy project in Europe or the U.S. in the first half of 2022.

That announcement came in mid-January when the company said it would it planned to invest up to $1 billion to build what it called the world’s largest molecular plastics recycling facility in France.

Calling the facility in France a “material-to-material molecular recycling,” Eastman said it will use its “polyester renewal technology” to recycle up to 160,000 metric tons annually of plastic scrap it characterizes as hard-to-recycle material “that is currently being incinerated.”

Circularix, led by Leon Farahnik, will open the first of five facilities later this year in Pennsylvania.

HPC Industries LLC, Los Angeles, the former owner of defunct bottle-to-bottle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycler CarbonLite, which also was based in Los Angeles, and Australia-based Macquarie Group’s Commodities and Global Markets group have formed a joint venture to produce recycled PET (rPET) pellets that will operate under the name Circularix.

Leon Farahnik, chairman of HPC and the former chairman and CEO CarbonLite, serves as chairman and CEO of Circularix, while Alex Delnik, also formerly of CarbonLite as well as being the former CEO and founder of PET recycler Verdeco Recycling, will serve as president and chief operating officer. In addition to its investment as a partner in the joint venture, Macquarie is assisting Circularix with project debt, equipment finance, foreign exchange hedging and other risk management solutions to support its growth.

Farahnik declines to tell Recycling Today the stake that Macquarie has taken in Circularix, saying the information is confidential.  

According to a news release issued on behalf of Circularix, plans include building and operating five recycling facilities across the U.S. with a total annual production capacity of more than 275 million pounds of rPET. The first facility, in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, is expected to be operational by December 2022.

Farahnik says the 100,000-square-foot plant is near Allentown, Pennsylvania, which serves as a “major hub for all of our customers.” It will have the capacity to produce 55 million pounds of food-grade rPET pellets from flake rather than bottles, which it will purchase from within a 200-to-250-mile radius of the plant.

He says he expects the next site, which will be in Florida, to be operational in the second quarter of 2023. After that, roughly every six months, the company plans to open sites in Texas, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest, having chosen these locations because of their proximity to customers that Circularix intends to supply.

Farahnik adds that the sites are each expected to have 55 million pounds of capacity and will feature a high degree of automation as well as equipment from Austria-based Starlinger.

“Consumer brands are struggling to meet their sustainability goals as current rPET supply is unable to scale as needed,” Farahnik says in the news release about the new venture. “Our move into rPET production is the beginning of a major and much-needed capacity expansion in the United States, and we are excited to continue playing an important role in the plastics recycling industry by uniting our experience with Macquarie's." 

Macquarie is a leading provider of risk management, market access and capital and financing solutions to the petrochemicals industry and has played a leading role in environmental product markets, sustainable infrastructure and the waste sector around the world for more than 15 years. Macquarie formed its Sustainable Waste Solutions team in 2020 to provide finance and growth capital solutions to clients in the waste sector, with a focus on helping facilitate the transition to a circular economy. 

Farahnik says HPC had met with a number of investment groups after conceiving the project and was “very impressed with Macquarie’s knowledge of the business, recycling and sustainability.”

“We are delighted to support our clients in delivering the practical infrastructure needed to expand production capacity for post-consumer recycled materials,” says Ben Glover, executive director in Macquarie’s Specialized and Asset Finance division, in the news release. “Ventures such as Circularix are a key part of the supply chain that will drive more post-consumer material back into higher value recycled packaging markets.” 

Analysts cite fundamental demand issues as copper closes June down percent from start of month.

The value of copper on global trading exchanges headed steeply downward in June. Analysts are citing stifled economic activity in China combined with fears of a recession in developed nations as raising concerns on the demand side for the red metal.

Copper closed on the United States-based Comex exchange at $3.64 per pound June 30, while on the London Metal Exchange (LME) it ended that day with a cash bid price of $8,240 per metric ton, or $3.74 per pound.

The red metal started the month at $9,450 on the LME ($4.29 per pound). The month of June, therefore, saw a 12.8 percent drop in the value of copper as measured by that exchange.

A news item posted by Reuters June 30 indicates the value of copper on the LME fell by more than 19 percent in the second quarter of this year.

That same article points to several factors contributing to a lack of confidence in the metal’s future, including the prolonged COVID-19-related lockdown in Shanghai and other parts of China and the onset of potential recessions in other parts of the world, caused in part by rampant inflation.

While China’s commodity woes might be felt most keenly on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), the nation’s partial hibernation helped cause Japan’s factory output in May to post the biggest monthly drop in two years, Reuters says.

Another factor has been the increasingly strong U.S. dollar, which the news service says “makes dollar-denominated metals less attractive for buyers holding other currencies.”

The lower price has not seemed to stall copper recycling investments in the United States, with German companies Aurubis and Wieland both moving forward with significant recycling capacity investments.

On the processing and trading side, in its quarter ending May 31, Portland-based Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. says,“Nonferrous sales volumes were up 29 percent year over year, benefiting from strong global demand and an easing of supply chain and logistics disruptions.”

Advocacy groups say by phasing out plastic in some applications the state’s litter problem can be addressed.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill 54, which creates several amendments to the state’s Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 and is designed to address plastic litter issues and low recycling rates in the Golden State, into law.

The text of SB 54 sets reporting requirements for transfer station and “disposal facility” operators to provide “periodic information to the [state] on the types and quantities of materials that are disposed of, sold or transferred to other recycling or composting facilities or specified entities.”

Trade associations such as the National Waste & Recycling Association and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) likely will seek clarification on the reporting requirements and how they affect operators of transfer stations, material recovery facilities (MRFs) and other locations where discarded materials are handled in the recycling chain.

The bill also states, “The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 regulates the disposal, management and recycling of, among other solid waste, plastic packaging containers and single-use foodware accessories.”

At least one advocacy group sees this as the death knell for plastic in several applications in the state. Washington-based Oceana calls the measure “the strongest plastic source reduction policy in the nation” and “the first state law to mandate source reduction of all single-use plastic packaging and foodware, from detergent bottles and bubble wrap to cups and utensils.”

According to Oceana, the law requires packaging producers and product makers to “slash their single-use plastic packaging and foodware by at least 25 percent by 2032 and implement the first reuse and refill mandates in the nation.”

Christy Leavitt, Oceana’s plastics campaign director, says, “Oceana commends the state legislature and the governor for realizing the urgency of the plastic pollution crisis and taking strong action to protect California's coast and communities. California’s effort to aggressively tackle plastic pollution at the source and require companies to shift from throwaway plastic to reusable and refillable alternatives sends a strong signal to the nation, and the world."

The Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC) previously told Recycling Today it had concerns about the future of chemical recycling investments and other unintended consequences should the legislation be passed.

Joshua Baca, vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, released a statement saying the ACC is pleased that the anti-plastics ballot initiative has been withdrawn and SB 54 was signed into law.

"Negotiating SB 54 over the last 18 months has not been an easy process," he says. "We appreciate the hard work of Sen. Ben Allen and his staff to get us to this resolution. The law is not perfect, as we outlined in our previous statement.  

"However, SB 54 is a better outcome than the withdrawn anti-plastics ballot initiative. Had that initiative passed it would have cost Californians an estimated $9 billion dollars annually but only invest approximately 30 percent of that to improve recycling in the state."

Oceana stresses the pollution control aspects of the legislation, with Tara Brock, Oceana’s Pacific counsel, commenting, “Single-use plastic foodware and food packaging products are consistently among six of the top 10 types of items most commonly picked up during annual beach cleanups across California. Voters are concerned and want change.”

The Ecology Center in Berkeley, California, says several environmental organizations, including the Ecology Center, provided input to the legislation, adding that it establishes guardrails to ensure compliance.

Martin Bourque, executive director of the Ecology Center says, “The industry-run producer responsibility organization (PRO) that this law creates will require more watchdogging than ever to ensure it does not follow age-old industry tricks, false promises and greenwashing. We are satisfied that CalRecycle will have the necessary authority to ensure the PRO lives up to its legal requirements, and we will be watching to make sure they do.”

*This article was updated July 1 to add comments from Joshua Baca of the ACC and Martin Bourque of the Ecology Center.