Recycling Product News May/June 2021, Volume 29, Number 4

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We are CDE – leaders in contaminated soils washing. Ground pollution threatened Long Island’s drinking water. Local firm Posillico Materials turned to CDE to design a soil wash plant that could transform this contaminated soil into valuable products. Our innovative wet processing system now helps them recover sand and aggregates while removing contaminants.

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May/June 2021 | Volume 29, Number 4




Lacero Solutions is leading the way on vehicle airbag recycling


From the Editor


News Room


Catalytic converter recycling: key questions answered by PMR chemist Martin Paradis

14 Spotlight


Port of Brownsville is the first American port with EU ship recycling accreditation


Feature Story


Scrap Metal Recycling


New material handlers built for high performance and low-cost operation


Hauling & Collection


Commodity Focus


Return-It is adapting its social purpose to pivot to a post-pandemic era where nothing is waste


Plastics Recycling


C&D Recycling


Equipment Roundup


Last Word


Advertiser Index


Strong PET demand will eventually find its supply


Using chemical recycling to recover end-of-life mattresses


Investing in a sustainable future for C&D recycling


JKN Concrete Crushing integrates permanent magnet into mobile screen plant

MAY/JUNE 2021 | VOLUME 29 • NUMBER 4 EDITOR Keith Barker 604-291-9900 ext. 305 EDITOR IN CHIEF Kaitlyn Till 604-291-9900 ext. 330

ADVERTISING PRODUCTION MANAGER Tina Anderson 604-291-9900 ext. 222 DESIGN & PRODUCTION Morena Zanotto 604-291-9900 ext. 325

DIGITAL EDITOR Slone Fox 604-291-9900 ext. 335 ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES Sam Esmaili 604-291-9900 ext. 110

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Ken Singer 604-291-9900 ext. 226 VICE PRESIDENT/CONTROLLER Melvin Date Chong

FOUNDER Engelbert J. Baum

Published by: Baum Publications Ltd.

FROM THE COVER: THE NEW MH3260 TRACKED MATERIAL HANDLER FROM CATERPILLAR This spring Caterpillar introduced its new 3200 series tracked material handlers, built to offer high efficiency in demanding applications such as scrap and C&D recycling.

124 - 2323 Boundary Road Vancouver, BC, Canada V5M 4V8 Tel: 604-291-9900 Toll Free: 1-888-286-3630 Fax: 604-291-1906 @RecyclingPN FOR ALL CIRCULATION INQUIRIES Phone: 1-855-329-1909 • Fax: 1-855-272-0972 e-mail:

See more on page 30. Subscription: To subscribe, renew your subscription, or change your address or other information, go to: mysubscription/subscribe Recycling Product News is published eight times yearly: January/February, March, April, May/June, July/August, September, October, November/ December. Advertising closes at the beginning of the issue month.



One year subscription rates for others: Canada $33.50 + 1.68 GST = $35.18; U.S.A. $40; other countries $63.50. Single copies $6.00 + 0.30 GST = $6.30; outside Canada $7.00. All prices are in ­Canadian funds. Recycling Product News accepts no responsibility or liability for reported claims made by manufacturers and/or distributors for products or services; the views and opinions ­expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Baum Publications Ltd. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada. Copyright 2021 Baum Publications Ltd. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the publishers. Printed in Canada, on recycled paper, by Mitchell Press Ltd. ISSN 1715-7013. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40069270.

WE’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU Do you have a story, equipment or technology innovation, commentary or news that our readers in the recycling industry should know about? Drop us a line any time. Contact: Editor Keith Barker at or 604-291-9900 ext. 305

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n October of 2020, the Canadian government first announced its intentions to label all plastic goods as toxic as part of its plan to move to zero plastic waste by 2030. In early May, the government published an order-in-council in the Canada Gazette Part II, to add “plastic manufactured items” to the List of Toxic Substances set out in Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), and use the resulting regulation-making powers to ban multiple single-use plastic waste products by the end of 2021. This has since sparked significant reaction from the plastics manufacturing and packaging industries, as well as environmentalists and recyclers. Concern from opposing sides is focused on what the order will mean to the development of a circular economy and the fight against plastic pollution, and about what it will mean to the overall plastics economy and value chain. Tony Radoszewski, President and CEO of the U.S.-based Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), was very quick to warn that “false labelling” could have devastating effects on cross-border trade, jobs in the U.S. and Canada, and working people depending on plastics for safety, convenience and affordability. “The idea that plastic is toxic is the true danger,” commented Radoszewski. “It could fast-track more bans on other consumer products that are fully recyclable. Our main concern should be improving recycling.” On the other side of the initial debate, according to Oceana Canada’s campaigner Ashley Wallis, “Declaring plastic as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act is warranted, welcomed and long overdue.” “Adding plastic to the List of Toxic Substances under CEPA gives the federal government the ability to eliminate harmful, unnecessary single-use plastics, set recycled content requirements to improve recycling outcomes, and enable Canada’s transition to a non-toxic, low carbon circular economy,” she said. Wallis’ comments were in direct reaction to a group of plastics industry leaders, which on May 18, launched the Responsible Plastic Use Coalition (RPUC) to pursue legal action against the federal government over their order to designate plastics as toxic. According to a statement from RPUC, “Industry leaders from across Canada have come together to take action to challenge this legislative action by the Government, while continuing to encourage the federal government to implement science-based innovative solutions that will combat plastic

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There is a way to make efficient resource recovery and the circular economy work for all sides. waste – such as enhancing collection infrastructure and investing in advanced recycling.” In this instance, we are caught between the profitability of the ubiquitous, massive global plastics industry and the dire need to confront plastics pollution and climate change with immediate action, including a rapid shift to a true circular economy that eliminates waste and keeps resources in the economy. Change is imminent but, similar to the need for our shift away from fossil fuels to alternative clean energy, it cannot happen overnight. There is urgency to consider, certainly, but ill-thought strategies which basically put in place a blanket regulation for a very complicated issue and do not adequately consult all stakeholders involved, are not the way to go. There is a way to make efficient resource recovery and the circular economy work for all sides. It will take time to get it right, but in the long-run, the race will be won by well-thought-out strategy based on a circular economy concept, one that will reduce industrial and consumer waste in a truly sustainable way, reusing materials over and over again, and which will keep both the environment and profitability of industry in the equation.


The secret to getting ahead is getting started.







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Republic Services recently retrofitted the fibre lines in their 45-tph facility in Seattle, Washington, also known as Rabanco Recycling. The retrofits include two single-eject and two dual-eject MSS Fibermax optical sorters from CP Group. In 2018, Republic added two single-eject MSS Fibermax optical sorters to meet new strict export grade requirements of less than 0.5 percent contamination, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in head count on the fibre quality control stations. The company has also integrated Fibermax optical sorting units into multiple facilities around the U.S. in recent years. At Rabanco, after a successful integration and achievement of their retrofit goals, Republic says it has moved forward with the installation of two additional dual-eject Fibermax units, which began operation March 21. The dual-eject MSS Fibermax units eject cardboard as well as prohibitives out of the paper line. Republic reports that the addition has reduced head count by 44 percent on the fibre quality control stations. Additionally, the units capture small OCC and clean up any remaining contamination in the fibre. “Since installing the Fibermax additions we have increased revenue, improved the quality and value of material and improved the overall operation of the MRF,” said Don Zimmerman, operations manager at Rabanco Recycling. “The CP team is truly an outstanding group to work with, from installation to service, and the machines speak for themselves.” CP says it worked with the local Republic team to integrate the optical sorters over multiple weekends to eliminate plant downtime during both retrofits. “It has been a pleasure to work with Republic Seattle on their Fibermax additions,” said Terry Schneider, president/CEO of CP Group. “We are happy to see the return on investment in these retrofits pay back so quickly. Our companies were able to work together to achieve minimal downtime as well. This is a very successful integration and one that we are proud of.”

SIKA ACHIEVES BREAKTHROUGH IN CONCRETE RECYCLING BY DEVELOPING NEW PROCESS Sika has developed a new recycling process for old concrete which includes breaking down the concrete into individual parts: gravel, sand and limestone. This simple and efficient process binds about 60 kilograms of carbon dioxide per ton of crushed concrete demolition waste. This innovation, with the brand name «reCO2ver», will make a significant contribution to reduce the ecological footprint of the construction industry, according to Sika. According to the European Commission, 25–30 percent of all waste generated in the EU consists of construction demolition waste materials, many of which could be recycled. Recycling these materials is particularly crucial in dense urban areas, as this is where most old concrete accumulates. Sika has succeeded in developing a highly efficient process that will allow users to separate and reuse the components of old concrete as well as increase the recycled aggregates’ quality. Comparative testing of the Sika «reCO2ver» process has demonstrated that new concrete containing recycled content performs similarly to an all-new product. Thanks to additionally developed chemical additives, further process optimizations can be achieved, such as the flexibility to tailor specific concrete functionalities. “In the five largest EU countries alone, roughly 300 million tons of old concrete are generated every year. With complete recycling of these materials, up to 15 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions can be captured. We are convinced that our new process has the potential to benefit both our customers and the environment,” said Paul Schuler, chief executive officer. With the new process, Sika says old concrete can be completely recycled and saved from landfill. So far, attempts to recycle old concrete have led to rather low recycling rates, and only 30 percent of primary material can be substituted by these recycled materials in structural concrete. The Sika innovation will produce high-performance concrete while sequestering a significant amount of carbon dioxide.

DAVIS INDEX FERROUS SCRAP FUTURES CONTRACTS ON METTALEX FIRST TO DECENTRALIZE GLOBAL TRADING Commodity price reporting agency, Davis Index, recently launched the world’s first decentralized futures contracts for recycled steel. These contracts will be listed on Mettalex, a decentralized exchange for commodities trading which will also include exchange-settled daily contracts for bulk exports of recycled steel (ferrous scrap) shipped to Turkey, and for containerized shredded scrap shipped to India. According to Davis Index, today’s hedging tools remain largely inaccessible due to high costs and obstacles related to front running, poor liquidity, price manipulation and loss of value in the form of margin calls. Mettalex is designed to solve these problems by allowing physical asset holders cost-, capital- and risk-efficient access to commodities markets.

PORT OF BROWNSVILLE IS THE FIRST IN THE U.S. WITH EU SHIP RECYCLING ACCREDITATION The Port of Brownsville, Texas, one of the largest ship recycling centres in operation for U.S.-flagged ships and military vessels, now has EU-based recognition which creates a broad range of new opportunities for international ship owners, as well as major manufacturing companies that depend on large volumes of recycled high-quality steel and other metals. For more on this story, turn to page 28.

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SWANA ADDRESSES CURRENT LABOUR SHORTAGE IN SOLID WASTE COLLECTION The hiring and retention of drivers and helpers to provide solid waste and recycling collection services is a growing challenge for public sector and private sector service providers. A new, two-page paper responding to the impact of COVID-19, from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), analyzes the factors surrounding the current worker shortage and proposes short- and long-term solutions. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult for some companies and agencies to attract and retain collection workers, which is causing service disruptions,” commented David Biderman, SWANA executive director & CEO. “Solid waste is not the only industry facing this challenge, and this paper provides some useful suggestions for how local governments and companies should address the situation.” SWANA’s Applied Research Foundation (ARF) published a report in February 2020, Recruiting Personnel for Solid Waste Collection Services, which addressed the driver shortage issue faced by waste and recycling collection service providers before the COVID pandemic. According to SWANA, the pandemic has had substantial impacts on solid waste collection, including making it difficult for some companies and agencies to maintain service levels, and the new report focused on worker shortages serves to update this research.

“The SWANA document released [May 18] builds on a report prepared by the SWANA Applied Research Foundation (ARF) that was sponsored by the ARF’s Collection Research Group and published in February 2020,” said Jeremy O’Brien, SWANA applied research director. “SWANA would like to recognize the local governments that participate in this Group – Charlotte, NC; Durham, NC; Miami-Dade County, FL; Clearwater, FL; Pensacola, FL; Phoenix, AZ; and Tucson, AZ – and encourage other municipalities to join the ARF and the Collection Research Group.”

TEREX ECOTEC EXPANDS PRESENCE IN CANADA WITH FRONTLINE MACHINERY Frontline Machinery will now represent Terex Ecotec across the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in addition to their current territory of Ontario and Manitoba. The expansion of Frontline’s footprint and Ecotec’s product line comes at a time of rapid evolution and growth in Canada’s waste and organic recycling sectors. Based on tonnage, organic residuals represent the highest volume of recycled material in the country. According to a recent survey by the Compost Council of Canada, the national diversion total of organic waste has grown exponentially from 275,000 tonnes in 1992/1993 to 5.3 million tonnes annually.

MACK TRUCKS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS IN CANADA Mack Trucks has reached a significant milestone in Canada in 2021 – its 100th anniversary. The “Bulldog” Mack AC model forged its reputation on the front lines during World War I. Many of the army surplus AC models came back to Canada after the war ended and became popular for many heavy-haul applications. Mack noticed the growing demand in the Canadian truck market and established Mack Trucks of Canada, delivering the Mack AB and AC models. As Mack sales continued to grow throughout the 1920s, the company moved to a succession of larger facilities in Toronto and continued expanding its sales and dealer network to all parts of the country.

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NEXUS’ COMMERCIAL-SCALE CIRCULAR WASTE-TO-VIRGIN-PLASTICS SOLUTION RECYCLES AT THE MOLECULAR LEVEL Nexus, the circular waste-plastics solution specialist based out of Atlanta, Georgia, is using a proprietary technology to convert a broad range of plastic waste into liquids which can be converted into virgin plastics, and it is the first in the world to receive the International Sustainability and Carbon-Plus Certification (ISCC) for production at this scale. According to Nexus, their waste-to-virgin materials molecular recycling process is 100 percent circular and can be repeated infinitely. To date, the company has diverted close to 3 million pounds of landfill-bound plastics, converting them back into their original form to easily create new, reusable plastics. Nexus’ global partnerships include Shell and Chevron Phillips, among others. Nexus also has feasibility studies underway in the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America and new ones are launching with a set of partners wanting to move quickly and with purpose to address the plastics waste problem using a real, proven solution. Because the Nexus team is literate in engineering, chemistry, software, permitting, operations and finance, they PREPARATION FOR PURITY STANDARDS are well positioned to meet the outAND DOWNSTREAM EFFICIENCIES sized demands of manufacturers who have set aggressive recycled content After fractionating material, a successful MRF design liberates targets for 2025–2030 and beyond to dirt, grit, food particles and glass shards that are stuck to your achieve desires of consumers and govcommodities. By agitating material, our high amplitude rubber ernments seeking an environmentally and steel disc screens shake loose dirty fines particles to clean friendly solution for waste plastics.


your commodity stream while also liberating fluffy, high-volume material from rigid material.

SCRAP-IT REACHES MILESTONE OF 50,000 VEHICLES SCRAPPED The not-for-profit organization SCRAP-IT is celebrating two landmark milestones in 2021: 50,000 vehicles scrapped and its 25-year anniversary. Between April 1996 and March 2021, the organization recorded the recovery of 51,329 ELVs. “I’d like to congratulate SCRAPIT for reaching this incredible milestone. Fifty thousand vehicles scrapped is a major achievement with significant positive environmental impacts for the province,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan. SCRAP-IT has also announced the start of its 2021 electric vehicle program, whereby SCRAP-IT will be offering B.C. residents $6,000 and $3,000 rebates for new and used electric vehicles.


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Compact impact crusher

Compact wheel loader

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Seven models of the new Doosan -7 Series wheel loader line, with standard bucket capacities between 3.7 and 7.6 cubic yards, are now available. Five additional Doosan models with bucket capacities between 2.6 and 3.3 cubic yards are planned for launch in early 2022. Ideal for heavy-duty applications ranging from recycling, waste and agriculture to construction, forestry and mining, these machines feature a new exterior design and completely redesigned cab, as well as bucket capacities up to seven percent greater than previous models. New standard technology features include DoosanCONNECT telematics, as well as Situation Awareness Technology which automatically monitors machine activity and adjusts engine output to match real-time requirements of the hydraulic system and drivetrain.

Mobile scrap handler

Taylor Machine Works McCloskey International


McCloskey International has introduced the I4C, the latest entry into its impact crusher lineup, bringing the power and productivity of an 1,125-mm (44.3-inch) impactor to a compact machine for maximum maneuverability. These new I4C impact crushers include a deep chamber creating greater tramp release space, aggressive blow bar and apron design, 4-bar variable speed rotor, and three crush zones, with an optional fourth strike. The I4C can be set up as a primary or secondary crusher to handle a wide range of materials, from C&D debris to aggregates and asphalt. McCloskey’s new I4C compact impactors also feature a new asymmetric feeder that reduces bridging and delivers better motion and vibration for material, as well as ground level access for easy maintenance.

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Taylor Machine Works’ T40-MH material handler for scrap recycling applications is a 40-metric-ton machine with 51 feet of horizontal reach and 56 feet of vertical height. This material handler is powered by a Cummins QSB6.7 turbocharged engine that meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final emission standards, and the cab is designed for operator safety and comfort with ergonomically positioned controls. Other key features include: a hydraulic cab riser with a sliding door, easy-access platform, right-side and rear-view cameras, an auto lubrication system, TaylorTrak Pro Fleet Telematics hardware for remote monitoring and maintenance scheduling, and a cab avoidance system that helps maintain a fixed distance between recommended attachments and the operator.

Recycling plant control

Demolition excavator

Volvo Construction Equipment


The Volvo EC380E Straight Boom purpose-built demolition excavator is a new factory-configured version of a standard EC380E. Designed to provide operators with greater reach at height, these machines use a 23-foot (7 m) straight boom and are built with a range of heavy-duty machine guarding and operator safety features. The EC380E includes a frame-mounted Falling Objects Guard, side impact protection and large protective windows providing excellent view of the worksite for the operator, as well as nighttime visibility via standard LED lights on both the boom and platform. Other key features include: heavy-duty undercover protection and guarding of the bucket and boom cylinders, belly and tracks; slew ring cover; a reversible radiator cooling fan; integrated dust suppression; and a hydraulically removable counterweight.

BHS-Sonthofen now offers turnkey control systems for complete processing plants, including recycling facilities. The BHSSonthofen system uses WinCC open interface architecture, a scalable system that enables a wide range of components to be integrated smoothly for both small and large plants. BHS plant control systems are adaptable and easily expandable, and WinCC Open Architecture is platform-neutral, running on Windows, Linux, Android and iOS for efficiency in use for everything from user guidance to system connection. According to BHS-Sonthofen, a lot of companies currently use control systems and software that providers no longer support, and there is an increasing demand for control solutions when it comes to expanding or modernizing existing recycling plants.



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Keshav Kochhar, centre, with his team in Toronto at their vehicle airbag recycling facility. With Kochhar, from left: Gerrit Coulter, Vincent Addai, Archit Sandesara, Matthew Edwards and Karan Raina.



ew categories of consumer and industrial products that need to be diverted from landfill, but which do not have a long history of infrastructure and best practices in place for their end-of-life management, are coming at us with increasing pace. One of these end-of-life products is the automobile safety airbag, with modern cars using upward of a dozen per vehicle. These airbags are not just plastic balloons embedded in a vehicle. They use an inflator component made of valuable metals, including heavy melt steel and copper wires, and contain an explosive chemical propellant used to deploy the airbag. Between the two largest sources of vehicle airbags for recycling – OEM recalls and end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) – there are growing stockpiles of this hazardous, but valuable, recyclable material stream in North America and around the world. Toronto-based Lacero Solutions Inc. began to recover vehicle airbags in 2018 in response to an opportunity. According to Keshav Kochhar, CEO and co-founder of Lacero Solutions, the initial interest came from companies looking to find a way to safely manage a growing stream of recalled airbags. It began with one of the largest-ever auto industry recalls, in 2017, by former airbag manufacturer Takata Corporation. “There wasn’t any clear solution on how to handle these airbags,” explains Kochhar. “Your traditional scrap metal

gerous good means it is not easy to move them internationally. “Obviously the logistics adds up as well, so OEMs were trying to find a local solution,” Kochhar continues. “We started looking at this problem and we saw the opportunity. We became a middleman between auto industry OEMs and the scrap metal recyclers.”


An end-of-life airbag is categorized as Class 9 dangerous good and hazardous waste in Canada because of the chemical propellant contained in the airbag inflator component. Attached to the outside of the inflator is the plastic bag that inflates upon vehicle impact, and which is the essential component in preventing injury. The main component of an airbag, from a recycling point of view, however, where both the value and the hazard are found, is the airbag inflator. Made of a metal casing, the airbag inflator contains explosive chemical propellant, most commonly sodium iodide or ammonium nitrate. “The airbag inflator is a metal container with tiny holes in it,” explains Kochhar. “What happens is that when a car is involved in an accident or slows down suddenly, it sends a signal to the propellant in the airbag inflator, which is ignited using an electric match. It produces a small, contained reaction and burns the chemical inside the inflator, creWe want to become the hazardous ating hot gas which then exits from the tiny waste or dangerous goods holes, filling and deploying the airbag. “We now have a cost-efficient, proprietary management solution for these process to deploy and deactivate these airbags in a safe manner, changing their status from companies with defective or a hazardous waste to an inert, very valuable otherwise end-of-life airbags and recyclable material, and it avoids the need for disposing of the propellant chemicals in the seatbelt tensioners that no other airbag. We make sure all the chemical inside recycler wants to take. We have that airbag is extinguished, and we are then left with just an empty metal container.” Kochthe expertise, and we can do har also notes that for most of the chemicals, something that no one else wants especially within the defective airbags that have been recalled, their chemical structure to do. changed over time due to heat and humidity, which the airbag manufacturer did not take Keshav Kochhar, into account. CEO and co-founder, Lacero Solutions “We work with OEMs and help them realize that there’s value for them to just take the inflator out,” he says. “The whole airbag is not defective, it is just the inflator that is defective. That’s the dangerous part, and the recyclers refused to take them, as they can explode violently part which has the highest value materials if mishandled.” for recycling. He says it did not make sense for scrap recyclers to put “The other service that we offer to our clients, which sets their million-dollar shredders or other equipment and people us apart, and which attracts OEMs to come to us, is that we in jeopardy to recover $1 worth of metal. “OEMs, auto repair give them full traceability. OEMs don’t want defective airbags shops and recyclers were simply stockpiling the recalled Takata to enter the market. We designed our own in-house software airbags, or they were ending up in landfill, because there was which allows OEMs to track every airbag from the time it no clear, set solution in place.” leaves their warehouse, to when it’s fully destroyed and recovOne of Lacero’s early customers had approximately 225,000 ered. We’ve also recently developed a phone application, for defective airbags sitting in Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. They Android, iPhone and PC, where customers can track every had no solution for recycling them and while some were going shipment on every airbag. across the border, Kochhar says strict regulations and the clas“What this does is it gives OEMs full accountability on evsifications around airbags as a hazardous waste and Class 9 danery airbag we receive,” he continues. “We also issue destruc-

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tion certificates for compliance departments, which proves the dangerous chemicals are destroyed, making the airbag an inert material for recycling.” A main reason for the traceability requirement is to avoid end-of-life airbags entering the gray market. This unregulated market is where defective airbags can be sold to foreign buyers, or domestic used auto repair shops who do not follow the rules, and reused as an airbag replacement, even though the product is defective and potentially very dangerous to the new owners. Kochhar says a lot of people have died or been injured by defective airbags. If the explosion happens in a car when it is not supposed to, or happens without properly deploying the airbag, it’s like a small metal bomb exploding – metal shrapnel and extremely hot air can fly directly into the face of a driver or passenger. “With our process, we are as transparent as possible and there are a lot of external parties involved. It’s not just us, it is our downstream recycling partners, OEMs, Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), Recycling Council of Ontario, the Ministry of Environment and other ministry organizations. There are a lot of people monitoring the situation, because they know that if these airbags end up in the wrong hands, they can do a lot of damage.” For auto recyclers, Lacero strongly encourages the removal of all airbags from ELVs prior to the shredder. If they are not separated from ELVs, they can end up going through the process and explode, or go through untouched and unnoticed

and end up in landfill or at a downstream recycler while still containing a live, explosive chemical. Kochhar says savvy recyclers simply remove airbags and stockpile them because they don’t want to risk shredders or personnel. Kochhar also notes that for ELVs, most of the airbags are non-defective working components and are unlikely to damage shredders or injure anyone. But still, there have been bad experiences in the scrap recycling industry. Airbag inflators should be separated from ELVs prior to the shredder, and the airbag inflator component should be sent to a qualified recycler such as Lacero for safe recovery.


With respect to volumes processed, Lacero’s total airbags recovered since starting operations is approaching 300,000. Pre-COVID, they were processing about 40,000 airbags monthly. Over the last year, this number has been more like 20,000 per month. Kochhar says airbags being shipped to Lacero for recycling must be properly packaged and transported as per transportation guidelines for dangerous goods. “We receive airbags at our site, usually on wooden skids or in cardboard boxes, all of which is also sent downstream for recycling,” he explains. “In our preparation stage, each airbag will first get scanned and tested, wires are taken out, and the plastic airbags themselves are detached, so that the airbag inflator is ready to be treated.”


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In Lacero’s preparation stage, each airbag is scanned and tested, wires are taken out and the plastic airbags themselves are detached so that the metal airbag inflator cannister is ready for processing.

Airbag inflator metal waste, post-destruction, classified as heavy-melt steel, and ready to be picked up by metal recycling partners. These cylinders are the main component of a vehicle airbag where, from a recycling point of view, both the value and the hazard are found.

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Lacero Solutions uses specialized, custom machines with highly trained operators to safely deactivate airbag inflators. The machines ensure the chemical is fully extinguished, leaving only an inert metal container. Once that is done, Kochhar says they have additional QC checks and processes, visual checks and tests, before the inflators are ready for recycling. “We change its classification from a hazardous waste to a metal bearing waste, which is just any empty container,” says Kochhar. He says their operators confirm the airbag has been deactivated, and then the metal inflator casings are allowed to cool down in the machine, because when the chemicals in the airbags are treated, they reach a temperature anywhere from 350 to 800 degrees. “One thing I’m proud of is that even after we’ve dealt with approximately 280,000 airbags since we started, we’ve had zero injuries to date. Not even a single paper cut.” He says Lacero’s operations can also boast no waste generated, no wastewater discharge and zero emissions, outside of the emissions which come out of the airbag when it is deployed, in the form of the gas produced.


Lacero has established solid, dependable downstream recycling partners for their metals and plastics, as well as wood and cardboard packaging produced from their process. Their cardboard packaging is currently picked up on a contract with GFL Environmental, and one of their most established partners for the recycling of metals produced from their process is Toronto-based Ram Iron & Metal. “Scrap metal recyclers love it when we send our recovered material to them,” says Kochhar. “We certify it to be inert, and we take full responsibility. If it damages their machine, we take responsibility. So, we have to make sure that our QA/QC procedures are in place, that we can make sure every airbag leaving our site has been deactivated before we send it.” He says the deactivated airbag

An end-of-life airbag is considered a Class 9 dangerous good and hazardous waste in Canada because of the chemical propellant contained in the airbag’s inflator.

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FEATURE STORY inflator, an inert metal cylinder, is classified as heavy melt steel and is valuable. “Our heavy melt metal garners three to four times the price of regular scrap metal,” he says, adding that the second highest valuable material recovered by Lacero is copper, from the airbag inflator wires. With approximately 280,000 airbags recycled since 2018, Lacero has recovered 670,000 pounds of recoverable materials. Kochhar notes that there are large differences in how much they recover by weight, depending on the type of airbag. A driver’s side inflator weighs roughly 500 to 550 grams, and out of each inflator, there is about 25 grams in copper material and wires, as well as 55 grams in plastic connectors. The rest of it is about 450 to 500 grams of high-quality scrap heavy melt steel. Passenger-side airbags are much bigger, weighing roughly 1,300 to 1,500 grams. Besides airbags, Lacero is also in the business of recovering auto seat belt tensioners. “We just got into this about nine months ago,” says Kochhar. “Seat belt tensioners work on a very similar mechanism to how airbags work. They receive a small electrical signal when an accident occurs, which locks the seat belt in place. Sometimes we have recalled seat belt tensioners, which need to get disposed of in a safe manner as well. Seat belt tensioners have a lot of metal components, about 70 or 80 percent metal, and some plastic. “Ram Iron & Metal visits us regularly and takes all our inert metal inflators and seat belt tensioners, and we have been doing that since about three months after our plant started operating.”


“We want to be the industry leaders in the safe recovery of airbags and seat belt tensioners, with proper deactivation and recycling, and to keep our process as transparent as possible,” says Kochhar. “We want OEMs to be comfortable sending their airbags or seat belt tensioners to us, or any manufacturing scrap waste, for safe disposal. At Lacero, we have the right expertise and group of people on staff to safely and cost-effectively recover defective airbags.” Another key objective currently for Lacero Solutions is to educate OEMs, government and the entire recycling industry about the need for proper regulation and recovery of airbags. He says that they have found a way to profitably handle a very specific type of hazardous waste – and they want to spread the word. Most recently, Lacero launched their new website at In the next few years, plans are to set up another facility in the U.S. based on the significant amount of volume there, and they are already getting interest. “We want to become the hazardous waste or dangerous goods management solution for these companies with defective or otherwise end-of-life airbags and seat belt tensioners that no other recycler wants to take. We have the expertise, and we can do something that no one else wants to do.” “Airbags should not be treated as waste,” concludes Kochhar. “They are hazardous and have to be dealt with properly, and they contain very valuable metal and other materials. We want government officials, OEMs and recyclers to know this. We want to create awareness and push for stronger regulations around airbag recycling. “Currently, for the most part, we are treating something as waste which has a lot of valuable materials in it. We have now proved that airbag inflators can be recycled safely and profitably.” RPN

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Lacero Solutions uses a specialized airbag destruction machine with highly trained operators to safely deactivate airbag inflators. The machines ensure the chemical is fully extinguished, leaving only an inert metal container. Lacero’s total airbags recovered since starting operations is approaching 300,000.

We now have a cost-efficient, proprietary process to deploy and deactivate these airbags in a safe manner, changing their status from a hazardous waste to an inert, very valuable recyclable material. Keshav Kochhar, CEO and co-founder, Lacero Solutions




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he recycled catalytic converter industry has been constantly evolving over the last 25 years. Traditionally, converter buyers would have three grades in mind: small, medium and large. At Montreal-based PMR Inc., a dedicated catalytic converter recycling specialist and a leading converter information provider and toll refining purchaser in North America, they now have over 65 grading categories and over 20,000 serial numbers. PMR is a vendor of precious metals, including platinum, palladium and rhodium, which are sold directly to end users. The company makes purchases based on recovered precious metals contained in catalytic converters, and offers an extensive online database that provides up-to-the-moment pricing for more than 20,000 individual pieces. One of the big questions regularly asked by automotive recyclers is: how does a catalytic converter recycling company value the material it receives from suppliers and put a fair market price on it for the subsequent sale? The answer to this question is as varied as the companies involved in buying and selling recovered catalytic converters.

Questions to consider if you are currently processing your converters and receiving assay results would be how transparent are the results that you are getting? In your final report, are you being shown total recovered PPMs and troy ounces per metal? Martin Paradis

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Ultimately, the value of materials depends on the technical abilities and knowledge of each company involved. In the end there is only one way to put a true value to scrap converters and that is to de-can, process, sample and assay the ceramic material that is contained inside them. (“Assay” is defined here as the process of analyzing a substance to determine its precise composition.) This process can be complex. There are very few converter companies, such as PMR, that have in-house laboratories. For some companies, just having a laboratory does not always ensure that converter precious metal values are accurate. Processing, sampling and assaying ceramic catalyst requires very precise formulas to be followed and applied to get the correct readings from lab machines. If the internal assay formulas are not correct, the ceramic or converters can either be undervalued or overvalued. With over 20 years in analytical chemistry, Martin Paradis recently brought his investigative and methodical experience to the PMR catalyst laboratory. Starting his career as a lab technician and analyst, Paradis progressively developed his knowledge, taking on positions in metrology and instrumentation, and now manages the research and development side of PMR’s lab. Paradis’ degree in analytical chemistry, accompanied by his many accreditations and certifications in natural science, has enabled him to enhance, run and manage the PMR laboratory, which is dedicated to the assaying of catalyst materials. Following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that PMR receives from recyclers about the assay process for end-of-life catalytic converters.


In laymen’s terms, an assay is the process of analyzing a substance to determine its precise composition. Platinum Group Metals (PGM) in spent catalysts can be analyzed very accurately, even in low concentrations. The measurement used to express the concentration of PGMs in spent catalysts is parts per million (ppm). All converters in the global recycling stream end up being sold on assay, as it is the only process that defines the number of troy ounces (unit of measure used for weighing precious metals) derived from each precious metal within automotive catalyst. Those metals include platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Recovered automotive catalytic converters contain precious metals including platinum, palladium and rhodium.


PGMs are typically analyzed by spectroscopy, where different analytical methods are available. X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) are the most frequently used methods. Different methods require different instruments and different ways to prepare the sample, which are chosen according to specific criteria, such as sample type, specifications, time, costs, etc. The most common instrument for analysis is the benchtop XRF as it is easy to use and reasonable in cost. Nevertheless, expertise and proficient knowledge is needed for machine calibration to produce correct results. There has been significant enhancements and developments in recent years that have highly improved the accuracy of these machines. Consequently, proper calibration and sampling with XRF can provide a very good reading of materials. The most common instrument used in laboratories, including PMR’s, is the ICP-OES, which requires exceptional skill and expertise in analytical chemistry for machine use and sample

preparation. This instrumentation provides excellent accuracy but is also extremely costly and time consuming. Regardless of the chosen method, the most important factor that will influence the rest of the process, including the chosen instrumentation, will be the sample itself. Sampling is extremely important as it needs to be representative and in the appropriate form to produce accurate results. Sample particle size can affect homogeneity, which is an important factor in producing accurate readings.


From a technological point of view, both methods are different, and each have their advantages. XRF is fast, inexpensive and sample preparation is simple. When properly calibrated, modern XRF instruments yield excellent results. ICP-OES is very accurate, can detect very low concentrations of PGMs and requires a very small sample to obtain results. XRF is a reliable and quick alternative to ICP-OES, and both methods are very good for PGM analysis. Most laboratories will use multiple methods and different catalyst technologies to conduct both a preliminary and final analysis on every tested sample.

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At PMR, we have a state-of-the-art laboratory using the most modern and sophisticated technologies and instruments to guarantee the best possible results for our customers. Our team of trained and dedicated chemists ensures that every analysis is done in a timely, accurate and professional manner. The confidence we have in our methods is highlighted through our transparent practices, which allow customers to access their samples up to three months post analysis to check any result with a third-party laboratory.


The above information surely debunks some of the common misconceptions concerning analytical processes related to catalyst assays. Bearing in mind the information shared, questions to consider if you are currently processing your converters and receiving assay results would be how transparent are the results that you are getting? In your final report, are you being shown total recovered PPMs and troy ounces per metal? Is your carbon percentage by material

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All converters in the global recycling stream end up being sold on assay, as it is the only process that defines the number of troy ounces derived from each precious metal within automotive catalyst. Martin Paradis

type made visible? More importantly, who is conducting the analysis of your sample and do they have the certified degrees and expertise to provide you with an accurate and transparent result?

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he Port of Brownsville, in Texas, is the only deepwater seaport directly on the U.S.–Mexico border. As of this spring, it is the only American port with a tenant accredited to dismantle and recycle European-flagged ships. International Shipbreaking Ltd. LLC, a tenant at the Port of Brownsville and part of the world-leading recycler EMR Metal Recycling, recently achieved the only U.S.–based European Union Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR) accreditation after investing $30 million in compliant infrastructure. “We have just received and safely moored our first EU ship recycling project, the MT Wolverine,” said Chris Green, senior manager at International Shipbreaking Ltd. “There is a big future in this industry and over the past year we have seen three times the number of inquiries from EU ship owners. This indicates the shipping industry is taking more responsibility for how their ships are recycled, rather than using the South Asian shipbreaking beaches.” Brownsville is already one of the largest ship recycling centres in operation for U.S.-flagged ships and military vessels, but the EU-based recognition creates a broad range of new opportunities for international ship owners, as well as major manufacturing companies that depend on large volumes of high-quality recycled steel and other metals. Notably, Brownsville is also the largest shipper of steel into Mexico and the closest port to Mexico’s industrial complex in Monterrey, a global manufacturing base for automobiles, appliances and consumer goods. With approximately 40,000 acres of land available for development and 17 miles of waterfront access, the port offers the recycled metal a direct route to non-congested international bridge crossings and rail connections. “Shipbuilding and ship recycling are found nowhere else in Texas. It’s in our DNA. The new accreditation not only opens doors for new activity at the port but also positively impacts the

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There is a big future in this industry and, over the past year we have seen three times the number of inquiries from EU ship owners. This indicates the shipping industry is taking more responsibility for how their ships are recycled, rather than using the South Asian shipbreaking beaches. Chris Green, Senior Manager, International Shipbreaking Ltd. whole local economy, which thrives from these good paying jobs,” said Port Director and CEO Eduardo A. Campirano. The accreditation underlines the Port of Brownsville’s focus in transforming the Rio Grande Valley with positive investments and new employment opportunities. The more than 140 team members directly employed by International Shipbreaking take rigorous training to keep safety in mind when managing firstrate equipment. Direct jobs supported by the industry include two other large scrap metal recycling operations at the port, All Star Metals and SteelCoast, and numerous other companies in the U.S., Mexico and around the globe where recycled copper, brass, steel, armored plate and other scrapped metals are sold.

The USS Nassau, an amphibious assault ship from the U.S. Navy, arrived at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, on April 30, 2021, where ship recycler SteelCoast will carry out its dismantling and recovery over 12 months.


Port of Brownsville ship recycling operations are a legacy industry that captures more than 85 percent of the U.S. Navy and MARAD (U.S. Maritime Administration) ship recycling business, and has continued to see steady growth since the end of 2020. The USS Nassau, a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship that was decommissioned in 2011, arrived at the port on April 30. Port of Brownsville tenant SteelCoast received the contract from MARAD and is expected to take a year to properly dismantle and recycle the ship. In the last six months SteelCoast processed and shipped out more than 25,000 tons of steel and other metals, and in 2020 processed and shipped out more than 44,000 tons to steel mills. The company projects production will increase to more than

70,000 tons in 2021 and expects to triple its workforce. “The SteelCoast team recognized that 2020 was going to provide challenges in every aspect of our industry,” said Mark Hodgson, president of the company. “The decision was immediately made to turn adversity into opportunity and focus on the details of the business and the employees that support it.” In 2020, SteelCoast also garnered an Excellence in Safety Award from the American Equity Underwriters, marking its leadership not only in recycling operations but in safety as well. “Safety is the first of our core values and is preached at every level of our operation,” said Hodgson. “The team’s dedication to this principal is what makes SteelCoast a safe and great place to work. I couldn’t be more proud of the team and their commitment to safety at all levels.”

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his spring Caterpillar introduced its new MH3250 and MH3260 3200 series tracked material handlers, built to offer high efficiency in demanding applications such as scrap and C&D recycling. Replacing Cat’s 330D MH and 345 C MH models respectively, the company says that these next-generation models are built to provide high productivity; safe, easy, comfortable operation; longer maintenance intervals; improved fuel efficiency; and up to 20 percent overall lower owning and operating costs. Features include full electro-hydraulic controls based on Cat’s earthmoving excavators for improved efficiency, increased cycle times, and fuel and maintenance benefits. A new mechanical variable-gauge undercarriage improves machine transportation without sacrificing lifting performance, and three power modes on this material handler match the application at hand. Other key features include U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final engines which can run up to B20 biodiesel, an entirely new cab concept designed to elevate operator comfort and safety, as well as remote control capability and the Cat App, which helps to manage fleet location, hours and maintenance schedules. These material handlers feature a hydraulically controlled cab that rises to a maximum of 19 feet 9 inches (6,020 mm), ideal for applications in recycling such as highwall trailer loading/unloading and shredder loading. For increased application versatility, the MH3250 and MH3260 can be equipped with various reach options and are compatible with a wide range of Cat attachments in different sizes, including an ex-factory 25 kW generator for magnet operation. The track gauge on the 3200 series retracts to 10 feet 7 inches (3,220 mm) wide and extends to 12 feet 2 inches (3,720 mm), and maximum reach is 52 feet 6 inches (16,010 mm) and 59

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Cat’s new MH3250 and MH3260 3200 series tracked material handlers use a new mechanical variable-gauge undercarriage to improve machine transportation without sacrificing lifting performance, and three power modes to match fuel efficiency to the application at hand.

Our electro-hydraulic controls provide maximum control for operators and open additional opportunities for new features in the future. Brent Uitermarkt, Product Manager – Excavation Division, Caterpillar

feet 1 inch (18,000 mm). Plus, these machines have a high-ambient temperature capability of 125 degrees F (52 degrees C), and cold-start capability of -25 degrees F (-32 degrees C). Operator comfort, safety and productivity features of the new 3200 series cabs include heated and ventilated air-suspension seats, 10-inch touchscreen monitors, ergonomic, intuitive operator controls, sound suppression for interior noise reduction and rubber cab mounts to reduce vibration, as well as large tempered windows, flat engine hood and standard rear view and side view cameras for all-around visibility. The outer cab is designed with thick, impact-resistant safety laminated windshields and Standard Falling Object Guard System (FOGS), and upper-level service platform steps are constructed of anti-skid punch plate for easy, safe and quick access to

Cat’s new 3200 Series material handlers feature a maximum reach up to 59 feet 1 inch (18,000 mm).

machine service items. According to Brent Uitermarkt, product manager – excavation division, Caterpillar has been producing purpose-built machines for material handling applications for over 25 years. “Over this time, we’ve had strong customer partnerships and have used their feedback to drive our machine development,” he said. “In the case of the new MH3250 and MH 3260, we had clear demand from customers to bring in modern replacements for the 330D and 345 C material handler models. We’ve taken proven and durable legacy MH components and integrated them into our next-gen product architecture. This approach provides a new level of operator comfort, technology and performance, while maintaining the reliability and parts availability that our customers expect. “With the addition of these new units, we currently have six purpose-built models in our portfolio,” continued Uitermarkt. “This includes four wheeled offerings, ranging from 22 to 40 metric tons, and now two track models, at 50 and 60 metric tons. “We’ve also focused on owning and operating cost improvements through optimized maintenance intervals, and significant reduction in fuel consumption. Finally, our electro-hydraulic controls provide maximum control for operators and open additional opportunities for new features in the future.” Rich Knudson, Cat’s North American product application specialist for both material handlers and excavators, emphasized that while these new models are built with the durability and tradition of the 330D and 345 C machines that have preceded them, “We’re also leveraging the reliability of our existing components used on Cat next-generation excavators. “In terms of maximizing productivity, we’ve married the

new engines with standard auto-reversing fans,” he said, as an example. With respect to the safety aspects of the new machines, he continued, “A lot of times you’ll see a 3200 series-sized machine operate in a busy scrapyard, with not only foot traffic, but also motor vehicle traffic. To enhance that productivity and safety, we’ve made rear and right-side side cameras standard, as well as improved visibility.” Tyler Adams, COO of family owned SA Recycling, a longterm Cat customer based in California, with a total of 85 facilities across the U.S. and over 600 pieces of Cat equipment in operation, including multiple new material handlers, commented on the new 3200 series. “Our first impression is that it’s a beautiful machine from an operator standpoint,” he said. “We’ve gotten really positive feedback from our operators. They love the horsepower, the response time, the cycle time, and the technology that they built into these new machines has all been very well received.” According to Vincent Migeotte, Caterpillar’s global product marketing and application specialist, “We only use Caterpillar-proven components and parts. Our customers like to move a lot of iron and scrap as quickly as possible, as safely as possible. To do this, we based these new material handlers on our next-generation platform, which means the machines are fully electrohydraulic, and share a lot of design philosophy with our earthmoving excavators. “We are very pleased to have an extended range of purpose-built material handlers, from the MH 2022 [weighing about 46,000 pounds] up to the MH 3260 [weighing 133,200 pounds],” continued Migeotte. “With this full range of Cat material handlers, we want to serve different industries by offering a complete solution, including waste and recycling, transfer stations, scrapyards and mill yards, as well as barge and boat loading at ports and harbours.” RPN

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or the past 26 years, B.C.-based stewardship corporation Return-It, part of Encorp Pacific (Canada), has been a leader in recycling and community education. As of April, Return-It is broadening its commitment to sustainability after announcing its official social purpose aimed at creating a better future for people, communities and the planet based on the mantra: “We exist to foster a world where nothing is waste.” Guided by United Way’s Social Purpose Institute, Return-It undertook an extensive, year-long process to develop their unique social purpose, which informs the organization’s strategic direction for the next 25 years. Through partnerships, community engagement, investments in new technology, research and innovation, the company plans to build on its commitment to support a truly circular economy.

It’s about defining the role we want to play in achieving a waste-free world. By re-imagining the role of materials, products and resources, we can view waste as a misplaced resource. Allen Langdon, President and CEO, Return-It

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“It’s about defining the role we want to play in achieving a waste-free world,” explains Allen Langdon, president and CEO of Return-It. “By re-imagining the role of materials, products and resources, we can view waste as a misplaced resource. We’re aligning our resources, people and systems to take a broader, more proactive role in bettering our communities and society as a whole. Our social purpose makes it clear we’re engaged in a more circular vision of how our society can operate.” Key initiatives bringing Return-It’s social purpose statement to life include innovative partnerships to accelerate solutions for addressing plastic waste in oceans and waterways, and it commits to recycle 80 percent of the plastic beverage containers sold in B.C. by 2025. Return-It’s agenda also includes decarbonization of its transportation fleet, which began in 2020 with the piloting of Canada’s first CN-hybrid-electric compaction truck. It is increasing B.C. recycling rates through system improvements, like Return-It Express, which model convenience for consumers. The company also emphasizes a commitment to phase out single-use plastic film in its supply chain by 2025, and the importance of engaging with organizations around the world to share B.C.’s best practices and leadership on recycling and extended producer responsibility. According to Mary Ellen Schaafsma, director of United Way’s Social Purpose Institute, “Return-It has demonstrated exactly the kind of approach that industry needs to adopt in the post-pandemic world. Having a social purpose ultimately makes organizations more resilient in the face of unprecedented times, and provides a road map to bettering society as a whole.” George Roter, managing director of the Canada Plastics Pact, also commented on the announcement in April. “As a founding

It’s about making sure as much as possible that materials collected are going back into new bottles or new cans. Allen Langdon

Return-It president and CEO, in a Hyliion compressed natural gas (CNG) hybridelectric compaction truck, a first in Canada, and which has been part of a pilot in B.C. since fall 2020.

partner and Advisory Council member of the Canada Plastics Pact, Return-It has demonstrated its commitment to circular solutions by keeping material in the economy and out of our natural environment. “Through the Canada Plastics Pact, stakeholders across Canada’s plastics value chain have come together to innovate, eliminate and circulate the plastic we use. We are fortunate to have an environmental leader such as Return-It onboard that’s focused on supporting a world where nothing is waste.” Langdon says their social purpose statement is really about determining why they exist as a company. “Our social purpose has also enabled us to lean in, adapt and pivot during a challenging time. Under the expert guidance of United Way’s Social Purpose Institute, we are now taking our social commitment to the next level.” In terms of fostering a “world where nothing is waste,” he says, “We’re really trying to focus on a number of initiatives. A big part of what we’re doing is firstly, collecting more materials because we want to make sure less and less is entering the waste stream. “It’s also about making sure as much as possible that materials collected are going back into new bottles or new cans. That is going to be a key deliverable going forward and it’s really in line with where the industry is going. Most of our large members have made some pretty significant commitments to recycled content, and so we’re trying to ensure that we can do as much as we can to collect that material and make sure it is going to be made available to go back into recycled content. “It’s all about looking at used mate-



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HAULING & COLLECTION In a pilot project launched last fall, Return-It took the first major step in the decarbonization of its fleet. Using a collection truck chassis supplied by Hyliion, a provider of electrified powertrain solutions for Class 8 commercial vehicles, Return-It piloted a new CNG hybrid-electric drivetrain that has now shown that it will not only release fewer emissions DECARBONIZATION OF THE than existing diesel trucks, but combined with compaction RETURN-IT FLEET technology, will help reduce the number of vehicle trips Langdon says one of Return-It’s key priorities through this required to take beverage containers from recycling depots year will be the decarbonization of their collection and haulto processing facilities. The truck is the first of its kind to ining truck fleet. corporate an electric axle that optimizes the vehicle’s power and efficiency, and uses a compaction trailer unit manufactured by a Canadian compaction equipment specialist, NexGen Municipal. During the pilot phase, Return-It’s truck serviced 16 recycling depots throughout B.C.’s Lower Mainland allowing for an evaluation of the technology and to capture data to inform the next steps in its transition. Return-It also used the pilot phase to work with FortisBC to identify opportunities to expand access to CNG throughout the province, such as the availability of CNG filling stations to supply Return-It’s fleet in the future. “As the province’s leading product stewardship organization, we recognize we can do more to decarbonize our transportation network in order to make an even bigger impact on greenhouse gas emissions,” comments Langdon, who adds that they learned a lot from their pilot project, and this year they hope to introduce two additional CNG hybrid-electric compaction trucks to their fleet. “Once we have these two new trucks, most of our plastic picked up in the Lower Mainland will be handled exclusively by our CNG compaction trucks. We’re able to transport roughly six times the number of containers per truck, using compaction, and the fact that we’re able to • TWO-RAM ON A HORIZONTAL BUDGET remove diesel trucks and introduce these hybrid-electric trucks means • VERTICAL BALE DOOR AVAILABLE big savings in terms of GHGs from • IDEAL FOR MULTI-MATERIAL FACILITIES our operations.” He says the combination of the AMERICAN BALER TAKES PERFORMANCE CNG-powered compaction and the hybrid-electric powered truck has TO NEW HEIGHTS! really been outstanding. “In terms of this technology, we’re really excited about it, and we look forward to adding more to the fleet. Two trucks I N T E G R I T Y I Q U A L I T Y I R E L I A B I L I T Y I VA L U E this year, and then we’ll look at other ways where we can introduce compaction more broadly across our network.” RPN rials not as waste anymore,” continues Langdon. “We’re not a waste company. This is about seeing material as a resource, and at how we can use it multiple times and move. . . to a circular economy.”



34 | MAY/JUNE 2021





ET (polyethylene terephthalate) is designated #1 in the plastics recycling code. It is the most common plastic used for bottles, jars, food containers and packaging. PET is a clear, strong, and lightweight material used for bottled water, carbonated soda, teas, sports drinks and other beverages. PET is also the most recycled plastic in the U.S., so the market dynamics affecting it eventually are realized in the recycled PET market. PET containers are lighter in weight than alternative materials, such as glass. This difference makes PET containers easier to stack and ship, more efficient to transport, and has resulted in some companies switching to PET containers from other materials, according to the most recent Plastics Market Watch report. Despite the fundamental strengths of PET, COVID-19 introduced unforeseen volatility to consumer behaviour across the economy. Production of common consumer goods responded accordingly. By extension, this disruption impacted PET resin demand-supply dynamics, the adjustments of which are ongoing and are be expected to continue into the near future. Last year, food and beverage retail sales in the U.S. surged from $65.3 billion in February to $82.8 billion in March as consumers stockpiled necessities in response to COVID-19. From April 2020 to April of this this year, food and beverage consumption in the U.S. remains above $71.0 billion. This is higher than pre-COVID-19 levels and indicates that the demand for PET resin remains strong. U.S. plastic materials and resin production increased 1.6 percent last year. The increase, however, was inadequate to meet surging resin demand, including for PET. Considering that plastic is a global industry, the supply and demand effects of COVID-19 on PET are also global. Industry observers such as the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) reported an increase in PET supply in Asia in the first

PLASTICS’ recent forecast calls for total resin production in the U.S. to increase by 4.0 percent this year.

quarter of 2021, where demand for PET is strong. However, supply remained tight in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. The tightness in Latin America and the U.S. was due to shortage of feedstock. This year’s February winter storm in Texas (America’s “resin hub”) exacerbated regional resin scarcity in PET. Total plastic materials and resin production in the U.S. fell 28.0 percent in February as a result of adverse weather in the region. In March, however, production increased by 13.6 percent from February. It is expected that production will further rebound as facilities return to higher capacity and new facilities come online. As such, PLASTICS’ recent forecast calls for total resin production in the U.S. to increase by 4.0 percent this year.

PERC PINEDA, PhD, is chief economist, Plastics Industry Association

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o two residential single stream MRFs in North America are the same. This has become abundantly clear to us as MRF designers over the past few decades. Some states have bottle bills, some programs do not accept glass, some communities have poor public awareness of what belongs in the recycling bin, and highly represented demographics have tendencies to consume certain types of material (MRFs in younger communities will not see newspapers nearly as often as Amazon envelopes and boxes). Even weather conditions can change the composition of a MRF’s incoming material. Events like a pandemic create sudden impact: inundating MRFs with cardboard and restaurant to-go containers. However, there is one thing that all of these MRFs can benefit from: having a reliable strategy for creating sellable end products in the face of high contamination. In recent years we have been designing MRFs and retrofits that incorporate principles of positive sorting at various stages. Positive sorting lays the groundwork for a MRF to be able to quickly adapt its sorting strategies based on composition changes in their incoming material as well as changes in market value for particular end products. So, what is positive sorting?


POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SORTING Positive sorting is recognizing, selecting and ejecting a desired product (and only that product) from the rest of the stream. This can only be done by intelligent separation devices, sorting equipment such as optical sorters, robots or even human sorters. These sorters have the “intelligence” (of either the human brain, NIR scanning or camera recognition) to recognize desired items by shape, color or specific material composition. To understand how positive sorting is applied in a MRF setting, you merely have to think about the most common positively sorted material at any MRF: PET bottles. The vast majority of MRFs in North America have a dedicated optical sorter to

positively eject PET from the rest of the container stream (which passes through as the negatively sorted stream). However, the vast majority of these MRFs do not apply the same strategy to desired materials on their fiber line. Instead, they rely on traditional principles of mechanical separation that attempt to remove cardboard, containers, film, organics and trash, and hope that what is left is a negatively sorted stream of clean paper. But that is rarely the case. Most MRFs still have primary fiber screens with coarse spacing to separate fiber from containers using sizing and screen angles. Light, flat materials (theoretically paper) pass over the screen and 3D materials (theoretically plastic and aluminum containers) fall back and under the screen. Many

have upgraded to a non-wrapping style screen to minimize film bags wrapping and some use ballistic separators to perform this separation, but the principal has not changed. They are still using nonintelligent machines to separate a complex material stream. These screens and ballistics have no way to tell the difference between paper, film plastic and a flattened PET bottle. They cannot distinguish between a milk jug and a small, 3D cardboard box. They carry over anything that is lightweight and flat, and anything that is 3-dimensional will bounce off. The 2D fraction that carries over these machines falls on to a quality control conveyor for final inspection, where outthrows and prohibitive materials (think film, flat PET, flat aluminum) are positively

removed before the remaining fiber (or what is hoped to be fiber), is dropped off the end of the sort belt, as the negative sort, into a pile for baling. This strategy negatively sorts on the desired material and positively sorts on everything else. Because the “everything else” category is so varied and includes items such as black plastic that can only be seen with specialized software, it is difficult to get anywhere close to 100 percent purity with negative sorting. Let’s say you are trying to make a mixed paper grade. If your inbound stream is contaminated with a high percentage of film or trash, the numbers do not make sense for the negative sorting of paper as described above. If your fiber QC line (what carried over those mechanical screens) is moving at a rate of 5 tons/hour, with 8 to

10 percent prohibitives in it, that could mean you need 1,000 picks per minute of prohibitives to end up with a negative sort of clean paper. If you assembled a dream team of the four best QC sorters in the world and paired them with the four sexiest robots, and they all averaged 60 picks per minute, they might be able to sort out 500 prohibitive items per minute. The remaining material (the negative sort) that falls into the bunker would still not make the ISRI specification for prohibitives. Now, not every MRF has the budget or the space to overhaul their system or essentially start from scratch with a fully positive sorting design. Here are three ways to employ positive sorting in your operation that are achievable for any MRF, regardless of size or capacity.

With contamination rates on the rise, positive sorting with optical sorters is becoming the most reliable way to make sellable end products and create a MRF that’s flexible enough to evolve with the future. Mark Neitzey



If you are blending your fiber fractions off of three angled screens into one mixed paper grade, make sure you are positively sorting the last stream of fiber that comes off that last screen. We have seen that 80 percent of contamination in mixed paper grades with this setup comes from this last bit of material. If you place an optical sorter on this line to positively eject all fiber (regardless of size or shape) from the remaining mix of bottles, cans, film, organics, wood, metals, wet materials, etc., you can successfully blend that bit of fiber back into the larger fractions of fiber without compromising the whole lot.


Does your stream have a high percentage of film? Film is going to masquerade as paper and end up in the fiber line. Why spend effort trying to remove all that film from your paper and risk not getting clean paper anyway? Reverse the logic: an optical sorter can shoot on paper and positively eject it from the film, guaranteeing a clean paper product. If your stream has a high percentage of small OCC, then you have a few opportunities. You can positively sort on white paper, ejecting it out and sending it to its own QC line to make an SOP grade. Or you can positively sort browns from that stream and send it to be blended with your OCC bales or on its own QC line as a “hard pack.” With positive sorting, you will have the flexibility to flip be-

tween any of those options when you see composition changes in your incoming stream.


Due to the popularity of online ordering rising over the last decade and skyrocketing during the pandemic, MRFs have become overrun with OCC, in particular, small 3-dimensional OCC and boxboard. These 3-dimensional boxes can act like containers, end up in your container line and, ultimately, land in the residue pile if you do not have a last chance mechanism in place. Mechanical screens and ballistic separators are reliable methods of separating 2D paper from 3D containers, but they cannot tell the difference between a balled-up Amazon box and a milk jug. To a screen, they are both 3D items that are bouncing back and heading to the container line. Adding an optical sorter immediately prior to a container line and shooting positively on fiber can prevent those fiber items from going forward and mucking up the container sort. And you can have the flexibility to positively eject all fiber back to the fiber line or just eject brown fiber to the OCC QC line. With contamination rates on the rise, positive sorting with optical sorters is becoming the most reliable way to make sellable end products and create a MRF that’s flexible enough to evolve with the future. Mark Neitzey is Director of Sales for Van Dyk Recycling Solutions. For more information on positive sorting principles, call (203) 967-1100 or e-mail

Positive sorting lays the groundwork for a MRF to be able to quickly adapt its sorting strategies based on composition changes in their incoming material as well as changes in market value. Mark Neitzey


A fully automated production line for recovering used mattresses at RetourMatras in the Netherlands.



erman plant engineering specialist H&S Anlagentechnik GmbH has signed a contract with the Dutch recycling company RetourMatras to build a plant for the chemical recycling of discarded PU foam (polyether) and latex foam mattresses. The new reactor plant is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2021, in Etten-Leur, Netherlands, and is expected to boost RetourMatras’ total mattresses processed (across four plants) to 1.5 million annually, sourced from the Netherlands and Belgium. In their new plant, a portion of their mattresses will be chemically recycled using process technology and know-how provided by H&S, while RetourMatras is supplying the fully automated production line for dismantling all of the old mattresses. “With the H&S system, valuable recovered polyols can be generated, enabling production of high-quality flexible and other PU foams,” explained Chico van Hemert, operational manager at RetourMatras. “The H&S process allows us to chemically recycle different foam from various mattress manufacturers.”

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He added that with this process, the furniture industry will gain valuable secondary raw materials for the production of new PU foam and at the same time boost its overall sustainability. According to H&S Anlagentechnik, it has been developing plant and process technologies for storage, metering, mixing and formulation of polyurethanes, as well as for the chemical recycling of PU and PET waste, for 30 years. “With our chemical process for the generation of high-quality polyols from post-consumer mattresses, we offer a viable business model that will have a major impact on the environment,” said Ruediger Schaffrath, founder and managing director at H&S.


The RetourMatras recycling process for mattresses is unique. The company, which started in 2009, uses a recycling line fully designed and built in-house, in collaboration with specialized suppliers, with the goal to achieve 100 percent recycling of raw materials. The process starts with the collec-

tion of mattresses from recycling centres and other businesses, such as furniture stores. A container of RetourMatras fits 80 to 100 mattresses that must be collected dry for the recycling process. The containers are unloaded in the factory, after which the mattresses are placed on a dosing machine with an electric crane and then fed to a conveyor belt. The process employs metal detection, which scans the mattresses for metal content. Most mattresses produced currently are made from a high percentage of plastic foam, while older mattresses include a large percentage of inner metal springs. Each type follows its own recycling line. Mattresses are cut, after which the textile (the ticking) can be removed by a specially developed peeling roller. The textiles are kept separate, pressed into bales and reused in the textile industry. The metal is sent to metal recyclers and what remains is the foam of the mattress, made of latex or polyether (PU foam) plastic. After the mattress has been cut into pieces, the foam is pressed into bales of around 300 kilos each. The latex is used as an end product in, for example, the furniture industry as a filling material, and in sports mats. Polyether is used in carpet underlay and insulation boards, among other things. The RetourMatras method also prioritizes having the least amount of direct material handling by employees during the process, and their facilities are developed for maximum dust extraction, which prevents risks, keeps the factory clean, and is preferable for end processors keen on a dust-free product.

Inside an H&S Anlagentechnik chemical recycling plant.


In Europe, up to 30 million old mattresses end up in landfills or incinerators every year. The EU has reacted with a 2035 goal for requiring 65 percent of all municipal waste to be recycled. According to RetourMatras, their new chemical recycling technology and system from H&S can make an important contribution to achieving this goal. Mila Skokova, product & sales manager at H&S, believes that their focus on sustainable recycling solutions is paying off, and notes that end uses for chemically recovered plastics continues to grow globally. “We are currently receiving a large number of inquiries, especially from flexible foam manufacturers,” she said. “In times of raw material scarcity, recovered polyols become the perfect solution to reduce production costs and increase competitiveness.” RPN

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arford Minerals, which operates a reclamation facility in Maryland’s, has reinforced its commitment to sustainability and a full life cycle approach to materials usage with a multi-million-dollar investment in a new state-of-the-art wet processing plant for construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) waste, representing the largest single investment in the company’s history. Founded in 1965, Harford became renowned for its premium silica sands, which it supplied to the golf industry. In more recent years, the company diversified and established one of

Wet processing is a new direction for our company and one that we’re very excited about as we see great potential for growth in the recycling sector with the support of CDE technology. Miguel Lambert, President, Harford Minerals

44 | MAY/JUNE 2021

the region’s leading reclamation facilities. In 2014 it began producing recycled aggregates, and in 2016 it introduced crushing operations to recover saleable materials from incoming inert waste. When commissioned later this year, Harford’s new wet processing plant will be utilized to accept CD&E waste from various sources and produce a range of recycled sand and aggregate products that can be reintroduced to the local construction industry as sustainable alternatives to virgin quarried materials. Among the materials the new plant will produce are washed coarse and fine sands as well as various sized, multipurpose aggregates. As it can be adjusted, the final product output can be fine-tuned to meet the market’s needs and customers’ own specifications. According to CDE, Harford’s new CD&E processing set-up will also enable the company to partner with public and private entities to process material from local construction and infrastructure projects. Over time, these recycling efforts will help establish a full-cycle materials economy, thereby moving the industry and region toward a more sustainable future. Harford says their 80-acre campus is dedicated to supporting the circular economy by providing a one-stop facility for local construction companies to responsibly dispose of CD&E waste and back-load their fleet with valuable recycled materials that can be reintroduced to the construction industry for use in high-value applications. “Wet processing is a new direction for our company and one that we’re very excited about as we see great potential for growth in the recycling sector with the support of CDE technology,” commented Miguel Lambert, president at Harford

Harford Minerals’ new CDE wet processing plant will be utilized to accept CD&E waste from various sources and produce a range of recycled sand and aggregate products. Top: On site at Harford Minerals.

Minerals. “We first encountered CDE at CONEXPO. . . and were extremely impressed with its technology and the potential to apply it back home to local CD&E waste.” Lambert continued, “We’re passionate about sustainability and minimizing our environmental footprint. With a partner like CDE, we can better embody our core values and pioneer new technologies in our region. It’s this type of technology and investment that will stimulate progression in our industry, steering it toward a more sustainable future.” According to CDE Business Development Director for North America Darren Eastwood, consultations on this project were facilitated virtually. “What makes this project unique is how it has progressed despite the challenges caused by the pandemic,” said Eastwood. “Very soon after CONEXPO [2020] concluded, strict restrictions came into effect so our negotiations and consultations over the past year with Harford have been conducted remotely. This is a huge endorsement for CDE as it demonstrates great confidence in our solutions for helping Harford to achieve its commercial and environmental aims.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 600 million tons of C&D debris was generated in 2018

with concrete representing the largest fraction (67.5 percent). The second largest end destination for C&D debris after aggregate (52 percent) was landfill (24 percent). This means that a quarter of all C&D debris that could otherwise be repurposed is simply discarded. Investment in sustainable solutions is important for the future viability of materials processing companies, explains Eastwood. “The industry needs to fundamentally transform its practices. Every day we see significant volumes of CD&E waste being sent to landfill, but with the right technology and the willingness to adapt to new ways of working this material can be recycled to recover high-value construction sand and aggregates and returned to good use in the industry. What a business does now could define its future, either creating opportunity for sustainable growth or restricting its potential due to not addressing its environmental impacts.” Eastwood adds, “We’re very pleased to partner with Harford to deliver our latest recycling project in North America. Harford’s management team not only recognizes the urgency of the issues affecting the industry but responds to it with the ambition to act and invest in new technology to drive positive and transformational change.” MAY/JUNE 2021 |



JKN Concrete Crushing’s Spyder 514TS with an integrated permanent magnet.



ermanent magnets have been a fixture on mobile crushing plants for decades and are used to remove rebar, tramp iron and other metal items from freshly crushed materials. However, they are less common on mobile screening plants. As of earlier this year, Screen Machine Industries offers the option of a permanent magnet on its mobile Spyder 516T, Spyder 514TS and Spyder 514TS3 screening plant models. JKN Concrete Crushing in Kearney, Nebraska, a recycler of road material, was the first to inquire about the option. For JKN, the end-goal is to create the cleanest material possible, which means removing tramp iron and rebar from their incoming stream. JKN wanted to purchase a Spyder 514TS screening plant to pair with their Screen Machine 4043T impact crusher, and asked if a magnet could be placed on the screen.

46 | MAY/JUNE 2021

“There are very few mobile screening plants on the market that have a permanently affixed magnet,” said John Lamprinakos, president & CEO at Screen Machine. “But when JKN Concrete Crushing posed the question, our team mobilized to meet their request. The sales team gathered all the details, and then met with our engineering and production teams to ensure we could do it and do it in a timely manner. JKN Concrete Crushing has a lot of product to process and wanted to move fast.” The Screen Machine engineering team was able to create exactly what JKN Concrete Crushing needed. A magnet attachment was fabricated and affixed to the Spyder 514TS, tested and then shipped to Nebraska, all within a few weeks. The Spyder 514TS is a track-mounted, reverse screening plant designed for primary or secondary screening of con-

crete rubble, mixed C&D debris and asphalt, as well as rock, sand, gravel and soils. Its 5-foot by 14-foot (1.5 m x 4.3 m) double-deck screen is capable of producing three finished products simultaneously. The versatile 514TS can be used as a standalone screen or in conjunction with a crusher to easily recirculate oversized material back into the crusher for further reduction. According to James Nickman, JKN CEO, “We were able to meet and convey our ideas for the magnet we wanted based on our past designs, and they quickly implemented production. Within a few weeks we had the 514TS up and running. Accessibility, collaboration and interaction are huge factors of why we chose Screen Machine.” “All of this took place over the holidays,” said Lamprinakos. “It would have been easy to put off the request until after New Year’s Day, or to simply turn it down entirely. But that is not how we operate. Our strength is our willingness to take on new challenges and be responsive to our customers.” Once the Spyder 514TS made its way to Kearney, Screen Machine Product Support Specialist Scott Wagner helped the JKN Concrete Crushing crew fine-tune the 4043T-514TS pairing, and the duo went forward with full-scale production. The result has been the efficient production of virtually metal-free product in a variety of sizes, which JKN now sells to road resurfacing end buyers. “This was a win-win situation, for JKN Concrete Crushing

A Screen Machine Spyder 514TS Screening Plant (foreground with sized output pile) paired with a 4043T Impact Crusher (background, loaded with incoming material).

and for Screen Machine,” said Lamprinakos. “JKN got the set-up they wanted and needed, and they are very pleased with the productivity they are experiencing. Screen Machine was able to showcase how we can pivot to accommodate our customers’ needs, and further diversify our product line.”

MAY/JUNE 2021 |





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Metso Outotec has added two new products to its Nordtrack mobile crushing and screening range. The Nordtrack S2.5 mobile screen is a compact, versatile scalping screen designed for small job sites and for a variety of applications, including C&D materials recycling. With a compact and lightweight structure, a highly efficient two-deck screen, and a wide selection of different screening media, the S2.5 is built to accommodate frequent changes in site locations, and is ideal as a rental unit. In April, Metso Outotec also introduced its Lokotrack diesel-electric hybrid e-Power range, including six screens and 15 crushers.



Designed for the effective screening of large volumes and flexibility in applications with a large selection of screen surfaces, Kleemann now offers two new mobile classifying screens with feed capacity/output up to 750 tph. MOBISCREEN MS 1202 and MS 1203 models are available with two or three screen decks and have screening surface areas of 12 square metres in the upper and middle deck and 11 square metres in the lower deck. These new screens feature easy adjustment of screening angle and amplitude, easy portability, electric power capability, and use a high-torque diesel engine, optimally designed material flow and a feed hopper with a holding volume of 10 cubic metres. | MAY/JUNE 2021


Powerscreen’s Chieftain 1700 X hybrid diesel-electric powered screen includes a highly aggressive screenbox with a patented 2/4 bearing drive system and improved screening angle. These threedeck screen plants use a 16- by 5-foot screenbox with increased screening force and with an increased screening angle compared to previous models. Other key features of the 1700 X hybrid screen include: easy transport, quick set-up, versatility for various applications in aggregates and recycling, and lower running speed for reduced fuel usage without compromising power.


Ideal for a range of applications including C&D recycling, McCloskey says its S250 Screener is one of the largest and most portable vibratory screening plants in production. These screens feature a heavy-duty, high-energy, 2-bearing, 3-deck, side-tensioned screenbox designed to deliver more true screening area with 22 x 6 inch area on the two upper decks, and a 20 x 6 inch bottom deck. Available in double- or triple-deck models, the S250 features up to 10 cubic metres (13.1 cubic yards) high-capacity hopper with generous grid opening, allowing the use of larger loaders for loading.

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KC Recycling awarded $852,000 by CleanBC Plastics Action Fund to jumpstart their car battery recycling plant upgrade



Priestly Demolition takes on underwater dam removal

Why we need a scalable tire recycling solution ASAP











For information and bookings, please contact Sam Esmaili at or 604-291-9900 ext. 110






Tuesday, June 15, 2021 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. EDT

Thursday, June 17, 2021 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT












t is no secret that fires are a recurring issue for recyclers across the world. Recycling facilities are a unique business environment, which makes fires almost unavoidable for those in the industry. The best way to prepare recycling professionals for the inevitable is to develop fire prevention and management plans and policies that will limit the spread of the fire and minimize the damage. But recyclers need not worry about going it alone when it comes to fire safety planning. There is (fire) safety in numbers, and there is a wealth of resources out there to help. In 2020, the waste and recycling industry experienced 317 reported facility fires in the U.S. and Canada, according to fire safety solutions company Fire Rover’s annual report on fires in the industry. Most of these fires occurred in facilities that process waste, paper and plastics (158), and scrap metal (108). There were 23 reported injuries and three fatalities from these fires, either directly or indirectly. And these were only the media-reported cases; the same report estimates the real number is well over 2,000.

In 2020, the waste and recycling industry experienced 317 mediareported facility fires in the U.S. and Canada. The same report estimates the real number is well over 2,000. The causes for these fires depend not only on the characteristics of each facility, such as the materials they recycle or the way they are configured, but also on the season, which influences what ends up in the recycling bin. In an environment where so many inherent risks exist, fire prevention and management should be a top priority. However, this does not mean recyclers are left to fend for themselves. Industry associations, including CARI (Canadian Association of Recycling Industries) and ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries), are in a position to help seek out experts, compile best practices and develop guidelines. They are here to assist members with the very important matter of fire safety and prevention.

52 | MAY/JUNE 2021

CARI and ISRI collaborate closely on most of the issues affecting the recycling industry, including fire safety. Members of both associations have exclusive access to a variety of fire prevention resources, including guidance tools, such as ISRI’s “Guide to Creating a Fire Prevention and Management Plan”, industry-specific safety manuals, including CARI’s HR and Safety Manuals, and safety training, available for members of both associations. By taking advantage of and helping shape these learning materials and opportunities, recyclers are a huge part of the effort to solve an industry-wide problem that is not just limited to North America but is present around the globe. Fires at recycling facilities have also raised insurance issues, as insurers are wary of writing policies for recycling businesses, which has contributed to skyrocketing premium prices and made coverage difficult to obtain. In this kind of environment, CARI has developed the Group Property and Casualty Insurance Program which gives recyclers better access to insurance at a lower cost. Considering the magnitude of the issue in recycling facilities, peer support and the sharing of best practices are the best tools a recycler can have to prevent fires where possible and be prepared to mitigate damage when a fire occurs. Industry associations have created spaces for members to share their fire prevention stories, whether successful or not, with their peer network. These spaces are available for CARI members through networking events involving hundreds of key players in the Canadian and North American recycling industry. In this industry, there will be fires. We need to take steps to guarantee the safety of our employees and customers and ensure our employees are trained to control fires and mitigate damage. Fortunately, the resources to achieve this are out there. Both CARI and ISRI members are encouraged not only to take advantage of these resources but also to approach their associations and help develop new materials and opportunities that will address ongoing fire management and prevention challenges in the industry.

MARÍA SANTARINI is the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries communications manager.


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SWANA................................................................51 Van Dyk Recycling Solutions....... 36–41




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The MRF of the future is upon us with intelligent & high tech solutions The new Machinex Techno Hub welcomes the research & development departments and all high-tech equipment production. The building creates the synergy needed to fuel a modern vision and is in line with the growth of Machinex. This expansion aims to better anticipate the need for more high-tech equipment such as optical sorters, sorting robots, and the integration of artificial intelligence within sorting systems. This is why we are The Sorting Technologies Expert! 1 877 362.3281