Panasonic Begins Recycling Program For Rechargeable Batteries

The Power Tools Division of Panasonic and the not for profit group Call2Recycle are collaborating to launch a new recycling and waste management program for rechargeable batteries.

The Secaucus, New Jersey -based Panasonic Corporation of North America will be working with Athlanta, Georgia – based Call2Recycle and customers of Panasonic’s power tools to ensure that collection boxes are well positioned for assembly line workers to place used rechargeable batteries removed from recycled cordless tools. All rechargeable battery packs and battery cells weighing less than eleven pounds will be collected and recycled by Call2Recycle. As part of the new initiative, Call2Recycle will also provide educational programs and materials for customers and retailers to explain how the program will to improve recycling and keep batteries out of landfills.

The new, national recycling strategic plan for all Panasonic power tools replaces the company’s prior recycling model which relied on a patchwork of various battery recycling vendors and services which varied by region and customer location. The new plan allows for great stability and make for a uniform service provided to all stores and customers regardless of location. It is also expected that the new program will help to increase recycling levels.

The collected and recycled used batteries will be shipped to an approved battery processing facility, which will dismantle the batteries and manufacture the components into new materials for use in new batteries or steel alloy products.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If your business or tool storage room has old batteries collecting dust, make sure you connect with your local waste transfer station or battery manufacturer to see if recycling opportunities are available. Many municipalities charge extra fees to dispose of batteries, due to their toxic and hazardous qualities, so recycling may be a way to save money and save the environment!


Landfill Crime Results In Fine

In yet another cautionary tale for both employers and employees, in Tennessee, three men have been arrested for their involvement with a criminal scrap metal theft from a regional landfill.

According to state and federal investigators, two of the men were employed at the landfill and the third was a manager. They were charged with theft in excess of one thousand dollars and for conspiracy to commit a theft. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations started investigating the crimes during August of last year.

Based on the outcome of the criminal investigation, it was determined that the landfill manager had conspired with two landfill employees to identify and load scrap metal found on the site in a separate disposal container. When the container became full, they would secretly sell the materials and split the profits.

The three were convicted and released on bond. Two of the employees have already been fired.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Recycling scrap metal can bring in big money. Are you doing everything you can to make sure your employees aren’t tempted into stealing and breaking the law? Negative publicity for your community or business is never good news, so make sure people are following the rules!

Washington State Reaches Recycling Milestone

The northwestern state of Washington has announced that it has reached a milestone in its recycling efforts.

During the year 2011,  Washington’s recycling rate exceeded fifty percent for the first time ever. The figures were released to the public from the Department of Ecology for Washington in late 2012.

The comprehensive waste diversion rate, which also factors in recycling, energy recovery, and product re-use, increased from fifty four percent in 2010 to fifty seven percent in 2011.

Residents and businesses recycled over one hundred and eight six thousand tons of material waste more than in the previous year, which resulted in a four percent increase. At the same time, landfill use decreased, as four percent less waste material was disposed of.

The state estimates that recyclables collection is over three and a half pounds per person per day. The individual amount is the highest ever for the state since it began measuring recycling efforts in 1986.

A spokesperson from the  Department of Ecology said that much of the improvement in the recycling rate can be attributed to increased rates for cardboard, metals, newspapers, and e-waste. With metals recycling seeing the largest increases.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’ve set a recycling and waste reduction plan for your business, how are you keeping track of your financial and environmental successes? Making small changes and monitoring the results can help you achieve the best balance of saving money and saving the environment!

Illegal Dumping of Scrap Results In Big Fines

Despite the high demand and lucrative prices for recycled scrap metal, a business in Brooklyn, New York was recently fined eight five thousand dollars for illegal dumping of scrap metal into state waterways.

The recent case showed that the Benson Metal Corporation consistently dumped scrap metal from its operation into the Gowanus Canal on a regular basis for several years. A review by the New York State Office of the Attorney General uncovered over one hundred dates when scrap metal was illegally dumped into the canal.

The Gowanus Canal is one of the most highly polluted waterways in the country and is a designated Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As part of the settlement, Benson must change its loading procedures to those recommended by the EPA to prevent scrap metal from falling into the water during the transfer process from facility to hauling barge. Another business, Simsmetal East, which provides hauling services via the waterways to a New Jersey recycling plant, must also follow best-practice regulations in order to prevent future illegal dumping.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Illegal dumping is still illegal even if it’s considered accidental. Ignorance of the law or best-practices will not hold up when the state or federal government files charges against your business. It pays in more ways than one to say on the right side of the law!

Scrap Metal Theft Ends With Prison Time

Thinking about the easy money to be made handling “questionable” scrap metal? Are you under the erroneous impression that recyclable materials are easy to misappropriate for your financial gain? Concerned about the trustworthiness of your employees? In recent weeks, six individuals from Tennessee were arrested and charged for their participation in an intricate plan of stealing truck-loads of waste scrap metal materials worth close to two million dollars. The illegal activity had been gradually taking place over a two year time period.

Each of the six people involved were charged with property theft in excess of two hundred and fifty dollars which is consider a class A felony and if convicted, carries a sentence of fifteen to twenty five years in jail.

It is estimated that cargo theft crimes result in a loss of up to thirty billion dollars each year for businesses and that close to eighty percent are considered “inside jobs.” In this case, the crime was started by employees of a trucking company which was responsible for hauling scrap metal material waste throughout the state. Through a scheme that involved paying off various security guards and drivers, the materials were then sold “under the table” to another scrap metal yard which promised not to document the transaction. The metal scrap was then hauled to another facility in Alabama and sold for cash which was shared by all the participants.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: There’s money to be made in the waste recycling of scrap metal but only if you do it above-board and adhering to the law. Be smart and protect both yourself, your business, and employees from the dangers of stealing!

NextLife Expands Material Waste Recycling Footprint

NextLife Enterprise, a resin manufacturer and plastics recycler is contributing to jobs growth and green-friendly economic development by opening a new recycling facility in Rogers, Arkansas that will expand the company’s reach beyond the recycling of plastic material waste. The new plant currently has three sorting, shredding and baling lines and employs seventy people.

The facility will also process metal, aluminum, corrugated cardboard, and glass. Only twenty-five percent of the waste material recycled will be plastics, but that total amount is expected to be close to sixty millions pounds annually. Right now, the new plant is handling roughly one million pounds of waste material per week, but full production levels are expected for next year.

The new facility and increased reach of the materials recycled and recovered was something NextLife clients and consumers had been asking for. To meet customer needs, partnerships have been formed to handle special recycling concerns such as child safety seats and household appliances. The company goal for the new plant is to be a full-service material waste to recovery solution that handles each step of the recycling and reuse process for their customers.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: As more business and consumers embrace material waste recycling, more economic growth and job opportunities are created. What can your business do to expand in this in-demand field?

Hotel Chain Waste Recycles Mattresses

The Hilton Worldwide Hotel Chain recently announced that it is launching a new material waste recycling program for mattresses when new beds and box springs are installed at its hotels.

The company has said that at on average, eighty five percent of the materials used in the manufacturing of the mattresses and box springs will be recycled and therefore diverted from landfills. The steel springs will be removed and sold as metal scrap for use in tools, construction materials, and automotive parts. Wood will be recycled for use in creating flooring, particle board for shelves and pressed wood furniture. The cotton material will be re-purposed to create new automobile oil filters and carpet padding.

The hotel chain, on average, purchases more than twenty five thousand mattresses per year for its United States locations. The new recycling program will help owners and managers to reduce material waste disposal fees while showing a commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.

Hilton is partnering with the DH Hospitality Group which has been contracted to facility all aspects of the mattress recycling program and will ensure that recycling centers are recycling the components and not engaged in reselling or recovering.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Many businesses, like Hilton Hotels, need to constantly update and refresh stock or materials to meet their customers expectations. What do you routinely throw in the dumpster that has monetary value on the reuse or recycling market? You might be surprised by what you’ll find!

Recycling Dollars From Military Bases

A closed military base in Concord, California is being re-purposed into residential housing, commercial storefronts and schools, and funds from recycling and reuse initiatives are going to help fund it.

The steel used to build the long-empty Concord Naval Weapons Station’s supply buildings and barracks along with several miles of train track rails will be waste recycled and sold to help defray the price of this soon to be five thousand acre housing and mixed commercial use development.

The Naval base was constructed during World War II but after years of dwindling use, was decommissioned 1999. Since then it has stood empty and unused.

It is expected that a total of eight million dollars will be received from the selling of the steel.  In addition, the concrete that was used for building throughout the base will be waste recycled and used for the roads in the neighborhood saving the project an expected one million dollars.

When completed, the new development will include twelve thousand homes, six million square feet of business space, almost eight hundred acres of parks, and be home to twenty eight thousand people. It is projected that the new development will add twenty six thousand jobs.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Waste Recycling and re-use is a great way to save money on any construction project. Whether you’re starting from scratch or remodeling a pre-existing building, look for innovative ways to capitalize on your “trash”.


Waste Recycling of Scrap Metal

If you’re in the construction, demolition, or remodeling business, chances are you’ve waste recycled scrap metal. Ever wonder what determines the monetary value of various scrap metals? Here are a few factors:

1) The Global Marketplace: Overseas markets, especially China, play a significant role in determining US values as more than half of all US scrap metal is exported.

2) The Home Market: The overall health of The New York Stock Exchange also impacts the price of metals.

3) It’s the Economy, Stupid! Car sales are a good indicator of what happens in the scrap metal industry; when new sales are down, steel production is likely to be down. When demand increases, expect increases in scrap yard prices.

4) Who’s Buying? Like all businesses, scrap metal sellers want to make a profit. It’s a supply/demand balance between what sellers can charge and what buyers will bear. Location, type of metal, and demand can fluctuate.

5) Scrap yards and Scrappers: While catering primarily to a local market with smaller demand, scrap yard often have flexible pricing. Scrappers develop relationships with scraps yards to ensure they’ll receive the best prices for their materials.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Scrap metals have value so if you’re putting them in with your waste disposal materials you’re losing money! It pays to develop knowledge of the local and regional scrap yards and dealers in your area and do research to make sure you get the best price for your recycled metals!

United Parcel Service Increases Waste Recycling

It was recently announced in the 2011 Corporate Sustainability Report that UPS, also known as United Parcel Service, has reduced their waste disposal of solid materials by almost three percent compared to 2010. The company, known for their iconic brown trucks and package delivery service recycled almost fifty-four thousand tons of corrugated containers, wooden pallets and wood-product waste materials, and metals.

It should come as no surprise that for UPS solid waste materials are primarily corrugated cardboard containers which comprise more than half of all the waste recycled. Waste materials made of wood or wood by-products make up a quarter of all waste recycled and metal waste materials arrive at a distant third.

UPS has also expanded its electronics waste recycling program for computer and scanning equipment and batteries. Since launching the initiative in 2000, the company has recycled over thirty two million pounds of electronics. Over forty thousand pounds of batteries were recycled last year alone a four percent increase over the previous year.

Two UPS facilities have been designated as achieving a zero landfill waste disposal goal. These two locations will serve as test centers for waste recycling and waste disposal policies and procedures that can then be applied throughout all UPS facilities.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: UPS serves as a great example of turning waste disposal into waste recycling. How can your business operate differently to save the environment and cut back on disposal fees?