Latest United Scrap Metal News
Apr 20, 2021
United Scrap Metal employee named ISRI’s Driver of the Year The association says driver Anthony Tillman logged 26 years of safe driving. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has presented Anthony Tillman of United Scrap Metal with its 2021 ISRI Safe Driver of the Year Award during ISRI’s virtual 2021 Convention and Exposition April 20. Tillman received the honor for completing more than 26 verifiable years of safe driving, ISRI says. “Anthony has over two decades of safe driving experience,” says ISRI Senior Safety Director Commodor Hall. “His track record illustrates [his] unwavering commitment to safety, as well as the commitment of his entire organization. ISRI is proud to recognize Anthony as the 2021 safe driver of the year and we thank him for his commitment to safety in the industry.” Tillman began his truck driving career in 1995. He joined United Scrap Metal , located in Cicero, Illinois, in 2002, ISRI says. “Anthony is not only a great driver, but he is also a hard worker who cares deeply about the safety of others and the environment,” says United Scrap Metal Transportation Manager Javier Aquino. “He has always taken safety seriously, and he exhibits leadership qualities.” ISRI’s Safe Driver of the Year Award, now in its ninth year, recognizes outstanding drivers who have driven a commercial vehicle for at least 20 years without incurring a preventable accident. The award is based on the following mandatory criteria: nominations may be submitted only by ISRI members in good standing; nominees must be full-time employees whose primary responsibility is to operate a commercial motor vehicle; nominees must be current employees of the nominating member company and must be employed for at least 1 year (12 consecutive months); nominations must be made by someone familiar with the nominee’s work history, such as a manager, safety director, etc. ; and nominees must meet the minimum requirement of 10 years of verifiable employment as a commercial motor vehicle driver. Other criteria considered are the driver’s contribution to highway safety (driver trainer), letters of appreciation, deeds of heroism on or off the job and civic and fraternal organizations. Michigan EGLE announces NextCycle recycling initiative Officials say this is the largest collaborative effort to spark recycling and recovery in state history. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has announced a new recycling effort called NextCycle Michigan that is aimed at sparking the state’s recycling and recovery economy. The program is a joint effort with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, bipartisan lawmakers and Meijer, EGLE says. NextCycle Michigan will help fund infrastructure investment to promote the development of markets for recycled materials and recycled products, including manufacturing, says EGLE Materials Management Division Director Liz Browne. “[This partnership is] uniquely exciting because this level of commitment and partnership to comprehensively promote recycling between Michigan’s private sector and the state government has never happened before in our state’s history,” Browne says. “In fact, we believe NextCycle Michigan marks the greatest accomplishment in recycling since our state achieved its first-in-the-nation status by introducing the bottle bill law in 1976.” By turning waste materials into new products made in Michigan, EGLE and its partners plan to achieve the state’s goals of saving resources, protecting the climate and contributing to the prosperity of Michigan-based companies. As part of the NextCycle Michigan initiative, EGLE announced that in 2020 and 2021, $97 million had been committed to recycling projects through partners that include: Henry Ford Health System, GFL Environmental, Carton Council of North America, Goodwill Industries, Keurig Dr Pepper, Foodservice Packaging Institute, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, Emterra Environmental, Washtenaw County, Great Lakes Tissue and more than 30 Michigan companies, organizations and nonprofits. “The NextCycle Michigan Initiative and Renew Michigan grants marks the largest push in state history to promote recycling activities that divert materials from Michigan landfills, boost local economies and support Gov. Whitmer’s climate change priorities through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark says. Emterra , for example, is opening this month a new $9 million recycling sorting facility built through a collaboration with the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Michigan. The facility will use robotics to process recyclables from more than 676,000 households across 12 counties in and around Lansing, increasing access to recycling throughout the region and creating new jobs in Lansing. The materials from the Emterra facility will then go to businesses like Great Lakes Tissue in Cheboygan, Michigan, which turns old cartons into toilet paper sold in grocery stores like Meijer . EGLE also announced more than $4.9 million in Renew Michigan grants to recipients in 45 communities statewide that will support the initiative. “The funding is part of EGLE’s strategy to support recycling infrastructure, improve the quality of recyclable materials and promote market development using the Renew Michigan Fund, which was created in 2019 to bolster the state’s recycling efforts,” Clark says. Together with its partners, EGLE says it’s planning to use public and private investment in Michigan’s recycling system to put materials once destined for the landfill back into use in manufacturing. “I am happy to speak today in support of the NextCycle initiative because this program will increase innovation and overcome barriers that have traditionally hindered Michigan's recycling rates in the past,” Rich Studley, president of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, says. “Our state decision-makers wisely understood that partnering with Michigan’s business community to help develop market-driven solutions was critical to improving Michigan’s waste and materials management processes.” By helping to build out domestic markets for recycled goods, Studley says Michigan can help support key state industries like automotive, construction materials and paper product manufacturing, while also preserving the environment for the next generation. He pledged to encourage Michigan Chamber members to engage and collaborate with stakeholders to help regulators understand their needs and bring solutions to the table. Meijer routinely provides recycling solutions to its customers by offering plastic film recycling and drug-takeback programs. Every year, for example, Meijer keeps more than 100,000 tons of material from the landfill through recycling. Meijer also has food waste reduction programs in its stores and manufacturing facilities that recycle unused food into animal feed and compost, according to Vik Srinivasan, senior vice president for real estate and properties at Meijer. “This program will help us find new ways to recycle some of the most challenging materials in our supply chain, which include packaged food waste from our stores and difficult-to-recycle materials in our distribution centers,” Srinivasan says. “We look forward to our shared innovation not only to help us reach our sustainability goals but also to help build the infrastructure for our successes to be replicated statewide.” Regional funding Gov. Whitmer and the state legislature committed to raising Michigan’s recycling rate to 30 percent by 2025 and ultimately reach 45 percent annually. Michigan's current recycling rate is at 15 percent, the lowest in the Great Lakes region and among the nation’s lowest, EGLE says. “To ensure we reach this goal, recycling across Michigan is receiving a major boost in 2021 through Renew Michigan grant funding,” Democratic U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens says. Stevens serves the state’s 11th Congressional District in southeast Michigan. Among the grants Stevens unveiled in her region of the state were: Next Energy: $50,000 for an assessment of electric vehicle battery recycling system needs in Michigan; Battery Solutions: $75,000 for battery sorting technology upgrades; Schupan & Sons Inc.: $250,000 for equipment that empties packaging, allowing for additional containers to be recycled; Recycle Livingston (city of Howell, Michigan): $282,504.80 for Howell drop-off site upgrades that will improve collection and processing capacity and worker health and safety conditions; City of Ypsilanti: $73,440 for recycling bins in downtown and public parks; City of Detroit: $20,000 for residential recycling carts, part of multi-year, ongoing EGLE support of City of Detroit recycling program; Huron-Clinton Metroparks: $48,816 for plastic bottle recycling bins in Metroparks; The Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County: $32,000 for Novi drop-off site upgrades; MSU Recycling (MSU Recycling and Surplus Store): $170,000 for robotic sorting equipment that will improve drop-off recycling in the region, as well as worker health and safety conditions. Vartega: $100,000 for the production of new recycled thermoplastics products; and Emterra Environmental: $250,000 for technology to produce cleaner glass material that will be used to make beverage containers and insulation. The legislature voted to increase EGLE’s funding for recycling projects from $2 million annually to $15 million per year in 2019. The additional funds through Renew Michigan grants are being used to promote the development of recycling markets, increase access to recycling opportunities, and support efforts to grow recycling at the local level, says Sen. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City. “I was proud to be one of the members in the Michigan Legislature who voted to provide new funding to support recycling throughout our state,” Schmidt says. “Now, more than ever, Michigan residents view recycling as an essential public service.” The Renew Michigan grant recipients in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula that Schmidt announced include: Great Lakes Tissue: $250,000 for technology that will recycle more types of containers into paper products; GFL Environmental: $100,000 for technology needed for cart and cup recycling; The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments: $55,000 to support collaborative efforts to secure a new recycling processing facility for the region; Emmet County: $150,000 for expansion of the food scraps collection program; Delta Solid Waste Management Authority: $600,000 for equipment needed to take advantage of the new recycling facility in Marquette that was built through a previous EGLE grant; Three Upper Peninsula townships (Ishpeming/Negaunee/Marquette Charter): $167,791 for residential recycling carts for residents of those three townships, with materials going to the new recycling facility in Marquette; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community: $20,000 for equipment to collect paper and cardboard needed by Michigan businesses like U.P. Paper; City of Alpena: $58,080 for recycling bins in public parks and government buildings; and SEEDS: $75,000 for a study of how to optimize the organics recycling system in northern Michigan. The Washington House has approved legislation April 7 that would require increased recycled content in plastic beverage containers, trash bags and bottles for household products; ban expanded polystyrene food ware, recreational coolers and packing peanuts; and require that utensils, straws, cup lids and condiments only be provided to customers on request. SB 5022 , sponsored by Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), builds on a bill Das championed in 2020 that banned thin plastic carryout bags and required that thicker plastic bags consist of 40 percent postconsumer recycled content. According to a news release from the Washington-based Association of Plastic Recyclers , industry experts and environmental groups say they expect SB 5022 to pass, in part, because of a strong support for its minimum recycled-content requirements, a concept that has been gaining traction nationally. Steve Alexander, president and CEO of APR, says he anticipates this bill to be one of many such bills in the country in the coming years. “I definitely see major changes coming, with more attention by brands to using recycled material and designing packaging to be compatible with recycling,” he says. SB 5022 passed by the state’s Senate March 2 . After passing in the House, the Senate also approved House amendments to the bill April 19. The bill is headed to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for signature. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation April 19 that provides a modernized regulatory framework for advanced recycling technology in the state. Known as SB 448, the goal of the new law is to reduce plastic scrap waste, enhance operational certainty and increase the adoption of advanced recycling practices. The legislation expands existing waste management laws in the state to include an emphasis on plastics recycling and recycling the various materials plastics facilities process. In a news release, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) applauds the new legislation. “Advanced recycling provides a solution to one of our planet’s most pressing environmental challenges: plastic waste in our environment,” says Joshua Baca, American Chemistry Council vice president of plastics. “These innovative technologies will complement mechanical recycling by allowing us to convert more post-use plastics into new products. Legislation like SB 448 will also help Oklahoma attract new recycling businesses and support job creation.” Oklahoma is the 11th state to pass advanced recycling legislation since 2017. It joins Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in recognizing that post-use plastics are not waste but a valuable material for manufacturing. One of the bill’s main supporters is the Environmental Federation of Oklahoma (EFO), a nonprofit organization providing Oklahoma companies a voice in the formation of state and federal environmental policies. “This bill fits perfectly with our organization’s goal of ensuring that a balance is reached between protecting Oklahoma's natural resources and responsible economic growth,” says EFO President Bud Ground. “Achieving this goal will lead to an enhanced environment and an improved quality of life for the citizens of Oklahoma.” Officials believe that signing SB 448 into law moves Oklahoma closer to receiving economic and environmental benefits of advanced recycling manufacturing. For example, converting 25 percent of the recoverable plastics in the state into new products using advanced recycling could generate nearly $152 million in estimated economic output annually, the American Chemistry Council says. Additionally, this law will help create new local demand for recycling programs and recycling centers that will turn post-use plastics currently destined for landfills into valuable new materials, according to the ACC. SB 448 helps move Oklahoma toward a circular economy, in which products are designed so that their lifecycle leads back to becoming raw material for new products. Advancing a circular economy will help bring about cleaner air and waterways, less pollution and waste, and a healthier planet. “We’re pleased to see support for these technologies continue across the United States. We thank Sen. Zack Taylor and Rep. Brad Boles for sponsoring SB 448 and Gov. Stitt for signing it into law,” Baca says. TerraCycle, an international organization focused on sustainability based in Trenton, New Jersey, has announced a slew of corporate partnerships aimed at improving the environment. The company reports that it will be working with Taco Bell, Carter’s, Century, Teva and Spin Master to introduce several recycling initiatives. Baby-clothing retailer Carter’s of Atlanta will recycle well-loved, lived-in clothing for babies and children called KIDCYCLE. Children’s toymaker Spin Master , of Toronto, will take back old toys and games. Philadelphia-based Century will launch Century Baby Gear Recycling Program, aimed at recycling its car seats, highchairs, strollers and play yards. International sandal retailer Teva will focus on recycling old sandals and shoes called TevaForever. “The partnership with TerraCycle is a huge step forward in our ongoing commitment to minimize our brand’s environmental impact. The TevaForever Recycling Program gives our fans an easy way to join the cause, knowing we will give their sandals new life,” says Anders Bergstrom, vice president and general manager of Teva. “We can’t do this without our fans, and I’m thrilled to see the impact we will make together.” Taco Bell will focus on recycling its sauce packaging with TerraCycle. Taco Bell is expected to release more details on the program later this year. Customers can log into Terracycle’s website and print a prepaid shipping label to send in their worn shoes, toys or clothing. Each program has gone live and those interested can begin recycling their used products now. TerraCycle is a waste management company operating nationally across 20 countries. The organization partners with consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packages that would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated. The company also works with consumer product companies to integrate hard-to-recycle waste streams into their products and packaging.