Latest Matalco News
May 28, 2021
HSMG introduces paper cup barrier New York-based company calls CupKOTE barrier a biodegradable option for single-use paper cups. New York-based HS Manufacturing Group (HSMG) has introduced a paper cup barrier material called Protēan CupKOTE, which it calls biodegradable and “and easily pre/post-consumer recyclable.” The Protēan CupKOTE barrier system can replace the plastic-majority linings used in paper cups with and is now available for licensing to manufacturers, converters and brand owners outside of the U.S., says HSMG. “The solution includes a topcoat and a base coat that are novel blends of plant-derived additives and selected latex,” states the company. “Each coating is applied by rod, blade or other coater at the cupstock manufacturer and/or cup converter.” “We are pleased to announce that our CupKOTE barriers will be launched by major brands in the U.S. this year, and we are now ready to identify partners for other markets,” says Lucy Lee, CEO of HSMG . “We invite manufacturers and brand owners to contact us to be considered for licensing, and also invite anyone with interest in this industry to provide feedback about the product.” The HSMG product joins at least two other paper cup barriers being marketed as either paper mill- or recycling-friendly, including one made by Miami-based J&J Green Paper and another being offered by California-based Smart Planet . Deal expands parts catalog and service offering in key geographic areas. Based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, Wastebuilt operates 12 facilities in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and provides parts for refuse bodies, chassis, containers, hoses and fittings. Going forward, Wastequip’s Go To Parts brand will be discontinued and will operate under the Wastebuilt brand. Wastebuilt will continue to operate as its own entity, with personnel reporting to Chris Nicolazzo. Nicolazzo, who previously served as Wastequip’s vice president of operations for tarps and parts, has now been named president of tarps and parts. According to the company, the acquisition of Wastebuilt broadens Wastequip’s parts catalog, technical support and distribution in markets across the U.S. It also expands its parts coverage nationwide and across six parts families: refuse bodies, fluid conveyance, containers, chassis, MRO & safety and automated side loader arms. Additional Wastebuilt offerings include a refurbishment program for automated side loader arms. The combination of Wastebuilt’s parts catalog, expertise and distribution infrastructure with Wastequip’s financial strength, sales and marketing expertise will further market leadership and service and product offerings for its customers, Wastequips says. “We are excited to welcome the Wastebuilt team to the Wastequip family of brands,” Marty Bryant, CEO of Wastequip, says. “The addition of Wastebuilt aligns with our strategy of pairing the industry’s top brands—like Galbreath, Amrep, Pioneer and Toter—with an expanded parts catalog and distribution network to provide a one-stop shop for the waste industry. Strengthening our parts offering, along with the continued expansion of our Wastequip WRX service network, provides customers with a single, convenient and reliable source from equipment to parts to service.” A combination of paper maps and driver familiarity with routes were key to the city of Baltimore’s Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Solid Waste’s curbside solid waste and recycling collection efforts for many years. The city’s drivers and laborers knew the routes they had to take to service the city’s 210,000 households each week, and collection became second nature for seasoned operators. In recent years, this method of routing has become less dependable for the city of Baltimore, though. John Chalmers, head of the city’s Bureau of Solid Waste, says higher rates of employee turnover have made it difficult to train new drivers on the city’s solid waste and recycling collection routes. He adds that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic amplified those challenges last year. “It was a tough time,” he says. “We had our challenges with turnover before COVID. COVID was the last straw. When COVID hit, we had to shut down an entire facility. When that happens, you just don’t have the resources to manage services. So, we had to figure out what was most important.” Navigating a pandemic “I had to shut down so employees could quarantine,” he says of that incident. As a result, he says, the division went from 230 employees to between 94 and 110 employees out on the road daily. The division had some substitute laborers and drivers come in as well, many of whom were unfamiliar with the city’s collection routes. To make things more difficult, Chalmers says the city’s semiautomated collection trucks lacked electronic routing and GPS, making it difficult on his employees to do the jobs efficiently. Chalmers adds that training and getting substitute drivers and laborers up to speed was challenging. He notes that “there’s a science” behind routing that a substitute driver or laborer might not pick up on. “The work routine services folks perform on a daily basis is labor-intensive, whether you are routing the truck or you’re behind the truck,” he says. “Baltimore is unique. It’s a historic city and has very narrow and tight alleys. When we brought on drivers from other operations they: One, were not mentally prepared for the task, and two, they weren’t physically prepared for the task and the drivers had to turn things around fast in areas they weren’t familiar with. You put all of that into one bag, there’s a lot of confusion and frustration. That’s what we had to deal with.” In response to COVID-19 outbreaks, Chalmers says the city had to suspend curbside recycling collection services in September 2020 to prioritize trash collection. As an alternative, he adds that the city implemented 14 recycling drop-off locations in each of its council districts for residents who still wanted to recycle. In addition, the city issued an emergency procurement that enabled the bureau to invest in Rubicon Global Inc.’s routing software on Aug. 27, 2020, which Chalmers says was valued at $1,042,053. The software was installed on about 140 solid waste and recycling collection vehicles last fall and winter. “The buy-in [from the city] on this technology was instant,” Chalmers says. “I went to them and said, ‘This is what we need.’ It wasn’t a tough sell at all. The mayor said, ‘Let’s do this.’” Chalmers says Rubicon’s software offered many benefits he liked: It records data in real time on things such as a vehicle’s status and maintenance needs. It allows his bureau to identify areas where it can improve its services to Baltimore’s residents; it provides a way to digitize tonnage tickets, rather than the bureau’s method of manually entering tonnage tickets into a spreadsheet for tracking; and it enables the bureau to understand patterns of how much waste and recycling materials are collected throughout the city. “We’re proud to work with the city of Baltimore,” says Conor Riffle, vice president of Rubicon. “The pandemic hit the city hard, just like it’s hit so many municipalities. Departments have been hit hard by COVID. I think part of the challenge in a place like Baltimore is a lot of those routes they run every day are run by folks who may keep routes in their heads. When new drivers are out [on the road], they don’t know what route to take.” He continues, “Digitizing the routes in Baltimore for the city was a high priority as the reality of COVID started to sink in.” The city implemented the technology in its trucks in the fall. Chalmers says he has a goal of right-sizing routes based on data gathered from the software by the end of this summer in order to give his employees a tool that helps them and a tool that helps the bureau improve efficiencies. Software training and implementation Once the city of Baltimore added Rubicon software to its fleet of waste and recycling collection vehicles, Chalmers says his bureau took time to train employees on the new software. He stresses that it was important he had buy-in from all of his employees when integrating the Rubicon software. “We had multiple trainings with drivers, supervisors and upper management,” Chalmers says. “I’ve been in this business for over 33 years, and my grandma used to say that you never put the cart before the horse. I always live by that. So, before you start any program, you must get buy-in from the users. So, we started with the drivers and the supervisors.” Training during a pandemic had unique challenges, as well. Chalmers says he needed to find a training location where he could safely socially distance employees and Rubicon representatives. With schools temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, he says the bureau was able to use local school cafeterias to host Rubicon training sessions. Chalmers adds that he made sure to kick off each training session by talking about the benefits and needs for Rubicon’s software before Rubicon trained employees how to use the new program. “The first step in optimizing solid waste operations in any way is by involving the front-line supervisors and explaining the benefit of the new program or change,” Chalmers says. Riffle says he and his team then provided the city’s employees with best practices on using Rubicon software. “We’ve trained 100 percent of the drivers in the city of Baltimore, all supervisors, all back-office staff,” Riffle says. “They’re all users on our portal and are using the system every day.” He adds, “At any point, we are happy to help provide more training to help them get the most out of the software and platform.” Eye on right-sized routes Chalmers says applying the Rubicon software to Baltimore’s fleet has yielded impressive results thus far. He adds that the city also resumed curbside collection of recycling in January. Since the fall, Chalmers says his team has gathered data from Rubicon’s software. He adds that he hopes to analyze that data by the end of summer to update the city’s waste and recycling collection routes. He adds that it has been many years since the city last updated its waste and recycling collection routes. “I started back here in 1987, and our routes haven’t been updated for quite some time,” he says. “The last time I adjusted routes was basically bringing in the entire team of one section, talking to the drivers, looking at a map and moving a line here and trying to look at tonnage tickets to make it happen. That is not the most efficient way to [update routes], but that’s how we adjusted our routes back then.” There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach that can be taken to right-size a route, either. Chalmers says each municipality is different and many factors can affect what makes the best service route. Things can even vary within a single city. “For example, down in parts of southeast Baltimore, they have angled parking,” he says. “Because of that, we have to walk all of the trash to the end of the block to pull them to the trucks. [Employees] spend more time on that route as opposed to working in the northern portion of the city where they have big streets, big alleys. So, you have to roll all factors into play with routing.” Some other factors include total route times, right turns and tonnage reports. Another factor is exceptions—how many stops have exceptions, such as forgetting to put a bin out on time for collection. Other factors to consider include the material recovery facility (MRF) that’s used for recycling, the landfill that is used for solid waste, the waste-to-energy facility and the transfer station where the material might be sent. Chalmers concludes, “I look forward to the day when we gather all of this data. The goal of this is not only to provide our crews with a very good tool to get them through their day, but also to allow us to right-size our routes. Right now, our routes are unbalanced, and we really need to balance our routes. We want to make sure we are not overworking our workforce, and we want to provide efficient services to the residents of Baltimore.” Company Wrench and Screen Machine Industries have announced the expansion of their partnership into central and eastern Tennessee. Carroll, Ohio-based Company Wrench is also Screen Machine’s exclusive dealer in Florida. Screen Machine is a leading manufacturer of portable jaw, impact and cone crushers, screening plants, trommels and conveyors. Based out of Etna, Ohio, Screen Machine has earned global recognition for its aggregate processing equipment. “Our Florida customers absolutely love these crushers. They are impressed by Screen Machine’s ability to combine raw power with innovative controls and features,” says Company Wrench President Cam Gabbard. “We are excited to represent these outstanding products in Tennessee and strengthen our relationship with Screen Machine.” Company Wrench is a customer-oriented, specialty equipment dealership focused on delivering solutions and decreasing downtime. With a commitment to providing the “cutting-edge” of customer service, Company Wrench sells, rents, services and supplies parts for heavy equipment at 11 locations in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee. Despite the challenges related to the pandemic, North America’s largest nonferrous scrap processors continued to buy, process and sell material throughout 2020. To arrive at the rankings for the lists of the largest nonferrous processors in North America, the editors of Recycling Today, a sister publication of Waste Today and Construction & Demolition Recycling, recently asked processors to provide the pounds of nonferrous metals, excluding stainless steel, they processed in 2020. Reduced generation Early in the second quarter of 2020, nonferrous scrap flows in North America essentially stopped as a result of COVID-19. Some scrap yards closed their retail scrap operations, and industrial generation in certain sectors, including automotive and aerospace, ceased for a time. “Supply is very quiet; however, so is demand,” a red metals processor based in the Northeast told Recycling Today in April of last year. “Several yards, especially public-facing [ones], have opted to close down,” he said, referring to yards with retail buying operations. One Midwest-based scrap processor said industrial generation had decreased 50 percent on the nonferrous side of his company’s business in April of last year. He said if mills saw orders strengthen in May of last year, demand of scrap would “outpace supply for a period of time.” He predicted a seller’s market, particularly for grades like aluminum cans. “Short of being able to name your own price, mills may have to throw their established spreads and formulas out the door to secure scrap,” the Midwest-based processor said in April 2020. His prediction proved true, though his timing was a bit off. Aluminum scrap dealers began to talk of having the upper hand in November of last year, which has continued through the first quarter. As of the first quarter of 2021, processors say generation remains 15 to 20 percent softer than normal. However, as generation rebounds, some of North America’s largest nonferrous scrap processors have announced new ventures or acquisitions that will provide U.S. outlets for some of the nonferrous metals they produce or help further refine this material so it can be used by U.S.-based smelters. Vertical and horizontal leaps After China introduced import restrictions for nonferrous metals in 2019, copper and aluminum scrap were oversupplied in North America. Some companies responded by adding North American smelting capacity. Canada’s Giampaolo Group Inc. is among the companies that have done so. The company owns Brampton, Ontario-based Triple M Metal LP , which ranks fifth on the list of nonferrous processors with auto shredders, as well as Matalco Inc., which began melting aluminum scrap in Brampton in late 2005. Matalco produces 6000 series aluminum billets for the aluminum extrusion and forging manufacturing industries. It operates casting plants in Brampton; Canton and Lordstown, Ohio; Bluffton, Indiana; and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin plant, commissioned in late 2020, has a projected 115,000 tons of annual capacity, giving Matalco 505,000 tons of total annual capacity. Triple M’s 27 locations in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico host four auto shredders, a wire chopping line and additional processing equipment. Matalco Vice President of Corporate Development Robert Roscetti told Recycling Today Senior Editor Brian Taylor that Triple M supplies nearly 40 percent of Matalco’s aluminum scrap needs. More recently, Matalco has committed to building a 135,000-ton-per-year facility in Franklin, Kentucky, which is about 45 miles north of Nashville, Tennessee. Aluminum, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium are among the vital nonferrous metals because of their use in components of electric vehicles, battery energy storage, wind and solar technology and electricity transmission. Sims , also on the shredder operators list, recently announced the purchase of certain commercial and operating assets of Alumisource Corp., an aluminum scrap processor and provider of furnace-ready products based in the Pittsburgh area. Alistair Field, CEO and managing director of Sims, says the purchase will help the company grow its nonferrous retail volumes in North America. “Major aluminum customers in the United States continue to seek product that is suitable for direct charging. Alumisource meets these needs by providing ‘in-spec’ furnace-ready product in an automated and safe manner,” he says. Alumisource provides raw material inputs to the aluminum industry in the form of custom shredded and blended aluminum scrap and supplies the steel industry with raw materials for artificial slag conditioners, deoxidation and desulphurization products. The net increase in Sims’ North American metal division’s nonferrous retail sales volumes is forecast to be approximately 33,000 metric tons as a result of the purchase. In the red metals sector, in mid-2020, Prime Materials Recovery (PMR) of Connecticut announced its partnership with Spanish company Cunext in a joint venture that will build a $26.3 million copper smelter in Shelby, North Carolina, called Ames Copper Group. Bernard Schilberg, CEO of PMR, says China’s restrictions on copper scrap imports and the oversupply they have created in the U.S. market prompted the venture, as did demand for copper anodes in North America. “We will be able to compete globally with the new efficient technology we are implementing.” Ames Copper Group will purchase birch/cliff, No. 2 copper chops with a minimum of 90 percent copper content and copper-bearing scrap and copper alloys with a minimum of 85 percent copper content. Schilberg says the smelter will consume 54,000 tons of scrap annually to produce 50,000 tons of 99.7 percent copper custom anodes. While PMR will supply some of the scrap, he says, “a substantial amount will be purchased outside of PMR.” These companies and the other nonferrous processors on the lists appear poised to benefit from the boost that the transition to the green economy will give to nonferrous metals. Green glow As noted in “Reversal of fortunes," nonferrous metals should benefit from the green energy transition. Aluminum, cobalt, copper, nickel and lithium are among the vital nonferrous metals because of their use in components of electric vehicles (EVs), battery energy storage, wind and solar technology and electricity transmission. Julian Kettle, senior vice president and vice chair of metals and mining at U.K.-based Wood Mackenzie, says aluminum demand will increase by roughly one-third by 2040 as a result of the green energy transition. In a seven-chapter research report also from Wood Mackenzie, Huang Miaoru, Gavin Thompson and Zhou Yanting include a section forecasting how much copper and aluminum it will take to upgrade China’s EV output, bolster its EV charging network and engage in other wire- and cable-intensive changeovers. They write, “China needs to expand its domestic ultra-high-voltage transmission networks. Copper is China’s Achilles’ heel. Essential for electricity transmission, wiring and wind turbines, the country’s domestic and overseas equity production of mined copper is just 16 percent of what it needs, leaving it net short to the tune of 7.5 million metric tons per year at current demand levels.” China’s government recently allowed high-purity copper and other nonferrous scrap to be imported into the country without restrictions, reopening a market that had been cut off for about a year. Rising demand for aluminum, copper and other nonferrous metals related to the green transition should boost nonferrous scrap demand, as well, and the processors on the list should benefit from that growing demand. Editor’s note: This year, Recycling Today decided to produce two different nonferrous processors lists: one that ranks companies that operate auto shredders, and one that ranks wire choppers and more traditional scrap processors. In gathering the data for these lists, the editors reached out to the companies they suspected might rank. However, some declined to provide a figure that could be used as the basis for the rankings, and others did not respond in time to include that information. In those cases, the editors estimated figures with the help of others in the industry. However, the editors are aware that they may have missed some companies. If you see an omission or feel your company or a competitor has been inaccurately listed, reach out to email@example.com to let her know. This article originally appeared in the April issue of Recycling Today, a sister publication of Waste Today and Construction & Demolition Recycling. The author is the editor of Recycling Today and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . * The total number of locations listed for Sims includes SA Recycling's 82 locations. These operations should have been excluding, making the total number 47.