Previous tests conducted at MRFs seeded a representative mixture of preconsumer FPP in a manner that mimicked actual conditions into a standard single-stream material mix at these facilities.

JP Mascaro & Sons to participate in MRFF pilot

The Materials Recovery for the Future (MRFF) research program has partnered with Audubon, Pennsylvania-based J.P. Mascaro & Sons Inc. to pilot single-stream curbside recycling of flexible plastic packaging (FPP). The company’s TotalRecycle material recovery facility (MRF) in Berks County, Pennsylvania, will process the material, demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of recycling FPP from residential single-stream recycling programs.

MRFF is a project of the Foundation for Chemistry Research and Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization established by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington.

“Our MRFF collaborative is excited to partner with J.P. Mascaro and demonstrate the recyclability of flexible plastic packaging,” says Steve Sikra, MRFF chairperson and associate director of global research and development for Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati. “We are all committed to the success of this program and look forward to adding recycled flexible packaging into the circular economy.”

Sikra adds, “As a side benefit, we expect to see the quality of J.P.’s other recycling streams improve as the flexible plastics are processed.”

FPP—which includes films, wraps, bags and pouches—is not widely recycled today; however, it is a growing fraction of the packaging stream because of its light weight and ability to provide enhanced product performance and protection. According to Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), Ann Arbor, Michigan, the recycling system consultancy which conducts the MRFF research program, 12 billion pounds of the material are introduced into the market for consumer use every year, and it is the fastest growing form of packaging.

RRS estimates TotalRecycle will produce 3,100 tons per year of high-quality postconsumer FPP feedstock for various end market uses that are being tested.

Mascaro Director of Sustainability and TotalRecycle General Manager Joseph P. Mascaro says, “We are confident that the pilot will be successful and will generate industry data to show FPP generators, municipalities and the recycling industry that FPP can be efficiently and economically recycled and marketed instead of being landfilled.”

Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, Stamford, Connecticut, will add optical sorters to TotalRecycle to target FPP and direct the material out of the single-stream material flow, the ACC says.

The pilot will begin in late 2018 with installation of the sorting equipment, according to the association. After an internal testing period, TotalRecycle will begin accepting FPP for recycling from the municipal residents it serves. From equipment order to acceptance of FPP in curbside carts, the pilot is expected to last two years.

New case study outlines blueprint for breaking
34 percent recycling rate in US

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Washington, and its partners have announced the release of the “Beyond 34 Case Study: The Development of a Recycling Public-Private Partnership.” The case study is part of its multistakeholder pilot project, Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy. It evaluates efforts undertaken in Orlando, Florida. The foundation says the project aims to increase the current 34 percent U.S. recycling rate by providing a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates. The project’s goal is to help communities, cities and businesses across the country create a more sustainable future.

“This case study represents the significant steps the Orlando region is taking toward advancing the local area’s sustainability and economic growth,” says Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We will continue working with our partners to help improve recycling and recovery rates in the Orlando region. We hope that other areas will adopt the plan laid out in this case study to implement similar localized recycling and recovery projects nationwide.”

Beyond 34 was established in September 2017 when Orlando was selected as the pilot city location to launch the program. Since then, the U.S. Chamber Foundation says it has convened business leaders, recycling planners and key stakeholders in Orlando and surrounding municipalities to collaborate on a sustainable system to positively affect the recycling rate.

The Beyond 34 case study serves as a guide for other communities seeking to strengthen their economic competitiveness through recycling initiatives, the foundation says. The case study illustrates how the investment is making an impact, fostering ideas for how to address the recycling and recovery gap and providing insights on how to replicate such a project.

Beyond 34 is a partnership among the U.S. Chamber Foundation; Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce; and the city of Orlando. The foundation is working with leading brands, manufacturers, retailers, industrial service providers and others to tackle the recovery gap in the U.S. and accelerate recycling infrastructure development.

The U.S. Chamber Foundation says RRS facilitated development of a recycling gap analysis for the Orlando region and its local stakeholders that keeps high-value recyclables out of landfills. The plan also identified greater economic reuse opportunities for commercial, industrial and residential material.

The case study is available at https://bit.ly/2xZIMws.

RePower South to reopen Montgomery, Alabama, MRF

RePower South (RPS) of Charleston, South Carolina, has reached an agreement with Montgomery, Alabama, to reopen the city’s material recovery facility (MRF), which was idled in October 2015 after spending about 19 months processing mixed waste. The city of Montgomery purchased the facility in late 2017 and has been seeking to reopen it since.

RPS says it will add “a proprietary fuel manufacturing capability with new additions and features” at the plant in a bid to “position Montgomery as a national leader in community and environmental sustainability.”

The company says in a news release that it will invest $7 million into the newly named Montgomery Recycling and Recovery Facility and hire some 60 people. The facility is slated to begin operating in late 2018.

RPS Corporate Development Director Scott Montgomery says the facility will feature system upgrades to produce low-carbon, clean fuel from traditionally landfilled waste. “Our platform enables greater recycling recovery across the entire waste stream and creates a low-carbon, clean fuel to help reduce the consumption of coal, resulting in greater recycling, less landfilling and cleaner air at lower cost.”

Partners include general contractor North Carolina-based Barnhill Contracting Co.; Eugene, Oregon-based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS); and Germany-based Loesche Energy Systems. Vermont-based Accordant Energy is licensing the fuel technology to RPS.