Mountain Tarp opens installation and repair facility near Cincinnati

Mountain Tarp, Middlesboro, Kentucky, a brand of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Wastequip, has announced the opening of its newest installation and repair facility in Sharonville, Ohio, serving the Cincinnati area. Mountain Tarp is a manufacturer of flip tarp systems for dump bodies for paving and construction as well as cable-style systems, side-roll and side-flip systems for waste, landscaping, agriculture and scrap applications.

The Sharonville installation and repair center is at 2580 E. Sharon Rd., 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, with convenient access to Interstates 275 and 75. The four-bay facility specializes in tarping system installation, maintenance, repairs and parts sales. It features a waiting area for customers and a parts counter for walk-in sales. The facility also features a larger parts inventory available for pickup or delivery. Customers within its 150-mile service radius also can take advantage of on-site repairs and parts delivery through Mountain Tarp’s mobile service program.

The Sharonville location replaces the Monroe, Ohio, facility and offers two additional service bays.

In addition to its large dealer network, Mountain Tarp operates six service and installation facilities in Ohio, Kentucky, Texas and Massachusetts, providing fleet owners and operators with quick system installation and repairs, according to the company.

“By relocating our Monroe, Ohio, facility to Sharonville, we’re able to provide more convenient service to customers in the Cincinnati area, a major east-west route for truckers,” says Chris Nicolazzo, general manager for Mountain Tarp.

BHS and NRT introduce Max-AI

Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), Eugene, Oregon, and its wholly owned subsidiary NRT, Nashville, Tennessee, have introduced Max-AI (http://max-ai.com), artificial intelligence (AI) designed to identify recyclables and other items for recovery. Max-AI employs multilayered neural networks and a vision system to identify objects similar to the way a person does, BHS says. It is designed to drive improvements in material recovery facility (MRF) design, efficiency, recovery, system optimization, maintenance and more.

The first machine using Max-AI is an Autonomous Quality Control (QC) unit that sorts container streams following optical sorting. This robotic sorter uses its vision system to see the material, its AI to think and identify each item and a robot to pick targeted items. BHS says the system can make multiple sorting decisions autonomously at rates exceeding human capabilities.

The first commercial Autonomous QC unit is in operation at Athens Services’ MRF in Sun Valley, California. A recipient of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Award for Excellence in 2016, Athens was an ideal location for the first installation of Max-AI robotic sorters to complement the advanced screen, air and optical separation technology already in use, BHS says. Integrating with the company’s existing NRT optical sorters, Max provides a fully autonomous polyethylene terepthalate (PET) sorting solution.

“This technology was simply not possible until now,” says Thomas Brooks, BHS director of technology development. “Recent advances in computer processing capabilities have enabled us to develop this groundbreaking machine learning platform. Max is more than just a robotic sorter. Max-AI technology will soon become the active brain of our MRFs, controlling various robotic, optical and other sorting equipment, providing real-time material composition analysis and making autonomous decisions.”

Roy Miller, BHS vice president of engineering, says, “For me, this is the culmination of decades of technological development in recycling. Operating costs will go down, while uptime, throughput, recovery and purity will all increase, leading to significant economic benefits for our customers and environmental gains for stakeholders everywhere. This is an exciting time indeed.”

Harris announces new distributor in Southeast

Cordele, Georgia-based Harris Waste Management Group Inc. has announced that Plum Creek Environmental Technologies LLC is now a distributor for the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The distributorship includes sales, parts and service of all Harris vertical, horizontal and two-ram balers, including Centurion and HRB balers.

“Our staff at Plum Creek is delighted to partner with Harris Waste Management to bring the acknowledged premier recycling machinery manufacturer to our southern states’ customer base,” says Jim Wamble, president and CEO of Plum Creek Environmental. “Our dynamic growth is predicated on providing the finest and most productive equipment on the market, and Harris certainly fills that bill,” Wamble adds.

Plum Creek Environmental Technologies recently relocated its corporate headquarters to West Point, Mississippi.

Harris designs, manufactures and supports scrap processing, recycling and waste handling equipment.

Carton Council funds project to sort cartons with robots

The Carton Council of North America has announced it has been conducting a pilot program that uses artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of carton recycling at Alpine Waste & Recycling, Denver.

AMP Robotics and Alpine Waste & Recycling, through a collaboration led by the Carton Council, have used a robotic system to identify the wide variety of food and beverage cartons and separate them from the recycling stream. The AMP Cortex, nicknamed “Clarke” after the sci-fi author and futurist Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, has spiderlike arms with specially designed grippers to pick up and separate cartons at a material recovery facility (MRF). Clarke was installed at Alpine Waste & Recycling in late 2016 and, through fine-tuning and adjustments, has achieved a pickup rate of 60 cartons per minute. This is a considerable increase from the human average of 40 picks per minute, according to the Carton Council of North America.

“Clarke greatly expands opportunities for the carton industry as we work to increase the efficiency of carton recycling and, ultimately, divert more cartons from landfills,” says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America and vice president, environment, for Tetra Pak cluster Americas. “Everything Clarke has learned about identifying cartons can be transferred to robots at other MRFs. We are excited to bring innovation to carton recycling and believe this technology has widespread implications for the recycling industry, as it can be adapted to other materials.”

“Clarke provides a new and exciting approach to sorting recyclables. Currently there is nothing out there that does what this system does,” Matanya Horowitz, founder of AMP Robotics, Denver, says. “Clarke can be a cost-effective way for facilities to introduce new packaging that does not always have a large volume. Additionally, unique grippers can be developed to identify and pick contaminants, which is one of the biggest issues our industry currently faces.”

Brent Hildebrand, vice president of recycling at Alpine, adds, “At Alpine, we’re always looking at innovative ways to divert waste from landfills while making recycling programs more cost-effective. We recognized this opportunity with the Carton Council and AMP Robotics as a way to contribute toward methods that might encourage people to recycle more. We are extremely impressed with the advances Clarke has already made.”

A grant from the Carton Council made this project possible. The Carton Council and AMP Robotics say they hope to duplicate the success of Clarke at other MRFs as an innovative, cost-effective, long-term solution to sort cartons.

The Carton Council formed in 2009 to expand carton recycling nationwide by building an infrastructure for recycling aseptic and gable-top cartons used for many common food and beverage products. It is composed of four carton manufacturers: Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak, as well as an associate member, Nippon Dynawave Packaging.

AMP Robotics develops robotic systems for the recycling industry.

Alpine Waste & Recycling is the largest privately held commercial waste, recycling and compost collection company in Colorado. Founded in 1999 as a single-truck operation, the company says it has parlayed a customer-service and sustainability focus into a compound annual revenue growth rate of greater than 35 percent. With more than 80 trucks and more than 200 employees, Alpine handles more than 300,000 tons of waste and recyclables per year.

CP Manufacturing celebrates 40 years serving the recycling industry

CP Manufacturing, headquartered in San Diego, is celebrating 40 years of supplying equipment and processing solutions to the recycling industry in 2017.

“At CP Manufacturing, we’ve always been driven by the simple goal of providing high-performance recycling machinery that lasts,” says Bob Davis, the second-generation owner of CP Manufacturing. “For 40 years, CP has been a pioneer in the recycling industry, and we will continue to drive the industry forward for the next 40.”

CP Manufacturing, a family-owned business, was born out of the scrap metals industry. CP’s sister company, IMS Recycling, was founded in 1954 by Charles M. Davis, who invented the world’s first aluminum can flattener in the early 1970s. Later, the CP2000 Can Flattener transformed the scrap industry, the company says.

CP Manufacturing was formed in 1977 in response to growing demand for aluminum can flatteners and densifiers. Since then, the company has dozens of patents and has expanded its equipment and solutions portfolio as recycling and waste handling have evolved.

In the 1980s and 1990s, CP recognized the growing trend of curbside recycling. As the United States and other countries worked to increase the effectiveness of recycling by making it easier for consumers to participate and more cost-effective to implement, CP says it dedicated its research and development (R&D) efforts to assist in this effort.

Since 2003, CP Manufacturing has acquired several other recycling equipment manufacturers and solutions providers, including MSS Inc., Krause Manufacturing and Advanced MRF. This family of companies, known as CP Group, was founded to provide a single source for turnkey recycling systems for a variety of recycling and waste diversion operations.

Today, the company is an award-winning provider of some of the largest and most advanced material recovery facilities (MRFs) in operation. CP says it has built more than 450 MRFs worldwide and continues to invest in R&D and automation technology to stay ahead of the changing material streams. Additionally, the company still offers its original can densifier product lines.

“We are and always have been a family-owned and operated company,” says Ashley Davis, a third-generation family owner and sales and marketing director of CP Group. “What sets us apart is that we treat our customers like family. Their success is our success. We’re with them for the long haul.”