N.J. County Dismantles Recycling And Emissions Problems

One New Jersey county has taken a different route to increasing recycling and reducing ash residue and heavy metals emissions from its incineration plant. The solution? Demanufactur-ing - a process that recovers usable parts from dismantled or shredded electronic equipment.

The Union County Utilities Author-ity (UCUA), Rahway, N.J., with the help of HDR Engineering Inc., White-plains, N.Y. worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), the Union County Department of Policy and Planning, and electronics manufacturers and purchasers to develop an "Expression of Interest (EOI)" to encourage de-manufacturing companies to relocate or expand in the county.

Nine vendors responded to the EOI, which required:

* a process flow diagram showing the flow of materials into a facility, the processing method and the major streams exiting;

* operational items, such as a certificate of destruction; and

* compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety requirements and other regulatory issues.

UCUA signed a contract with Elec-tronics Processing Associates Inc. (EPA), Rahway, N.J., specifying program participants: county residents, government agencies, schools and businesses with a limit on the number of employees and revenues. EPA was responsible for marketing large businesses in the region.

Concurrently, UCUA received a two-year grant for $100,000 per year from NJDEP to de-velop the program's residential part. In addition, UCUA and the electronics purchasers and manufacturers both agreed to provide in-kind services - $90,000 and $30,000 respectively.

The grant required UCUA to conduct a municipal curbside and drop-off collection program for consumer electronic appliances. In addition, it must evaluate changes in the Union County Resource Recovery Facility's environmental operations, particularly metals concentrations in air emissions and ash residue.

UCUA explained the program to its municipalities, six of which expressed an interest in participating. So far, only one has signed with the others in negotiations. A contract was developed specifying that the municipalities would collect the targeted materials, and UCUA would reimburse them $50 for each ton collected and processed.

Currently, the demanufacturing facility is operating as a demo project under NJDEP exemption. No processing is taking place, and EPA is only manually dismantling the electronic products. Should the company begin automated processing, it would be required to become permitted as a Class D recycling facility for used oil or universal waste.

Universal waste is a new hazardous waste exemption program authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. The rule generally applies to batteries, thermostats and spent or recalled pesticides; however, EPA will consider adding new wastes to the program.

To assist other states interested in developing demanufacturing programs, the NJDEP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Promotion of Environmental Tech-nologies with the California Environ-mental Protection Agency, the Mas-sachusetts Executive Office of En- vironmental Affairs, the New York Department of Environmental Con-servation, the Pennsylvania Depart-ment of Environmental Protection and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

As a result, the states have agreed to accept data and the results of demonstrations, evaluations, verifications and certifications of environmental technologies that are conducted or supervised by one of the previously mentioned regulatory agencies.

UCUA and EPA are analyzing the economics of the grant-subsidized residential program. Because of the myriad of electronic products disposed in the residential waste stream, recovery value varies and disposal costs are expected to be higher than those from the commercial sector.

UCUA held an electronics collection day in January 1996 where 9.5 tons were received from 130 participants. This event helped establish a participation rate as well as the variety of materials to expect.

Despite the expected mix of materials received, 81 percent was recycled. The labor cost for disassembling and disposal averaged approximately $340 per ton. However, these processing costs are expected to improve with time as efficiency is increased.

Acquisitions Eastern Environmental Services Inc., Mt. Laurel, N.J., has acquired the R & A Bender Inc. landfill and collection operations near Harrisburg, Pa. The 278-acre landfill is approximately 100 miles from Philadelphia and 190 miles from New York and is able to accept waste from other Eastern solid waste collection companies.

U.S. Manufacturing Inc., New Providence, Iowa, has acquired GDS Screens Inc. The new subsidiary, GDS Systems, now will manufacture and market an industrial line of screening equipment.

Contract Metcalf & Eddy, Branchburg, N.J., has been awarded a $1.3 million contract to provide remedial services at the Massachusetts Military Reservation Superfund Site on Cape Cod.

The Florida Department of Environ-mental Protection has awarded Rust Environment and Infrastructure, Greenville, S.C., a four-year contract, valued at $8 million, for comprehensive environmental services at its statewide hazardous waste site cleanup and drycleaning solvent cleanup program.

Rader Resource Recovery Inc., Mem-phis, Tenn., has received a contract from Reciclados Industriales de Mexico (RIMEX) to supply material handling equipment for a new interim bottle facility in Mexico City.

Alton Labs, Framingham, Mass., has won a bid with the U.S. Postal Service, Pittsburgh District, to manufacture 3,000 chock blocks for their fleet vehicles.

Distributors Mid-Atlantic Plastic Systems, Inc., Roselle, N.J., has been appointed the U.S. Agent for Julien Environmental Technology, Belgium, a manufacture of recycled plastic lumber molding machines and recycled plastic pallet molding machines.

Funding The Bedford Capital Co., New York, offers the Bedford Recycling Fund which focuses on firms engaged in one or more aspects of recycling, including processing, fabrication, manufacturing and marketing of recyclable materials collected from any source. For more information call (212) 688-5700.

Grant The California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento, has awarded $3 million in grants to 34 local governments throughout the state to establish and expand programs to keep household hazardous wastes out of landfills.

Legislation Hollis Devoe, St. Paul, Minn., was convicted for dumping 95,000 tires in Olmsted County, Minn. Devoe was sentenced to 30 days in jail and received a $7,200 fine.

John Carr and Donald Wimmer, co-owners of Electro Precision Inc., each pled guilty to illegally storing and disposing of hazardous waste, ac-cording to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul. Carr will serve 120 days in jail; Wimmer will serve 60 days.

New Office ERL, Bloomfield, Conn., has opened a Southeast Regional Office. The address is 1132 Hemingway Ln., Roswell, Ga. 30075. (770) 643-6504. Fax: (770) 643-6507. ERL provides environmental consulting in hazardous waste compliance.

New Facility Waste Control Specialists, Abilene, Texas, has opened a new hazardous waste facility in Andrews County, Texas. The new facility includes an advanced research and development center focusing on waste treatment and reduction.

Request For Partnership Abu Sultan Trading & Cont. Est., Omani, desire to expand their waste and disposal services within the Muscat capital area. They are looking for overseas partners to provide the technology and financing. Contact: Ram Seshan, Abu Sultan Trading & Cont., P.O. Box 2513 Ruwi, Postal Code 112, Sultanate of Oman. Phone: 590968 or 591806. Fax: 591808