UPDATE: High-Yield Plastics On Horizon

What you need is another type of plastic to pick out of the waste stream - right? If you think this is bad news, you might want to look a bit more closely. Rather than the usual low-yield returns that other plastics generate, the new form, na-phthalate polymers, could be worth as much as $1.50 per pound.

These high-performance analogs of PET can be categorized into three distinct product types:

* PEN homopolymers,

* copolymers of dimethyl-2,6-naphthalene dicarboxylate with terephthalate monomers and

* blends of these materials with PET.

Naphthalate-based polymers re-portedly are attractive for packaging use because of their improved gas barrier, high temperature resistance, higher strength and greater barrier to UV light, says Bob Min-ney, manager of recycling programs for the Polyester Business at Shell Chemical Company's Akron, Ohio location.

In April, Shell, Amoco Chemicals, Lisle, Ill., Magnetic Separation Sys-tems Inc. (MSS), Nashville, Tenn., and Wellman Inc. Johnsonville, S.C., announced the completion of the initial phase of a technology - the MSS BottleSort - that will automatically sort these naphthalate polymer containers from PET containers in the waste stream.

"Data generated during field testing of a first-generation naphthalate sensor in a simulated manufacturing operation has shown strong efficiencies at throughputs of 1,500 to 2,500 pounds per hour for four ty-pes of baled and labeled containers with different naphthalate content" in the typical waste stream, says Pete Booth, Wellman's research and development manager.

"Based on the conclusions drawn from this field trial, we are proceeding with work on a second-generation sensor," says Garry Kenny MSS' president.

Improvements with the second-generation sensor will be evaluated in field trials that simulate operations at reclaimers: Current practice at some reclaimers is to blend de-posit, curbside and deposit curbside recycled PET bales. The additional field trials will focus on determining rejection rates of all types of naphthalate polymer containers dispersed in a typical blended feed stream.

Tests on applications and customer acceptance of recycled naphthalate polymers use are ongoing, funded in part by Amoco, Shell and The Coca Cola Company, Atlanta. Feedback from reclaimers on appropriate commercial targets for PET loss and rejection rates for the various naphthalate polymer containers will help hone the plastic's use and marketability.

Permit The New York City Trade Waste Commission has granted Eastern Environmental Services Inc., Mt. Laurel, N.J., a temporary license to operate its recent acquisitions, several collection companies, in New York City.

Recycling Jobs DenMark International, Cannelton, Ind., will create 14 new jobs as part of $127,141 recycling project. As a re-sult, the Indiana Department of Com-merce will award the company a $28,670 zero-interest loan from the state's Recycling Promotion and Assistance Fund.

Recycling Volumes Reynolds Metals Co., Richmond, Va., reported that it recycled 584 million pounds of consumer-generated aluminum during 1996.

Clarification In the April Issue, World Wastes ran a chart entitled Landfill Tipping Rates By State on page eight. This information represented the number of tons per site, and not the landfill tipping fees. For more information, contact Paul Schiffer at (800) 352-0050.