NRC, SPI Join Forces To Identify Plastic Resins

Washington, D.C. - In order to overcome plastic resin identification problems, the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), Washington, D.C., and the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI), Washington, D.C., have joined forces to improve SPI's plastic resin identification code.

In 1988, SPI developed the voluntary resin identification code, a number from one to seven surrounded by chasing arrows with an acronym, to help recycling collectors and processors sort different types of plastics.

To date, 39 states have mandated the code on various plastic containers. But now, NRC and SPI are looking for solutions to basic code problems:

* The code lacks technical specificity. Sometimes plastic resins coded with the same number cannot be recycled together.

* And consumers are misinterpreting the chasing arrows. Not all local recycling programs accept materials with the chasing arrows. Options to improve the code include:

* Limiting or eliminating the code;

* Expanding the numbering system to increase specificity;

* Adopting a different coding system;

* And removing or changing the chasing arrows to another symbol.

Since most state laws already specify the current code, the groups will work to change legislation so code improvements will take effect. In fact, an educational program on the proper use of the resin identification code is a top option.

The groups will evaluate input from the plastics recycling industry. The focal point will be on potential changes, how they will effect or limit the industry and their impact on operations.

Final recommendations are expected early this year.

SPI and NRC have developed a white paper on the issues surrounding the resin identification code. For a copy of the white paper contact: Kathleen Meade, The National Recycling Coalition, 1101 30th Street N.W., Suite 305, Washington, D.C. 20007. (202) 625-6406; or Ron Bruner, Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., 1275 K Street N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005. (202) 371-5200.

Study Forecasts Increase In Automotive Material Recycling

Cleveland - Scrap generation of automotive materials in the United States will increase 1.7 percent per year to nearly 29 million tons in 1997, according to a study by The Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland.

The study, which summarizes the outlook for recycling automotive materials including ferrous and nonferrous metals, plastics, rubber and fluids and lubricants, predicts that gains will be restrained by the continued downsizing of light motor vehicles. Also, ferrous metals, which account for the bulk of scrap generation, are expected to continue to dominate automotive materials recycling activity while automotive plastics will post the largest gains in recycling.

Increased efforts to reclaim a larger portion of the automotive scrap/waste stream will increase the volume of scrap automotive materials recycled in the U.S. In fact, scrap automotive materials recycled in the U.S. are expected to increase 4.2 percent annually to reach 20.3 million tons in 1997.

As the automotive industry prepares for automotive recycling legislation, engineers most likely will increase their efforts to design automobiles for disassembly, thus taking the full recycling cycle into account.

For a copy of the 165-page study, #501, Automotive Materials & Recycling, contact: The Freedonia Group Inc., 3570 Warrensville Center Road., Suite 201, Cleveland, Ohio, 44122-5226. (216) 921-6800.

Virginia YIMBY Program Receives National Recognition Fairfax, Va. - Fairfax County's YIMBY (yes, in my back yard) program has been chosen as a model of environmental excellence by Renew America, Washington, D.C., a national nonprofit organization dedicated to community-based environmental solutions.

Yard debris constitutes approximately 18 percent, or 162,000 tons, of the solid waste stream in Fairfax County. YIMBY was developed to keep this material out of the waste stream. The goal of the program is to teach residents to reduce the amount of yard debris placed out for collection.

The county uses informational seminars, hands-on demonstrations, how-to brochures and back yard composting bins to teach residents that yard debris is a resource, not a waste material.

Back yard composting, mulching of grass clippings, leaves and brush and grasscycling (leaving grass clippings on the lawn) are promoted through the program, which is estimated to divert more than 20,000 tons of yard debris from the waste stream annually.

Acquisitions Greenfield Environmental in Carlsbad, Calif., has acquired a portion of assets from the Rinchem Co., Phoenix.

Marathon Equipment Co., Vernon, Ala., has purchased Global Equipment Co., Spokane, Wash.

Waste Industries Inc., Raleigh, N.C., has purchased the Conway, S.C., collection and hauling operation from Chambers Development Co. Inc., Pittsburgh.

United Waste Systems Inc., Greenwich, Conn., has acquired R.J. Liberto Inc., a Plumborough, Pa., solid waste collection company.

Agreements Stellar Industries Inc., Garner, Iowa, has agreed to purchase the assets of the David Manufacturing Co., Mason City, Iowa, Collins Equipment division.

Browning-Ferris Industries Inc., Houston, has agreed to acquire 50 percent of Otto Entsorgungsdienstleistung GmbH in Germany.

Thermogenics Inc., Albuquerque, N.M., has signed a manufacturing agreement with Gulfex Inc., South Houston, Texas.

Contracts Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has been awarded a contract to provide landfill services to the city and county of Santa Fe, N.M.

New Office Peterbilt Motor Co. has relocated its company headquarters to Denton, Texas.

Solid Waste Technologies Inc. has moved its headquarters to Jamesburg, N.J. Eder Associates Consulting Engineers, Locust Valley, N.Y., has opened an office in Tampa, Fla.

Permits R.A.M. Environmental of Arkansas Inc., Little Rock, Ark., has received a new Class I sanitary landfill permit to expand.

TransAmerican Waste Industries Inc., Houston, has signed a contract with the Solid Waste Authority of the city of Mobile, Ala., to manage the city's waste disposal.

Hillsborough County, Fla., has awarded a contract to Zimpro Environmental Inc., Rothschild, Wis., for an onsite landfill leachate treatment system.

The city of Waterbury, Conn., has approved a 20-year solid waste disposal contract with the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, Hartford, Conn.

Metcalf & Eddy, a subsidiary of Air & Water Technologies Corp., Branchburg, N.J., has been awarded a contract by Jackson County, Mich., to conduct a remedial investigation and prepare a report on the county's closed landfill.

International Technology Corp., Torrance, Calif., has been awarded a contract from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho, to provide environmental and waste management services.

Grants Twenty-eight North Carolina communities have received more than $390,000 in grants to encourage recycling.

Joint Venture Polymerix Inc., Cranford, N.J., has completed negotiations on a licensing and joint venture agreement to build a TriMax facility in Lakeland, Fla.

New Headquarters Peterbilt Motor Co. has relocated its company headquarters to Denton, Texas. Solid Waste Technologies Inc. has moved its headquarters to Jamesburg, N.J.

New Office Eder Associates Consulting Engineers, Locust Valley, N.Y., has opened an office in Tampa, Fla.

Landfill Control Technologies, Commerce, Calif., has opened sales offices in Industry, Calif., and Rockville, Md.

Prete Wilmot Associates Inc., Durham, N.C., will open an office in Nashville, Tenn.

New Study HDR Engineering Inc., Omaha, Neb., will conduct a regional waste planning study for the Omaha, Neb., Council Bluffs Iowa metropolitan area.

Awards The National Association of Counties has awarded the Lee County, Fla., Solid Waste Department for its entry, Controlling Mercury by Emissions Control and Battery Collection.