Study Tests Use Of Recycled Plastics In Automobile Taillights

Dearborn, Mich. - Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., and GE Plastics, Pitts-field, Mass., are conducting a pi-lot study that u-ses salvaged plastic taken from car bum-pers to mold new taillight housings for Ford vehicles.

The pilot process begins with automotive dismantlers collecting plastic bumpers from selected salvaged models. Next, third party processors convert the bumpers into clean flake, which GE Plastics then regenerates into pellets of resin which according to Ford, meets the engineering requirements of the material it replaces. The pellets are then molded in-to new taillight housings by Ford's Plastic and Trim Prod-ucts Division plant in San-dusky, Ohio.

The parts are being tested on a Ford Taurus fleet that is leased by Hew-lett-Packard Corp., Palo Al-to, Calif.

If the testing goes well the company will start to use the recycled plastics in production models by the end of the year, according to a Ford vice president.

Automotive Components. Ford has been able to reclaim all metals from scrap vehicles, but plastics have been difficult to recycle. Identification of the plastics, mixed materials and the ease of disassembly have been barriers to recycling salvaged plastics.

SWANA Recognizes Solid Waste Excellence Silver Spring, Md. - Every year, efforts to educate groups on solid waste issues are recognized through the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Excellence in Solid Waste Education Program.

The programs, which range from school curriculum to general public efforts, are evaluated on originality. This year's first place winner for populations with more than 250,000 was Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, North Syracuse, N.Y. The entry, "Operation Separation," promoted solid waste issues with various methods including milk cartons.

Other winners included Grass Valley Disposal, Grass Valley, Calif., and the Solid Waste Disposal Authority, Huntsville, Ala., for their "Handle with Care" household hazardous waste program.

Another award program sponsored by SWANA is the 1993 Excellence in Solid Waste Awards. The winners were as followed:

* Collection Awards Program: City of Sioux City, Iowa, Transfer Operations;

* Household Hazardous Waste Program: The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach; the Department of Environmental Management of Hennepin County, Minn.; the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority; the Region Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto; and the Monterey Regional Waste Management District.

* Landfill Excellence Program: For facilities accepting 500 and 1,500 tons per day - Eagle Valley Recycling and Disposal Facility; Wheelabrator South Broward Monofill; and the Cerro Colorado Sanitary Landfill.

Facilities accepting more than 1,500 tons per day - the Countywide Recycling and Disposal Facility and the Roosevelt Regional Landfill.

* Recycling Excellence Program: For population more than 500,000 - Taormina Industries, Anaheim, Calif.

For population between 100,000 and 500,000 - the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, N.J.; the Alachua County and City of Gainesville, Fla.; and the Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County, Mich.

For population less than 100,000 - the City of Fitchburg, Wis. and the City Public Works Department, Santa Cruz, Calif.;

* Waste-To-Energy Program: Wheelabrator Concord Co.

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 can not 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 the use 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.

This fall, 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 what the impact will have on their operations.

Final recommendations are expected by the beginning of next year.

Miami Adds New Materials To Collection Program Miami - One of the nation's largest curbside recycling program, Dade County, has expanded it's program to include household batteries, phone books and additional plastic resins. The 266,000 residential recycling program already collects aluminum, metal, glass (clear, brown and green), plastic food and beverage containers and newspapers.

Now each resident will be asked to put all AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt and button batteries into orange collection bags. On their first recycling day of the month, the bags will be collected if they are placed as directed - on top of the newspapers in the green recycling bin.

When the new telephone books are distributed in the fall, the city will collect the outdated phone books. The city will collect phone books through November as long as they too are placed on top of the newspapers in the green recycling bin.

"With the added convenience of curbside collection, we anticipate that phone book recycling will increase substantially," said Deborah Higer, chief of service development for Metro-Dade Solid Waste Management.

Plastics recycling has been expanded to include all plastic product containers with the recycling number one, two or three. In addition to the already accepted food and beverage containers, residents can now recycle, for example, household cleaning, shampoo, detergent, conditioner and mouthwash bottles.

If the container bears the number one, two or three on the bottom, it can be placed in a blue bin for collection. "We've taken the guess work out of recycling plastics," said Higer. "It's that simple."

New Name Zimpro Passavant Environmental Systems Inc., Rothschild, Wis., has changed its name to Zimpro Environmental Inc.

New Office ABB Environmental Services Inc., a subsidiary of Asea Brown Boveri Inc., Portland, Maine, has opened an office in Orange Park, Fla.

Environmental Aspecs Inc., Raleigh, N.C., has opened an office in Harrisburg, Pa.

New Projects GEA Power Cooling Systems, San Diego, has completed the installation on its air cooled condenser for Ogden Martin Systems Inc., the builder and operator of the Union County Resource Recovery Facility in Rahway, N.J.

New Services Black & Veatch Environmental Enterprises, Kansas City, Mo., has expanded its services to include municipal solid waste and composting facilities and hazardous waste disposal and remediation.

Remediation systems manufactured by Seneca Environmental Services, Des Moines, Iowa, have been made available nationwide.

Environmental Products & Services Inc., Syracuse, N.Y., has opened Environmental Laboratory Services, a full-service, analytical laboratory.

Permit The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection have issued operating permits for the first commercial medical waste incinerator in New York City.

Restructuring Browning-Ferris Industries Inc., Houston, has reorganized its regional structure in the U.S. The reorganization includes adding new managers for each market area, closing three regional offices, relocating one regional office and opening a new regional office.

Permits VEDCO Energy Corp., Houston, has received an air permit for a cogeneration facility to be built at the Du Pont plant near Fayetteville, N.C.