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Articles from 2006 In April

Metal Management and Southern Holdings divest Southern Recycling

Scrap metal recycler Metal Management Inc. and Southern Holdings LLC today announced the sale of Southern Recycling LLC to European Metal Recycling Ltd. for $161.4 million in cash. Headquartered in Covington, La., Southern Recycling is the largest scrap metal recycler in the Gulf Coast region with 15 facilities in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Prior to the sale, Southern Holdings owned 71.5 percent of Southern Recycling, while Metal Management owned the remaining 28.5 percent.

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Waste Management announces first-quarter results

According to results released today, Waste Management’s profits rose to $186 million, or 34 cents per share, from $150 million, or 26 cents a share, a year ago. During the same period, revenue rose 6.3 percent, from $3.04 billion to $3.23 billion.

In a press release, the company attributed the figures to stronger sales and effective cost-cutting measures.

Steel industry announces record recycling rate

According to new figures released by the Steel Recycling Institute, the recycling rate for U.S. steel rose to a record 75.7 percent in 2005. Continuing a four-year upward trend, the figure represents a five percent increase over 2004 and preserves steel’s standing as the most recycled material in the United States.

Ohio DNR awards nearly $1.5 million for tire recycling

Last week, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced $1.5 million in grants to businesses, schools and communities that submitted plans to collect, repurpose and recycle scrap tires. The grants, which require at least equal matching funds, range from $75,000 to $350,000 and will subsidize a variety of projects, as detailed in a press release from the ODNR Division or Recycling and Litter Prevention. Some of the proposed uses for the tires include playground and athletic track construction material, landscape mulch and pavers, parking lot paving material, and a fuel derived by mixing the tire scrap with petroleum coke.

New report slams Michigan recycling

A study released last week by the Michigan Recycling Partnership reveals that the state recycles less than the national average and significantly less than some of its neighbors. According to the Partnership, 20 percent of Michigan’s waste is recycled. The national average is 27 percent, with neighbors Minnesota and Indiana recycling 45 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Further, Detroit is one of only two of the nation’s 30 largest cities to not offer curbside recycling service.

Apple expands free computer recycling program

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Computer announced today that it would expand its free recycling program beginning in June. According to a press release, the company will, at no additional cost to the consumer, accept all unwanted computers, iPods and other electronics purchased through the Apple Online store or any of the company’s retail locations. Apple says all recycling is completed domestically and no hazardous materials are shipped overseas.

Survey forecasts strong U.S. participation in Earth Day

Based on the results of a survey released today by the nonprofit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), 42 percent of Americans plan on personally doing something to demonstrate their support for Earth Day this year. Of that 42 percent, 26 percent said that they would be participating in a local park clean-up or tree planting. Another 14 percent planned to recycle used rechargeable batteries and obsolete cell phones, while 6 percent of the respondents planned to make a donation to a “green” charity.

The survey also asked which year-round activities were most important for saving the environment. A large majority of the respondents – 40 percent – cited the recycling of paper, plastic and other materials as most important. This was followed by water conservation at 18 percent and driving a hybrid car at 17 percent.

Perhaps the most surprising finding in the survey was the increase in the number of respondents who recycled their old cell phones: 15 percent this year compared to 3.2 percent last year.

Earth Day, celebrated every year on April 22, was founded in 1970 to increase international awareness of key environmental issues.

EPA adds six Superfund sites to National Priorities List and proposes four more

Six new hazardous waste sites were named National Priorities on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Superfund sites. The EPA also proposed that four additional sites be added to the list, joining 55 other sites awaiting final agency action. Finally, there was a proposal to restore the Ringwood Mines/Landfill site to the National Priorities List. The site was originally added to the list Sept. 1, 1983 and deleted Nov. 2, 1994. Including these latest additions, the Superfund list encompasses 1,303 final and proposed sites.

The following sites have been added to the National Priorities List:

Klau/Buena Vista Mine, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Alternate Energy Resources, Augusta, Ga.

Olin Chemical, Wilmington, Mass.

Parkview Well, Grand Island, Neb.

West Highway 6 & Highway 281, Hastings, Neb.

Quendall Terminals, Renton, Wash.

The following sites have been proposed to the National Priorities List:

ASARCO Taylor Springs, Taylor Springs, Ill.

Sherwin-Williams/Hilliards Creek, Gibbsboro, N.J.

Matteo & Sons Inc., Thorofare, N.J.

Maunabo Urbano Public Wells, Maunabo, Puerto Rico

The following site has been proposed to be restored to the National Priorities List:

Ringwood Mines/Landfill, Ringwood, N.J.

According to today’s EPA press release, contaminants found at these final and proposed sites include benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chromium, creosote, mercury, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA), carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds, toluene, trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), vinyl chloride and other volatile organic compounds.

As part of the Superfund procedure, the EPA tries to identify the parties responsible for a site’s contamination and holds them responsible for the cleanup. In 70 percent of cases, the offending parties complete the cleanup.