Recycling Works Newsletter Winter 2020

RBAC's quarterly newsletter discusses current topics of interest to recycling businesses, including information on financing opportunities, commodity markets and new technologies.

In the Winter 2020 Recycling Works issue:

North Carolina Recycling Markets Development Roundtable

Representatives from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality gathered with North Carolina manufacturing industry leaders and recyclers as part of the North Carolina Recycling Markets Development Roundtable on November 21 at the Grifols Therapeutics facility in Cary. This was an opportunity to discuss the importance of supporting and improving the state’s recycling infrastructure amid changing global markets. Many North Carolina businesses and manufacturers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and are seeking local recycling solutions that keep valuable materials in the state and support jobs.  

The event concluded with attendees signing a pledge to work together to identify solutions that create a more resilient materials management system, strengthen the economy and protect the environment in North Carolina. Read more information about the event.

NCDEQ would like to thank the following organizations and companies for participating:

Ardagh Group / Bridgestone Americas / Burt's Bees / Can Manufacturers Institute / Carolina Recycling Association / Carton Council / Clear Path Recycling / Coca-Cola Consolidated / Eaton / Economic Development Partnership of NC / Envision Plastics / Evergreen Packaging / Fiberon Recycling / Grifols Therapeutics / McGill Environmental / NC Beverage Association / NC Governor's Office / Pepsi Bottling Ventures / PepsiCo / Pfizer / Plastic Materials / Polywood / Republic Services / Resource Recycling Systems / Southeast Recycling Development Council / Sonoco Recycling / Strategic Materials / The Recycling Partnership / Unilever / Waste Reduction Partners

Carolinas Glass Recycling Summit

The Carolinas Glass Recycling Summit was held on December 10 in Wilson. The event, hosted by Strategic Materials, the Carolina Recycling Association (CRA) and NC DEACS, attracted a standing-room-only crowd of more than 125 recycling professionals. In addition to a tour of Strategic Material’s glass beneficiation plant, attendees heard the latest information on glass recycling.

The presentations were broken out into two sections. The first covered information on glass demand and economics, and featured speakers from The Ardagh Group, North American Insulation Manufacturing Association and Glass Packaging Institute. These organizations represented different product segments and shared the common message that a steady supply of glass from the Carolinas is important for manufacturing.

In the current state of low markets for recyclables, some communities are evaluating the option of taking glass out of their recycling to try to alleviate costs. The second part of the day focused on glass collection and processing methods in the Carolinas, and featured several communities that have found creative ways to keep their glass recycling programs.

If you missed the Carolinas Glass Recycling Summit, you can still watch a webinar of the event and see all of the presentations at:

CRA 2020

The Carolina Recycling Association will return to North Carolina this year, holding the 30th CRA conference at the Raleigh Convention Center March 23 through 26. The conference is geared toward recycling professionals from North and South Carolina as well as different parts of the southeast. The conference program features tours, workshops and sessions in addition to the exhibition hall, which features vendors representing various recycling companies and equipment manufacturers. 

For more information or to register, visit the Carolina Recycling Association website.

North Carolina Lands Jobs and Investment with New Airplane Recycler

On December 19, Governor Roy Cooper welcomed a new subsidiary of Aircraft Solutions USA Inc. to Lenoir County where the company will decommission and recycle commercial and military aircraft. Aircraft Solutions plans to invest nearly $100 million to establish the recycling center and expects to create 475 new jobs. For more information, see the announcement from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Tracking Growth of Plastic Recycling Capacity in North America

The Northeast Recycling Council recently released a report outlining expanded capacity for plastics recycling in North America. The report identifies 15 new facilities and 10 expansions that will use more recycled plastic to make new products or process recyclable plastic into feedstocks ready for remanufacturing. 

Announcements and Opportunities

  • Feb. 17-19: Plastics Recycling Conference 2020 will be held in Nashville, TN. The event brings together international plastics reclaimers, equipment manufacturers, brand owners, brokers, government officials and leading sustainability voices to move the plastics recycling industry forward. Last year’s conference attracted 2,000 attendees from 35 countries.
  • Feb. 20: Facts and Figures 2017 Webinar from the Environmental Protection Agency will present the latest trends in materials generation, recycling, composting, combustion, energy recovery and landfilling in the United States.
  • Mar. 18-19: National Zero Waste Conference will be held in Berkeley, CA. The two-day educational and networking event is organized by the National Recycling Coalition and promotes efforts around zero waste, circular economy, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting.
  • May 12-13: Carpet America Recovery Effort Conference will be held in Portland, OR. Hear about innovations in the carpet recycling industry, including new and existing products created with post-consumer carpet, policy impacts, the rise of the circular economy, and the voluntary product stewardship program. 
  • New opportunity: Glass Certification Program offers material recovery facilities the opportunity to be recognized for effective glass recycling by the Glass Recycling Coalition.

The Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC) is a program of the N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) that provides technical, business and financial assistance to recycling companies.