A Word About Recycling with Ollie Maier

It wasn’t that long ago that China greatly reduced the amount of contamination they would accept in recycled plastic imported from other nations. Thus a couple of items in a recent Recycling Today eNewsletter were interesting to us – we hope they are to you also.

The article started, “A North American recycling operation will open an e-plastics-focused facility in response to Chinese import restrictions.”

The facility in Brantford, Ontario, “will take in shredded and baled e-plastics, sort and process them, and produce a commodity-grade pellet.” It plans to purchase feedstock from primary scrap electronics processors. This limited type of plastic is of a better quality then the recycled plastic jugs and bottles.

When the facility is in operation, it plans on selling to both the export and domestic markets. Through this effort, it hopes to provide recycled e-plastics to electronics manufacturers making it more of a closedloop system.

This new facility will primarily take in e-plastics, but in the future, it could expand into other plastics. It will be primarily looking to take in material from companies in both the Great Lakes region and the eastern U.S./Canada regions.

With a planned initial capacity of 1,000 metric tons per month, the unit is designed to scale up in the future if demand warrants. It is expected the facility will be fully operational by April 1.

Another article also addressed the collection and use of materials – plastics included – recycled from electronic items. This time, with a little help possible from the federal government.

Subject to congressional budget approval, a total of $70 million over five years in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be primarily for research that boosts e-scrap materials recovery. Although many think of just the metals in recycled electronics, there are a lot of other things like polymers that can be recovered.

However, these polymers present a myriad of challenges for recycling companies. Because of their various compositions, expensive processing equipment is often needed. Thus currently much of it ends up in the landfills.

With President Trump trying to reduce spending by the federal government, funding for this is not a sure thing. We will have to wait and see.

Now, in our monthly reports on what local citizens recycled at the Green Guy Recycling Services drop-off site, here are those amounts for January 2018:

  • Metals: 2,515,293 lbs.
  • Cardboard: 260,100 lbs.
  • Paper: 89,760 lbs.
  • Glass: 28,396 lbs.
  • Plastic: 16,740 lbs.
  • Monitors: 5,611 lbs.
  • Electronics: 1,457 lbs.
  • Used Oil: 716 Gallons
  • Used oil filters: 200 Units
  • Used Tires: 541

Again we should all be very proud of these amounts, plus let’s not forget about the amounts taken in by other recycling dropoff sites and by the curbside recycling. A big Thank you to all of you who recycle and are good stewards of all the blessings we have been given. Keep up the wonderful work.

Till next week, do have a great one...

--Ollie is a local citizen concerned with the environment and helping others. A retired Air Force fighter and instructor pilot, he is a graduate of Leadership San Marcos and received his degrees at Texas State University where he worked on staff before totally retiring. For questions or comments, he invites you to call him at 512-353-7432 or e-mail omaier@txstate.edu.

San Marcos Daily Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666