Monthly news & updates
March 2021
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2020 Annual Report Published

Every year, SERDC releases an Annual Report of activities the organization has hosted or participated in, including a survey of the Southeastern MRFs, funded by GPI and NAIMA, two webinars, recycling infrastructure grant awards, and the annual members meeting, which was held virtually.

SERDC Member News
Why Shift from Bins to Carts? With The Recycling Partnership's support, Sarasota (FL) sees positive results
Posted March 17, 2021 on

“It was a challenge to move from the two-bin system to single stream carts. The Recycling Partnership helped that transition run smoothly,” says Todd Kucharski, general manager, Public Works Department, City of Sarasota.

Tonnages of recoverable material have gone up dramatically –from  2,678 tons between April 2018 and March 2019 –to 4,126 tons between April 2019 and March 2020. As far as contamination rates, at 16.6% in late January 2020, they were down from before the transition, though there are no hard data to quantify.  

“There’s incentive on both sides –for the city and contractor – to get recycling done right to take advantage of opportunities for revenue. And our revenue has gone up since the April 2019 roll out [$143,508 from April 2019 to January 2021],” Kurcharski notes.

The uptick in recovery was almost immediate, with residents becoming more engaged in recycling. Now almost two years later participation is “outstanding,” he says with 75 to 90% participation throughout the city when prior it was as low as 50% in some areas. Even with COVID-19 with people at home and a spike in waste, they are recycling right, he says.

Education and communication are ongoing. The people of Sarasota continue to receive informational flyers in their utility bills. And if the city starts to see a rise in contamination of specific materials staff include that in their messaging. But they point out more than how to, and how not to, recycle. After the city’s most recent recycling audit, it shared outcomes with the community, thanking them for their help keeping contamination low.

“We partner to make sure everything is on track and to provide support as they tackle challenges to ensure materials collected are of a high quality,” says Rob Taylor, director of Grants and Community Development for The Recycling Partnership. He says on average the cities it works with see increased capture rates of 125 pounds per household per year.

Major MRF Upgrade Made By Machinex Allows MRF in Greensboro (NC) Achieve 95% Runtime
Posted March 1, 2021 on

Republic Services chose to modernize its material recovery facility in Greensboro (NC) due to it being nearly 20 years old. As requested, Machinex designed a single-stream system to process 30 tons/hour of residential & commercial material within the current building while reusing some of the existing structural work and baler feed conveyors.

The system includes a new drum feeder and infeed system, OCC screen, fines screen, three ballistic separators, a glass cleanup system, an optical sorter for PET and HDPE, as well as a new magnet and eddy current separator.

“Before having MACH Ballistic separators, the operator was spending 3 hours per day to clean their disc screens. Since the upgrade, that has been reduced to only 10 to 15 minutes per day. Cleaning screens in MRFs is a big deal because, when you are cleaning screens, you are not producing the material. The upgrade, particularly the MACH Ballistic, helped the customer achieve a 95% runtime”, said Rusty Angel, Eastern Region Sales Manager in the United States.

The Tennessee Recycling Coalition welcomes Becky Caldwell as Executive Director; Lincoln Young as President 
Becky Caldwell is a nationally recognized expert in the field of solid waste resource management and solutions. She is the President of Caldwell Environmental Solutions, LLC.

Ms. Caldwell served as the Regional Solid Waste Planning Manager at the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC),18-years with the City of Franklin, Tennessee and holds certification from SWANA in Integrated Solid Waste Management, Collection Systems, Transfer Station Management, Managing Recycling Systems, and Household Hazardous Waste Management, and serves on the organization’s national faculty. She served two-terms as the President of the Tennessee Volunteer Chapter of SWANA.

Lincoln Young is the President at Rockwood Sustainable Solutions. Lincoln has successfully grown his company with a specialization in Construction and Demolition Recycling. Lincoln moves recycled products to end markets that he has helped develop across the state. These end products include asphalt, aggregate substitutes, landscaping products, clean electricity. In 2017, Lincoln was recognized as one of the nations top environmental leaders. For TRC, Lincoln wants to see our members find a place to network, develop friendships, and learn ways to help one another as we increase recycling through TN.
Check out the NOTHING WASTED Podcast series from Waste 360
Funding and Other Resources
SERDC Recycling Infrastructure Grant Looking for 2021 Projects
A grant awarded to SERDC from the Coca-Cola Foundation seeks to award several more communities this year that seek to increase their curbside recycling programs. Funds must go towards infrastructure (carts, trucks, equipment) and/or outreach material. Examples include communities looking to move from bins to carts, expansion of service routes or needed related equipment.

Foam Recycling Coalition Now Accepting Grant Applications
The Foam Recycling Coalition opened its grant submission process to support increased recycling of packaging made from foam polystyrene including foodservice packaging (i.e., cups, plates, bowls, clamshells and cafeteria trays) and other types of packaging (i.e., egg cartons, meat trays and protective packaging used when shipping electronics and other fragile items).

This initiative helps fund infrastructure for the collection, processing and marketing of products made from foam polystyrene. The FRC distributes up to $50,000 for each grant. Grant amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis dependent upon equipment needs. Although no cash match is required, additional costs may be incurred by the grantee for related items, such as site preparation, provision of conveying system, electrical infrastructure, freight and other installation costs.

Both public and private organizations involved in managing residential drop-off and curbside recycling programs or material recovery facilities are eligible to apply for funding. Applications must be submitted by Friday, May 28, 2021 for priority consideration. The FRC will announce grant recipients throughout the year.

Further information and grant application are available at
Other Recycling News
End user in Southeast expands mixed-plastic capacity
Posted Feb. 17, 2021 on Resource-Recycling/

IntegriCo, which processes recovered plastics into composite rail ties, is adding new product lines and increasing its recycled material consumption. Sarepta, La.-based IntegriCo Composites on Feb. 11 announced several expansion plans. The company will begin producing pipeline skids and construction matting parts, adding to its existing line of plastic rail ties. All of the products are made with 100% recycled plastic, which is sourced from a variety of streams, including post-consumer mixed rigid bales.

In a 2019 interview with Plastics Recycling Update, IntegriCo’s former vice president of business development, Brian Gaughan, said the company consumes a variety of recovered plastics, including baled Nos. 3-7 and mixed residential plastics. At the time, IntegriCo processed between 25 million and 35 million pounds of recovered plastics each year.

According to information published by the company, IntegriCo has processed more than 80 million pounds of post-consumer plastic overall since 2009. The company was founded in 2007 and was initially located in Temple, Texas before moving to Louisiana.

Nucor plans to build a $164 million tube mill in Gallatin County, KY
Posted March 25, 2021 on

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Nucor Tubular Products, a division of steel products manufacturer Nucor Corp., plans to build a $164 million tube mill and create 72 full-time jobs in Gallatin County.

Once operational, the 396,000-square-foot tube mill will provide capacity to produce 250,000 tons of steel tubing annually, including hollow structural section tubing, mechanical steel tubing and galvanized solar torque tubing.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Nucor is North America’s largest recycler and the nation’s largest steel and steel products producer. The company employs over 26,000 people at more than 300 facilities, primarily located in North America.

In Kentucky, Nucor and its affiliates employ approximately 2,000 people at numerous facilities, including Nucor Steel Gallatin, Nucor Tubular Products Louisville, Harris Rebar and a 50% ownership stake in Steel Technologies.

Aluminum giant reports recycling progress
Posted March 23, 2021 on

Global aluminum manufacturer Constellium, which operates a large recycling site in Alabama, says it boosted the amount of production scrap it recycled last year. According to the company’s 2020 sustainability report, about 40% of the feedstock consumed by Constellium last year was scrap material. Of that, 18 percentage points was post-consumer scrap and 22 percentage points was pre-consumer scrap generated by Constellium’s downstream manufacturers. In 2019, 38% of Constellium’s inputs were recycled (18% post-consumer and 20% pre-consumer).

Headquartered in Paris, Constellium sells aluminum for use in various sectors, including the packaging, automotive and aerospace sectors. In terms of packaging, it provides aluminum for use by AB InBev, Amcor, Ardagh Group, Ball, Can-Pack, Crown, Coca-Cola and others.

The company operates a facility in Muscle Shoals, Ala. that’s capable of recycling 340,000 metric tons of post- and pre-consumer aluminum scrap a year, including used beverage cans (UBCs). Constellium calls the plant one of the largest UBC recycling plants in the world.

SERDC members fit many descriptions - from individuals to large companies, organizations to governmental entities. But our members have one thing in common. They understand that the best way to boost support for recycling in the Southeast is to work together.