Compostable foodservice packaging can be effectively used as a feedstock in commercial composting facilities, according to a new study by the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the Biodegradable Products Institute. The study shows that foodservice packaging performs as well as wood and other traditional feedstocks.
“While the compostable packaging industry believed that these items had value to composting operations beyond diversion of food waste, there was little data to support this,” says Rhodes Yepsen, executive director of BPI. “The goal of this study was to determine the impact a large volume of compostable foodservice items would have on the composting process, when compared to traditional compost inputs like yard trimmings, straw, wood shavings and grass.”
The study’s six phases include: foodservice selection and analysis, feedstock preparation, pre-process sampling and analysis, active composting and monitoring, post-process sampling and analysis and reporting and peer review, according to an FPI press release.
The Compost Manufacturing Alliance conducted operational field tests at two commercial composting facilities, the release says. Each test included two control samples using the facilities’ standard composting mix and two samples using compostable foodservice packaging in place of the facilities’ customary bulking agents and carbon sources.
An independent laboratory tested and analyzed the samples throughout the active composting process to determine if there was any noticeable effect from the compostable foodservice items, FPI says. After processing, the finished compost samples were tested for pertinent compost characteristics, including pH, nutrient content, organic matter and moisture content. The report and its findings were then reviewed by industry experts, including CMA members and representatives from the United States Composting Council and BioCycle Magazine.
According to FPI, the results show evidence that compostable foodservice packaging provides the same benefit as traditional feedstocks and does not affect the balance of carbon to nitrogen ratios, nutrient levels, moisture content or porosity to feedstocks or finished compost.
“Compostable foodservice packaging did not add or take away any nutrient value from the finished product,” says Susan Thoman with the Compost Manufacturing Alliance. “Given these findings, compost manufacturers may want to consider compostable foodservice packaging as a viable feedstock, particularly in areas where composters may incur significant costs to source carbon-bearing feedstocks due to seasonally-scarce materials.”
“We are encouraged by these results and are pleased to share them with the composting community,” says Lynn Dyer, president of FPI. “Knowing that compostable foodservice packaging not only helps supply desirable food scraps to composters but can also reduce the amount of supplemental feedstocks composters must collect or source is a major benefit.”
Heavy-duty vehicle lift manufacturer Stertil-Koni, Stevensville, Maryland, announced that the fifth National Lift Week kicks off Monday, Oct. 8 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 13. The six-day event showcases best practices in vehicle lift safety, service and performance.
As part of the event, Stertil-Koni distributors across North America will host a range of activities that include live product demonstrations, discounts and educational briefings.
What’s more, for each of the six days comprising National Lift Week, Stertil-Koni and its team will share the attributes of some of the most popular vehicle lifting systems in use today.
- Mobile Column Monday: Communicating the benefits of portable lifting columns;
- Two-Post Tuesday: Highlighting the usefulness of two-post vehicle lifts;
- Wireless Wednesday: Demonstrating the characteristics and safety attributes associated with wireless vehicle lifting systems;
- Earthy Thursday: Providing educational material about new initiatives in “green” vehicle lifts;
- Free-Wheel Lifting Friday: Exploring lifting systems that provide wheels-free lifting to allow technicians to perform comprehensive vehicle maintenance and service; and
- Safety Saturday: Presenting multiple approaches to advance shop safety, including third-party lift certification via ALI (Automotive Lift Institute) and its Lift Inspector Certification program, coupled with the importance of regularly scheduled lift inspections.
“It is an honor to once again sponsor National Lift Week and showcase the latest advancements in vehicle lifting safety, features, environmental stewardship and ongoing performance,” Jean DellAmore, president of Stertil-Koni, says. “The week-long event is a powerful and sustained way to further raise awareness about best practices in vehicle lifting and reinforce core messages about safety.”
Stertil-Koni announced it will contribute one-third off the purchase price of the ALI Safety Tips Poster two-pack—applied to the first 80 orders beginning October 8 (one order per customer, five per company)—as part of the initiative.
CP Group, San Diego, introduced its new CP Anti-Wrap Screen Oct. 2. The CP Anti-Wrap Screen is the recycling manufacturer’s second new screen of 2018.
According to the company, the new screen accurately separates newsprint and large fiber from material streams by using high-amplitude elliptical discs to agitate material.
“With more flex-packaging and film showing up in the material stream, wrapping is a serious concern for many MRF operators,” Terry Schneider, president and CEO of CP Group, says. “The CP Anti-Wrap Screen uses high-agitation discs and extra-large rotor shafts to mitigate wrapping. The rubberized discs run with a non-pinching motion that eliminates jamming. These features allow it to run at peak performance throughout a shift with no unscheduled maintenance breaks due to wrapping or jamming.”
The CP Anti-Wrap Screen is also equipped with CP’s lockout/tagout mechanism with its large access door, providing optimal safety to the operating staff.
CP Group says it has already installed the CP Anti-Wrap Screen in several plants, and plans to incorporate it into MRF designs in the future.
Global waste volumes are expected to increase by 70 percent by 2050 based on current levels, according to the Washington-based World Bank’s new “What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050” report.
Driven by rapid urbanization and growing populations, global annual waste generation is expected to jump to 3.4 billion tons over the next 30 years, up from 2.01 billion tons in 2016, the report finds.
Although they only account for 16 percent of the world’s population, high-income countries combined are generating more than one-third (34 percent) of the world’s waste. The East Asia and Pacific region is responsible for generating close to a quarter (23 percent) of all waste. And by 2050, waste generation in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to more than triple current levels, while South Asia will more than double its waste stream.
Plastics are especially problematic, according to the study. If not collected and managed properly, they could contaminate and affect waterways and ecosystems for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In 2016, the world generated 242 million tons of plastic waste, which accounted for 12 percent of all solid waste, according to the report.
What a Waste 2.0 stresses that solid waste management is critical for sustainable, healthy and inclusive cities and communities, yet the importance of these practices is often overlooked, particularly in low-income countries. While more than one-third of waste in high-income countries is recovered through recycling and composting, only 4 percent of waste in low-income countries is recycled.
Based on the volume of waste generated, its composition and how the waste is being managed, it is estimated that 1.6 billion tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions were generated from the treatment and disposal of waste in 2016—representing about 5 percent of global emissions.
“Mismanagement of waste is harming human health and local environments while adding to the climate challenge,” Laura Tuck, vice president for sustainable development at World Bank, says. “Unfortunately, it is often the poorest in society who are adversely impacted by inadequate waste management. It doesn’t have to be this way. Our resources need to be used and then reused continuously so that they don’t end up in landfills.”
The report notes that good waste management systems are essential to building a circular economy, where products are designed and optimized for reuse and recycling. As national and local governments embrace the circular economy, smart and sustainable ways to manage waste will help promote efficient economic growth while minimizing environmental impact.
“It makes economic sense to properly manage waste,” World Bank Urban Development Specialist and lead author of the report Silpa Kaza says. “Uncollected waste and poorly disposed waste have significant health and environmental impacts. The cost of addressing these impacts is many times higher than the cost of developing and operating simple, adequate waste management systems. Solutions exist, and we can help countries get there.”
Supporting countries to help make critical solid waste management financing, policy and planning decisions is key to rectifying the problem, according to the report. Potential solutions include:
- Providing financing to countries most in need, especially the fastest growing countries, to develop state-of-the-art waste management systems.
- Supporting major waste producing countries to reduce consumption of plastics and marine litter through comprehensive waste reduction and recycling programs.
- Reducing food waste through consumer education, organics management and coordinated food waste management programs.
“Reducing waste generation requires a lot of behavior change and a change in consumption patterns,” Kaza says. “We are seeing that when people are required to pay based on the volume of waste they generate, they are more conscious of the amount of waste they are disposing. One example of this is when people have to use specific bags for disposal and pay for larger garbage bags. Another is when RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips are used to track waste generated by specific individuals or households. In Korea, RFID cards are used for people in high-rise apartments to deposit their food waste into a specific container, allowing the government to charge them based on the amount of food waste they dispose. Another targeted approach for a specific type of waste is with the plastic bag bans or plastic bag fees we are seeing which make consumers use fewer plastic bags when at the grocery store or other shops.”
Since 2000, the World Bank has committed over $4.7 billion to more than 340 solid waste management programs in countries across the globe.