Prab Auto-Take Up conveyor enhancement
Prab Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, has released the Auto-Take Up system as a conveyor enhancement. Features of the Auto-Take Up include:
Visit https://www.prab.com for more information.
EverestLabs RecycleOS tracking technology
Fremont, California-based EverestLabs has now made available RecycleOS, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled recovery-to-reuse operating system. Features of the system include:
- helps material recovery facilities (MRFs) recover more recyclable objects and enables consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and package manufacturers to use more recycled content
- incorporates a robotic cell designed to deliver a 49 percent increase in recovery for MRFs compared with some robots of earlier vintage
- gathers data on every conveyor line for proactively improving plant operations
- allows companies and MRFs to measure and track goals across their operations
Visit https://www.everestlabs.ai for more information.
Untha America ZR preshredders
Untha America, Hampton, New Hampshire, has released its ZR two-shaft shredder, which is engineered for multishift, continuous preshredding. Features of the ZR include:
- independent, bidirectional shaft rotation to grab, shear and liberate material in forward and reverse
- modular, quick-change cutting table design offers versatility
- low-speed, high-torque drive can handle severe-duty applications with a high level of shredder and plant availability
- supplied with the Untha Eco Power Drive with water-cooled synchronous motors
Visit https://www.untha-america.com/en for more information.
Sennebogen 835 G Hybrid material handler
Germany-based material handling equipment maker Sennebogen has introduced the 835 G Hybrid material handler. Features of the 835 G include:
- a 188-kilowatt Stage V diesel engine and what Sennebogen is calling its Green Hybrid energy recovery system
- aimed at applications in scrap and timber handling as well as port operations
- allows for additional working speed and increased handling performance while offering a reduction of around 30 percent in fuel costs
- structured machine design and central maintenance points make components more accessible
Visit https://www.sennebogen.com/en for more information.
Doosan Infracore enters Hyundai fold
The sale and closing of Doosan Infracore to Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co. (HHIH) became official on Aug. 19, according to a news release from the Suwanee, Georgia, office of Doosan Infracore.
Doosan Infracore will become a subsidiary of the newly created Hyundai Genuine (HG) group alongside Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) as “two independent construction equipment companies under HHIH,” according to Doosan Infracore.
HG will act as the intermediary company of HHIH group’s construction equipment businesses with the intention of allowing both business units to “combine as a global top player, putting us much closer to achieving the goal of becoming a global top five player.”
The plan is to manage overlapping investments and invest heavily in areas like future technologies and innovation, according to Hyundai. “Doosan Infracore will be working diligently to commercialize Concept-X and develop cutting-edge products such as electric excavators, battery packs, hybrid fuel cells and other next-generation products,” adds the firm.
States Doosan Infracore, “Independently, the two companies will grow together, complement each other, even compete in good faith in all areas, including technology, production, purchasing, sales and quality. This will enable our business to expand and associate with other companies operated by the whole HHIH group.”
Doosan Infracore North America LLC markets the Doosan brand of products that includes crawler excavators, wheeled excavators, mini excavators, wheel loaders, articulated dump trucks, material handlers, log loaders and attachments via more than 160 equipment dealer locations in North America.
HCE, which has a North American office in Norcross, Georgia, makes some of the same products plus has a forklift truck line.
Hendrickson’s president and CEO announces retirement
Hendrickson, an equipment manufacturer based in Woodridge, Illinois, has announced the retirement of Gary Gerstenslager, the company’s president and CEO. Gerstenslager, who has been with the company for 32 years, says he will retire at the end of the year. He will be replaced by Matt Joy.
According to a news release from Hendrickson, Gerstenslager joined the company in 1989 and his passion, technical knowledge and drive for excellence led to a transformation in product design and manufacturing, which permeates all of Hendrickson today.
“Gerstenslager became president in 2006 and, in 2007, became the first CEO, in addition to president, in Hendrickson’s history,” says Matthew Boler, chairman, president and CEO of The Boler Co., the parent company of Hendrickson. “Gary embraced this role, and over his 15 years as president, turned Hendrickson from an important supplier within the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) commercial vehicle [market] into a leading global supplier.”
Joy, Gerstenslager’s replacement, joined the company in 2006 and has been instrumental in the ongoing transition of the company. He has moved through several roles at Hendrickson, including vice president and general manager of the Specialty Products Group, vice president and general manager of the Truck Division, and COO.
Kadant acquires Balemaster
Kadant Inc., a technology manufacturer based in Westford, Massachusetts, has acquired Balemaster, a Crowne Point, Indiana-based manufacturer of horizontal balers used in the recycling industry. The company acquired Balemaster for $54 million in cash. Balemaster will become part of Kadant’s Material Handling reporting segment.
According to a news release from Kadant, Balemaster’s revenue for the past 12 months ended June 30 was approximately $22 million.
Kadant hosted a telephone conference Aug. 24 to talk about the acquisition. Kadant Inc. CEO Jeffery Powell said the company was interested in acquiring Balemaster for four years. He said one of the things that attracted the company to Balemaster was its focus on the packaging recycling market.
Powell said the acquisition also allows Kadant to expand its operations in North America to support its Germany-based businesses that supply large multistream machines to material recovery facilities around the country.
“Our acquisition of Balemaster expands our presence in the secondary material processing sector and creates new opportunities for leveraging our high-performance balers produced in Europe,” Powell adds. “The company is a market leader in North America, and its strong aftermarket business fits well with Kadant. We are excited to welcome the employees of Balemaster to the Kadant family.”
Powell says that Balemaster will continue to operate as a stand-alone company as part of Kadant’s decentralized business model.
“We are proud of the strong brand and market presence Balemaster has built over the past 75 years,” says Cornel Raab, president of Balemaster. “Kadant is a world-class company with a similar culture and values as our family-built business, and we believe it is a great home for our company and employees.”
Redwave names operations officer for US subsidiary
Martin Weiss, a longtime employee of Austria-based sorting technology provider Redwave, has been named as the new COO of Atlanta-based Redwave Solutions US LLC. Weiss had been serving as Redwave’s global sales manager and expert for metal recycling before his July 1 appointment to the new position.
Redwave, established in Austria in 2004, says it “quickly became apparent that there was great potential for Redwave sensor-based sorting machines in America.”
Stefan Steiner has managed the operations of Redwave Solutions US on an interim basis “and has since not only strengthened the American location but has also created a reliable and motivated team,” the company states.
After four and a half years in the United States, Steiner will take on new responsibilities at the company’s Austrian headquarters involving expanding international business areas and promoting the firm’s service and support area.
“I am very honored by this vote of confidence from the management, and I will put my full commitment into achieving our goals,” Steiner says of his new role.
“In my past responsibilities at Redwave, I was working in different departments,” says Weiss. “This versatile knowledge gives me confidence for this honorable new position. I am excited and look forward to adding more value to the team and appreciate the trust for this opportunity from the management.”
Weiss says he is ready to take over a team that includes administration, sales and marketing and a factory-trained technical staff responsible for service and maintenance that has more than 80 years of combined experience in the field of electromechanical engineering and installation monitoring.
NGR expands footprint in the US
Austria-based Next Generation Recycling Maschinen GmbH (NGR) says it has relocated its Next Generation Recycling Machines Inc. business unit from its previous spot north of Atlanta to a larger space in south Atlanta close to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“From our new location we are offering a vastly improved portfolio,” says Peter Schneider, president of NGR Inc. “Strategically positioned very close to the international terminal of the well-known Atlanta airport, from here we can showcase our increased service offering, our competence and the largely increased technical center in a very improved fashion.”
NGR, an equipment and technology provider for the plastics recycling industry, says it has some 140 employees in Austria and at three sales and service facilities located in the United States, China and Malaysia. The company generates about 50 million euros ($59 million) in sales annually.
“We are operating recycling machines on production scale for post-industrial and postconsumer applications and markets,” says Schneider of the new Atlanta facility. “Customers can recycle their materials in scheduled test runs on various extruder, filtration and pelletizer configurations. From there, they can reintroduce the recycled pellets into their production processes and evaluate the success. We pick up our customers at the airport and minutes later they can see their materials running on our machines. It does not get any easier than this.”
The new customer center also supports current and future customers via the availability of spare parts on-site and via a service team with increased capacity and capabilities, says NGR.
Zach Brooks’ career path has been a bit unorthodox by conventional standards. Brooks, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arizona State University, had worked his way up over the course of 30 years to become a partner at a global consulting firm. But after three decades of boardrooms and business travel, Brooks decided it was time for a change. So, in 2016, he did what any middle-aged family man might do under similar circumstances—he decided to give up his cushy corporate gig to start an off-the-grid, zero-waste farm.
While Brooks originally conceptualized selling the fruits and vegetables grown on the farm to pay for its labor, he quickly realized the real value from the farm was in breeding worms for vermicomposting.
“Worms were an integral part of our zero-waste strategy because they could convert garbage into fertilizer and healthy soil and provide a protein source for our hens that we were raising,” he says. “So, I started with worm farming. It turns out that worms, worm castings [manure], and compost, which we make here for the organic farm, are a great revenue source for us. We initially thought we were going to have a farm where we were going to sell fruits and vegetables to pay for the labor that we needed. That’s crazy hard to do in the United States on a 10 acre piece of land like we have, and so we pivoted to worms [for our revenue]. Our goal here is to feed and clothe 10 families on 10 acres using just sunshine, rainwater and other people’s garbage, and worms are a critical element to making that happen.”
Brooks’ Arizona Worm Farm, located in Phoenix, Arizona, has been in operation since 2017.
The farm sells between 40,000 to 60,000 red wiggler worms a week to backyard gardeners who use them in their worm composting bins to convert food waste into nutrient-rich soil.
The farm also sells 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of worm castings per week. Brooks says this natural fertilizer product help repel pests, help plants grow and allow soil to better absorb nutrients under Arizona’s challenging conditions.
Additionally, the farm sells between 150 and 250 yards of compost and raised bed mix per week generated from its hot compost that is composed of horse manure from local stables, food waste, basalt rock dust, and mulch from the city of Phoenix’s landscape waste.
Brooks says that the farm takes in 320 yards of waste materials per week to fuel its operations. Roughly one-third of this material is food waste, one-third is manure and one-third is landscaping waste.
The food waste is mostly derived from a local food packager that bags fruits and vegetables for grocery stores. The byproducts of this produce are shipped to the Arizona Worm Farm to be incorporated into its composting mix. Brooks says that this organic feedstock is ideal for the farm’s operations since it is free of plastics or other contamination. For this reason, the farm doesn’t accept organics from restaurants, residents or other establishments. Also, this waste isn’t packaged or bagged, which alleviates the need to debag the material at the farm, saving both time and labor.
Brooks estimates that, in total, the farm helps divert 32 tons of food waste from landfill every week.
The yard waste from the city of Phoenix is derived from trees, branches and other yard waste the city’s landscapers collect. The city of Phoenix also has a certified green program. Through this program, residents agree to bring clean landscaping waste to the city’s processing facilities, where it is ground, turned once in a composting process, and then sent to the Arizona Worm Farm. This process also helps keep a substantial amount of organic material from ending up in area landfills.
Good for growing
Brooks says the process of raising worms for composting purposes is more labor-intensive than relying on traditional windrow composting.
A shipping container on the farm filled with metal shelves is loaded with bins of soil that contain worms. Brooks and staff work to monitor the containers to ensure optimal breeding conditions. Once the worms are mature, they can be introduced into the compost.
Brooks says that although larger windrow composters are able to produce up to 1,000 times the products the Arizona Worm Farm does, the byproducts of the company’s vermicomposting operations are superior.
“Worms are animals, so the same way you have to manage your herd if you’re a cattle farmer or a flock if you’re a chicken farmer, we manage our worms,” he says. “It’s not quite as simple. There are a couple more moving pieces, but it’s hugely productive.
“We create what we think is the city, and the world’s, best organic soil. We do that using organic material and the microbes that are a byproduct of worms—either live worms or worm castings. The combination of organic material and microbes convert what is in the soil into what the plants need at the point in time that they need them. We don’t use any herbicides or pesticides or chemicals of any kind. We just use organic materials from our composting operation, combined with worm castings, which tends to be hugely microbially active, and get a very, very rich organic soil.”
The difference in the quality of this soil is tangible, Brooks says. He notes that the company’s farmland is richer and able to retain water much better than other land in the area. This means less water is required to maintain operations, which further helps conserve resources.
With areas throughout the region facing severe drought conditions, Brooks says cities might begin to consider adopting more proactive composting and farming operations to both better manage their waste streams and produce healthier soils.
“It would absolutely make sense for cities that are trying to figure out what to do with their waste to create composting and permaculture operations,” he says. “One of the things that we see which is important in the Southwest is that our soils use much less water to produce the same result. Microbially active organic soil will produce a better outcome with much less water. So, cities and residents using these kinds of soils can help reduce their footprint without the same water requirements.”
To help spread the message on the benefits of vermicomposting and organic farming practices, Brooks says that he is helping organize the first countrywide conference for vermicomposting business owners. According to Brooks, the Worm Business Conference will take place January 2022 in Phoenix, and 40 farms are already committed to participate.
Brooks says that through the conference, he hopes to inspire a more local, responsible approach for managing waste.
“We’re going to talk about how to be more efficient and effective, how to make more money using worms and how to reduce the amount of oil-based and chemical-based fertilizers that are used for agriculture,” he says. “We’d like to do that same thing with farmers and market gardeners across the U.S. [and inspire them to use] methodologies that are able to increase their productivity and decrease the amount of money that they spend on fertilizers while producing a healthier, more environmentally friendly soil.
“One of our goals is to continue to help figure that out, and to teach people how to do it. We’re going to start with the worm farmers who are going to help us spread that message, and then we’re going to try and get people who farm in conventional ways to farm in more organically sustainable ways. … This process tends to be more labor-intensive, and fruits and vegetables will cost a little more, but we have to decide as a society if we’re willing to [accept that trade-off]. We think lots of people will.”
The author is the editor of Waste Today and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the past 15 years, the county of Santa Barbara, California, has been making strides on the development of a $130 million solid waste recycling project.
Planning first began for the massive undertaking—which would soon be known as the ReSource Center—in 2007 when the County Board of Supervisors sought to look into new ways to decrease landfill dependency and increase recycling.
“In Santa Barbara, we generate about 9 pounds [of waste] per capita per day, which is a lot higher than the national average. That’s because this waste shed covers just southern Santa Barbara County, which is really affluent, and the more affluent communities are, the more trash they generate,” says Carlyle Johnston, a project leader for the County of Santa Barbara (COSB).
Since the development plans for the project were first established, Johnston says the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department immediately started performing environmental impact reports and negotiating contracts, while also having to battle a lawsuit filed by the Gaviota Coast Conservancy regarding concerns over environmental impacts.
“We started with going to the community and defining what the criteria and the goals of a project like this would be. We came up with things like local control, flexibility, reducing landfill dependency, increasing recycling, mitigating more of the environmental impacts of trash, those types of things,” Johnston says. “During that process, we then hired Alternative Resources Inc. to help us develop a RFQ (request for qualifications) and then eventually a RFP (request for proposal) and spent a couple years [working on] that.”
By 2012, the county had made the decision to contract Newport Beach, California-based Mustang Renewable Power Ventures, through affiliate MSB Investors, to develop the project.
“[COSB] spent a lot of time doing community outreach and talking to environmental nonprofit groups,” says Johnston. “The biggest challenges we faced during development and undergoing environmental impact reviews was just getting through the process and getting everyone on board.
“We had four cities sign on to the project with us, so having multiple cities and the county government working together can be really, really challenging. … Every time we had a change, I would have to go back to each individual city and the county and do a presentation again—it was a long process.”
MAKING A PLAN
After sifting through a few different plans and gauging public interest on each, the county ultimately settled on the ReSource Center, a concept designed to address new mandates by increasing recycling, composting organics that are currently being landfilled and reducing the landfill’s carbon footprint.
“The [ReSource Center] was consistently seen as the most viable and the most desirable by the general public, elected officials, kind of everybody,” says Johnston.
The unique facility—a first of its kind in California—will be housed at the county’s Tajiguas Landfill and will include a material recovery facility (MRF), an anaerobic digester (AD), a compost management unit, mulching operations and an upgraded landfill gas (LFG) collection system all on the same campus.
The first phase of the project, which began in 2019, was the construction of the MRF. Operated by Santa Barbara-based MarBorg Industries, the facility processes municipal solid waste (MSW) collected from the area, recovering recyclables and organics.
The ReSource Center accepts solid waste from the South Coast and Santa Ynez Valley areas of Santa Barbara County, including the unincorporated communities in these areas, and from the California cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang and Buellton.
“[Mustang Renewable Power Ventures] pitched to the county of Santa Barbara to consider other alternatives than conventional recycling,” says Wilfred Poiesz, western vice president of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Van Dyk Recycling Solutions (Van Dyk), which supplied equipment for the MRF. “With the high tipping fees in Santa Barbara, there’s of course a lot of avoided disposal costs when you do a high rate of recycling. At the same time, the state was mandating increased diversion of organics, so it was perfect timing [to build this facility].”
At the MRF, size reducers for liberating bags, 3D trommels, anti-wrapping screens, air density separators, elliptical separators and 11 optical sorters to identify recyclables by composition are used to recover and separate paper and containers from the MSW.
The recyclables captured at the MRF are then baled by a high-capacity baler from Bollegraaf Recycling Solutions and sold, while the organics move to the second phase of the project, the anaerobic digestion facility.
“The plant runs in two shifts; one shift runs clean recyclables and there are no organics. … But when they run the mixed solid waste or commercial waste, they try to maximize recovery of organics,” says Poiesz. “I would say 90 percent of the organics are going directly to the digester and about 10 percent is separated out. The material that is separated will either go to the digester or will be ground up and mixed in with the compost.”
Once recovered, the organic waste is transferred to the digester on-site, where it is dumped into heated tunnels and sealed airtight. It is then pumped with a mixture of 97 percent water and 3 percent cattle manure to start the digestion process.
The natural bacteria in the manure breaks down the organic waste to produce methane gas. The methane gas is then harnessed to create renewable electricity that is sold back to SoCal Edison (Southern California’s primary electricity supply company). According to the county, the electricity produced is enough to power the ReSource Center itself, as well as about 1,000-1,200 homes.
The leftover material in the AD tunnels is then sent to the site’s composter, where the last bit of glass or film plastic is removed, and the remaining compost is dried out. The compost machinery includes a densimetric table supplied by Van Dyk with manufacturer Allgaier Process Technology.
PROVIDING A MODEL
Between the multiple cities and communities that the Tajiguas Landfill serves, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department estimates that roughly 200,000 tons of material are accepted each year. Of this incoming MSW material, the county says roughly 60 percent is either recyclable or compostable.
With construction of the ReSource Center, which was completed in July, the facility brings in 600-700 tons of waste per day and around 150-180 tons of recyclables, with 150,000-180,000 tons of trash and recyclables anticipated to be processed annually.
As for organics recovery, Johnston says he expects to collect about 40,000-50,000 tons out of the MSW stream, with 5,000 tons of that coming from the county’s source-separated organics program.
“As much as we make an effort to [separately] collect organics from food scraps and high organics-generating companies like restaurants, it’s not as effective [for getting volume] as going into the trash can [to recover leftover organics that haven’t been separated],” says Johnston. “There’s a lot of reasons for that. One, is that residents have this misunderstanding when we talk about organics … that we’re [only] talking about food waste, and food waste is only a small portion of that stream.
“These programs have always been hindered by low participation and not getting all the organics out. I think it’s because people dump their food scraps and think, ‘Cool, I’m done.’ But they forget about the other materials we want in the anaerobic digester like Kleenex, used paper towels, pet feces and green waste.”
This model of separating MSW into different streams to be processed individually is one of the reasons why Poiesz believes the ReSource Center will be so effective.
“That’s where this project is extremely unique because it takes municipal solid waste, it takes commercial waste, it takes recyclables and green waste, and all of that goes to one location and is processed; so, there are no escapes,” he says. “The [ReSource Center] allows a utility, or public-private partnership, to showcase that it is possible to build a facility like this.”
The author is the assistant editor of Waste Today and can be reached at email@example.com.