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Late May online auctions of plastic recycling facilities formerly operated by CarbonLite, which filed for bankruptcy in March, have allowed three established plastic recycling companies to expand their footprints in the United States.
An online report from London-based Independent Intelligence Commodity Services (ICIS) indicates DAK Americas, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Mexico-based Alpek S.A., won the bidding for the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling facility in Reading, Pennsylvania, at the auction. A court filing in early May disclosed DAK Americas’ bid for the Pennsylvania facility.
The U.S. subsidiary of Thailand-based Indorama Ventures submitted the winning bid for a similar CarbonLite plant in Dallas, while equity firm TSG Shelf II Acquisition submitted the accepted bid for CarbonLite’s PET bottle recycling plant in Riverside, California. The sales are subject to review until a follow-up June 3 hearing.
TSG Shelf II Acquisition is a part of Houston-based equity firm The Sterling Group, other portfolio companies of which include Ohio-based PET recycling firms Evergreen and Greenbridge (formerly PolyChem), plus HPDE recycling firm Tangent Technologies. TSG Shelf II also submitted bids for the Texas and Pennsylvania facilities, which ICIS says have been accepted as backup offers should the Indorama or Alpek bids fall through or stall.
All three winning bidders have been adding plastic recycling capacity in North America in the past several years, with DAK Americas adding PET recycling capacity with an acquisition in 2019 while Indorama added rPET capacity in California that same year. TSG portfolio firm Evergreen earlier this year announced that it was adding capacity at its Clyde, Ohio, plant.
According to ICIS, Indorama bid nearly $64 million for the Dallas plant, while DAK Americas paid more than $98 million for the Reading facility. TSG Shelf II, meanwhile, paid $57.5 million for the Riverside PET bottle recycling plant.
Both the Dallas and Reading plants can produce about 42,500 tons annually of recycled PET (rPET) pellets, while CarbonLite claimed a 50,000 tons per year capacity for the Riverside plant when it opened in 2010.
Palm Coast, Florida, declares Waste Pro in breach of contract
Waste Pro has seven days to resolve the breach, which includes failing to provide the contractually required services.
Waste Pro of Florida Inc. is currently facing a breach of contract notice from the city of Palm Coast, Florida, for its noncompliance with the current contract for residential solid waste and disposal services.
The written notice, submitted to the company on May 26, advised Waste Pro that it has seven days to resolve the breach, which includes failing to provide the contractually required services.
As reported by the Palm Coast Observer, Waste Pro has informed city staff that the issues with collection range from a lack of employees to not having enough hours in the day.
"The collection lately has been at unacceptable levels and we will not sit idly by and let this continue. It is a priority to provide quality service to our residents and Waste Pro is now on notice that the service level must increase, or further action will follow,” said Palm Coast City Manager Matthew Morton.
The city says it has repeatedly notified Waste Pro over the past year of deficient services and worked to remedy issues related to missed collections above the allowable limits, missed routes, streets and neighborhoods, routes not being completed daily, and failure to have adequate personnel to perform the services contractually required.
The city of Palm Coast has fined Waste Pro a total of $29,280 from Jan. 1, 2021, through May 25, 2021, for its failure to comply with the terms of the contract with the city, reports the Palm Coast Observer.
Additionally, city staff have been assigned to inspect daily routes to ensure that waste collections are completed and to document the areas that were missed or incomplete.
At least 4,565 complaints have been submitted over the past six-months, even after an April 1st memorandum was received by the city from Waste Pro's vice president indicating that service would return to satisfactory levels.
To solve this issue, the city is seeking out additional haulers in the event that Waste Pro is not able to resolve the breach in the allotted seven-day time frame. If Waste Pro does not sufficiently correct the issues, according to the Palm Beach Observer, the city has the contractual right to terminate the contract with Waste Pro.
North West Recycling is new name for UK firm
The former Brampton Skip Hire says it is rebranding to reflect growth in its recycling services.
Carlisle, United Kingdom-based Brampton Skip Hire has announced a name change to North West Recycling, which the U.K. firm calls “a waste management brand for the future.”
The family-owned business in the Cumbria region of England says it “has undertaken a major rebrand and announced ambitious plans that will make [it] a driving force in the region’s efforts to combat CO2 emissions and recycle waste.”
Founded in 1995, Brampton Skip Hire was established as a waste bin and container placement and pickup service. While that remains a core part of its business, the company says its operations have grown and evolved to make it one of Cumbria’s “largest and most innovative” environmental waste management companies.
The newly named North West Recycling says its 30-acre headquarters facility now delivers “fully integrated waste processing capability on site, including collection, disposal [and] recycling,” and it has a renewable fuel plant currently under construction.
“We are really excited at the prospect of being able to play such a major part in helping Cumbria reduce its carbon footprint,” states Rick Allan, founder and owner of North West Recycling. “When the business moved into waste management in 1995, it was done with the clear vision of dealing with the non-recyclable element of waste in Cumbria.”
Adds Allan, “The decision to rebrand and our partnership with [Middlesbrough, U.K.-based] Waste Knot Energy forms the next chapter in what we are doing to improve innovation in waste management, reduce Cumbria’s landfill burden and protect the local environment. With the £40 million ($56.7 million) inward investment and the job creation locally, we are incredibly proud to be from the local community and to be Cumbrians handling the region’s waste.”
The expanded plant could help make a “substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says John Stevenson, a member of Parliament representing Carlisle. He adds, “This is fantastic news to see such a substantial investment potentially coming to Carlisle and Cumbria.”
The former Brampton Skip Hire brand will be slowly phased out, says the company, as it introduces the new North West Recycling name throughout 2021.
The expansion plans, including the new solid recovered fuel (SRF) production facility, will add an estimated 60 jobs, joining the firm’s current employee count of about 100.
EPA collaborates with state of Michigan on cleanup of former Allied Paper Landfill
The cleanup project, which is set to begin in June, is expected to take four years.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state of Michigan are collaborating on the upcoming cleanup of a toxic landfill in Kalamazoo.
According to the EPA, the landfill soil is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB, a chemical shown to cause cancer in animals. The PCB came from a landfill built by Allied Paper, who used the landfill to dispose carbonless copy paper that contained PCB, which was banned in 1979.
The cleanup project, which is set to begin in June, will be performed by the property owner Lyondell Environmental Custodial Trust and supervised by the EPA.
Cleanup crews are expected to consolidate the toxic soil, then put layers of clean soil over it. As reported by WWMT, the clean soil will include 12 inches of backfill soil to serve as an interim cover and gas collection layer, a linear low-density polyethylene liner on top of that, then another 24 inches of backfill soil on top of the liner. The final layer will be 6 inches of topsoil.
"This is going to be a vast improvement over what it is now," Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson said. "This is not going to be a dangerous area, a toxic area. It will be regulated. It will be monitored." He adds that once the cleanup is complete, the land could accommodate a “variety of uses.”
The EPA said the cleanup was expected to take four years. Although truck traffic would increase around the work site, crews would monitor noise levels and wet down the soil to prevent toxic particles from going airborne.
"When we transform this area, that's going to be transformative for the neighborhood and other adjacent businesses around it," Anderson said. "I think it will now come to be seen as a place to be in Kalamazoo."
The former Allied Paper Landfill is part of the Allied Paper Inc.-Portage Creek-Kalamazoo River Superfund site, which is comprised of six segments in Kalamazoo and Allegan counties. Since 1998, the EPA says it has removed almost 470,000 cubic yards of contaminated material from the site, cleaned up and restored 12 miles of the Kalamazoo River and its banks, and capped 82 acres in contaminated material.
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