Recycling after superstorm Sandy
When Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey and New York in October it was defined by the National Hurricane Center as a post-tropical cyclone. No matter what it was called, Sandy clobbered the east coast with the most destructive and costliest storm in the area’s history. Rebuilding will be a monumental undertaking with demolition and site clearing of condemned structures leading the way. Recycling as much of the ruined material as possible will help mitigate the cost of rebuilding and lessen the strain on landfills.
Sandy is being blamed for tens of billions in damages, the majority of which occurred in New York and New Jersey. It’s being estimated as the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, right behind 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which caused an estimated $128 billion in damages.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated the storm damage at $42 billion across the state. That estimate included $9 billion for preventive measures for future storms. ...read more
Demand rises for post-consumer plastic
Through 2016, growth in domestic plastic recycling is described as healthy but not tremendous by Kent Furst, senior polymers analyst at Cleveland market research firm The Freedonia Group. U.S. demand for post-consumer recycled plastic is expected to rise 5.9 percent annually to nearly 3.4 billion lbs. in 2016, according to a new study Furst authored.
Behind that overall trend are a number of smaller developments, ranging from greater use of lightweight plastic packaging to more interest in energy recovery, that will shape plastics recycling in the next few years. Plastic recycling has the potential to grow more strongly, but not until all participants get their acts together. The anticipated collection growth rate of five to six percent annually is somewhat less than anticipated growth in demand, Furst noted, highlighting the challenge of collecting sufficient material to meet demand.
“It’s the nature of recycling markets that everything has to come together – collection, processing capacity, end-user demand and pricing – for the industry to be successful, and this is why we are unlikely to see stronger growth going forward,” Furst said. ...read more