|Vehicles recycled after Superstorm Sandy
Several months after Sandy smashed into the northeast in late October with the worst storm in 100 years, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) revised its estimate upward for the number of vehicles damaged. The new total now stands at a staggering 250,500 vehicles. But keep in mind, this number only represents reported insured losses, so add tens of thousands more unreported uninsured vehicles that were damaged or destroyed by the storm.
According to NICB, New York suffered most with 150,000 vehicles damaged followed by New Jersey with 60,000. Fourteen other states accounted for the total of over a quarter-million.
NICB issued a warning about Sandy damaged vehicles that have been reconditioned and offered for sale. While it is not illegal to sell flood-damaged or salvaged vehicles, sellers must disclose the information to buyers. The NICB offers a free VINCheck to help research if a vehicle has been reported as salvage or stolen. ...read more
Rubber-to-oil process could reshape recycling
Technologies that can turn rubber and plastic into oil promise to help recyclers deal with one of the most stubborn problems in recycling – what to do with the huge amount of material that is too commingled or contaminated to be recycled using conventional approaches?
Three companies are in various stages of commercializing technologies that use a process called pyrolysis to heat mixed plastic and rubber in airtight containers to convert it into oil and byproducts. The full-scale plants that will prove or disprove the viability of the approach are coming online this year and next, and recyclers are lining up to provide feedstock.
Russell Cooper, vice president of business development for Cleveland-based Vadxx Energy, said sources of rubber and plastic waste have signed up to provide 3 times the 60 tons per day that will be processed by the plant they are preparing to construct in Cleveland.
Should one or more of the companies investigating the practicality of pyrolysis succeed, the implications for recyclers are huge, Cooper said. Commercially successful plastic-to-oil conversion would allow recyclers to stop landfilling or exporting mountains of polymers that are too dirty, commingled or otherwise unsuitable for recycling.
“Our process is designed to take bottom of the barrel polymers,” said Jay Schabel CEO of Akron-based RES Polyflow, which is also looking to build a commercial-scale pyrolysis facility. Schabel said they will be happy to take materials that recyclers can’t, including stretch wrap with labels stuck to it, paper-like thin-film polymers that contaminate paper collected for recycling and household plastics. ...read more