|Electronics recycling industry consolidation trend heats up
A consolidation trend among electronics recycling companies has spurred several notable acquisitions recently, with more likely to follow. This year, Arrow Electronics, a $21 billion sales electronics distribution company headquartered in Inverness, Colorado, acquired Asset Recovery Corporation, a $20 million sales electronics recycler based in St. Paul, and TechTurn, a $50 million sales Austin, Texas recycler. Avnet Inc., a $26 billion sales electronics distributor based in Phoenix, acquired Austin-based Round2 Inc., a $40 million e-recycling firm.
Those are just some of the larger and more recent consolidations. There are still more than 1,500 firms in the electronics recycling field, and it remains highly fragmented, with most firms generating less than $1 million per year in sales. The number of firms is likely to decline, experts say, thanks to the confluence of several powerful forces on the e-recycling field.
Acquisitions are hot right now, in part, because corporations are sitting on lots of cash that isn’t earning much because interest rates are low, and with business and consumer activity still soft it’s often easier and faster to buy companies than to grow internally, said Dave Karnofel, managing director of business development at New York investment banking firm BCMS Capital Advisors. ...read more
Mining project hunts treasure in old landfills
To most people, a landfill is a place where trash goes to stay forever. For advocates of landfill mining, however, a landfill is a temporary storage place for materials that may not be recyclable at the moment. As recycling technology improves, the thinking goes, someday a landfill will be seen as a repository of value, not waste.
While the idea makes some sense, and sporadic landfill mining projects have occurred here and there, no full-scale landfill mining project to strip the value out of a landfill has been demonstrated. But in Belgium, it appears that such a full-scale project may be underway. There, at the Remo Milieubeheer landfill site in Houthalen-Helchteren, a consortium of European firms aim to dig out the tons of contents in the site, convert some to energy and the rest to valuable materials, and then turn the land into a nature park.
According to Group Machiels, the Belgian environmental construction and development company that owns the site and is spearheading the effort, it will take 20 years and more than $280 million dollars to complete. Machiels said the site contains more than 16 million tons of waste, of which 45 percent can be recycled as material. The balance will be converted to energy through a gas plasmafication process supplied by its partner, Advanced Plasma Power of London. ...read more