A January 2013 rules revision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been welcomed by a number of industry trade groups as the right and reasonable way to proceed so the biomass energy industry can continue to be a competitor in the alternative energy sector.
For most of this decade, the EPA has been responding to lawsuits and lobbying efforts regarding its Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) and Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) rules. Of interest to many readers of this publication has been ensuring that the NHSM rules allow C&D scrap wood to meet the criteria for exemption from the rule.
When the EPA’s initial rules revisions were proposed in 2010, calling for considerable paperwork and burden of proof on boiler operators and their suppliers, several trade groups formed a loose coalition to gather information, compare notes, organize research efforts and meet with EPA rule makers to seek clarification.
Among those groups was the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA), which notes that having C&D scrap wood exempt from the rule would be “relieving a huge potential regulatory and paperwork burden for C&D recyclers who make biomass and their boiler customers.”
When the 500 pages of rules revisions were released by the EPA in January 2013, the CMRA was glad to see this wording: “We would like to note two additional NHSMs—paper recycling residuals and construction and demolition wood processed pursuant to best practices that, based on information provided to the agency, we now believe are good candidates and expect to propose categorical listings in 40 CFR 241.4(a) in the near future for these two materials.”
CMRA Executive Director Bill Turley says his association and its members worked in tandem with the Biomass Power Association (BPA) to conduct chemical testing data on C&D wood fuel in many locations and to collate the results to show that contaminant levels in the material were within the acceptable range for EPA.
In its document, EPA refers to the work done by the two groups, saying, “The Agency has received additional information since the issuance of [the initial] rule on specific best management practices used by suppliers/processors of C&D wood. Such practices include processing to remove contaminants. EPA believes the information received to date would tend to support a listing of these materials as a categorical nonwaste fuel and expects to propose that listing in a subsequent rulemaking.”
As it often is, the EPA was in a difficult position, balancing the legitimate concerns of clean-air activists with the practicality of creating alternative energy and recycling standards that do more than leave landfilling as the most suitable option.
With this rules revision, the EPA has ideally done just that. The revised rules will target “high-emissions” refineries and chemical plants while not stifling a growing alternative energy and C&D recycling sector by imposing unattainable parts-per-million emissions standards.
Sorting and classifying lines at C&D operations are as unique as fingerprints. Everyone has them. And they all are different. Just as fingerprints may have lines and whorls, sorting lines may have magnets and screens. It is how they all come together that makes them all special.
We turned to some of the more thorough C&D operations across the country for insights into why and how they classify C&D materials from wood to concrete by size.
The near-universal advice is to be practical about what sizes to produce from the get-go. That means comparing the yard’s production with the equipment you can purchase and get serviced at the front end with what the market demands at the back end.
“It’s an economics game,” says Barbee Cox, president of SB Cox Inc. The company operates at two locations—Richmond and Yorktown, Va. Although only 75 miles apart, they serve two separate markets with two quite different flows. The company receives a lot of plastics at Yorktown, little at Richmond, and takes in more wood in Yorktown than in Richmond. Cardboard is important in both locations, says Cox.
“We all need to produce a product that has some value to it,” Cox says. “The most important thing about any line is to produce what the end user wants.”
Both SB Cox sites have manual sorting at the top of the line. However, they do not preshred. “My theory is that it is easier to pull a bigger piece of material off the belt than to try to sort it small,” Cox explains. One day, however, he says he may install a high-torque shredder to handle some of the more contaminated wood debris.
“The biggest thing you get from preshredding material is it gives an even feed across the belt,” he says.
SB Cox has a trommel screen in Richmond, and Cox says he likes it, noting it does a better job for him than a fingerscreen. “We are pulling out the metal—the most valuable product,” Cox says.
Concrete, brick and block are segregated because the facility is set up to crush it. Segregating this material offers the advantage of getting the weight out of the residual material. Sending “heavies” to the landfill is a no-no for Cox.
Benjamin A. Harvey of E.L. Harvey & Sons Inc., Westborough, Ma., says, “We currently size to 1 inch minus, 12 inch minus and overs. Those were basically the sizes that would flow through the system based on the manufacturer specs and our specs.”
Harvey says the 1 inch minus gives the company a better ADC (alternative daily cover). “The 12 inch minus goes through an air classifier and a water bath, so that size seemed to move through the system better,” he adds.
Because of local market conditions, TnWaste, LLC, Knoxville, Tenn., does little material classification by size. However, it does sort by material.
“Right now, the only thing we are doing fractions on is the gypsum,” says Kim Kimmons, one of the owners at TnWaste. He notes that many of his customers are striving for “green” certifications, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which requires sorting.
Head of the Line
TnWaste loads all of its C&D materials with an excavator. The material travels up an incline belt to an elevated picking line with eight stations. Each station sorts for a different material.
“We bale the cardboard,” Kimmons says. Plastic also is baled. Any unpainted, unadulterated wood is siphoned off and sent to a mulching facility.
Kimmons says the company follows a preset procedure with materials. Once the recyclable fractions are sorted, the material is containerized or baled. Then the cardboard is loaded on a flatbed truck and sent to a recycler who specializes in cardboard, and the wood is sent to another operation that specializes in mulching.
E.L. Harvey & Sons uses a trommel at the beginning of its sort line. This piece of equipment does both size sorting to 1 inch minus and 12 inch minus.
“We do not preshred but may look for this option in the future,” Harvey says.
Manual sorting is an important part of the whole operation for E.L. Harvey, but not in the sizing of materials. Manual sorters are material-specific, not size-specific, Harvey explains.
“Get the metal out wherever it is,” he urges those setting up a new line. “Just be very careful with a cross-belt magnet on the overs line. For safety reasons you don’t want big pieces of metal flying around the sorters.”
SB Cox uses a tub grinder for the chipping and mulching of its wood stream. “The size is based on the need of the customer,” says Merrill Baker III, environmental manager at SB Cox. The grinder has the ability to be adjusted to different screen sizes. Producing a clean end product is paramount, he says.
“Magnets are very important to me,” Cox says. “I need to have nails and screws out of the picking line.”
Cox had problems with his magnets pulling out every piece of trash that was attached to something metallic. He says he has not had problems with the cross-belt system installed at the Richmond location.
There are two magnets on the crusher at SB Cox: one on the main belt for one type of material and another on the remaining belt for other material. “The mulcher has one head pulley magnet for primarily nails and screws, etc.,” Baker explains.
“We had a cross-belt magnet when the line was initially installed,” Kimmons says. The problem was that the magnet worked too well.
If a wood roof truss with a dangling connector plate came up the line, the magnet would detect the connector plate and send the whole truss section to the metal box. Or, if a band of nails from a nail gun was rolled into some 6-mil poly plastic sheeting, the magnet would pick up the steel nails and send the whole wad of plastic to the metal box. “So,” Kimmons says, “we took it off.”
The company still uses an electromagnet at one of its locations.
Paying attention to rate of flow as well as to type of material also are important. “You want to make sure that the screened, sized materials flow through the system equally,” Harvey says.
Initially, Harvey says the company did not size wood scrap. “We shipped it to another processer,” he says. The company now sizes wood to 4 inch minus and then screens out fines. “This is strictly due to end markets,” he explains.
At most operations, incoming material is sorted out into specific stockpiles for processing. “Foreign debris, such as metal and trash, is removed from the stockpiles,” Baker says.
Over and Under
“In our system, sorting overs and unders just makes sense,” Harvey says. It divides the material and lessens the burden depth for the sorters.
Once the system was set up, it pretty much runs to the initial design, says Harvey, minus a few seasonal adjustments. “Besides running the system faster, we really don’t have much flexibility,” Harvey says.
SB Cox runs straight 1 inch by 2 inch for both boiler customers and mulch customers. Cox says material goes primarily to the boiler market, where it fetches $16 to $17 per ton. The mulch market, which pays around $25 per ton, is more attractive but tougher to get into, he says.
“I’m lucky that I can produce a material that will go either way,” Cox says.
That “luck” is the result of a lot of experimentation he has done with screens to fit each of the markets. That meant checking numerous lots as they came out of the grinder and determining which settings best fit the end-use.
“With the destoner, you definitely want over/under,” Cox says. “On the straight line, we have fines and everything else going across the line.”
Crushed concrete is produced to specification for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for use as a highway subsurface.
“Richmond is on the fall line so it is not like demand is high or we get big money for it,” Cox says. Too much virgin stone simply is available. Instead, the company produces a spec product and barge it to the Tidewater region of Virginia, where demand is higher.
“We operate a portable Eagle concrete crusher, which is currently set up to screen two types of material,” Baker says. The crusher has the capabilities to adjust the screen to produce different sizes large or small.
Cox uses a computer program that was developed for the aggregates industry to produce the proper size product to spec. A Cat 330 pulverizer is used to processes the material into smaller sizes. Meeting that size requirement assures that the crusher can operate properly.
There are settings on the concrete crusher that control the size of material feeding into the screen. “The crusher manager determines the placement of the screens that will achieve the specifications of the customer,” Baker explains, adding that this may require several trial runs to achieve the specification requirements.
Most calculations required are based on historical data. “Crusher output is recorded on a daily basis and this data is reviewed to determine screen size and output requirements,” Baker says.
Any over/under classification at TnWaste is done at the customer’s request and it is an exception rather than the rule.
Not Making Millionaires
Margins are thin in all areas of C&D recycling. Even though Cox’ Richmond site is only 35 miles from a landfill he owns, he says he still wants to get 75 percent out of his stream. Labor is a factor, of course.
Each expert emphasized the need to serve local demand. A C&D operation in the Northeast, for instance, probably would find a good market for its residuals as daily cover. In the Richmond area, Cox is forced to treat residuals as trash even at the company’s own landfill.
Efficient operation helps, too. “Both the crusher and the mulcher have a variable speed control that controls the feeding of material,” Baker says. “Adjusting the speed down will slow production and conserve fuel.”
With tipping rates around $30 per ton, being able to sell recyclables at $20 per ton makes a big difference. “But it takes a lot of work to get the recyclables out of the stream,” Cox says. Still, he says he is happy with his investment and sees continued growth ahead. “This is not a fad,” Cox says. “Everywhere, there is increased pressure to recycle.”
The author is a freelance writer living in the Cleveland area. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|// Scrap Iron RMDAS
No. 1 Heavy Melt Steel Pricing
(Per Gross Ton for No. 1 HMS scrap)
// Stone and Aggregate Pricing
Cement consumption in the U.S. reached 78.5 million metric tons in 2012, up 8.9 percent compared with 2011. (Source: Portland Cement Association)
2013 World of Asphalt Show & Conference and AGG1 Aggregates Forum & Expo,
Association of Equipment Manufacturers,
40th NDA Annual Convention,
San Diego, Calif.,
National Demolition Association,
www.demolitionassociation.com or (215) 348-4949
International Biomass Conference & Expo,
www.biomassconference.com or 866-746-8385
C&D World 2013,
Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA),
27th Annual BioCycle West Coast Conference 2013,
CRA 23rd Annual Conference,
Myrtle Beach, S.C.,
Carolina Recycling Association,
ISRI Annual Convention & Exhibition,
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc.,
C&D World 2013,
Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA),
303-283-0640 or www.cdrecycling.org
April 29-May 1
The Building Materials Reuse Association,
Strive for Sustainability,
Bolton Landing, N.Y.,
Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations,
McCloskey International Grows in 2012
Screening and crushing equipment manufacturer McCloskey International, Peterborough, Ontario, continued its expansion in 2012, with 60 percent overall growth, a 30 percent increase in workforce and the addition of more than 136,000 square feet to its plants in Canada and Northern Ireland over the past year, the company reports.
In 2012 the Peterborough factory expanded its facility to house 42,500 square feet of new warehouse space and a shipping/receiving building and additional space for production lines adding up to 78,000 square feet. Since 2008, the company says the footprint of the Canadian factory has increased by more than 50 percent, with five new buildings and production areas added within the past year. The plant in Northern Ireland has added a 9,000-square-foot building and a 7,000-square-foot assembly building to assemble C38, I44 and I54 crushers.
In addition to its physical expansion, over the past year the company says it has continued to add international dealers across all regions. “There have been many contributors to our success, but one of the greatest is the strength of our dealer base worldwide,” says Paschal McCloskey, president and CEO of McCloskey International.
The expansion will continue into 2013 and 2014, as the Peterborough plant will install new equipment valued at more than $1.2 million to meet worldwide demand for its products. The Northern Ireland plant will add conveyor construction to its production mix. McCloskey says the additional space will allow the company to keep pace with anticipated double-digit growth for 2013-2014.
BHS Acquires Nihot
Bulk Handling Systems (BHS), based in Eugene, Ore., has acquired Nihot Recycling Technology BV, an Amsterdam-based company that designs and manufactures air sorting and separation equipment for the recycling, solid waste and other industries.
“We are very excited to welcome Nihot to the BHS family of companies,” says BHS CEO Steve Miller. “Having partnered with Nihot for a number of years, I have great respect for the company’s people and product quality. They are the best at what they do, and our new relationship will strengthen the integrated solutions that BHS offers its customers.”
“BHS and Nihot are similar in that both companies manufacture equipment to the highest levels of quality,” says Cees Duijn, director of Nihot. “Combining our technology, product offerings, global resources and expertise will enhance every function of our business. BHS has positioned itself as the premier systems provider. Nihot is excited to be joining this team and is looking forward to a prosperous partnership.”
Nihot, which was established in 1945, has more than 500 installations worldwide. Its air separation technologies can sort a wide variety of material, including municipal solid waste (MSW), fuel generated from waste, construction and demolition materials and biomass.
BHS designs, engineers, manufactures and installs sorting systems and components for the solid waste, recycling, waste-to-energy and construction and demolition industries.
Fecon Adds Komatsu Equipment Co. as Dealer
Fecon Inc., Lebanon, Ohio, has announced that regional Komatsu distributor Komatsu Equipment Co., Salt Lake City, is now its stocking dealer and service and parts provider in Utah, Wyoming and much of Nevada.
Komatsu Equipment Co.’s seven locations in the three states also will act as service facilities for all Fecon products and customers, according to the two companies.
Wastebuilt Names VP of Sales & Marketing
Wastebuilt Environmental Solutions LLC, a Chicago-based distributor and manufacturer of equipment, parts and services for the waste and recycling industry, has appointed Jerry Samson as vice president of sales and marketing.
Samson joins Wastebuilt with more than 20 years of experience in the waste industry. Prior to joining Wastebuilt, he spent 12 years in senior management roles at Waste Management Inc., Houston, and also was vice president of sales and marketing at Wastequip, Charlotte, N.C. Most recently, Samson led the sales group at Liberty Tire Recycling, Pittsburgh.
“Wastebuilt is committed to creating a senior management team that can grow our business and be relentless in customer service,” says Greg Podell, CEO of Wastebuilt. “Jerry brings a wealth of experience and leadership to our sales organization and has a successful track record in the industry.”
“I’m extremely pleased to be moving to this new, exciting role within Wastebuilt,” says Samson. “I look forward to providing our customers with outstanding service and contributing to the company’s long-term success.”
Rapid Recovery Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Rapid Recovery, a Peoria, Ariz.-based refrigerant recovery company, finished 2012 by celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Founded in 2002, the company says it has “revolutionized the way refrigerant gets recovered in the U.S.”
“The need for providing mobile EPA-certified refrigerant recovery at faster speeds then available to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors was what got us started,” says Adam Dykstra, president of Rapid Recovery. “Then identifying that using a franchise model to service them and provide national coverage is what has enabled us to expand so quickly.”
Dykstra also says Rapid Recovery’s “superior service, backed by local ownership, provides a great partnership for local contractors who need jobsite refrigerant recovery.”
Rapid Recovery now has more than 30 locations throughout the U.S. and work experience in at least 47 states, according to the company. In a news release announcing its 10th anniversary, the company says its use of “proprietary AHRI- (Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute-) certified gas powered recovery equipment, custom tools and applying 250-plus years of combined HVAC industry knowledge gives [us] a distinct speed advantage over ‘do it yourself’ options.”
“I like to say that we are really in the man-hours-savings business,” says Dykstra. “We can recover as much as 500 pounds of refrigerant in an hour, 10 times faster than your average recovery machine. From one unit to hundreds of units, from one pound to thousands of pounds of refrigerant, we’ve handled it all,” Dykstra adds.
Rapid Recovery also helps document each recovery to meet EPA requirements, Dykstra notes. “In fact, we assume the contractor’s liability for every pound of refrigerant we remove and every unit we recover. Our contractors never have to worry about an audit, as our process exceeds all [of] their needs,” he says.
“In 2011, we recovered over 1.7 billion pounds of carbon equivalent carbon dioxide. For year-to-date 2012, we recovered roughly 4.5-plus billion pounds. To put that in laymen’s terms, that is roughly the equivalent of not burning 224.5-plus million gallons of gas that would have polluted our environment,” says Dykstra.
Rapid Recovery most recently opened in Atlanta with its franchise partner Todd Beaver, prompting Dykstra to reminisce on starting the business 10 years ago.
“I remember when Rich Dykstra, Les Rhynard and I opened up Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco,” Dykstra says. “We spent each day driving our trucks out to visit contractors and supply houses—introducing ourselves, educating everyone on our capabilities and earning their work. It sounds foolish but we had a vision, some know-how and a passionate belief we were the guys to explore outsourcing recovery. We just needed to find enough customers to get paid for doing it! Sure, crazy, I know. But that’s what America is about.”
Rapid Recovery offers refrigerant abatement nationwide through its franchise network. More information on the company is at www.raprec.com.
Volvo Rents Expands California Footprint
Volvo Rents has opened a new rental center in Turlock, Calif. Volvo Rents provides small to medium-sized construction equipment to companies. With the new location, Volvo Rents now has 14 rental centers in California.
Volvo points to what it calls huge growth opportunities in the state. In a news release, Volvo says a forecast by economists at IHS Global Insight says California will lead the country in a nationwide construction recovery through 2016. According to IHS statistics, California will have the most construction dollars spent ($723 billion); the largest gain in yearly spending dollars ($76.40 billion); and the third highest annual average percentage gain (15.6 percent).
“There’s evidence showing a bit of sunshine for the construction industry that has seen too much rain,” says Mike Crouch, vice president of business development for Volvo Rents. “We couldn’t be more excited about further expanding our California footprint.”