Tuesday, December 4, 1990

Davies Can Promotes Recycling for all of its Products

"Today, it isn’t a question of whether or not your company is going to make an environmental effort,” said Jim Woodworth, Vice President of Sales for Davies Can. “It’s a question of legislative compliance and how much you can help. For instance, we’re a can-maker, and we make steel cans, one of today’s - and yesterday’s- most environmentally compatible materials. Of course we promote steel can recycling - we’d like to see every can we produce be recycled.”

Davies is making an extensive investment to ensure that its three piece cans are made using welded side seams. And the company also recycles the steel scrap and damaged cans from its operations.

In addition, Davies manufactures plastic pails (HDPE) and promotes the recycling of this material as well as ensuring that the pigments used to color the plastic do not contain heavy metals which are considered to be environmentally unfriendly.

To convey its efforts and to encourage others to do likewise, Davies Can has placed the steel recycling logo on its trucks, and uses the logo on promotional materials as well. The company primarily supplies the paint and chemical industries.

Monday, October 29, 1990

Steel: The Recycled Material

Because recycling is a cycle, it’s hard to say where it starts or ends. For consumers, the cycle now begins in the grocery store. It is here where they acquire the packaging that they ultimately recycle. And while a person may shop with an idea of what type of product to buy, sometimes the purchase depends on availability, price, or quantity.

Today, a new factor affects consumer decision-making: Is this package recyclable?

When a community has a recycling program, we assume that residents know what packages to recycle - and consumer surveys indicate that many selectively shop for these packages. But purchases may be more environmentally responsive if shoppers’ habits are reinforced through recycling messages on packaging.

And retailers can help by promoting environmental shopping. Color coding on shelves to point out recyclable products, or periodic promotions of products in recyclable packaging can be effective. The variety of products that are canned in steel should be included in environmental awareness programs. Promoting recycling makes good environmental and
business sense. Retail locations are the first point of contact between the consumer and the package - retailers can make this contact an environmental opportunity.

Recycling messages also help when the products go home with the shopper. After a package is used, should there be any temptation to toss it away, a recycling message may redirect the package to the recycling bin.

For those areas without recycling programs, the message serves another purpose. It can motivate residents to action. With the publicity that solid waste and recycling issues receive, citizens know they are responsible for the waste they create. And they know that they need community cooperation to initiate recycling programs.

This section of The Recycling Magnet describes the efforts of environmentally conscious companies toward spreading the word about the 100% recyclable steel can, as well as other recyclable packaging. These companies, and others like them, should be encouraged to continue their efforts. Their role in recycling promotion helps build the cooperative efforts necessary to ensure the growth of recycling programs across the country.

Wednesday, October 17, 1990

Steel Recycling And Recycled Content

There are two fundamental ways to make steel today. One, through which about 60% of steel products are made - including steel cans - is the basic oxygen furnace process. Molten iron is blended with 20-30% scrap steel, resulting in products containing an average of 25% recycled steel.

The other method, the electric arc furnace process, through which about 40% of the nation’s steel is made, uses virtually 100% scrap in the steelmaking process. All products produced in electric arc furnaces therefore contain 100% recycled steel.

The steelmaking process used depends on end-product specifications, scrap economics and availability, and other productivity factors. The specifications for a steel can, for example, are met by creating steel sheet from the basic oxygen furnace process.

The length of a product’s life - regardless of the process - depends on many factors, one of which is its intended end use. A construction beam for an office building, for instance, will have a much longer life than a food can. Food cans are likely to be used more quickly, wile a construction beam remains in a kind of living inventory for recycling. Though the food can is designed for an extensive shelf life, realistically, it will not remain in active use for as ling.

Each steel product, however, should ultimately be recycled. And in fact, many will be recycled together. Some will already have 25% recycled content and some, 100%. Steel products recycled together at a mill will be of various ages, from less than one year to over 50 years. Today’s new steel products will therefore have either a 25% or 100% recycled content, depending on the steelmaking process. That content will be a blend of steel of various ages with varied initial
recycled content - steel that has already been recycled several times.

In spite of continuous recycling, the quality of the end product is maintained, emphasizing steel’s remarkable endurance and malleability. So the industry’s overall recycling rate - the highest of any material - reflects a long history of steel recycling and emphasizes the total environmental compatibility of today’s steel products.

Tuesday, October 2, 1990

How to Recycle Steel Food Cans

From soups to condiments, fruits and vegetables, pet foods, canned meats and snacks, steel cans bring food to America’s homes. When their use as containers is complete, steel cans serve as an abundant scrap resource for the steel industry.

Often referred to as “tin” cans, steel food cans are simple to recycle. They only need to be rinsed. And this may be done without wasting water, by rinsing then in left over dishwater after a washing, or by placing them in available dishwasher space. Label removal and flattening are optional for recycling, but it is suggested that labels be removed for dishwasher rinsing.

The rinsed can should be placed in the recycling bin. The lid removed to empty the contents should also be recycled. It can be tucked back into the bottom of the can, or one food can may be used to hold all lids. When this can is full, the edges should be crimped to hold the lids in, and it should be put in the recycling bin.

Steel food cans are recyclable, through any program a community selects, and the steel industry wants them back to use as scrap for making new steel products.

Sunday, September 23, 1990

Heinz Pet Products: Recycling is a Primary Solid Waste Solution

The reliable steel can has been one of the primary pet food container for years. Today is no exception, but now, companies like Heinz Pet Products are making sure consumers know that the can itself has many wonderful benefits, just like its contents.

“Until recently, packaging disposal wasn’t really an issue for consumers,” said William R. Johnson, President and CEO of Heinz Pet Products. “Packaging must protect the product and enhance use and appearance, but it has always been something to open and throw away. But today, it’s different ... and rightly so. We care about our company’s impact on the environment, just as we care about the quality of our products, so it’s important to us to let people know that our steel pet food cans are 100% recyclable.”

Over the next year, shoppers will see the steel recycling logo on the following Heinz canned pet food products: 9 Lives Cat Food, Kozy Kitten Cat Food, Amore Cat Food, Vet’s Dog Food, Skippy Premium Dog Food, and Recipe Dog Food.

In addition to these brands, the following Heinz private label pet food cans will also display the logo: Walmart, Giant Foods, and Shur Fine. Heinz Pet Products has been working with private label customers and retailers to help ensure that they, too, promote environmental responsibility by placing the recycling logo on their steel pet food cans.

“Solid waste is everyone’s problem and recycling is a primary solution. We must all direct ourselves to it,” said William R. Johnson of Heinz Pet Products.

Monday, September 10, 1990

Del Monte Foods: Recognizing the Environmental Quality of Packaging

Del Monte Foods markets some 100 different products, from canned fruits and vegetables to fruit-based beverages and snacks, to microwave-ready vegetable side dishes. About 75% of the company’s products are packaged in steel cans.

In an effort to fulfill its commitment to environmental packaging and awareness, steel cans containing Del Monte Foods will display a recycling message, as well as a notation that the cans contain recycled steel. In fact, Del Monte is placing a recycling message on all of the recyclable containers it uses.

To convey its environmental message, one phase of the company’s trade and consumer advertising focuses on the environmental compatibility of the can, as well as its functional and attractive packaging qualities.

According to A. Ewan Macdonald, President and Chief Operating Officer of Del Monte Foods, “We are responsible for manufacturing and marketing a quality product, and we want our products’ packaging to meet that quality standard. An important indicator of a package’s quality today is its environmental compatibility. We know that the steel cans containing our products are 100% recyclable; we want to be sure that our customers know.”

Recently, Del Monte Foods hosted a forum to discuss packaging and the environment. Among those attending were representatives of major food and beverage retail chains. “Recycling doesn’t begin and end with Del Monte’s efforts, or those of any other single entity,” said Jacqueline Bogard, Environmental Director of Del Monte Foods. “It is an integrated, long term effort, one that will achieve its greatest success through cooperation among all levels of the private
and public sectors. At Del Monte Foods, we’re doing our best to ensure success by helping to create the infrastructure that alleviates the solid waste problem.”

Saturday, September 1, 1990

Campbell Soup Company Helping Rhode Island Recycle

The Campbell Soup Company knows that our environment is a precious resource. It also recognizes that, today,packaging can be a precious resource when it’s recycled. That’s why Campbell joined the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Manufacturer’s Recycling Campaign, a broad-based effort to increase public awareness of recycling and of the private sector’s environmental commitment.

“Rhode Island’s OSCAR recycling program represents a strong and comprehensive effort toward reducing the area’s municipal solid waste burden,” said Jim Elsner, Corporate Vice President, Campbell Soup Company. “Our participation in the program helps to heighten consumer recycling awareness, show our commitment, and ensure that consumers understand that the steel cans in which our soups are packaged are 100% recyclable.”

One element of the campaign is a billboard program displaying a Campbell Soup can with a recycling bin, in which the steel recycling logo is prominently placed. “We like this concept,” said Campbell’s Elsner, “because it graphically demonstrates that the soup can is steel, and that it should be recycled. People recognize the soup can and the recycling bin, and we want to be sure that they also recognize the steelmark logo - not just as an indication that a package is steel, but that this package is recyclable.”

The Rhode Island awareness program encompasses shelf talkers, newspaper advertising, outdoor advertising, and other planned media exposure.

Monday, July 23, 1990

An SCRI Editorial: Curbside Recycling

By: Bill Heenen, President of the Steel Can Recycling Institute

The Steel Can Recycling Institute strongly supports curbside collection as a popular and effective method of maximizing container recycling rates. Steel cans may also be recycled “automatically” via magnetic separation out of a resource recovery plant, and through voluntary drop-off and buyback centers. While an of the recycling options will result in a
high degree of success, some communities may have all three types of activities, resulting in nearly 100% recycling rates.

All methods of recycling can be effective, but curbside recycling is leading the way of the future, with such programs already well established in cities throughout the country. Curbside programs can service an entire community in an organized and effective fashion, operating on a schedule similar to that of regular garbage collection; it’s a pattern to which most residents are accustomed and comfortable.

Curbside programs provide two primary options: commingled collection - through which consumers place all recyclables in one container; and source separated collection through which each type of recyclable material is placed in its own separate container. The SCRI favors commingles curbside collection for its many advantages.

First, it offers an efficient, relatively low cost, organized approach to reaching the citizens of a community. It allows people to recycle by simply following their routine of placing garbage at the curb. Additionally, curbside scavenging of segregated recyclables is mitigated through commingling, thereby enhancing a community’s recycling revenue.

Finally, and most important, commingled collection means that consumers enjoy the convenience of placing all their recyclables in one bin. There is no need to separate recyclables from each other. And no extra storage space is needed in the home for three or four bins. Consequently, commingled curbside programs are easier for consumers. When programs are easier, more people participate. This raises the volume of recyclables collected by a community and diverts more material from landfill.

Commingled recyclables are generally delivered to a materials recovery facility at which they are separated for processing for end markets. Steel cans offer an important advantage in these programs, due to their unique magnetic property which allows them to be automatically separated from other recyclables without hand-sorting. This reduces the labor hours needed at a processing facility, and provides a mechanism through which there is one less recyclable to be hand-sorted, making hand-sorting for other recyclables simpler.

Think about it. What is the purpose of recycling? It’s to divert all recyclables from the consumer solid waste stream and funnel them back to industry to become new products. Buyback centers are generally material-selective and less efficient than curbside programs in helping communities achieve their overall environmental goals. The landfill crisis is real. So the more products that are recycled, the better. And curbside recycling recovers more materials... with steel cans leading the way.

Friday, March 16, 1990

Specifications For Steel Can Scrap

The following is a description of general specifications for sale of steel can scrap to end markets. This description is contained in the document distributed by the SRI entitled, “Steel Can Scrap Industrial Users.”

Each steel and detinning company has its own specifications for acceptable tin coated and tin free steel can scrap. The following are general specifications for the forms normally purchased. In each category, the steel can scrap may include aluminum lids, but not nonmetallics, all-aluminum cans or other nonferrous metals except those used in can construction. For general reference, see ASTM E-702-79, ASTM #-701-80, and ASTM E-1134-86. In all cases, it is recommended that recyclers contact the end market buyers directly to determine their exact specifications.

These are end user specifications and may not apply for sale of steel cans to intermediate processors, who generally process cans to these specifications for sale to end markets.

Baled can scrap for steel companies should be 2’X2’X2’ (or 3’) in size, with a density of 75 to 80 pounds per cubic foot.

Bale integrity must be maintained during shipping and mill magnetic handling. Cans may be baled without removal of paper labels, but bales must be free of nonmetallic materials such as water, plastic, wood debris, etc.

Densified (biscuit) an scrap for steel companies should be stacked and banded into bundles, with a density of 75 to 80 ponds per cubic foot. Bundle weight is subject to negotiation.

Baled can scrap for detinning companies may be of varied dimensions. Density should be nominally 30 pounds per cubic foot, with higher density subject to negotiation. Wire or other steel banding is acceptable.

Loose cans (whole or flattened) are acceptable, subject to negotiation.

Shredded cans (loose or baled) are acceptable, subject to negotiation.

Saturday, March 3, 1990

Steel Paint Cans are Recyclable

The Steel Can Recycling Institute has traditionally promoted the recycling of steel food and beverage cans. But all steel cans are 100% recyclable, and so the SRI announces a new recycling opportunity: steel paint cans. The following is important information on steel paint can recycling for consumers, professional painters and retailers. It is imperative that this information be carefully understood and followed to safely implement effective steel paint can recycling.

The paint cans themselves are as recyclable as steel food and beverage cans. They, alone, are environmentally safe. But they must be properly prepared so that the contents are also environmentally safe.

Paint cans must be emptied. There cannot be a layer of paint at the bottom of the can. A thin skin of dried paint on the sides and bottom of the can is acceptable.

The paint inside must be dry before recycling.

Both oil-based and acrylic paint cans can be recycled. Oil-based paint cans should not be recycled in high concentrations (this applies to professionals who may recycle large volumes of cans at once).

Most participating steel mills and detinners will take paint cans if they are properly prepared as above. However, prior to implementing a comprehensive steel paint can recycling program, it is important to check with your market buyer.

How do you recycle paint cans? Check with your community drop-off centers or curbside program operators to encourage them to begin recycling steel cans.