As we stand on the brink of 2024, the recycling industry continues to improve the world with technological advances, changing laws, and a global call for sustainable practices. Here’s an in-depth look at how trends are shaping the recycling process and the ways Vulcan Wire is helping.
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Ongoing Recycling Trends in 2024
The trend toward a circular economy isn’t new, but its momentum is growing stronger each year. The global circular economy revenue from secondhand, rental, and refurbished goods was estimated at $339 billion in 2022 and is expected to double by 2026.
Vulcan helps by giving companies the ability to bale materials so they can be more easily integrated into circular processes, like remanufacturing.
Chemical Recycling & Waste-to-Energy
Chemical recycling and waste-to-energy are both relatively new and emerging technologies and will be an exciting addition for companies looking to expand their recycling efforts. Chemical recycling refers to the process of converting waste plastic into its basic monomers or other valuable chemicals, which can then be used to produce new plastics or other products.
Single Use Plastics
The fight against single-use plastics is intensifying, with many regions and companies taking a stand. As more laws and regulations come about, this type of recycling will become increasingly important. Baling can compact SUP waste by up to 90%, making it easier and more efficient to transport and store.
E-waste, or electronic waste, refers to discarded electronic devices and components, such as computers, TVs, smartphones, and batteries. This category of waste is growing rapidly due to the short lifecycle of electronic products and rapid technological advancements.
E-waste contains valuable materials like gold, silver, copper, and rare earth metals, as well as hazardous substances like lead and mercury. Proper e-waste recycling ensures these valuable materials are recovered and reused while also preventing environmental contamination. E-waste can be bulky and awkward to store and transport, especially disassembled components. Baling compresses the materials, saving space in storage facilities and trucks. Vulcan is excited to continue to help with e-waste efforts in 2024.
Consumers are considering sustainability more and more and opting for companies that are aware of their impact on the environment and align with their values. Vulcan is responding by ensuring our practices and offerings meet the evolving needs of companies to fulfill this demand.
New Recycling Laws and Regulations in 2024
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Laws
These laws are becoming more prevalent across various states, compelling producers to be responsible for the entire lifecycle of their products.
For businesses in states like California, Colorado, and Oregon, this means reevaluating their production and waste management strategies to ensure compliance. Vulcan Wire’s products are designed with these laws in mind, helping businesses adapt to regulations aimed at reducing landfill waste and promoting recycling.
Electronic and Organic Waste Recycling Regulations
New laws are targeting specific waste streams. For instance, regulations around the disposal of electronic waste and the mandatory composting laws in states like California and Washington are shaping how businesses manage waste.
Vulcan Wire’s products are essential in helping businesses meet these specific regulatory demands, ensuring that electronic and organic wastes are efficiently collected, bundled, and recycled.
Zero Waste Initiatives
Cities and states are setting ambitious targets to divert waste from landfills. California, for example, adopted AB 901 in 2015, aiming to divert 90% of solid waste from landfills by 2024. Businesses are increasingly required to report their waste diversion rates and work towards zero waste goals. Vulcan Wire’s products aid in the efficient separation and recycling of materials, a key component in achieving zero waste.
With all these changes in recycling, there are unique challenges for every industry we serve. Here’s how these shifts are playing out across a few different sectors we work with and how Vulcan Wire is right there with you. Of course, this isn’t every industry we serve:
- Corrugators: The cardboard and kraft paper industry provides a low-cost, all-purpose packaging material that is widely used due to the materials’ sustainability and durability. Each corrugator has 1-2 balers to catch all the good quality double-lined kraft (DLK) and recycle as much as 60-100 tons per month.
- Builders: This industry is very conscious of recycling, and new innovations constantly emerge, like the way concrete is composed, for example. Vulcan continues to serve this industry by staying on the pulse of what is happening and providing solutions with our baling products.
- Grocers & Big Box Stores: The battle against single-use plastics and the push for sustainable packaging are reflections of changing consumer values. As grocers adapt to these shifts, Vulcan is here to provide solutions that not only comply with new sustainability laws but also resonate with your eco-conscious customers.
- Government Agencies: Navigating the maze of new regulations like EPR laws and zero-waste initiatives can be daunting. Vulcan is actively monitoring these laws, so our offerings help you meet these challenges head-on, ensuring that your operations are as efficient and compliant as they can be.
- Hardware Stores: Vulcan understands the rise in e-waste is reshaping your landscape. Our role is to equip you with the tools to stay ahead of this.
A Sustainable Future with Vulcan Wire
Remaining sustainable in the future is complex thanks to the many laws and recycling methods companies need to stay on top of. But at Vulcan Wire, we’re here to help you meet those goals with quality baling products. Our goal isn’t just to offer products that help you recycle but to align with your goal to reduce the pollution companies inevitably create.