Recycling Works

The newsletter of DPPEA's Recycling Business Assistance Center

Vol. 3, No. 3, August 1997

Index this issue . . .

Nomaco, Inc - A Feedstock Conversion Success Story

Nomaco, Inc., is a manufacturer of plastic foam extrusion products that are produced from polyethylene and various co-polymers. Nomaco products include the Funnoodle - the water float toy - and padding for playgrounds, commercial pipe insulation, and various packaging solutions. Nomaco specializes in designing custom products to satisfy customer needs innovatively.

In 1994, Nomaco's production volumes were generating approximately 1 million ft3 of scrap and reject foam product per year. The company undertook an internal project to design and implement a process to recycle residual polyethylene foam into a useable raw material or to sell these recycled materials to other manufacturers that can use them in production. The project was divided into three stages: stage one, the design and purchase of waste shredding/grinding equipment; stage two, the design and construction of a bulk storage and transportation system; and stage three, the design, operation, and evaluation of the reclaim extruder and associated equipment.

The Nomaco Recycling System

The Nomaco recycling system uses three feed granulators to grind plastic foam into a fine grain. The granular material is then moved by air vacuum into 4,000-ft3 bags for storage. From the silos, the material is moved by air vacuum into a reclaim extruder where it is melted and re-densified and the plastic is repelletized. The end product, a polyethylene pellet, is either recycled back into production or loaded into lined boxes for shipping.

Recycling Saves $$$

At Nomaco, the solid waste management system in place prior to recycling cost $350,000 per year for storage, transportation, and labor. Costs for the new recycling system of $100,000 and $150,000 per year vary with the revenue generated from the sale of material. The estimated cost to implement the project was $500,000 including subsequent equipment upgrading and modification. Andrew Bodane, Nomaco's Chief Financial Officer, estimates company net yearly savings at $200,000.

R & D Pays Off

At the end of the first year of the project, Nomaco's waste stream was reduced by 20 percent. Today, virtually all the facility's polyethylene foam is recycled either directly back into Nomaco's system or marketed to producers that can use the recycled material. As a result of the efforts of its Research & Development Department to develop products that can utilize recycled materials, Nomaco is now able to reintroduce approximately 35 percent of its former foam waste back into its production system.

Nomaco Takes the Lead

"The Nomaco recycling project is positively viewed in the industry. Our aggressive recycling efforts reinforce the perception that Nomaco is not only on the cutting edge of technology but is seriously concerned with the environmental impact of that technology," said Bodane. In addition to virtually eliminating Nomaco's reliance on landfill disposal for what was formerly scrap waste, the project has also reduced the need for a large amount of storage space for waste material, thereby freeing up that space for material inventory.

For more information, contact Andrew Bodane at (919) 269-6500.

Over 90 Attend Wood Waste Workshop In Charlotte

The North Carolina Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC), in coordination with the Clean Washington Center (CWC), hosted a "Best Practices in Wood Waste Recycling" workshop in Charlotte, N.C., on April 19.

Over 90 attendees and six regional speakers discussed sources, processing, manufacturing, and end-use applications of wood waste. The facilitator for sessions on sources and direct end-use applications was Robert Brickner of Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. Eugene Davis of International Resources Unlimited, Inc. (IRU), facilitated sessions on processing and manufacturing. Introductions to each section were presented by Mark Zinniker, also of IRU.

Sources of Wood Waste

The workshop session on sources of wood waste included identifying wood waste streams and generators; strategies for segregating wood at construction, demolition, and land-clearing sites; identifying contaminants; handling hazardous contaminants; and establishing tipping fee structures.

In this session, Sally Beth Shore of Woodbin II introduced the Home Builder Recycling Project. Woodbin II is working with three custom builders in Cary, NC, to develop source separation and collection strategies for recycling construction wastes from new home sites. Frank Carpenter of Power Sources, Inc., discussed material specifications and business agreements with sources of wood waste.

Processing Wood Waste

Topics discussed in the session on processing included the use of concrete surfaces to prevent contamination, environmental permitting, and storage. A variety of wood waste handling, size reduction, and screening equipment was analyzed. Techniques for reducing wear on size reduction equipment, managing bulky wood waste, and dealing with contaminants such as metals, dirt, and grit were discussed. The issues of hazardous materials, worker safety, and quality control were addressed. Phil Aramin of the USDA Forest Service presented findings of a pallet disposal survey and discussed pallet processing methods.

Manufacturing Value-Added Products

In the manufacturing session, feedstock requirements for paper products, particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF), hardboard, thermoplastic composites, inorganic fiber composites, and densified fuel were identified. Mary Kennedy of Retech Industries discussed manufacturing value-added products from feedstock derived from wood waste.

Direct End-Use Applications

Direct end-use applications discussed included mulch, soil amendments, compost, hogged fuel, and biofilter media. David Stephenson from the Southeastern Regional Biomass Energy Program presented case studies on innovative wood fuel use. Wayne Floyd of Phoenix Recycling Corporation also discussed end-use applications of recovered wood waste materials.

The Clean Washington Center (CWC) continues to present Best Practices workshops in recyclable materials such as wood, tires, and plastics. Contact the CWC at (206) 587-5520 for information on workshops and workshop manuals.

SBTDC and RBAC Initiate Collaborative Agreement

In February 1997 the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), an inter-institutional programof the University of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources on behalf of the Recycling Business Assistance Center (RBAC) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to define the relationship and responsibilities of each organization. By recognizing their unique resources and expertise, the parties have determined that they would mutually benefit from this collaborative agreement.

Key Provisions of MOA

Under key provisions of the agreement, SBTDC and RBAC agree to participate in joint training sessions, to reciprocate assistance to referrals (including language regarding retention and transfer of project management), to make clients aware of the services provided by the partner organization, to pursue funding opportunities that could provide support to the partnership, and to designate a staff person as key liaison with the partner organization.

SBTDC's Recycling Assistance Experience

SBTDC has a background of providing assistance to recycling companies. For example, in 1993 SBTDC assisted P & R Environmental Industries in the development of its business plan and provided P & R president Gary Pratt with other business development tools. "I used the Capital Opportunities Report as a 'bible,' " said Pratt, referring to the annual SBTDC publication of financing resources. In addition to the direct assistance provided to recycling companies, SBTDC also hosted the presentation training session for the second annual Southeastern Recycling Investment Forum (see Recycling Works, November 1996). Carl Beal, Technology Development Counselor at SBTDC and key liaison to RBAC, served on both the Business Selection and the Presentation Training Session Review Committees.

For more information on SBTDC business assistance and available publications such as the Capital Opportunities Report, contact Carl Beal at (704) 548-1090.

A Look at SBTDC

The mission of the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is to support the growth and development of North Carolina's economy by encouraging entrepreneurship, assisting in the creation and expansion of small businesses, and facilitating technology development and transfer for small businesses. Below is an outline of SBTDC's services.

SBTDC Core Business Services

In-depth, confidential business counseling

  • Preparing business plans
  • Finding sources of capital
  • Identifying new markets and strategic alliances
  • Improving business systems and operations
  • Developing strategic plans
  • Managing growth opportunities
  • Staffing, compensation and human resources

Workshops, seminars, and conferences

  • Targeting specialized markets
  • Developing educational programs for associations and other business assistance resources


  • Annual Capital Opportunities Report
  • The North Carolina New Business Start-up Guide
  • Doing Business With the State of North Carolina
  • Doing Business With Local Governments
  • Annual State of Small Business

Expert referrals to public and private sector resources

Special Services

Government Procurement Assistance

  • Computer-based bid matching services
  • Identification of market opportunities
  • Introduction to federal, state, and local government purchasing systems and practices

International Business Development

  • Marketing and financial assistance services to new-to-export companies
  • State-of-North-Carolina partner with the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Small Business Administration Export Finance Program

Technology Development

  • Technology commercialization services to technology-based companies and university/college researchers
  • Formal working partnerships with leading state and statesupported technology resources

Marine Trades

  • Environmental services and assistance to marinas and marine related businesses
  • Management assistance training for marine related businesses
  • Advocacy effort to support marine industries (NC Marine Trade Association)

NC ETC Fosters Environmental Technologies Industry

The environmental technology industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. Economic development and environmental quality of life are increasingly linked as industries expand and recognize that industrial development must also be environmentally sustainable. North Carolina is in a strategic position to enter this $200-billion-a-year global market that is increasingly dominated by Japan and European countries.

A nonprofit organization, the North Carolina Environmental Technologies Consortium (NC ETC), has recently been formed to address the expanding environmental technologies industry within North Carolina. The mission of the NC ETC is to facilitate the development, manufacture, commercialization, and export of environmental technologies, systems, and services that contribute to the competitiveness and growth of North Carolina's economy.

NC ETC has gathered data about the industry in a report titled Environmental Technology Business Study. The study identified over 3,400 environmental businesses in North Carolina that generate revenues of $4.2 billion and employ more than 43,000 people. These businesses contribute more than 30 percent of the state's exports.

"The study shows that environmental technology is an extremely significant industry in North Carolina," says Bobbi Tousey, NC ETC's Executive Director. "We will be working to foster the growth of these businesses and their market opportunities, catalyze the formation of partnerships among the public and private sectors, and advance the creation of a regulatory and business climate conducive to the research and development and commercialization of environmental technologies and technology companies." Ms. Tousey was formerly manager of the Recycling Business Assistance Center.

NC ETC has already launched a number of programs and services. In addition to the Business Study, a North Carolina Environmental Technology Directory has been published. This Directory is a source of information for users, producers, or individuals interested in learning about environmental technology companies in the state. The Directory can be searched and downloaded from NC ETC's web page: http://www. epin.ies.ncsu.edu/nc-acts/envtech.htm). Also available on the web page is an executive summary of the Business Study and the NC ETC's business plan.

NC ETC is a membership organization open to those users, producers, or individuals interested in environmental technology.

For more information, contact Bobbi Tousey at (919) 513-1142.

1997 C&D Debris Grants Fund Diverse Projects

Over 21 proposals requesting a total of $1,059,833 were submitted for the 1997 Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris Grants. The North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance developed the grant cycle in order to stimulate infrastructure for the diversion of C&D debris from North Carolina landfills. A total of $120,000 had originally been made available for the grant cycle from the Solid Waste Management Trust Fund for public or private sector projects up to a maximum of $60,000 each. However, because of the number of excellent proposals, an additional $60,000 were added for a total of $180,000 in grant funds available.

Selected to receive funding were Pitt County; EJE Recycling & Disposal Inc., of Greenville; Habitat for Humanity of Wake County; and ReUse Center and Key-Block Corporation, both of Charlotte. Below is a description of each project.

The County of Pitt will add a drop-off station for gypsum wallboard. A building 40 feet square will be constructed to keep material dry and enhance its recyclability. This project will take advantage of new markets that now exist in North Carolina for gypsum wallboard. It is estimated that 1,700 tons of masterial will be diverted per year as a result of this project.

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To enhance its growing operations, EJE Recycling & Disposal in Pitt County will purchase a horizontal baler to process paper, aluminum, carpet, old corrugated cardboard (OCC), etc. With the nearest outlets for C&D in Sampson County to the southwest and Bertie County to the north of Pitt County, this project will enable EJE to become a regional facility. EJE estimates that it will divert 18,000 tons of material per year. {short description of image}
Key-Block Corporation of Charlotte will implement a recycling program in which dimensional lumber discarded at construction sites is recovered, processed, and mixed with its proprietary cement mix to manufacture building components. This project will help develop a new and innovative end product. It is estimated that this project will eventually divert 3,000 tons of material per year. {short description of image}
Habitat for Humanity will purchase equipment and hire personnel to enhance its program of reclaiming reusable and recyclable waste from the C&D waste stream. This project will implement the new concept of deconstruction, a systematic approach to tearing down buildings and maximum reclamation of materials. It is estimated that this project will divert approximately 2,500 tons of material per year. {short description of image}

Plans are underway for the 1998 Construction and Demolition Debris Grant Cycle. For further information, contact John Nelms at (919) 715-6514.

Recycling Asphalt Shingles Into Road Pavement Makes $en$e

An article in the April 1996 edition of Recycling Works dealt with the use of asphalt roofing shingles used in hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavement. Ross & Associates was selected to oversee research at the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University that evaluated the performance of HMA pavements containing post-industrial waste shingle material. Tests were conducted on mixes containing 0-percent, 5-percent, and 10-percent shingle material.

The results of the research indicate that mixes containing shingles performed as well as or better than conventional mixes. The addition of shingles added a stiffness to the pavement mix and thereby reduced rutting. The mixtures at the higher percentages indicated a need for a softer virgin asphalt to offset the additional rigidity created by the use of shingles. This rigidity factor would have to be considered in the use of old or "tear-off" shingles and may add an economic burden to the mixes containing higher percentages of used shingles.

Recycling asphalt roofing shingles into HMA pavements makes engineering sense. This is the reason the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has utilized shingles on several pilot projects in the Raleigh area and recently approved the use of 5-percent post-industrial shingle in HMA for projects in Divisions 5 and 7.

Costs/Benefit Factor

The all-important and probably crucial element to consider is economics. What are the costs and benefits of shingles in road pavement? Good news. When 5-percent shingles are used in HMA, that amount replaces about 1 percent virgin asphalt. At $152.54 per ton of asphalt cement, this replacement would reduce the cost of a ton of HMA by $1.68. Assuming a cost of $50 per ton for the processed shingle material used, it would cost $0.55 to replace this asphalt cement, a savings of $1.13 per ton of HMA. If all available reclaimed shingles were used in HMA, more than $4,000,000 could be saved each year. Recycling asphalt roofing shingles saves money and makes economic sense.

Recycling Barrier

It appears, therefore, that all the reclaimed shingles should be collected and recycled; thus, the question arises, why is this not done? In a word, asbestos. Asbestos was used in the manufacture of some roofing shingles up until the mid 1970's. No one knows for sure the quantity of asbestos shingles that exists or the hazard it may pose in North Carolina. Asphalt shingle roofs typically are replaced within 25 years, and some roofs may be re-roofed once without removal of the old shingles. Roofs placed in 1975 that contained asbestos may have been overlaid and would just now be removed. Also, some shingles containing asbestos may have been stored in warehouses for several years and, therefore, currently pose a potential hazard.

How do we address these problems? One way would be to research the extent shingles containing asbestos were used in North Carolina, followed by sampling and testing of random samples of used shingles to establish a level of risk. The rewards for recycling asphalt roofing shingles are potentially significant. Therefore, we should aggressively pursue the research, sampling, and testing activities that could make large-scale asphalt shingle recycling a reality.

For more information on the use of asphalt shingles in HMA, contact Ben Ross at (919)782-7070. For a copy of the study, contact John Nelms at (919) 715-6514 or e-mail John_Nelms @owr.ehnr.state.nc.us

October PEP Meeting To Focus on Turning Polymers Scrap Into Profits

The Polymers Extension Program will host its third annual "Industry Issues" meeting on polymer recycling at the Embassy Suites Greensboro Airport on October 2. This meeting will focus on polymer scrap turned into profits through innovative applications and new technologies.
Scott Bogue, Meeting Moderator, says there is still room on the agenda for one speaker and opportunities for sponsorship.
Please call Scott at (919) 375-4247 or fax (910) 375-3406.

North Carolina Market Prices for Recyclables

Prices current as of July 21, 1997


Western Region

Central Region

Eastern Region


Aluminum Cans, lb loose



$0.61 lb/baled

Steel Cans, gross ton baled





PETE, lb baled




HDPE, lb baled





Newsprint, ton baled




Corrugated, ton baled




Office, ton baled




Magazines, ton baled




Mixed, ton baled





Clear, ton crushed




Brown, ton crushed




Green, ton crushed




*Prices were unavailable for the period from the RBAC's contact. **Facility contacted is currently not selling magazines. Note: the prices listed above are compiled by the RBAC and are for reference only. These prices are not firm quotes. RBAC obtained pricing information from buyers within each category and developed a pricing range.

The North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance provides free, non-regulatory technical assistance and training on methods to eliminate, reduce, or recycle wastes before they become pollutants or require disposal. Telephone DPPEA at (919) 715-6500 or 800-763-0136 or e-mail nowaste@owr.ehnr.state.nc.us for assistance with issues in this Fact Sheet or any of your waste reduction concerns.

DPPEA-97-43. August 1997.