Google, Whole Foods and Toms Shoes are among the companies using Ecor — Whole Food has used Ecor for signage, Google used Ecor for wavy interior panels and Toms’ for shoe hangers. The company says it will soon announce a new customer, “a leading global brewer,” that will convert its spent brewers grains, paper and cardboard waste into a range of Ecor materials, which will then be used by the brewer and its vendors to produce their retail graphics, point of purchase displays, commercial packaging and perhaps even the 6 beer bottle boxes.
David Coscia of the Los Angeles County Public Works, Environmental Programs Division, discussed the C&D ordinance in effect for the county. The ordinance requires demolition and grading projects to attain a 50 percent diversion rate, and new construction must attain a 65 percent diversion rate. He said that in 2010 projects achieved a 93 percent recycling rate, diverting more than 53,100 tons of debris.
He also provided some waste-to-energy options for the remaining C&D material that is not diverted. Unrecyclable wood, for example, can be processed via technologies such as gasification or hydrolysis into electricity or fuels such as ethanol, he said. Unrecyclable metals can be processed via pyrolysis or plasma arc gasification into a non-hazardous metal slag. The slag could be used in the production of roofing materials, sandblasting grit, or asphalt filler.
“CTs (conversion technologies) are an integral component of Los Angeles County’s long-term diversification strategy,” said Coscia. He adds, the county has worked with a C&D recycling facility in the county, IRS Demo, South Gate, Calif., to review its waste stream and facility operations in order to make recommendations about potential technology vendors that could specifically handle C&D waste.
He directed attendees to www.socalconversion.org for more information on L.A. County’s strategy.