Steelmaker to add 600,000 tons per year melt shop In Kingman, Arizona.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based steelmaker Nucor Corp. has announced it will add a new melt shop at its bar mill in Kingman, Arizona. The anticipated $100 million melt shop will have the capacity to produce 600,000 tons of raw steel annually. Construction of the melt shop is expected to take two years, pending permit and regulatory approvals.
“This investment in a new melt shop at our Arizona bar mill is part of our strategy to grow our core steelmaking business and will help us maintain our market leadership position in steel bar production,” says Leon Topalian, president and CEO of Nucor. “Adding new melt shop capacity will help meet the growing demand for steel bar products in the Western region, which is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States.”
Steel production in the West lags behind that of other regions, according to figures kept by the Washington-based American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). In the week ending this July 30, for example, just 64,000 tons of steel were made in the AISI Western region. That lags behind 728,000 tons in its Southern region; 562,000 in the Great Lakes region; 207,000 in the Midwest region; and 166,000 in the AISI North East region.
One of the last mills in California, an electric arc furnace (EAF) mill in Rancho Cucamonga last operated by Commercial Metals Co. (CMC), was idled in late 2020, with the land sold off last year. CMC has attempted to shift some of that capacity by expanding its EAF output in Mesa, Arizona. Nucor will now try to boost Western U.S. output with the Kingman project.
In September 2021, Nucor announced its intention to build a new melt shop at one of its existing bar mills in the Western United States. Nucor Steel Kingman is the ideal location for this project because it is a rolling mill that converts steel billets into coiled wire rod and rebar but lacks a melt shop. The Kingman mill currently employs approximately 80 teammates.
Wire rod and rebar made downstream of the melt shop in Kingman are used primarily in concrete reinforcement for the construction of roads, buildings, bridges and other structures. Nucor will use scrap-fed EAF technology and refers to itself as “one of the most sustainable steel producers in the world.” Nucor says its steel bar products last year averaged 98.5 percent recycled content.
“Nucor’s new sustainable steel production facility will strengthen Arizona’s vibrant manufacturing ecosystem,” says Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Nucor’s new facility will produce quality steel and steel products while maintaining the highest safety and sustainability standards. We are grateful for Nucor’s commitment to Kingman, creating high-wage jobs while driving further economic growth in the area.”
Nucor has 15 bar mills in the U.S., with four of them focusing on special bar quality (SBQ) and wire rod products. Nucor estimates its current bar steel production capacity at approximately 9.56 million tons per year.
In addition to its EAF steelmaking operations, Nucor makes steel racking; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; precision castings; steel fasteners; metal building systems; insulated metal panels; overhead doors; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Through its Cincinnati-based David J. Joseph Co. business unit, it processes and brokers ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal.
After working at the municipal level, Rubicon has struck a deal to help Odakyu support the circular economy in Japan.
“We are thrilled to be transitioning into a long-term product partnership with Odakyu,” Rubicon CEO and Founder Nate Morris says. “We believe the Japanese market offers high growth potential to Rubicon and our mission to end waste, and this partnership is proof of the value of Rubicon’s suite of technology solutions both in the United States and around the world.”
Operating in Japan since 1948, Odakyu is committed to working collaboratively with Japanese municipalities and industry leaders to identify and solve the local and global challenges of waste. For the past three years, Rubicon’s suite of technology solutions has been helping local communities in Japan improve operational efficiency and reduce waste incineration while creating shared value. This new long-term, nationwide agreement will enable Odakyu to deploy Rubicon’s technology to promote sustainable waste solutions across Japan. In its current form, the partnership is primarily focused on helping city governments implement environmental and circular economic practices.
“After a very successful pilot of Rubicon’s technology suite in Japan, we are extremely excited to expand and extend our agreement with Odakyu,” said Rubicon Chief Operating Officer and Head of Global Expansion at Rubicon Renaud de Viel Castel says. “As the Japanese waste and recycling industry redoubles its commitment to sustainable practices, we are proud to support those efforts and look forward to a long and productive working relationship with our partners in Japan.”
Waste is a global challenge and a global opportunity. Rubicon partners with businesses and governments around the world to advance its mission through zero-waste, landfill diversion and smart city solutions. The company’s various cloud-based offerings help waste collection companies digitize their operations while equipping municipalities and businesses of all sizes to adopt a fully digital model to expand their recycling management capabilities.
“We have been working with Rubicon for several years to demonstrate the suitability of their technology for the Japanese market,” Odakyu Project Technical Director Yohei Matsuda says. “As a result, we have found not only that their technology suits the Japanese market very well, but it has exceeded our expectations, solving problems in the collection and transportation field and contributing to a circular economy on a global scale. There are high expectations from the Japanese market, and Odakyu hopes to build a sustainable society through our partnership with Rubicon and its ever-evolving technology.”
As a first initiative, the group has released an educational book to teach kids about recycling.
Scrap University, an online training program for scrap processors that is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, has launched Scrap University Kids as a new division to teach kids about recycling.
“Our goal is to teach kids that all metal is recyclable. In 30 years, we want to eliminate metal from the waste stream,” Scrap University Kids President Jessica Alexanderson says.
As a first initiative, Scrap University Kids released a book, “The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans,” that can be used as an educational tool for young kids. Alexanderson, Brad Rudover, president of Scrap University, and Shaziya Jaffer co-wrote the book.
The book teaches kids about aluminum cans and how to recycle them through the eyes of Ellie, the main character who really wants to buy a unicorn using the money she earns from recycling cans. It also provides lessons on math, financial literacy, perseverance, sharing, teamwork and donation. Alexanderson says she hopes the book will teach kids how to make an impact on the environment and to choose recyclable and reusable materials.
“We wanted to start with cans since all kids know what cans are and they are very easy to recycle if put in the correct bin,” Alexanderson says. “We want them to learn to never throw them in the garbage. We will then segue into other scrap metals in our following classes and books.”
Alexanderson says Scrap University Kids wants to encourage scrap yard operators to buy copies of this book to give to their local school districts and help to host recycling drives in those districts with the kids and their families. The book is available to purchase online at Kids.ScrapUniversity.com for $24.99.
She adds that Scrap University Kids is working on an online course called Intro to Metals that will feature characters and illustrations from “The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans” that teachers and parents can use to teach elementary school-aged kids about recycling. Additionally, the organization will release a series of children’s books to teach about other metals and to provide a better understanding of how scrap metal is recycled.
The center plans to use behavioral science to determine consumer confidence in recycling programs.
The Recycling Partnership, Washington, has launched The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to drive measurable improvement in residential recycling behavior and mobilize household participation in the circular economy.
Each year, 15 million tons of household recyclables are lost to landfills because Americans are confused about recycling. Louise Bruce, managing director for The Recycling Partnership’s new Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact, says solving that challenge requires an evidence-based approach.
“By rigorously evaluating and disseminating our findings, we are making the center a go-to hub for innovative, people-focused solutions that substantially improve recycling at every step of the consumer journey,” Bruce says. “With this, we hope to empower recycling leaders to optimize their programs and advance the circularity of the economy.”
The Recycling Partnership says it plans to leverage its network of community partnerships, national database, expertise in recycling education and track record of improving underperforming recycling programs to propel change in recycling behavior. The organization says it will measure change through both an increased capture of recyclable material and growth in household recycling participation.
According to a news release on the center from The Recycling Partnership, it will use behavioral science to gauge consumer confidence in recycling programs and identify the drivers of those beliefs. The center plans to focus on the following three areas:
The Recycling Partnership says it is working with six launch advisors, who are experts and practitioners in the fields of environmental research, behavioral science, community recycling program management and sustainability marketing to ensure that the center’s research practices meet high scientific standards. These advisors include Bridget Anderson, deputy commissioner of recycling and sustainability for the NYC Department of Sanitation; Jason Hale, director of operations of Ocean Plastics Asia for Systemiq; Steve Raabe, founder and president of OpinionWorks; Suzanne Shelton, founder, president and CEO of Shelton Group; Joseph Sherlock, applied behavioral researcher at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University; and Cynthia Shih, senior advisor at Delterra.
The Walmart Foundation and Milliken & Co. Charitable Foundation provided financial support for the new Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact.
“People are at the heart of our sustainability strategy, so supporting the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact was the right fit,” says Milliken & Co. President and CEO and Milliken & Co. Charitable Foundation board Chair Halsey Cook. “The center’s work to build consumer confidence and equitably overcome barriers to residential recycling will become a critical element of our strategy to solve the plastics end-of-life challenge.”
Julie Gehrki, vice president and chief operating officer of The Walmart Foundation, says the foundation is supporting this center in order to “identify key trends, attitudes, motivations and barriers to circularity nationally, regionally and locally.” She adds, “These insights will inform multiple tools to accelerate trust in and adoption of recycling, including a digital playbook that will be designed purposefully to improve community confidence in recycling and embed equity in circular initiatives.”
Laura Stewart replaces Darrel Collier, who retired earlier this year.
The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Charlotte, North Carolina, and its board of directors have announced that Laura Stewart has been named to the post of executive director, effective Aug. 1. She replaces outgoing Executive Director Darrel Collier, who retired in April of this year.
Founded in 1987, the NAPCOR is the trade association for the PET plastic packaging industry in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Since joining NAPCOR in 2017, Stewart served as communications director, and most recently, director of operations. Prior to joining NAPCOR, she was vice president, sales and marketing, at Placon Corp., a Madison, Wisconsin-based designer and manufacturer of stock and custom-designed plastic thermoforming and injection molded packaging. At Placon, she was instrumental in promoting the use of recycled PET in the company’s packaging lines. During her tenure with the company, she served as NAPCOR’s first Thermoform Council Chairperson, after the organization expanded its membership to include PET sheet and thermoform members in 2008.
“Laura brings our organization strong leadership and deep industry experience as we look to continue to develop and grow the PET value chain,” says Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman and chief procurement officer for Plymouth, Michigan-based Plastipak Packaging Inc., and President of Clean Tech, Plastipak’s recycling affiliate. “She has been instrumental in developing our Positively PET communications campaign and refining its target audience, which continues to further our mission of protecting and promoting the PET package.”
“I am extremely honored to be given this opportunity to lead NAPCOR,” Stewart says. “The PET industry has a great story to tell about this versatile, recyclable material that will be central as we transition to a circular economy and more sustainable future. With emerging technologies that have the potential to reform recycling infrastructure, the PET industry is uniquely positioned to grow.”