Vlog #2 – Corporate Recycling

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With sustainability and corporate recycling top of mind for many executives today it is a topic worth exploring in-depth. What better person to review the process of corporate rubber recycling than Perpetual Rubber CEO Nic Campesi. Listen as Campesi explores some of the major issues facing the rubber industry at large when it comes to recycling rubber at scale.

Topics on the corporate recycling vlog include logistics concerns, reclamation and reuse, minimum quantity required to cost-effectively recycle bulk industrial rubber scrap, and more.

Video Transcript

Nic Campesi [00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Nic Campesi with Perpetual Rubber. 

Nic Campesi [00:00:04] Today, I’d like to take a little time to discuss corporate recycling programs and many of the challenges that are associated with them from a broad standpoint, most of the challenges that we see are, you know, very similar. 

Nic Campesi [00:00:20] A company makes a product and then they end up with a byproduct or a trim or a piece that’s unwanted. They have to get rid of it. And the same challenges over and over pop up. You know, the company has very limited real estate. Maybe, you know, you can’t get quite enough of it to justify having a container on site or a trailer. And then you have to figure out how to store 30 or 40 pallets of material to get enough to get on a truck. So beyond the quantity is just the logistics of moving it. You know, maybe you may have to have a bailer or set, you know, boxes on hand to put the material in. 

Nic Campesi [00:01:03] And another big challenge is material and compatibility, even though, you know, this is something that could be valuable to you and may not have a lot of value in the marketplace. 

Nic Campesi [00:01:14] And I always when, you know, is a rubber reclaimer, we go in and I always like to start and say, you know, how important is this to you and why? 

Nic Campesi [00:01:28] That’s the first question. Is this because you’re going to have to really look at the material that you’re generating. 

Nic Campesi [00:01:36] And and, you know, in this case, rubber, we need to really talk about it from. OK, what what’s the highest and best use? And usually, you know, we get into larger corporations. 

Nic Campesi [00:01:50] They may have a general recycler that, you know, is tasked with removing everything out and getting rid of it. And then some of those who we deal with, many of those companies. 

Nic Campesi [00:02:00] But it I always like to try to deal with the producer of the scrap themselves. 

Nic Campesi [00:02:07] And the reason why is because most rubber scrap has little to no value and the rec. And the reason why is that the reclamation costs are and the logistics to move it costs more than what it would cost to manufacture a new compound. In most cases. And so, you know, at perpetual rubber, we are able to reclaim 100 percent of all rubber. 

Nic Campesi [00:02:34] The problem with this is, is that the cost at which we do it and we have to go back to you as the company may be quite a bit more than what the landfill costs is. And that’s why I always say, you know, how important is this to you? And and I hope it’s very important. But I also understand that sometimes, you know, economics and the sustainability goals have to align because it’s a very challenging marketplace. There’s worldwide competition. And I know everyone’s trying to increase the bottom line. Now, if if if we can just step back and say, OK, what’s that highest and best use? 

Nic Campesi [00:03:16] And it’s always going to be are we able to create a circular economy with with your scrap can. Can we take what you’re producing in a scrap, reprocess it and give it back to you, whether it’s making another product? We can we could powder the rubber, give it back to you. You could put it back into your compound. We have people that manufacture different products. 

Nic Campesi [00:03:43] You know, they take one product and then maybe take the powder and then press it into another product. So that’s not always going to be the best possible scenario. 

Nic Campesi [00:03:56] Now, understand that that might not be realistic, but I always I think it’s good just to have a brainstorm session and discuss that to see. 

Nic Campesi [00:04:08] Is it a possibility? And if not now, could we make that a possibility in the future? The second thing that we would do if if we if we’re unable to to give you back your scrap or at least, you know, a portion of it would be, you know, are we able to have this product become marketable and valuable in the market place if you know, if we can reprocess it or are treated or do do whatever needed or is it able just to be wholesaled into the open market? 

Nic Campesi [00:04:45] And the case here is is typically due to the way, you know, with like a cured rubber scrap or even uncured. And we are able to work with some partially cured material as well. We’re gonna need 20 tons we have to build to fill up a container or a van truck. Anything less than that, the cost starts going up quite a bit now. It’s not that’s not an absolute hard stop, but it’s a general. You know, you’re going to have to generate 20 tons of rubber to make this worthwhile. Also, you know, mixed color material is going to have less value than, say, a solid white or a solid black. Also, typically, you know that to keep the value up, you’re going to want it to be either all cured or all uncared, partially cured and mixed. You’re starting to get into areas where the limitations of what can be done with it. Ah, ah, ah, ah. Very slim. 

Nic Campesi [00:05:44] So the bale package, neat stuff is going to be worth more than, you know, in bulk. 

Nic Campesi [00:05:51] But, you know, we do offer services for bulk containers on site where you can dump into and put in. But you know, these all that, you know, sitting a container out on on on your site, there’s a cost involved with it. And if you’re only going to fill it up every month, the cost might be too high to make sense versus if you’re going to fill it up every day may be a cost that you we’re able to absorb somewhat. So, you know, things like density durometer and are there there’s a lot of other factors generally. You know, we need rubber that’s not going to be contaminated with solvent dirt fuel and really big, you know, things that have other products in them. 

Nic Campesi [00:06:36] You know, if it’s going to be mixed with plastic fiber or metal, that’s going to significantly reduce what is able to be done. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible. It just typically means that the cost to you goes higher. 

Nic Campesi [00:06:52] And it’s typically not something that we’re able to purchase, but more we’re able to charge to reclaim and we are able to do reclamation through energy recovery. Most of the rubber that’s offered to us that doesn’t meet our standards for either internal reclamation or external wholesale to our worldwide network of customers. 

Nic Campesi [00:07:15] And it’s it’s usually as long as it’s non-hazardous doesn’t have a hazardous chemical on it, we are able to give you a quote to see if this is something that we can, instead of putting in the dirt, get out of of the landfill and put out into a product that, you know, is typically going to be used for, you know, fuel source. And I encourage you, if you have any form of rubber and you’re generating more than 20 tons in a year to reach out to us and learn more about trying to divert that from possibly what you’re doing with it now, whether it’s gone to the landfill or going to another source. 

Nic Campesi [00:08:04] And let’s see if we can add some money to your bottom line. Thanks. 

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