System Dynamics Model of Recycling Scenarios
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  • 1. System Dynamics of Recycling Scenarios Rebecca Pickens, NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise, University of Minnesota WE12 Conference – Houston, TX – November 9, 2012
  • 2. • In the US, 8% of plastics are recycled, compared with a 34% overall recycling rate (EPA 2011) • Plastic Bottles recycled at higher rates (29.2% for PET and 27.5% for HDPE) • Rigid Plastics and Film Plastics compose the majority of plastic volume available in landfills, yet have relatively low recycling rates Plastics Recycling
  • 3. • Reduced Energy Use • Reduced Global Warming & Acidification Potential • Solid Waste Diversion from Landfills • Local Economic Impacts Plastics Recycling Policies • Policy Changes: mandating collection of all plastics, extended producer responsibility laws and voluntary programs
  • 4. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics
  • 5. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics
  • 6. Commingled Plastic Prices 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 6-Jul-09 22-Jan-10 10-Aug-10 26-Feb-11 14-Sep-11 1-Apr-12 18-Oct-12 6-May-13 Price(cents/lb) Commingled (#1-#7) & Sorted Bales National Average PET National Average Natural HDPE National Average Colored HDPE National Average Commingled Data Source: Waste & Recycling News, 2012
  • 7. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Domestic Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics
  • 8. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Domestic Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics Bottle Exports: 50.2% of PET 20% of HDPE 18% of PP 82% PVC 86% LDPE
  • 9. Plastics Sent to MN Landfills – Calculated Tons Data Sources: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Hennepin County, and SAIC
  • 10. Plastics Leaving MN Materials Recovery Facilities Data Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • 11. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics
  • 12. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics
  • 13. Consumption of Plastic Goods Post-Industrial Virgin Plastic Resin Reprocessors Recycled Plastics Brokers & Contracts Landfill Recycling MRFs Waste-to-Energy International MarketsFood Packaging Plastic Disposed Waste-to-Fuel Non-Food Packaging Food-Grade Recycled Plastic Resin Sorted Plastic Bales Cleaned, Recycled Plastic Flake Mixed Plastic Bales Recycled Plastic Resin Dirty, Recycled Plastic Grind Plastic Products Converters Food-Grade Converters Post-Commercial Brand Owners Post-Consumer Recycling Plastics
  • 14. • Reduced Energy Use • Reduced Global Warming & Acidification Potential • Solid Waste Diversion from Landfills • Local Economic Impacts Plastics Recycling Policies • Policy Changes: mandating collection of all plastics, extended producer responsibility laws and voluntary programs
  • 15. Capacity Scenario Base Case – Preliminary Results 1:06 AM Thu,Sep 27, 2012 Untitled Page 1 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 Years 1: 1: 1: 2: 2: 2: 3: 3: 3: 0 1500 3000 2000 3000 4000 0 250 500 1: PP sorting capacity 2: PP MN Flake Capacity 3: PP bales expÉed from the s tate 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 1:14 AM Thu, Sep 27, 2012 Untitled 1 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 Years 15000 18000 21000 0 15000 30000 -5000 5000 15000 1: PET sorting capacity 2: rPET MN Flake Capacity 3: PET bales exÉed from the s tate 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 1:23 AM Thu, Sep 27, 2012 Untitled Page 1 0.00 3.00 6.00 9.00 12.00 Tim e 1: 1: 1: 2: 2: 2: 3: 3: 3: 10000 12500 15000 29999 30000 30001 -1 0 1 1: HDPE s orting capacity 2: HDPE MN Flake Capacity 3: HDPE bales eÉd from the state 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 23 3 3 3 PET HDPE PP
  • 16. Pricing Analysis $(150.00) $(100.00) $(50.00) $- $50.00 $100.00 $150.00 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 Bale-to-Flake Price Difference (cents/lb) Preliminary NPV Estimate (in $1,000) for a 10,000 Ton PET Flake Plant NPV (Millions of Dollars) 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 28-May-05 10-Oct-06 22-Feb-08 6-Jul-09 18-Nov-10 1-Apr-12 14-Aug-13 HDPE Flake-to-Bale Difference (cents/lb) 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 28-May-05 10-Oct-06 22-Feb-08 6-Jul-09 18-Nov-10 1-Apr-12 14-Aug-13 PET Flake-to-Bale Difference (cents/lb) Historical Prices from: Waste & Recycling News and Plastics News
  • 17. 7:25 PM Mon, Nov 05, 2012 Untitled Page 1 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 Years 1: 1: 1: 2: 2: 2: 3: 3: 3: 0 1500 3000 2000 3000 4000 0 250 500 1: PP sorting capacity 2: PP MN Flake Capacity 3: PP bales expÉed from the state 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 23 3 3 3 Capacity Scenario 2005-2012 Price Variation Example – Preliminary Results PP PET HDPE 7:02 PM Mon, Nov 05, 2012 Untitled e 1 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 Years 15000 18000 21000 0 15000 30000 -5000 5000 15000 1: PET sorting capacity 2: rPET MN Flake Capacity 3: PET bales exÉed from the s tate 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 PET
  • 18. • Increased plastics recycling could have environmental benefits • Rigid plastics and film plastics are good opportunities for increased volume diversion • Price variability and volume constraints limit the potential for new plastics processing in the state Conclusions
  • 19. Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers and American Chemistry Council. (2011). 2010 United States National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report. Lazarevic, D., Aoustin, E., Buclet, N., & Brandt, N. (2010). Plastic waste management in the context of a European recycling society: Comparing results and uncertainties in a life cycle perspective. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 55(2), 246–259. Ford, A. Modeling the Environment, 2nd Ed. (2010). Island Press. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011). Municipal Solid Waste Generation , Recycling , and Disposal in the United States : Facts and Figures for 2010. Stella Software for System Dynamics Modeling: http://www.iseesystems.com/ Vensim Software for System Dynamics Modeling: http://www.vensim.com/ Resources
  • 20. • Professor Timothy Smith, Director, NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise • Hennepin County, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program, Resource Recycling Systems, Keep America Beautiful, Aspen Research Thank you
  • 21. Questions?