A moment of relief?

After the OCC market tanked in 2022, flat pricing to end the year could offer a brief reprieve from a rapid collapse.

A moment of relief?

stock.adobe.com After the OCC market tanked in 2022, flat pricing to end the year could offer a brief reprieve from a rapid collapse. Marissa McNees Analysts expected old corrugated containers (OCC) pricing to reach all-time lows after a monthslong decline, but, for now, prices remain flat and offer a moment of welcome relief in what has been a 'disastrous' year for the recovered paper grade.Fastmarkets RISI's Pulp & Paper Week for Dec.

5, 2022, reported the national average OCC price at $30 per ton. According to KeyBanc Capital Markets, Cleveland, that is only $10 more per ton than the lowest recorded OCC price ($20 per ton in 1993). In a Nov.

4, 2022, containerboard report, the advisory firm described the state of the OCC market as 'a collapse in every sense of the word.''Global goods demand has dramatically deteriorated as the economy has done the same,' KeyBanc states.The Washington-based American Forest & Paper Association reports a 9 percent decrease in total packaging paper and specialty packaging shipments for November 2022 compared with November 2021 in its monthly report released Dec. 16, 2022.RELATED: Green intentions, uncertain results'Everybody's hiding because it's such a disaster in corrugated,' Melanie Harman, executive vice president of sales at Duluth, Georgia-based Recycling Management Resources said in the fall.In December 2022, Johnny Newsome, director of global mill supply and trade sales at Sonoco, a Hartsville, South Carolina-based recycled packaging producer, told Recycling Today the dynamics of the recovered paper market have shifted from domestic mills to export markets, but tight shipping capacity and increased export costs have created what he said are 'significant issues.'Vessel backups at major U.S. ports have been reported all year, and arguably the biggest impact has been felt on the West Coast.

Container Management reports that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach recorded 21 percent drops in container volumes in November 2022 because of full warehouses, reduced orders from retailers and volume shifting from the West Coast to the East Coast.Contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union—which were hoped to be concluded by the time contracts expired in July of last year—hit a snag in the fall, and analysts say they don't expect a resolution in the near-term, further affecting supply chain networks.'I can't even tell you how critical this is,' a West Coast recovered paper trader said in the early summer of last year as contract talks were underway. 'The whole process is geared toward import. How do we get all these ships that have all these goods coming in from Asia? How do we get them off that ship and unloaded and into the warehousing system? How do we get stuff on shelves for shoppers as quickly as possible? Meanwhile, us over here in export are like, ‘Hello? Remember us?''RELATED: Report shows consumers have increased recycling, frustrated by excessive packagingMeanwhile, sorted office paper (SOP) prices have been on a slight downward trend that began in November 2022 after prices reached as high as $260 per ton in some regions.

The national average SOP price, according to Fastmarkets RISI, is $227 per ton as of December 2022. The average price in December 2021 was $166 per ton—a nearly 37 percent difference.Fastmarkets RISI reports some of the SOP price softening can be attributed to an early October fire at Resolute Forest Products' Menominee, Michigan, bleached kraft pulp mill that 'dried up tens of thousands of tons of consumption.' The fire lasted more than two weeks, and 420,000 square feet of the facility was a total loss. Resolute officials say they hope to resume operations sometime in 2023.Despite some lingering doom and gloom in the market, the end of 2022 was marked by notable merger and acquisition activity.

stock.adobe.com In the 54-page report, the company shares information about its recycling, personnel and governance accomplishments.

Clean Harbors Inc., a leading provider of environmental and industrial services throughout North America, has published its updated sustainability report. As a follow-up to its inaugural report published in 2021, this edition details the company's progress on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) journey along with recent highlights on how its sustainability efforts are affecting the environment, its customers and the communities Clean Harbors serves. 'As North America's leader in environmental services, sustainability has been a part of our DNA since Clean Harbors' founding in 1980,' Clean Harbors Chairman and CEO Alan S.

McKim says. 'Protecting the environment is central to our company's identity. That's why sustainable business practices are not only ingrained in our organization but are helping to shape our culture and continuing to drive our purpose more than four decades later.'In addition to updating investors and customers on its progress toward the 2030 goals it established in its inaugural report, highlights from this year's report in each key area include:EnvironmentalAs calculated by the Net Climate Benefit factor, the company avoided twice as much greenhouse gas emissions than it generated.In 2021, the Clean Harbors collected 226 million gallons of waste oil, recovered about 3.5 billion pounds of key materials and recycled about 16 million gallons of solvent.Clean Harbors destroyed 3.2 million pounds of ozone-depleting substances.The firm gathered more than 50 million pounds of household hazardous waste.SocialThe company is on track to deliver a Total Recordable Incident Rate of below one in 2022.The average employee tenure is 6.85 years, including more than 6,000 with tenure greater than 10 years.Clean Harbors' U.S.

Clean Harbors releases results of third-party study on PFAS Martin Suuberg will succeed Terri Goldberg as the executive director of the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association. Municipal / IC&I Personnel Following an exhaustive search, The Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) has announced it has chosen Martin Suuberg as its next executive director.The organization conducted an extensive search during which 24 candidates expressed interest in the position.

Given the current job market, candidate pools are smaller these days, but the NEWMOA pool was quite strong, NEWMOA says.The board's search consultant conducted interviews with 10 applicants, and, of those, the board's search committee interviewed five. Ultimately, three advanced to the final round. The full Board interviewed the finalists and made their selection.'All of the finalists were extremely strong candidates, and it is a tribute to the professionalism, expertise and strength of this organization that we were able to attract candidates of such outstanding abilities,' says Michael Wimsatt, a member of the search committee and waste management division director with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.In Suuberg, the NEWMOA says it has found a leader who, in addition to possessing those abilities, also is intimately familiar with the organization, the work it does and the community it serves.

Experts discuss pros and cons of recycled content mandatesHis passion for environmental protection and public health, his vision for the organization and his commitment to reducing emerging contaminants, promoting environmental justice and taking aggressive climate action made a deep impression on the search committee and the board. 'NEWMOA is a regional forum for discussing and developing solutions to environmental issues," Suuberg says.

'I am eager to join the NEWMOA team and build on the important work it is doing with the states and their partners.' He will begin in his new role on Jan. 23, and until that time will be working with outgoing Executive Director Terri Goldberg to ensure a smooth transition. 'Given Martin's familiarity with the organization, we are confident that the transition will be positive, smooth and productive,' Wimsatt says.

'This process has yet again demonstrated what a terrific organization NEWMOA is. From the conversations our search consultant had with so many … during the discovery phase to the thoughtful and insightful questions asked during the interviews, NEWMOA's membership and staff continually demonstrate their expertise and dedication to our incredibly important mission.' Image courtesy of Crowh Holdings Inc. The fourth annual list recognizes organizations in the United States with outstanding efforts relating to corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

Crown Holdings Inc., headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania, has been named among America's Most Responsible Companies 2023 by Newsweek in partnership with global research and data firm Statista. The fourth-annual list recognizes organizations in the United States for their efforts related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Crown Holdings, through its subsidiaries, is a leading global supplier of rigid packaging products, including aluminum cans, to consumer marketing companies.

It also supplies transit and protective packaging products, equipment and services to a broad range of end markets. Drawing from an initial pool of 2,000 eligible companies, this year's final list includes 500 companies from 14 different industries, with Newsweek noting that the greatest number of finalists belong to the materials and chemicals sector. This recognition emphasizes Crown's own commitments to its workforce and operational impact, as well as the manufacturing industry's progress and leadership around larger sustainability goals.The 2023 list of America's Most Responsible Companies was compiled based on publicly available key performance indicators (KPIs) derived from corporate social responsibility and sustainability reports.

The more than 30 KPIs used for the assessment focused on company performance in the areas of environment, social and corporate governance. Additionally, an independent survey was conducted to evaluate companies' reputations by asking U.S. residents about their perceptions of the company's activities.Following this review, Crown says it scored within the top 15 percent in the corporate governance category, reflecting high marks for disclosure and transparency, including compliance and anti-corruption guidelines and active participation in the UN Global Compact. It was also recognized for its economic performance, which includes stability and innovation capacity.

"We are honored by this recognition from Newsweek and to be distinguished alongside many prestigious companies with a dedication to corporate stewardship," says John Rost, Ph.D., vice president, global sustainability and regulatory affairs at Crown. "Sustainability is at the heart of all we do, and we continue to push our performance to the next level. This ranking emphasizes the critical importance of enacting clear and pointed objectives for employee safety, a healthy working environment and sustainability.

We continue to accelerate our Company progress through steadfast dedication and consistent innovation, and we look forward to the next steps that drive us toward our goals."Since 2020, Crown says it has placed increased emphasis on its sustainability strategy and key environmental, social and governance actions through its comprehensive Twentyby30 program. The program includes 20 measurable sustainability goals to be completed by or before the end of 2030. These goals fall under five pillars of action: Climate Action, Resource Efficiency, Optimum Circularity, Working Together and Never Compromise.

Within those pillars, areas of focus include emissions reductions, product life cycle and recyclability to slow the pace of climate change; transitioning to renewable electricity; prioritizing water preservation; enhancing employee and product safety; and increasing workforce diversity. The two new rate reasonableness procedures will help shippers and railroads to resolve smaller rate disputes. Transportation Legislation & Regulations The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has adopted two rules establishing new rate reasonableness procedures that provide two streamlined approaches for shippers and railroads to resolve smaller rate disputes.According to a news release from the STB, the board has established a voluntary arbitration program and a new procedure for rate challenges, known as final offer rate review (FORR).

STB says either rate review mechanism will improve shippers' access to rate reasonableness reviews for smaller rate disputes. The STB has provided that the voluntary arbitrat