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PLASTICS INDUSTRY STUDIES RECLAMATION OF COMPUTERS AND BUSINESS EQUIPMENT

 SAN FRANCISCO, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Plastics Council's (APC) Computers and Business Equipment (C & BE) Group today announced a major program to investigate the reclamation of plastics from computers and business equipment. The study, designed to demonstrate recycling technology, economics and options for the recovery and recycling of plastics from end-of-life computers and business equipment enclosures, involves the unique collaboration between members of APC's C & BE Group that includes plastic resin producers as well as computer and business equipment original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The initial phase of the program began in January 1993, and will be completed this fall.
 According to Terry Mohoruk, chairman of APC's C & BE Group and manager of vinyl recycling for The Geon Company, a subsidiary of The BFGoorich Company, the study focuses on the recycling of plastics from equipment components provided by Apple, AT&T, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Xerox.
 The collected parts, Mohoruk said, will go through various methods of sorting, grinding, washing, material separation and drying before the recovered plastics are molded into test pieces and the clean flake is delivered to resin producers for compounding and additional testing. He said APC is concentrating on plastic parts that are commingled with other materials, such as metals, to advance technology that effectively segregates the plastics for recycling. "A key program element is to advance the best size reduction methodologies for the liberation of plastic from the balance of commingled materials. To accomplish this, we are evaluating a variety of size reduction techniques, such as shredders, hammer mills and granulators. Our goal is to avoid costly and inefficient manual disassembly of components."
 Applying and Adopting Industry Technology
 Throughout its study, APC is applying and adopting technologies from other material processing industries including agriculture, mining and packaged goods, for purposes of material segregation and purification. Mohoruk said APC already has learned that size reduction by shredding or hammer milling "liberates" much of the foreign material from plastics. Further separation can be achieved by a variety of separation techniques like magnetic removal of ferrous components; eddy current removal of non-ferrous metals; electrostatic metal removal; mineral jigs; air classifiers and gravity tables.
 APC will study processing costs, and evaluate product properties in comparison to virgin resin, and generate a statistical data base to improve "our ability to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with C & BE plastics recovery activities," according to Mohoruk.
 The C & BE Group study also includes establishing and coordinating a testing protocol with Underwriters Laboratories, which is the critical approval agency when incorporating recycled plastics.
 Design Guide Development
 Mohoruk also announced a second C & BE Group project to develop a design guide that provides engineers with concepts and information to assist them in the development of future generations of equipment to be specifically designed for recycling. According to Mohoruk, the group has also made "strides in getting major industry representatives to agree on internationally acceptable labeling practices for plastic parts."
 The design guide study, said Mohoruk, will establish an empirical data base to assist in future product design and in the development of technology and systems to maximize the long-term environmental compatibility of plastics used in computers and business equipment.
 The American Plastics Council is a joint initiative with The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (SPI), representing 26 resin producers. SPI is a trade organization of more than 2,200 members representing all segments of the plastics industry in the United States.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Bailey Condrey of APC, 202-371-5325; or Marv Gellman of Gellman Public Relations Co., Inc., 914-354-3346, for American Plastics Council/


CO: American Plastics Council ST: California IN: SU:

WB-OS -- NY041 -- 1930 04/28/93 11:09 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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