For five days in April, the NPE2012 international plastics exposition transformed the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida into a virtual manufacturing city, generating many tons of industrial scrap in addition to packaging and other post-consumer waste. None of it, however, ended up in landfills, according to the OCCC and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which produces the triennial NPE.
figures provided to SPI by Maine Plastics, Inc., the official recycler for
NPE2012, indicate that the production scrap generated by machinery operated on
the show floor by 56 exhibitors participating in the “NPE Recycles” program
amounted to 260,208 lb. (118 metric tons). This was more than double the
125,040-lb. (57-ton) total for NPE2009, where 45 exhibitors participated.
rule set by SPI required that scrap generated during NPE2012 by exhibitors not
participating in the NPE Recycles program could not be disposed of as waste.
These exhibitors were responsible for having their process scrap delivered to
the OCCC loading dock for sorting off-site.
week also generated large quantities of post-consumer solid waste-908,620 lb.
(413 metric tons), according to the OCCC. All of this was recycled except for
157,700 lb. (72 tons) of food waste, which went to landfills.
addition to having more participants and recycling more scrap than in 2009, the
2012 NPE Recycles program collected 67 percent more scrap on a per-exhibitor
basis, noted A.J. Janosko, SPI’s director of trade show operations. “Individual
exhibitors generated more scrap during NPE2012 than in 2009 chiefly because
they had more machines operating on the show floor,” Janosko said. “The
economic and logistical advantages of exhibiting in our new venue in Orlando,
along with the improved business climate, encouraged equipment companies to
invest more in their booths, resulting in what SPI called ‘The Return of the
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