By Gary Thomas
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Florida turned out to be a virtual manufacturing city for five days in April 2012, and produced several tons of industrial waste that included post-consumer waste and packaging, thanks to the NPE2012 international plastics exhibition.
Ground scrap from NPE2012 exhibit floor
As per the OCCC and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, which owns and conducts the triennial NPE, all industrial scrap except the food waste generated in the NPE2012 was recycled. The NPE2012’s official recycler was Maine Plastics.
According to the final data provided by Maine Plastics to SPI, around 260,208 lb waste produced by machinery functioned on the event floor by 56 exhibitors taking part in the ‘NPE Recycles’ program, and this quantity is more than two folds the 125,040 lb waste generated in the NPE2009 that involved 45 exhibitors. Exhibitors who did not participate in the NPE Recycles program disposed their waste through the OCCC loading dock for off-site sorting because of a new rule proposed by SPI in the NPE2012.
Around 908,620 lb of post-consumer solid waste was also generated in the NPE week. None of these wastes other than 157,700 lb of food waste ended up in landfills. The Director of trade show operations at SPI informed that 67% more waste per exhibitor was collected in the 2012 NPE Recycles program. Individual exhibitors produced more waste in NPE2012 when compared to 2009, mainly due to the operation of more number of machineries on the show floor. The rejuvenated business climate and logistical and economical benefits of displaying in the OCCC persuaded equipment companies to spend more in their booths. SPI called this revival as ‘The Return of the Machines.’`