Seco Tools, LLC recently reported that it collected 15 percent more used carbide in 2014 than the previous year for its North American Carbide Recycling Program. The company received 350 returns during the year and processed a total of 144,877 pounds (65,715 kg) of used carbide tools. Since the recycling program began in 2011, Seco Tools globally has received over a half million pounds (226,796 kg) of carbide returned as grade powder.
“We are deeply committed to sustainability and being a leader in environmental initiatives,” explained Robert Keenan, president of Seco Tools, LLC. “It’s an important part of our corporate culture that is integrated throughout everything we do. Plus, our customers appreciate the opportunity this program provides to them to contribute to a cleaner, safer environment.”
Seco provides participating manufacturers with small, medium or large storage containers to place in their facilities. Small 1-pint containers hold approximately 11 pounds (5 kg) of carbide, medium 1-gallon containers hold approximately 50 pounds (23 kg), and the large 30-gallon drums accommodate approximately 2,000 pounds (910 kg). Any carbide products can be placed in the containers, including carbide inserts, solid drills, solid end mills, wear parts and PCD/PCBN-tipped inserts. Seco periodically collects the containers and pays manufacturers at the market rate for the carbide that is returned.
In addition to the environmental benefits of recycling, Seco’s Carbide Recycling Program address the growing global demand for tungsten, which comprises 75 percent of cemented carbide tools. Up to 95 percent of the material in a typical carbide insert can be reclaimed, helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of the metal cutting industry. Seco says recycling reduces related energy consumption by 35 percent and cuts CO2 emissions by 40 percent.