Recycling Papers – Update

In the U.S.A. 5 million tons per year of paper are recycled!  Your household papers, scrap from the paper industry, and office papers are all good sources for the fibers needed to make new paper products. Back in the 90’s paper producers accelerated their usage of paper fibers, reducing the reliance on wood pulp.

Over 140,000 jobs in America are directly tied to recycling with another 615,000 jobs connected to this vital industry. The amount of consumed paper recycled has risen to…63% in 2010 and 66% in 2011, showing the success of recycling programs in both business and communities.

The mills that rely on recycled papers use less water and electricity to produce their products, and thus they create less air and water pollution during the process of making new paper. As less paper ends up in landfills, we can perhaps assume less methane gas is created.

Current challenges for the entire paper industry include the reliance on diesel trucks to collect and bring the products to the mills. Large trucks create both noise and air pollution, as well as putting excessive wear on our roadways.

Single stream collection is also posing a challenge for the recycling industry. Paper mills in the U.S. are not set up to process mixed fiber content. While single stream collection makes it easy for the users (less containers, no separating), it poses a problem once it reaches the mills. When loads contain mixed paper grades they are now exported overseas.