Industry On Track to Exceed 1995 Goal of 40 Percent Paper Recovery

Nigel Allen ndallen at
Mon Mar 8 18:54:15 EST 1993

Here is a press release from the American Forest & Paper Association.

 Industry On Track to Exceed 1995 Goal of 40 Percent Paper Recovery
 To: National and Business desks
 Contact: Barry Polsky of the American Forest & Paper Association,
          212-872-7294 (Monday only) or 202-463-2467

   NEW YORK, March 8 -- America's paper companies today 
announced they are on track to exceed the industry-established
goal of recovering 40 percent of all paper used in 1995 and said work
is now underway on a new initiative to be announced within the year
that will push paper recovery, recycling and reuse to even higher
levels throughout the decade.
   "Thanks to the help of millions of Americans who start the
recycling process by separating paper, we are pleased to report that
paper recycling in this country continues to grow to unprecedented
levels," said Red Cavaney, president of the American Forest & Paper
Association (AFPA).  "We look forward to a continued public-private
partnership that will lead to even further progress in paper recovery
in the years ahead."
   Three years ago, in an effort to help reduce the amount of paper
products entering the municipal solid waste stream, the industry took
the unprecedented step of establishing a public goal to recover --
for domestic recycling and export -- 40 percent of all paper used in
the United States.  Clear progress has been made in diverting paper
from disposal, Cavaney said, noting that this year -- for the first
time in the nation's history -- more paper will be recovered for
recycling than will be sent to landfills.  In 1993, 36.7 million tons
of paper are expected to be recovered, compared to an estimated
33.1 million tons that will go to landfills.
   "The fact that the country will now begin recovering more paper
than is landfilled is a significant achievement in which we can all
take pride," Cavaney said.
   The industry's recovery goal constituted a unique commitment by
U.S. paper companies to expand recycling.  "We made a promise to
lead the way, and that promise is being kept," Cavaney said.
   AFPA data show that, in 1992, 33.6 million tons, 38.5 percent of
U.S. paper consumption, were subsequently recovered for domestic
recycling or export.  The trade group said that recovery could reach
40 percent within a year and may go as high as 42 percent in 1995.
The world paper recovery average was 37 percent in 1991, the last
year for which data is available.
   In 1992, more than one of two newspapers and better than half the
corrugated boxes were recovered for recycling, both record levels.
Office paper recovery reached an estimated 31 percent last year, up
from 24 percent in 1989.
   Cavaney emphasized, however, that the success of the 40 percent
initiative should not be considered an end, but rather a beginning.
He said it proves the value of cooperative public-private
problem-solving to which America's paper companies are committed.
   "The proof of our ongoing commitment is demonstrated by the proof
of our performance," Cavaney said.  "The success we've had with the
40 percent goal -- both in expanding domestic paper recycling and in
reducing the amount of paper each American sends to landfills --
proves that, by working together, the public and private sectors
truly can get results.  The U.S. paper industry is committed to this
partnership and to continuing to improve management of paper products
after they have served their original purpose."
   In summarizing the progress made to date, Cavaney cited several
factors that contributed to faster-than-expected growth in paper
recovery and recycling during the early 1990s.
   First, he said U.S. paper manufacturers are making unprecedented
investments in manufacturing capacity that allows them to recycle
substantially more recovered paper.  He said that, between 1988 and
1995 U.S. paper companies will be investing approximately
$7.5 billion in recycling mills.  Since the goal was announced,
Cavaney said more than 100 new U.S. recycling projects are now
up-and-running, under construction or publicly announced.
   Second, Cavaney cited the success of local curb-side and office
paper recovery programs in generating usable material.  Last year,
for example, an estimated 4,370 communities had curb-side paper
collection systems in place, up from about 950 just four years
   The third factor Cavaney noted is the flexibility government is
giving manufacturers in how best to use recovered paper.  Cavaney
said the fact that the federal government and most state governments
have avoided strict mandates for recycled content in paper products
has given manufacturers the freedom to expand recycling based on
technology and sound economics.  He said such flexibility is
"absolutely essential to efficient recycling expansion."
   In delivering its report on the 40 percent goal, the industry
clearly committed itself to continued progress in paper recovery,
recycling and reuse.
   Cavaney said that AFPA has established a senior-level task force
to develop a specific initiative to "move us substantially above
40 percent paper recovery," a program which he said will strongly
emphasize continued recycling expansion but also include use of
recovered paper to produce compost and paper-derived fuel.  He said
such integrated approaches are working well in pilot communities and
that the industry is committed to pursuing them further at the local
level.  Cavaney said the project to develop this new, expanded
initiative is called "Paper Recovery: Life After 40," an explicit
expression of the industry's pledge of further progress.
   "We are entering uncharted waters, for as we move substantially
beyond 40 percent recovery, we know neither the actual quantity nor
quality of paper that can be collected," Cavaney said.  "Our
objective, however, continues to be to maximize paper recovery and to
minimize the amount of paper going to landfills.  Our first priority
is to recycle that material but, to the extent this is not
economically or technologically feasible for some paper, we want to
work hand-in-hand with local communities to find a better use for
that paper than burying it in the ground."
   Cavaney said the industry is committed to developing and
announcing the new paper recovery initiative within the year.
   NOTE: The following accompanying materials are available on
request from the American Forest & Paper Association:
   -- Chart highlighting paper recovery growth
   -- Chart comparing paper recovered vs. paper landfilled
   -- "Recovered Paper Statistical Highlights 1992"
   -- Publicly Announced Plans for Increased Use of Recovered
      Paper -- March 1993"
Nigel Allen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    ndallen at

More information about the Ag-forst mailing list