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Re: [GreenYes]British Single-Source Collection System
How are you?  Thought I would respond to your comment since we have gone from a source separated weekly to a single stream biweekly program in San Diego two years ago and now have some comparison data (we currently have 216,000 homes in the program).  We have found that the paper can still be marketed as the highest grade..i.e. ONP is sold as #8 and our mixed is not downgraded.  I have been in the processing facilities that handle our stream on several occassions and the paper is coming in clean.  Our contamination/ processing residue is low (around 7%) and that probably helps.  I know some other single stream programs have up to 20% contamination and that could pose more of problem.  

When we were evaluating a single stream operation back in 1995-96 we were told by the paper companies that paper quality would be a big problem for them as you mentioned.  I think a key element is having a strong quality control program that feeds back to the residents so that the stream is kept clean.  We do that with education coupled with enforcement from our quality control team - they are able to pull the bin from those residents that refuse to clean up their recyclables.

All the best

>>> "Susan Kinsella" <> 07/23/01 09:16PM >>>
My main concern is how much of the materials collected in an
everything-collected-together system can be used for "highest and best"
recycling uses. For example, some reps from printing and writing paper mills
are starting to say that they're having trouble getting wastepaper clean
enough to use for their products. This, in turn, limits their willingness to
consider expanding their recycled paper lines or increasing postconsumer
contents. I think that a part of the problem is the move to more
single-source recycling collection systems, where the wastepaper gets mixed
with bottles, cans, and food. This drastically limits how much clean
wastepaper can be pulled out. A much larger percentage (than in
source-separated systems) ends up only able to be used for low-end products
(e.g. animal bedding, shingles) or those which will not be recycled after
use (e.g.  tissue paper, although a lot is not even clean enough for that).
Countries other than the U.S. and Canada do not track and focus on
postconsumer content, relying more on mill scraps, but postconsumer is an
essential  category here.

While one could argue that it's good to recycle the wastepaper into
SOMETHING, it's short-sighted if we're not organizing our systems to use
materials for the greatest resource conservation technically and
economically feasible. In the case of printing and writing paper, we have
the opportunity to reuse fibers over and over, providing resource savings
many times over from the same fibers, but they have to be very clean and
separated from newsprint and other unacceptable paper sources. So if we
collect wastepaper in ways that produce so much contamination that the
deinking mills cannot take it, thereby precluding use of recycled materials
in the most resource-conserving products, we're failing our zero waste

You might be able to explain to me how a system that dumps everything
together could still prevent contamination of most of the paper, but I don't
see how it could be done.

Susan Kinsella
Executive Director
100 Second Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118

Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 07:40:36 EDT
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] CALLS NEEDED:  Stop Tax Credits for Garbage Energy

The audit demonstrates that the system
effectively mechanically separates 90% of the MSW delivered from the
(household recycling would not be required) thereby insuring greater
compliance at the household and only one pick up is required. The outputs
from the system are recyclables and organic waste.

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