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RE: [greenyes] Single Stream
- Subject: RE: [greenyes] Single Stream
- From: "Susan Hubbard" <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 15:55:34 -0500
SP will switch to virgin, CEO threatens
By Ken McEntee
Unless the trend of declining quality of old newspaper (ONP) turns
around, SPNewsprint will consider switching its 100 percent recycled
newsprint mill to run onvirgin pulp, said Dr .James Burke, the company's
CEO. Speaking at this month's Paper Week conference about the decline of
fiber quality, Burke said he is concerned about the diminished quality
fiber, particularly with the growth of single- stream collection
"We are considering taking drastic action," Burke said. "We are
considering replacing recycling capacity with virgin fiber at Dublin,
the most successful recycling mill in the world."
Burke said SP also is looking into forming a procurement company that
would also enter into the carting business in some markets.
"The idea is if you don't like the way it is being done, do it
yourself," Burke said.
Decline of fiber quality has been an ongoing problem for mills.
Newsprint mills have taken a particular hit due to the amount of
material they get from curbside collections. Last fall, Canadian ONP
buyers issued a new policy aimed at getting tough with suppliers who
don't meet quality standards.
Mark Starnes, vice president of recycling for Weyerhaeuser, who
moderated a Paper Week session on fiber quality, said the issue is
becoming a popular discussion topic.
"Over the past three days I've found myself involved in quite a few
impromptu discussions over this issue,"Starnes said. "Depending on who
you talk to this is either the greatest or worst thing that ever
happened. Many say it will decrease quality and increase costs. Others
say it will decrease costs and the quality can be controlled."
Burke, who spoke at the session, left no doubt about his opinion of
"I am very concerned about the direction I see the quality of recycled
fiber going," Burke said. "Waste haulers are primarily concerned about
driving down their costs. Municipalities are concerned with increasing
diversion rates. Both of these efforts will kill recycling if they
continue to run unabated as they are."
Burke called municipal diversion rates the "biggest and most damaging
Where municipalities calculate diversion rates by dividing diverted
material by the total amount of trash generated, he said much of the
material counted as "diverted" end up in landfills anyhow
after contaminants are sorted out of end- users' feedstocks.
"With mixed waste, there is diverted waste in the material that has to
be pulled out once again," he said. "The net diversion rate is actually
much less than the phony municipal diversion rate. When you reject
contaminants, by the nature of the system, you also have to undergo the
costs of rejecting some good usable fiber as well. Technology is not
available today either in dry processing or wet processing to produce
acceptable pulp for quality paper from a very contaminated recovered
The chief culprit in the system is glass. Not only is glass a
contaminant for the
paper making process, it is also dangerous to workers and expensive to
dispose of once it is pulled out of the mills' feed-stock.
"Some recyclables are not recyclable," Burke said. "I take the example
of glass. The paper industry cannot pick up the costs of other
Further, he said, suppliers of sub par quality fiber should not rely on
the export market to dump off their material.
"Don't fool yourself into thinking that the Chinese will take your
garbage," Burke said. "China has begun to pare down tariffs on newsprint
imports and imports are actually beginning to increase. The main reason
is poor domestic quality. Surprise: The Chinese want quality newsprint
Eventually they want to export their newsprint, but they have quality
issues to address.
Burke said SP's Dublin machine is the most productive newsprint machine
in the world. A machine at SP's Newberg, Ore. mill, which averages about
40 per-cent recycled feedstock, is the most effi-cient in the world, he
said. Overall, SP produces 1.1 million tons of newsprint annually. The
company also operates 28 recycling centers that primarily feed the
On the discussion panel with Burke was Steve Ragiel, vice president of
Waste Management's Recycle America Alliance (RAA), the recently formed
recycling com-pany. Ragiel said the company, which manages more than 6.5
million tons of paper annually, some through single-sort
systems, plans to meet with consuming mills this summer to talk about
RAA has 80 recycling plants in the U.S., including 10 single
stream-based plants. Ragiel said RAA, which was formed in January and is
owned 90 percent by Waste Management and 10 percent by the Peltz Group,
is now involved in a 90-day internal review of fiber quality at its
facilities. Mills will be invited to join the review after the 90-day
Ragiel said the company is looking into improved optical sorting systems
to re-move glass and plastics from the fiber stream.
Robin Weiner, president of the Insti-tute of Scrap Recycling Industries
(ISRI), parent of the Paper Stock Industries Chapter (PSI) said PSI and
the American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA) have begun a joint
dialogue to address quality issues. PSI, which represents scrap paper
suppliers and end users, publishes scrap paper grade standards that have
been adopted for trade internationally.
Weiner acknowledged the projected worldwide fiber shortage and noted
that there is "a need to grow the amount of recovered fiber without
impacting the quality of the fiber. The health of the mills is important
to the health of our industry."
Remy Esquenet, AFPA's director of fiber recovery and utilization, said
research has shown poor quality fiber coming from single-stream
"We don't say single stream can't produce quality fiber but on average
they don't," he said.
Research done for AFPA at 18 paper mills showed that single stream
collection yields 66 to 100 percent more contaminants in fiber than in
dual stream collections.
"On the ISRI specifications the prohibitives for No. 8 news is supposed
to be zero," he said. "The stuff that is being sold as No. 7 or No. 8
news doesn't even meet the standards for No. 6."
Meanwhile, Lee Barrett, of the Metro region that includes that city of
Portland, Ore., said Burke has a point about "phony" diversion rates,
acknowledging that recyclables diverted from the waste stream often
container contaminants that are later re-diverted into disposal sites.
He said the region established a committee to look at fiber quality
issues after finding higher-than-acceptable contamination in
single-stream collections. Two area mills are represented on the
624 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
From: George Dreckmann [mailto:GDRECKMANN@no.address]
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2003 3:12 PM
To: Terri_Steen@no.address; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Single Stream
From a municipal government perspective, anything we can do to lower the
cost of the program without impacting its effectiveness is important.
Madison is just about to put our an RFP for MRF services that asks
potential vendors to submit proposals for processing materials form both
our current dual stream collection and from a single stream.
Two years ago, I never thought I'd be putting out and RFP that allowed a
single stream option. However, after touring the Resource Management
MRF in suburban Chicago I came away convinced that single stream can be
done correctly. Their residual rates are similar to our current MRF
5-7%. I don't know what their downstream rate is, but they apparently
have no problem marketing material and are able to pay $6-10 per ton FOB
their dock for unsorted single stream material.
I think a key to making the decision on single stream is good
inspections of the facilities and their records on recovery and residue.
Should Resource Management win our contract, they will be subject to a
very rigorous inspection before we award a contract.
We see single stream offering the following savings:
A single truck type for both refuse and recycling collection. This will
reduce the size of our fleet slightly since we won't need as many
spares. The recycling trucks will be painted bright green as they are
now and the trash trucks brown. when we use a trash truck on recycling
it will be outfitted with a large banner to let folks know it is working
as a recycler that day.
The potential for mechanical collection. Currently, recycling is very
hard to collect mechanically. Having only one cart would allow us to
move in this direction in 5-7 years. We are going to go in this
direction for refuse to improve efficiency and cut injuries the same
savings will hold true for recycling.
Most new collection vehicles are being designed with mechanical
collection and have higher loading heights than older trucks. These
higher loading heights contribute to more injuries.
I'm not convinced that a single stream system will lead to more material
being set out. Since we plan to add materials under our new contract,
we won't be able to test this idea.
Regarding glass..... I have no intention of dropping it from my
program, even though we currently handle almost 1,000 tons of mixed
broken glass a year. Mixed broken costs us over $70,000 per year in
tipping fees and hauling charges. Overall, glass costs us $292,000 in
tipping fees and hauling in 2002 after deducting the scant revenue it
generates. (My avoided landfill fees were just over $100,000 so my net
cost was $192,000 last year.)
I think we know that the best way to collect glass is to have it source
separated and for most of us that would mean drop off/depot collection.
In our case, I know the cost of managing drop off sites for glass and
getting that material picked up and hauled would be about the same as my
curbside costs, so its not on my plate.
We cannot afford to ignore the complaints of newspaper mills when it
comes to quality. However, I struggle with some mills' attitude. For
example, remember the great days of $200 per ton paper in 1995? The
mills took anything that looked like newspaper. Only when the price
fell back down to $10 did they start to reject loads. Quality matters,
but only when it suits them.
I think that mills, SP not withstanding, are willing to work with single
stream programs and find a way to make the system work. We may have to
accept lower revenue as a result and that has to be factored into our
decision to shift to single stream.
Bottom line, its not the system but the operator.
There is my oh 35 or 40 cents worth.
George P. Dreckmann
City of Madison, WI
608-267-2626 FAX 608-267-1120
"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds."
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