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[greenyes] Single Stream Report
Single stream recycling collection is more and more popular in the U.S. but
paper manufacturers are increasingly up-in-arms about it, with some
threatening to drop recycling and return to virgin papermaking. Conservatree
has been surveying representatives of all parts of the recycling cycle about
single stream for the past year and has published our report at

We see that it provides many benefits to local governments and could give us
the increased fiber tonnage we need to increase the environmental
sustainability of paper manufacturing - but it could also derail types of
recycled paper altogether and set paper recycling up for a crash down the
road. Obviously, we want to maximize the benefits and eliminate the dangers!
But over and over we heard comments that seemed to suggest that many people
have lost sight of the environmental underpinnings of recycling, focusing
only on short-sighted "diversion" (in California, legislatively driven).

We think that single stream opens up the need to re-think what we want from
recycling, and consider the health of the WHOLE recycling cycle, where it's
going, and  how well it's serving our expectations. We were especially
concerned to find a loss of focus on the fact that recycling is an
interdependent cycle - and the success of each sector is dependent on the
success of each other part of the cycle. Our hope is that current single
stream collection systems can be adjusted to deliver their promised benefits
without the detriments. We offer this study as part of the discussion that
we think is needed to do that.

Susan Kinsella

Susan Kinsella
Executive Director
100 Second Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone - 415/721-4230
Fax - 509/756-6987
E-mail - paper@no.address
Website -

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