The paper recycling rate calculated by the American Forest & Paper Association is slightly different than the recycling rates calculated by EPA or by the states and local governments. AF&PA's rate includes pre-consumer paper, while EPA does not. For example, in 2001 the paper recycling rate was 48.3% according to the AF&PA, while the EPA published 44.9%.
Also, EPA and AF&PA both depend largely on surveys of manufacturers with some estimates of imported scrap paper that arrives along with imported products. State and local governments use waste composition studies that perhaps more accurately indicate paper recycling rates at least for their jurisdiction. Thus, differences in the absolute paper recycling rates of AF&PA, EPA and various governments can partly be explained by methodological differences.
However, there is no denying that the increase in AF&PA's paper recycling level over the last decade or so has been almost exclusively due to increased post-consumer paper recovery so their rate of improvement is very real (not due to methodological manipulation) and very laudable.
>>> Christine McCoy <email@example.com> 2/11/05 1:18:00 PM >>>
To be clear, the Paper Recycling rate is officially 50.3%