Recycling Paper: harder than you think

Old 08-21-08, 12:10 PM
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Recycling Paper: harder than you think

I work in a research medical field, and we are all extremely wasteful in paper here. I need to print out abstracts, which my boss then marks up, which I then go on the computer, make the corrections, and then print out the new draft, and the vicious cycle repeats itself. Don't get me into other ways we waste paper.

Instead of throwing out the paper, I keep it all in a giant tub. It has accumulated in the short six months I've been here to an overflowing mass. I thought like plastic bottles and aluminum cans, I can just go to any grocery store and recycle them away. Nope, not so. I tried calling around my area, and the five or so companies wouldn't accept my tub of paper. They mentioned that they only take paper from companies that they have a partnership with. However, my company is very small. . .only about 12 that work in my office, so even though we may not use as much paper as a big corporation, it still adds up!

Any suggestions as what I can do with my tub of paper?
Old 08-21-08, 12:21 PM
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Doesn't L.A. have city recycling centers? My sister-in-law has a recycle bin outside her home in Downey.
Old 09-17-08, 08:46 PM
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same situation, different circumstances

I work at a small print house in southern NJ. we work out of a leased space where the landlord provides trash/cardboard bins.
I think on a weekly basis we cart out about 6 full sized trashcans full of paper from the cutting machine (scraps). This is on top of the office paper trash that goes out. Also, old catalogs from all of our ad-specialty product vendors goes out. I know my boss wont use someone that will charge to pick-up recycling paper. The town we are in doesn't give recycling or trash pick up to the commercial district (as far as I know).

Now the thing is, I know that schools and non-profits and whatnot can get PaperRetriever dumpsters, and then get paid PER full dumpster. So i'd think that I'd be able to AT LEAST get someone to pick up our paper once a month for free to recycle. Not the case. And all the companies i've contacted wont even pick up unless we have above a certain weight per week (something like 6 tons). I'd drive at least the office paper/catalogs to a Retriever dumpster, but I dont drive anymore, and that is a lot of weight to carry on a road bike.

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can get this paper recycled? (please note that nobody I work with thinks past themselves. I had to put a recycle bin in the kitchen so everyone would drop in their bottles, and then I carry them home on my back to recycle with stuff from home. I also have to pick plastic bags out of the trash to recycle at the grocery store that is a block away, even though everyone at work walks into that grocery store every day anyway.)

sorry for the ramble, but this is a lot of paper that goes to a landfill/dump
Old 10-01-08, 06:09 AM
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Recycling is one of the innovative modern method of preservation of plants. Recycling of the sugarcane leftover to make papers, wastes papers in offices can be recycled even the plastics that degrades the environment can be collected and recycled to make plastic products.

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 10-01-08 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Removed commercial link.
Old 10-13-08, 08:26 AM
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I think a lot of people believe the paper retriever dumpsters can only be used for newspaper recycling. This might have been true when they first came out, but now you can recycle most any paper in them. They even say on the side that you can recycle office paper and mail. If your company is too small to have a commercial outfit pick up, this may be your best solution. But you do still need to have a method to get the paper to the dumpster.

I see a niche market here that isn't being served. Anyone interested in a start-up business?

You say the non-profits won't pick up; presumably this is because they depend on volunteers and can't guarantee a volunteer will always be available to service a business on a regular schedule. So what you need is a volunteer who is bound by honor to do so: How about a Boy Scout or Girl Scout trying to get a merit badge in ecology (or whatever recycling falls under)? Try contacting a troop in your area, explain (to the scoutmaster) why you can't do it yourself, and make the offer. If they like it, they can have one of the scouts do the transfer for you, and when that scout's badge is earned, another can take up from there. Note that this doesn't mean you need to talk them into getting a dumpster; they can use an existing one if they want to. And if one troop says no, there are always others.
Old 10-16-08, 05:21 PM
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New Jersey Paper Recycling Association is located in Clinton, NJ. Perhaps they have some suggestions for you.
Old 10-28-08, 01:01 AM
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I live in Vancouver, BC and I'm shocked to hear that getting rid of computer paper is difficult! I've been to a recycling facility here and the staff was going through huge piles of paper and picking out the computer paper by hand. It's very high quality paper and valuable as a commodity.

Of the two small businesses I'm familiar with, there were two different option used.

1) The professional consulting company I worked for paid a recycling company to deal with the paper waste. The printed material was confidential and the recycling company guaranteed the paper was shredded and recycled. Yes there was a fee, but it's confidential material and if you just throw it out, someone could potential find it.

If recycling pick-up services exist in your area, but your boss is unwilling to pay, maybe you could play the 'security' card.

2) My very frugal mother is a doctor with her own medical practice. She shreds all her paper at the office and takes it to the recycling depot herself. The depot is free - the recycling collected is sold to help pay for the depot - so the only cost is the time to transport the paper.

There HAVE to be public recycling depots in your area. I cannot believe there are none that you can take computer paper too.

I'm pretty sure that in Vancouver there are even non-profits that will pick up computer paper - if separated - at no cost. They can sell it and make a profit.

Putting paper in the trash isn't even an option in Vancouver. It's against the law.
Old 10-28-08, 08:00 AM
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There HAVE to be public recycling depots in your area. I cannot believe there are none that you can take computer paper too.
In the US, at least, recycling is very area specific meaning every city and township has it's own laws about what can or will be recycled and how and where.
I live in a big city and we're asked to put out newspapers and magazines and telephone books, but that's it and there is no place to take anything to unless it's metal things, in which case they pay you. Otherwise, everything is collected on trash day.
Old 10-29-08, 09:29 PM
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Old 11-17-08, 07:45 PM
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There is very little market for recycled paper. Look in your copy, printers, etc, how many of you have recycled paper?

How many of you use natural colored (brown) paper as opposed to white paper? Paper is not white naturally, it is bleached white.

There are hundreds of paper grades. Everything from tissue/ toilet paper to card stock. Glossy, non-glossy, matte, cotton blend, coated, uncoated, white, host of colors, etc. Very little of the paper grades are actually useable. Your better off making Christamas trees from your old phone books.

Want to make a difference, buy recycled paper, and I am not talking about 10% post consumer recycled paper. You buy it and demand will go up.
Old 11-17-08, 07:49 PM
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There's ton of market for recycled paper (although mostly newspaper), it just doesn't work in some areas due to cost of transport and processing. Take a look at this months PM magazine.

They made a nice statement "We are China's forests".
Old 11-22-08, 07:49 PM
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Instead of adding to landfills, burning is the alternative given the amount of cardboard and paper that rolls through my 3 companies every year.

The emissions created are less than what it would take for that garbage truck to travel to and from the numerous times it would have to pick up the waste.


I've been "Green" before this latest craze because I've been scrapping out raw metals for years being in the plumbing profession.

It's pretty bad that it's taken this long for everyone else to finally catch on.

I tried recycling paper when I was younger; .02 cents a pound minimum 400 pounds. That's a lot of paper by weight.

They make it where it's not worthy of, burn it!
Old 11-22-08, 08:24 PM
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georgia pacific in muskogee OK, only uses recycled paper, about 50tons a month if memory serves me. they told me they would use any paper not contaminated with waste. but shipping costs prevent many from recycling, even better they are in the process of converting their generator on site to run on the paper and plastic waste that they can't use to make paper products. that will make them very green.

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Old 12-10-08, 10:34 PM
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Hi all, thats interesting views you have shared here. I think we should all do something for a safe and healthy environment. These kinds of threads increase awareness among people.

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 12-11-08 at 05:06 AM. Reason: Link removed.

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