Plan seeks to put corrugated into recycling mainstream

A pilot program designed to be a model for future corrugated-recycling programs in the US and Canada was undertaken after the 1994 holiday season by the Corrugated Packaging Council, Rolling Meadows, IL, and the town of North Kingstown, RI.

Dubbed Boxing Days, the program's goal was to recycle the corrugated cardboard boxes many households have after the holidays are over. The program was created by the CPC to raise awareness of corrugated's inherent recyclability and to promote corrugated recovery in communities everywhere.

Corrugated cardboard packaging has been recycled by commercial users for years, but the opportunity isn't widely available to households.

North Kingstown, population 24,000, was selected for the pilot program because residents are already recycling several materials successfully. The town's scenic harborside village - an attraction for many nonresidents - provides added exposure for the recycling message.

During Boxing Days, residents took flattened corrugated boxes to the town transfer station, where they already drop off nonrecyclable trash. The town provides curbside pickup of regular recyclables, but not trash - a policy adopted by many communities to help encourage recycling.

School children learned = to identify corrugated cardboard firsthand by climbing around in special, custom-made castles, forts and tepees created for this event. Posters were displayed in the public schools, town hall and public library. Children brought recycling instructions home on corrugated flyers encouraging family participation.

Paul Duffy, North Kingstown recycling coordinator, said the town's curbside recycling program has been in place for more than five years, collecting plastic, aluminum and bimetal cans, glass and newspaper. "Residents support the recycling program wholeheartedly," Duffy said. "They participate with enthusiasm - in fact, we get a lot of calls from residents wanting to know why corrugated hasn't been added yet."

Rick Crenca, pubic works director, said: "We're very excited about collecting corrugated this holiday season when people have extra boxes to get rid of. We're anxious to demonstrate how people in a small town like ours can pull together to produce a positive result."

Bruce Buchanan, CPC chairman and vice president of Menasha Corp., Neenah, WI, said: "We hope that with the success of Boxing Days communities everywhere will begin to incorporate corrugated recovery into their material-recycling systems."

CPC, a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition sponsored by the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters and the Fibre Box Association, develops and coordinates industrywide programs to address corrugated-packaging issues.

* Green Awards - March 3 is the deadline for entries in the 1994 Environmental Achievement Awards Program sponsored by the Composite Can and Tube Institute, Alexandria, VA.

The program recognizes CCTI members who have made major achievements in improving the environment, encouraging environmental and energy excellence and innovation and stimulating efficient resource management.

The awards recognize significant innovation and accomplishment achieved during 1994 in four major environmental and energy areas: solid-waste management, energy management and innovation, new-product introduction and other, which applies to all advances that adhere to at least one point of the Coalition of Northeast Governors Preferred Packaging Guidelines.

Entries will be judged by an impartial committee of selected CCTI members who haven't submitted an entry.

For information, call 703/549-2233.

* Paper Recycling - Where's the nearest recycling center that accepts paper? Where does recovered paper go to be recycled into new paper products? Where is there a recovered-paper dealer who can transport used paper to a recycling mill?

These questions are answered in the third edition of PaperMatcher, a directory published by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, DC. It contains information on paper-recycling mills, recovered-paper dealers and recycling centers throughout the US that can help communities identify markets for recyclable. "The directory is one of many tools prepared by the paper industry to foster successful recycling programs," Richard Storat, AF&PA vice president, said. "Reliable markets are essential in closing the recycling loop, and this directory will help recycling coordinators and government officials identify potential customers for various recovered-paper grades."

The 250 pages of listings demonstrate the extensive private infrastructure that's propelling unprecedented growth in paper recycling. "Currently, 40% or all paper used in the country is recovered, and the industry is well on its way toward achieving its year 2000 goal to recover - for recycling here and abroad - 50% of all paper Americans use," Storat said.

Single copies of PaperMatcher are available free of charge from AF&PA's Information Center, 1111 19th St. NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036; 202/463-2700.

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