Mayor Article

Conference Launches Office Paper Recycling Study

By Paulo R. Heyman


A new U.S. Conference of Mayors pilot study to better understand the importance of office paper recycling was kicked off December 6th in Washington DC at the Carramerica Building. The building is one of five sites, all in Washington DC, which will be the target of the pilot study which began this Fall. These one-year studies are targeted at multi-tenant large office buildings, where an increase in office paper recovery rates nationwide is needed. The project is supported by a grant from Recycling At Work campaign sponsors.

The Conference of Mayors Recycling at Work staff is teaming up with a local company which hauls materials to be recycled, Environmental Recycling, Inc., (ERI) as partners for the study. The Conference of Mayors staff will conduct education and outreach throughout the pilot programs at each site. All of these pilot programs will continue through next June, after which a report will be released with an analysis of data collected and an evaluation on the effectiveness of the pilot programs.

ERI sales Manager Charles W. Poland clarified the two types of recycling programs offered to participating offices. "The price retrieved for recycled white paper is considerably higher than newspapers, magazines, and other colored paper," explained Poland. ERI's two programs are based on the relative content of sorted white office paper within mixed office paper collection programs.

Recycling offers a competitive alternative because recycling haulers are paid for their refuse by the recycling plants. "There is a potential generation of money for our clients," said Mr. Poland. Trash haulers are charged "tipping fees" each time they unload at landfills and pass on this cost to customers along with a fee for renting their dumpsters.

Poland said successful recycling programs require participation and teamwork from the building manager, janitorial staff, and tenants. If executed properly, the potential for savings and benefits for the environment are substantial, Poland said.


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