GP to install new recycling technology at Oregon mill

Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific (GP) has announced plans to introduce a new method for recycling paper at its paperboard mill in Toledo, Oregon. Called Juno Technology, it aims to use fiber previously destined for landfills because of high levels of contamination and mixed material.

In a statement posted to the Oregon Coast Daily News website, GP Toledo mill Public Affairs Manager C.J. Drake says much of the targeted material consists of paper-based products that are proving difficult to recycle.

“The patented process we’ve developed—which we are calling Juno Technology—can recover more fiber and reduce waste more sustainably,” Drake says.

Juno Technology has been designed to allow the GP mill to extract the usable fiber from landfilled waste and feed it into the mill’s existing pulping process, while stripping away plastic coatings and food contamination that make many paper products unrecyclable. Other recovered items can be returned to their respective recycling streams while diverting millions of tons of waste from landfills, GP says.

The company has tested the technology on a pilot scale at other facilities, but Drake indicates GP will use the process on a commercial scale for the first time in Toledo.

The company intends to use approximately 300 tons of mixed paper per day at the Toledo mill, according to one local media report.

In the Juno process, the mixed paper will be loaded into a pressure vessel and mixed with water. The pressurized contents will then be heated to 212 F or higher while the vessel is rotated, churning the contents together.

A screening device will then separate the partially repulped recovered fiber, which will be transferred into a pulping machine to manufacture rolls of new containerboard.

The feedstock for the Juno process will arrive at the Toledo plant in the form of 1-ton bales. It largely will consist of commercial material collected from sources that include fast food restaurants, airports, sports arenas, large office buildings and schools, according to news outlets in Oregon.

GP reportedly plans to have its Juno Technology installed and running in its Toledo mill by early 2020.

Paper recovery rate drops to 65.8 percent in 2017

The U.S. paper recovery rate reached 65.8 percent in 2017, according to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington. This is a 1.4 percentage point drop from the 67.2 percent recovery rate in 2016.

U.S. paper recovery rate statistics are available from the AF&PA at www.paperrecycles.org/statistics.

AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman says, “Paper recycling brings continued economic, environmental and social benefits to communities across the country. We thank the millions of Americans who choose to recycle every day for their essential contributions to paper recycling’s success.”

Paper recovery for recycling helps extend the useful life of paper and paper-based packaging products, AF&PA says, making it an integral part of the industry’s sustainability story. The industry’s goal is to achieve a 70 percent paper recycling rate by 2020 as part of its Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability initiative.

“Paper is one of the most successfully recovered and recycled commodities in the U.S. because of our strong, market-driven voluntary system,” says AF&PA Board Chairman John Rooney, who also serves as CEO of GEC Packaging Technologies, Wilmington, Delaware. “Our industry will continue to support and implement education programs and initiatives that drive awareness and increase access to paper recycling,” he adds.

For more information about paper recycling and AF&PA’s commitment to sustainability, visit www.paperrecycles.org.