The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI’s) Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter and ISRI’s Paper Division, which includes recyclers, paper mills, material recovery facility (MRF) operators and other industry stakeholders, have been collaborating to improve the quality of recycled material by reducing contamination. This effort recently included an update to the “Guidelines for Paper Stock” in ISRI’s Scrap Specifications Circular that, among other changes, clearly lists items that are considered “prohibitive materials” and should not be included in the recycling stream. In addition, for the first time, “zero tolerance” also is defined, according to a news release issued by the Washington-based trade association.
“The paper recycling industry, through ongoing work with municipalities and other stakeholders, has made it clear that contamination of the recycling stream is unacceptable,” says Robin Wiener, ISRI president. “Instituting clearer guidelines of what is—and is not—acceptable is a strong step toward improving quality throughout the recycling stream. It is important that this movement forward continues in concert with public education, investments in infrastructure, better efforts to design consumer products with recycling in mind and a commitment by all parties to continue to work together.”
The circular defines “prohibitive materials” as any materials that are included in a package of paper stock in excess of the amount allowed that make the pack unusable as the grade specified or any materials that may be damaging to equipment.
“Zero tolerance” is defined as any material that contains any amount of medical, organic, food waste, hazardous, poisonous, radioactive or toxic waste and other harmful substances or liquids.
Other changes to the “Guidelines for Paper Stock” include the integration of the Domestic Transactions and Export Transactions. This is intended to streamline and improve the trade of paper scrap commodities as changes take place in the global marketplace. In addition, moisture allowances on outbound shipments from processor to consumer were updated. The new “Guidelines for Paper Stock” can be found on page 26 of the Scrap Specifications Circular.
These changes were approved by the ISRI board at the recommendation of ISRI’s Paper Division during its Spring Meeting April 16.
ISRI’s Scrap Specifications Circular provides industry guidelines for buying and selling a variety of processed scrap commodities, including ferrous, nonferrous, paper, plastics, electronics, rubber and glass.