Office paper recycling rules are important

  • Published
  • By Frank Carpenter
  • 341st Civil Engineer Squadron

Are you aware that there is a federal regulation that mandates the recycling of office paper on federal installations? 40 CFR § 246.200-1 states that high-grade paper generated by federal office facilities shall be separated at the source of generation, separately collected, and sold for the purpose of recycling.

Here on Malmstrom we comply with this mandate by contracting for biweekly office paper pickups; most buildings have grey office paper recycling containers located next to their facilities. The containers belong to the contractor and are assigned to the facilities. Do not move them or use them for other purposes. For information on pick-up schedules contact your Facility Manager.

We need your help ensuring we comply with this requirement. Protecting the environment is every Airman’s responsibility.

The following information gives you a good basis for properly recycling office paper. Proper office paper recycling lowers disposal costs, obtains revenue from the sale of the paper, conserves trees and reduces air, water and land pollution.

What office paper is recycled on Malmstrom? High quality white or colored paper used in the printers and copiers in your office.

Office paper is not the same as mixed paper. Mixed paper can include envelopes, manila folders, newspaper, and phone books but nothing bound by a metal ring. The only bin for mixed paper is located at the Base Recycle Center near the Auto Hobby Shop.

What is the difference? Office paper brings a return to the recycling program of approximately $450 per ton, while mixed paper returns only $32 per ton.

Staples, sticky notes, and paper clips are okay to recycle.

Paper mills that process recovered paper are set up to remove common contaminants such as staples and paper clips from the pulped paper. Therefore, it is not necessary to remove such items before recycling the paper, although paper clips can be removed and reused.

With the current shred policy, we have gotten a lot of questions concerning proper recycling of shredded paper. Shredded paper can be recycled as long as it does not contain contaminants such as plastic or glossy paper. Please place plastic bags of shredded paper into the recycle containers. The new shred facility at Building 3080 is your best option for shredding because all shredded material is recycled.

Office paper guidelines:
- Only computer or printer paper, ledger paper and envelopes (with or without windows).
- No junk mail, magazines, slick or glossy paper, or copier paper packaging.
- Absolutely no food wrappers or trash.

If you have any question please contact Frank Carpenter at 731-6448.