Local company to accept public waste paper

Published 12:10 am Sunday, September 4, 2011

Photo illustration by Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — In a small way, consumers in the Miss-Lou can help preserve and create jobs, support local industry and feel good about being green at the same time.

Mississippi River Pulp is opening their facility to individuals and local businesses to recycle paper waste.

Tanya Richardson, vice president of process engineering and product development at Mississippi River Pulp, said there has been plenty of local and individual interest in recycling over the years.

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“We said maybe we need to find outlet if residents want to participate, they can,” Richardson said.

Richardson said facility, located off River Terminal Road in Natchez, will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first Friday and Saturday of every month. She said individuals can drive up to the gate at MRP, and there will be a location for paper recycling.

“More so than anything, it will help set the groundwork for a bigger recycling effort in the future,” Richardson said.

Richardson said in the digital age, less paper is used in general. Saving and recycling office-generated waste is a boost to industry.

“It’s just trash to some people, but it’s raw material for us, and that keeps people working,” she said.

Karen Ziemba, vice president of sales for MRP, said the list of what paper waste can be recycled is much longer than what cannot be recycled — mainly cardboard.

Ziemba said any type of white fiber including old mail, brochures, catalogues, paper boxes, colored paper, paper collages, construction paper, phone books, fliers, posters, folders, poster board, greeting cards, books, index cards, textbooks, magazines, writing pad blocks, note books, newspapers, note pads and paper bags can be recycled.

“We can turn it into something very useful,” Ziemba said. “Even throwing that homework assignment away — it could be part of a cup, part of newspaper, part of copier paper. Tomorrow your garbage can be valuable and useful.”

Ziemba said, for example, Starbucks coffee cups are made with 10 percent recycled material, and that material comes from MRP.

Ziemba said MRP’s process for turning recycled materials into food grade products, like the Starbucks cups, is actually rare in the industry. She said only a half dozen companies in the market recycle that way.

“Virgin fiber comes from trees,” Ziemba said. “Our recycled fiber is used as substitute for any virgin application out there.”

Richardson said the process of turning paper into pulp works like a giant washing machine.

“We take out all of the inks and adhesives, and what’s left is pure, white pulp,” Richardson said. “The pulp then gets sold back to the papermakers.”

Richardson said a lot of people who move to Natchez come from bigger cities, and they are surprised when they realize recycling isn’t a big deal in the Miss-Lou. But MRP and organizations like the Green Alliance want that to change.

“We definitely want this to be easy,” Richardson said. “It’s not something that should be hard. We would welcome it if someone has any ideas about recycling on a larger scale to give us a call.”

Richardson said area offices with sensitive documents, or just a lot of used paper, can call to have documents picked up and destroyed on-site at no cost. Recyclers can even watch the paper be destroyed if they need to.

To request a pick-up, call Joe Albrycht at 601-445-1855 or Tanya Richardson at 601-445-1856.

“Recycling office-generated waste keeps materials out of landfills,” Richardson said. “The public recycling program just a way of getting a little more creative.”