Recyling firm finds new market after mill closes

With the industry under pressure to make life easier by allowing people to throw all recyclables together, product quality took a hit, resulting in the recent closure of an Arizona recycle paper mill with 300 employees.

“There’s quite a discussion within the industry between single-stream versus multistream,” said Steve Foss, general manager of Grand Junction’s Curbside Recycling Indefinitely Inc., adding that he is glad the multiple-stream system his company uses works well.

Single-stream means all recyclable materials, including containers and papers, are commingled, compared with multiple stream in which they are separated. When the milk jug, newspaper, glass bottle and tomato-paste encrusted steel can are mixed, the result is a lower quality paper, Foss explained.

“It ends up costing the mill dearly. … It’s hard to get the sour milk back into the container,” he said.

For years, Curbside Recycling sold to Catalyst’s Snowflake mill in northeastern Arizona, which shut its doors last month. The mill enjoyed purchasing from Curbside because of the higher-quality recyclables from not having been mixed, Foss said.

Catalyst purchased materials throughout Colorado, leaving a number of recyclers searching for new markets. Luckily,  Curbside found a new home for its materials in the state.


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