Last week there was a short story in the local newspaper about a recycling and waste handling event organized for children. The story asked if you know where the paper, board, metal, glass or bio waste you recycle, go. Or what happens to the rest of the waste?
While drinking my morning coffee I started thinking what do I know about recycling and waste handling; to be honest not that much. When thinking of the items listed above, I only know that paper and board can go to one of the paper mills using recovered paper as a raw material like Stora Enso Narew mill. Someone more educated in recycling should tell us what happens to the rest of the waste.
Most of us find recycling important and carefully separate waste to metal, paper, glass etc. At least in Finland this is quite well organized and for example where I live there is a row of recycling bins on the backyard. So it should be rather easy. Does it ever happen to you that when taking a bunch of board to the recycling bin, you realize that between the boards there is something that does not belong there? Maybe some plastic or metal… How often it happens that you think never mind and throw the bunch of board into the bin? Or you don’t think of it at all as one of my colleagues confessed. Well, this is how our “never mind” looks like:
This picture is from Ostroleka where I got to visit this summer. The mill uses recovered paper as a raw material which means that also a lot of metal and plastic goes through the recycled fibre plant finally ending in the reject handling. I could find at least a fork, a knife, a cd and a lot of metal cans.
The purpose of Stora Enso is to do good for the people and planet and this is one way to do it: we reuse the paper “waste” to produce containerboard and create new packages of it. At the same time your (and my) “never minds” get recycled as well.