PaperAge Magazine

Recycled Paper - Contamination Concerns and Feeling the Effects of Freight in the U.S.

truck hauling freight A Midwest-based trader says the hike in freight rates is a result of new regulations for electronic monitoring that truck drivers are expected to use to track hours of service.

February 2018 (Recycling Today) - Throughout the second half of 2017, China was at the root of much of the recovered fiber industry's confusion, disruptions and discussions. A month into the new year, and China is still a cause of concern for the sector, while transportation and contamination have emerged as “the two elephants in the room,” says an executive for a corrugated packaging company on the East Coast.

He notes that China, which has slowed its buying of U.S. secondary paper, “said enough is enough” and has instead started buying presumably cleaner scrap paper from other countries, including Japan.

He and other sources point to single-stream residential collection programs as being behind high contamination rates in American scrap paper.

“China is not shutting off Japan from sending paper because they have source-separated recyclables,” the executive says. “It's really clean; they keep paper separated from the glass.”

A broker based in the Boston area also recognizes that the quality of recovered fiber shipped from the U.S. in recent years “was not as good as it used to be, and this was caused by the growth of single-stream recycling.”

Yet, he adds, “China has to remember they are purchasing a secondary fiber and not pulp.”

Besides contamination concerns, sources say freight rates have gone through the roof.

A Midwest-based trader says the hike in freight rates is a result of new regulations for electronic monitoring that truck drivers are expected to use to track hours of service. The high costs associated with the regulations and lack of available trucks are threats to moving recovered fiber, he says.

“Mom and pop [trucking companies] don't want to . . .

The full story along with price charts are available at: RecyclingToday.com

SOURCE: Recycling Today