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Biodegradable- Organic materials such as food scraps, paper and grass clippings that are capable of being broken down by microorganisms into simple compounds such as carbon dioxide, water or minerals.

Brush & tree trimmings under 12" in diameter- Includes treetops, brush, wood chips, stumps, and Christmas trees.

Construction debris/lumber trimmings- Includes wood scraps from new construction such as lumber trim ends, plywood scrap, and solid lumber from cabinet and furniture manufacturing.

Contaminant- Any item or material that reduces the quality of paper for recycling or makes it unrecyclable. Contaminants include metal, foil, glass, plastic, stickies, food, hazardous waste, carbon paper, waxed boxes, and synthetic fabrics. Collecting paper co-mingled with other recyclables may increase contaminants.

Corrugated cardboard- Layers of paper glued together with a ruffled or grooved inner liner. This is the material which makes corrugated cardboard boxes (the most recycled product in the country).

Demolition debris- Includes lumber and other wood products from older construction—may include some contaminants such as nails, fasteners, plaster, and unknown materials.

Engineered wood- Includes wood products constructed from reconstituted wood such as plywood, oriented strand board, particleboard, fiberboard, laminated beams, and I-joists—wood may contain contaminants such as cured adhesives, laminates, and fasteners.

Fiber- Small pieces of thread-like material that are woven together to give structure and strength to paper products. Fiber used in papermaking comes primarily from wood and recovered paper; cotton is also used to make certain products.

Hard mixed paper- This classification of recovered paper typically includes Kraft paper, corrugated cardboard, and office paper—all paper with longer fibers. Paperboard packaging can also be included.

High grade papers- Usually deinked, these primarily include printed and unprinted white papers collected from converting operations, printing plants and offices.

Mixed paper- The commingling of various paper grades, such as old mail, paperboard packaging, magazines, copy and computer paper, egg cartons, etc. for recycling.

#6 News- Baled newspaper typically generated from news drives and curbside collections. Prohibitive materials may not exceed 1%. Total outthrows may not exceed 5%.

#8 News- Baled, sorted, fresh newspapers, not sunburned, free from magazines, white blank, pressroom over-issues and paper other than news, containing not more than the normal percentage of rotogravure and colored sections. This grade must be tare-free, and no prohibitive materials are allowed. Total outthrows may not exceed one fourth of 1%.

Outthrow- Material which must be removed from paper delivered to a mill before the paper is recycled/repulped.

Pallets- Includes pallets and pallet parts manufactured primarily from solid lumber.

Paper recycling acronyms- Includes OCC (old corrugated containers), WCC (waxed corrugated containers), ONP (old newspapers), OMG (old magazines), OTD (old telephone directories), and RMP (residential mixed paper).

Paperboard- A generic term that includes heavy classes of paper. The most common are paperboard packages, which include folding cartons for foods and medicine, set-up boxes for games and jewelry, milk and juice cartons, composite cans for frozen concentrates, and beverage carriers.

Preservative treated wood- Wood treated with creosote, CCA, or other preservatives. Examples include railroad ties, telephone poles, decking lumber, marine pilings, and treated fence posts.

Prohibitive-A prohibitive is any material that, if it exceeds allowed limits, would make recycled paper unusable as the grade specified. Example- If the quantity of prohibitives in Grade #12, Double-sorted Corrugated, exceeds 1/2 of 1%, the bale might be downgraded to Grade #11, Corrugated Containers.

Pulp- The solution resulting from blending wood, recovered paper or, in some cases, cotton with water to break it down into individual cellulose fibers. This is the fibrous material used to make paper.

Recovered paper grades- These are the classifications of different types of recovered paper, each with its own value to manufacturers. While there are dozens of specific grades, they can be grouped into four categories- corrugated/Kraft paper, newspapers, high-grade papers and mixed papers.

Recycled content- The portion of a product or package that contains materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the solid waste stream either during the manufacturing process or after consumer use. Many paper products are made with 100% recycled content.

Recycling- The process of collecting, separating and manufacturing new products – such as paper, aluminum, glass, etc. – from old products

Renewable resource- A naturally occurring raw material or form of energy with the capacity to replenish itself through ecological cycles and sound management practices. Trees are an example of a renewable resource.

Soft mixed paper- Typically includes magazines and newspapers—or papers with shorter fibers. Paperboard packaging may also be included.

Sorted office paper- A mix of papers collected for recycling that includes white and pastel copy and writing paper; white, green-bar and multi-stripe computer paper; letterhead and envelopes; notepads; advertising booklets, and fliers.

Stickies- Paper contaminants, which includes adhesives, thermal plastics, hot melts or other substances which are not water-soluble.

Sustainable forestry- To practice sustainable forestry to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs by practicing a land stewardship ethic which integrates the reforestation managing, growing, nurturing, and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water quality, wildlife and fish habitat, and aesthetics.

Tree residue over 12" in diameter- Includes un-chipped wood and logs.

White office paper-A mix of paper collected for recycling that includes white copy paper and writing paper; white, green-bar and multi-stripe computer print-out; and white envelopes without plastic windows or labels.


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