Industrialized Nebraskans for Organized Recycling Management
December 1999

Tactics to Combat Catalog Waste

Each day, many Americans open the mailbox and find a thick stack of catalogs.
More than 17 billion catalogs were distributed in the United States in 1998 – about sixty-four for every man, woman, and child. Not surprisingly, catalogs use a
lot of paper – 3.35 million tons of it in 1999. The use of so much paper comes at a significant environmental cost. Paper is the fourth most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries and one of the most polluting. Catalog companies can do their part for the environment by being responsible paper purchasers and users: by reducing waste, using recycled paper, and
working with suppliers to promote cleaner paper manufacturing and better forest management. Consumers can also do their part by reducing the number of unwanted mailings they receive, and supporting catalog companies that use
environmentally preferable paper practices. Here are some specific steps consumers can take to promote greener catalogs.

Reducing Waste.

Catalog companies routinely sell, rent, or trade mailing lists. Consumers can reduce waste by limiting the circulation of their names to those companies whose mailings they wish to receive. Here's how you can lighten the load in your mailbox:

Stop unwanted mailings generally.
To remove your home address from many lists at once, register your name
with the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service (MPS).
Send a written request, with your name as it appears on all catalog labels, to The Direct Marketing Association, Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008. The MPS should remain in effect for five years, or until you place an order or request a catalog from a catalog
company. After that, your name is fair game again, and you must either
reactivate the MPS, or stop mailings selectively (see below). Because

companies who subscribe to the MPS typically check their lists against it a few times a year, it may take several months for you to see results. For
more information, call The DMA at 212-768-7277.

Stop unwanted mailings selectively.
The MPS is not a selective service, and may cancel your name from some lists you wish to be on. In order to continue receiving mailings from certain companies, notify them directly (usually by a toll-free call). Then, ask them to note in your record that your name is not to be rented, sold, or traded to
others. At the same time, if you get catalogs you don't want, before you
recycle them, call to remove yourself from their database. A toll-free call of a minute or two will help curb the proliferation of unwanted catalogs.

Eliminate duplicate and undeliverable mailings.
If you receive multiple mailings for the same household, call and ask the company to delete the extra listing. If you move, fill out the Postal Service's National Change of Address form so that mailers don't keep sending catalogs to your old address.

Reduce the number of mailings you receive.
Many companies will honor consumers' requests to receive catalogs less frequently. If the merchandise changes only seasonally, you may not wish to get every mailing. The catalog's customer service or order department can tell you what options are available. Some catalogs may even allow you to switch from paper catalogs to e-mail notifications and product promotions, with links to the company's website.

Recycled content and recycling.

Using recycled content in catalog paper saves natural resources and reduces pollution and waste. Recycling catalogs means less paper is sent to landfills, and more recovered fiber is available to make recycled paper products. Here's how
you can help:

Encourage the use of recycled paper.
Using recycled paper demonstrates a catalog company's environmental
commitment. Next time you place an order, ask if the catalog is made using recycled paper, and make clear that this is important to you as a customer. Other things (e.g., price, quality, selection, service) being equal, support companies that use recycled paper.

Help keep catalogs recyclable.

Check the catalogs you order from regularly. Do they contain stick-on
labels or non-paper inserts that can contaminate the recycling process?
Next time you place an order let the company know that you would like them to avoid using such items.

Recycle catalogs.
Your municipality can tell you if catalogs can be collected in your curbside recycling bin, must be dropped off at a recycling center, or are recyclable through some other means.

Cleaner Manufacturing, Protecting Forests.

Because catalog companies purchase so much paper, their choice of paper supplier can have significant environmental implications. Some suppliers employ better forest management practices and cleaner manufacturing technologies than others do. Let the catalog companies you deal with know that you are concerned about the environmental impacts of their paper use, including how the paper is produced and how the trees harvested to make it are managed. Tell them you expect them to address these issues in their role as large paper purchasers.

In many different industries, consumer action - at least as much as government regulation - has been critical in motivating businesses to improve their environmental performance. Not only do your individual actions benefit the environment, but they also send an important signal to catalog companies about what matters to you as a customer - thus contributing to a larger solution.

The Alliance for Environmental Innovation is a joint initiative of the
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Alliance works cooperatively with businesses to reduce waste and build environmental considerations into business decisions. By bringing the expertise and perspective of environmental scientists and economists together with the business skills of major corporations, the Alliance creates
solutions that make environmental and business sense. For more information, visit the Alliance’s website at

Taken from Alliance for Environmental Innovation website: given above.

We have complete INFORM membership listings with links to individual member websites and a markets page that tracks the prices of commodities annually. New to our website is a resource section with information and hotlinks to agencies involved in recycling at the local, state and national levels.

Also newly available on the website are the Waste Reduction and Recycling Guide and the monthly newsletters in downloadable .pdf format.

WasteCap staff would love to hear from you! Our website was established to better serve our members and we’d like some feed back from you. We are open to any recommendations of features you would like to see or issues that need attention. Please contact us at 472-0888, 472-2246 fax, or e-mail Carrie Hakenkamp at [email protected] with your suggestions.

National Clean Your Files Day 2000

In April 1999, the US Conference of Mayors held its third national “Clean Your Files Day” campaign to raise awareness about paper recycling.

The City of Lincoln will participate this coming year, and we invite your organization to join others across the country in this Earth Day activity scheduled for April 21, 2000. This simple and easy-to-implement project generates increased amounts of paper for recycling, provides an opportunity to reinforce positive behaviors, and educates employees about office paper recycling programs.

For more information on how you can participate contact Carrie Hakenkamp at 472-0888.

Taken in part from recycling at work, Winter 1999

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

EPA has released the Final Guidance on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP), a document that will greatly assist Executive agencies to meet the mandate to adopt environmentally preferable purchasing under Executive Order 13101 – Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition.

The Final Guidance is centered around the following 5 guidance principles:

Include environmental considerations as part of the normal purchasing process.

Emphasize pollution prevention early in the purchasing process.

Examine multiple environmental attributes throughout a product’s life cycle.

Compare environmental impacts when selecting products.

Make purchasing decisions based on accurate and meaningful information about environmental performance of products and services.

The Final Guidance also provides suggested steps for Executive agency implementation, a list of available resources to facilitate EPP, and a set of appendices, including a glossary of terms and a list with definitions of environmental attributes.

The Final Guidance is primarily intended for Federal government use. However, state and local government purchasers, “green” vendors, and those in the environmental community may also find the concepts and information applicable in their environmentally preferable purchasing efforts.

The Final Guidance is published in the Federal Register dated August 20, 1999. You may find it at In the near future, a fact sheet and hard copies of the Final Guidance will be available to order by contacting the Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse at 202-260-1023 or contact Carrie Hakenkamp at 472-0888.

Taken from the US Office of the Federal Environmental Executive Newsletter, Fall, 1999

Where Does Your Pricing Come From?

There is only one constant in the market portion of the recycling equation: Price is NEVER constant. In order to provide our members with the most up-to-date pricing information, WasteCap staff diligently includes a market section in every newsletter and on our website:

This feature gives not only the current market prices for the commodities with which we utilize memoranda, but gives a history of the last few months to enable our readers to glean information from any trends that may be developing in the short term.

The market pricing of OCC ( corrugated cardboard) is taken from the third edition Chicago Yellow Sheet. We obtain the market pricing for the other commodities from the listings in Fibre Market News for the Chicago region. The listings do not pinpoint the purchase levels, but do determine what we are paid from Midland Recycling for OCC and for SOP.

Presidential Proclamation Advocates ARD

Recycling is one of the great success stories in America's crusade to protect our environment and preserve our natural resources. Americans have undergone a fundamental change in attitude about recycling during the past 4 decades. Where most Americans and many industries were once unmindful of our resources and careless in disposing of waste materials, people across our country now recognize the importance of recycling and have made it part of their daily routines. In 1996 alone, recycling nationwide diverted a total of 57 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators -- more than a quarter of our country's annual municipal solid waste.

Nonetheless, the recycling process is complete only when recovered materials return to the market as new products for purchase by consumers. The most effective way we can ensure the continued success of recycling in America is to expand markets for products that contain recycled materials. Buying recycled products conserves resources, reduces water and air
pollution, saves energy, and creates jobs. Producing 1 ton of paper from recycled pulp saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 7000 gallons of water. It also reduces air pollutants by 60 pounds, saves 390 gallons of oil, and conserves 4200 kilowatt hours of energy -- enough to heat a home for half a year. Estimates show that 9 jobs are created for every 15,000 tons of solid waste recycled into new products.

The U.S. Government has helped promote recycling by purchasing recycled-content products -- in fiscal 1997 alone, we purchased $354 million worth of such products. In September of 1998, I was proud to sign Executive Order 13101 -- Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition -- which directed all Federal agencies to expand and strengthen the Federal Government's dedication to recycling and to buying products made with recycled content. This responsible use of
Government purchasing power will not only help the environment, but will also stimulate the growth of clean industries in the 21st century.

America Recycles Day unites business and industry, environmental and civic groups, and local, State, and Federal Government agencies to encourage recycling. This partnership challenges all businesses and consumers in America to increase their purchases of recycled products, to
boost their recycling efforts, and to start new recycling programs. The theme for this year's observance -- "For Our Children's Future . . . Buy Recycled Today" -- reminds us of the profound and long-term implications of the actions we take today. By using products with recycled content and creating new markets for such products, we will conserve America's precious
natural resources for the benefit of generations to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 15, 1999, as America Recycles Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to take personal responsibility for the environment not only by recycling, but also by choosing to purchase and use products made from recycled materials.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of
November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.

Information provided by Ann Allen, Coordinator, America Recycles Day

Sooner State First to Launch Landfill Gas Project

The first commercial landfill gas project in the state of Oklahoma is under way in Oklahoma City.

DTE Biomass Energy is delivering landfill gas collected from Allied Waste Industries, Inc.’s Southeast Oklahoma City landfill to the Georgia Gulf Corp. plant.

The plant burns the gas in its boilers to meet fuel needs for the production of polyvinyl chloride resins.

DTE Biomass Energy contracted with Oklahoma Natural Gas, the local gas distribution company, to install and operate the pipeline, which will pipe the gas (expected 3 million cubic feet per day) more than two miles to the chemical plant.

Georgia Gulf’s production requires an uninterrupted supply of fuel. The plant boiler was modified to burn either landfill gas, natural gas or a blend to maintain uninterrupted operations.

Landfill gas is priced competitively with traditional fossil fuel, DTE Biomass President Curtis T. Ranger said.

“Landfill gas helps Georgia Gulf lower its energy costs and helps the environment by reducing emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas,” he said.

DTE Biomass has completed 24 landfill gas projects. In 1998, the company collected about 15 billion cubic feet of landfill gas.

Taken from WasteNews Volume 5, Issue 29, Nov. 29, 1999

Happy Holidays from WasteCap!

 There will be no INFORM meeting for the month of December. Instead we wish everyone a happy holiday season and encourage our members to check out our updated website at