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ISRI Update: Zero-Tolerance Guidelines for Paper Recyclables

ISRI Update: Zero-Tolerance Guidelines for Paper Recyclables

People all over the world engage in the recycling of paper products. This helps to reduce the strain on landfills while also providing usable materials to create more products in the future. Many consumers are conscious of the environmental impact of the products they choose and prioritize those made from recycled materials. To maintain quality standards for post-consumer materials, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) recently updated its guidelines for paper products, detailing what will and will not be accepted for recycling. Here's what you need to know. 

Preventing Contamination 

In order to go through the recycling process, paper products need to be relatively free of contamination. When other waste gets mixed in with recyclable items, it diminishes the quality of products made from those recycled materials. Not only that, but it can also damage the recycling equipment, making it less efficient and increasing the costs of recycling. ISRI's new guidelines aim to reduce contamination in order to improve the quality of products made from post-consumer materials. 

The new changes delineate specific "Prohibitive Materials." These are the types of contaminants that can damage recycling equipment and dimish the quality of the finished product. When it comes to post-consumer materials, they are graded in terms of quality. When contamination exceeds the threshold set by ISRI, the material can no longer be labeled with that particular grade, meaning that the material will likely need to be sold at a lower price point due to its reduced quality. The updates also explain the amount of moisture allowed in shipments of recycled materials

ISRI's new guidelines aim to reduce contamination in order to improve the quality of products made from post-consumer materials. The new changes delineate specific "Prohibitive Materials." These are the types of contaminants that can damage recycling equipment and dimish the quality of the finished product.

Certain substances are listed under ISRI's Zero-Tolerance policy. These are substances that are not allowed in recyclable materials in any amount. The most common contaminants in this category are: 

  • Medical waste 
  • Organic waste 
  • Food waste 
  • Hazardous, poisonous, radioactive or toxic substances 

It will require ongoing collaboration and education to get everyone working together to improve recycling across the board, including recycling plants, post-consumer material manufacturers, waste management service providers and consumers. With everyone on the same page, we can continue to recycle paper products and other goods going forward. 

Learn More About the Changes 

ISRI's Scrap Specifications Circular provides a wealth of information about the latest updates to recycling policies, including prohibitive and zero-tolerance materials. If you are still unclear on any of the information, we'll be happy to answer your questions to help you better understand these new changes. At Central Kentucky Fiber Resources, we are experts in paper recycling. We can assist you with recycling a variety of other materials as well, including scrap metal, plastic and more. We welcome you to get in touch with us today to learn more about our recycling services and how we can help your organization do its part to preserve our environment for future generations. 

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