The focus of the paper industry has shifted from communications to packaging. Communication is electronic, but merchandise must still be physically transported from place to place, and packaging has become more important than ever.
The internet is the single most devastating Kryptonite to paper recyclers when it comes to publications and communications. Websites of information and advertising have virtually replaced paper circulars and other printed materials. Technology affects the way that we read and learn. Not only are the publications of printed newspapers and magazines steadily declining, but books are also becoming more readily available in a digital format. Even textbooks can be accessed through a link on the school's website. So, where does this leave paper recyclers?
Adapt and Embrace Change
Since the internet seems to have taken over all areas of life, the smart thing to do is to use these digital trends to your advantage. This is where consumer purchases online come into play. The increase in shopping online leads directly to an increase in the need for packaging for delivery of merchandise. In turn, the rise of corrugated cardboard consumption directly affects recycling.
Big-box stores and corporate entities are far more efficient at recycling than are residential consumer recyclers, and they should be as they are better equipped to do so. Employees of these stores and corporations are trained in proper disposal of paper recyclables as well as provided with machinery that is designed to press and compact paper for recycling.
Problems for Residential Recyclers
Residential consumers experience more challenges with recycling than do commercial entities including access to recycling, space within the home, and expense.
Access — Many residential areas are not served by the municipalities to which they belong. Typically, curbside recycling services are not readily available at apartment complexes, dorms, and other multiple unit dwellings. Any resident living outside of the city limits in a more rural area is particularly affected by this dilemma.
Space — One recycle bin per household, no matter the number of occupants is standard for a given municipality. It is the policy that only recyclables in the bin are accepted, while everything stacked next to it will be left on the curb. A typical household produces more recyclable waste than disposable trash or garbage, but they are limited to one recycle bin that is emptied weekly or bi-weekly. Once the bin is full, then a lot of recyclable items end up in the trash can. Adequate indoor space such as a basement or garage is needed to keep an overflow of recyclables in acceptable condition for recycling.
Expense — Additional bins cost the resident money. A one-time fee for the bin must be paid as well as additional costs per month for pick up of the additional bin. Many places provide recycling centers, but this means packing paper recyclables for transportation and time and fuel to and from facilities.
At Central Kentucky Fiber Resources, we encourage recycling of all types. Call us today to learn how we can help your business!