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Springfield recycler Northstar Pulp & Paper repurposes to meet 21st century demands

Northstar Pulp & Paper is not your everyday recycling company. It processes and resells paper, metals and plastics and recently added repairing and selling wooden pallets to the reuse repertoire. The work – collecting, compressing, baling, grinding, and delivery – is done by roughly 80 employees who process 20,000 tons of scrap material every single month in two warehouses that together provide 300,000 square feet of working space in Springfield.

Three state grants totaling $215,000 received in the past two years have helped Northstar purchase equipment, add to the workforce and offer safety education and training to employees.

In announcing one of the most recent grants, roughly $90,000 for equipment, Gov. Charlie Baker noted that advancing opportunities to increase recycling protects the environment and supports the economy. Goodman said, “We’ve been very fortunate.”

Hyman Goodman started his business on the streets of Worcester, where he walked with a wooden cart, ringing a bell and asking residents if they had rags to spare. He then sold the rags to paper mills as a source of fiber.

Things have changed quite a bit over the years. Major transitions included the beginning of scrap metal recycling in the 20th century and moving to Springfield, under second-generation owner Harry Goodman, early on in that same era.

Other changes have included making shifts as supplies have changed. For instance, Aaron Goodman explains, the paper Northstar processes was once of a higher quality. Envelopes and stationery, which have all but disappeared in the digital age, gave way to chipboard and corrugated paper from clients such as packaging plants. Today’s paper is sold to major paper mills in the United States and Canada for a variety of products, including corrugated boxes, cores for paper rolls, towels and tissue paper.

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Senator Lesser Tours Springfield’s Northstar Pulp & Paper Company, Sees Their New Equipment in Action

March 13, 2017

SPRINGFIELD — Senator Eric P. Lesser toured Northstar Pulp and Paper Company in Springfield Friday to view the company’s new equipment purchased with a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Lesser also discussed with company leadership and employees how the equipment will support the company’s work and how further public-private partnerships can contribute to the state’s business environment.

In July 2016, the Massachusetts DEP awarded Northstar a grant of up to $90,000 under the Commonwealth’s Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program to help companies expand their recycling operations.

Northstar used the funds to purchase Sterling Elutriators and Bunting Magnet Systems, which upgraded two formerly existing plastic manufacturing lines to process post-consumer material. The new equipment grinds and cleans old plastic products to prepare for recycling.

Lesser serves as the Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, which oversees industrial development and environmental technologies, among many other issues.

“Northstar is the green economy in action, and a leader in innovation here in Western Mass. I’m glad I was able to see some of the great work they are doing — including the impressive new equipment they have, thanks to a Recycling Business Development Grant. This grant allowed them to open a new recycling line, expand their business, and help create new jobs in Springfield, all while promoting recycling and environmental sustainability,” said Senator Lesser.

“I enjoyed showing Senator Lesser the progress that we have made recycling post-consumer plastics with the help of the Massachusetts Business Development Grant.  I believe that we had some fruitful discussions of how we can use these public-private partnerships to improve the recycling markets of Massachusetts. I appreciate the level of support we have received from Senator Lesser, the State of Massachusetts and the Mass DEP, which has allowed us to expand our ability to convert post-consumer rigid plastics into valuable commodities,” said Aaron Goodman, Northstar’s Chief Operating Officer.

Northstar is a paper, plastic and metal recycling company looking to improve their capacity to produce quality post-consumer plastic regrinds. Using the grant funds, Northstar will purchase and install three separate methods for reducing ferrous contamination within their finished product. The company intends to target plastic pallets, which are generally hard to manage because they are often contaminated with dirt and fiber, and frequently have metal or fiberglass reinforcement bars.

Northstar Pulp & Paper Co., Inc. Receives Mass DEP Grant

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Nearly One Million to Help Businesses Increase Recycling of Glass, Other Hard to Recycle Materials

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded nearly one million dollars in grants to seven companies under the Commonwealth’s Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program to help increase the recycling of glass, mattresses and other hard-to-recycle materials.

“Recycling plays an important role in the Massachusetts economy, employing thousands of people and converting recyclable materials into valuable end products,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Continuing to advance opportunities to increase recycling not only helps protect our environment, but also creates jobs and supports our economy.”

“This grant program will help recycling processors and manufacturers in the Commonwealth to create sustainable markets for these materials and recycle items that would otherwise end up in landfills,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This investment also supports our communities, which benefit from increased demand and higher prices for recycled materials.”

The grant program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will enable these companies to expand their recycling operations and increase the amount and quality of recycling now occurring across the Commonwealth. The program is funded through dedicated contributions of waste-to-energy facility renewable energy credits.

As a condition of receiving funding, grant recipients commit to meeting tonnage goals over a two-year period. The RBDG program targets difficult-to-recycle materials and this round of grants includes funds to promote the recovery of mattresses, packaged food, plastics and glass.

“These businesses exemplify the innovative Massachusetts business environment and are making a positive impact on our environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Mathew Beaton. “Investments like this not only support the growth of viable Massachusetts businesses, but also help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment for future generations.”

“As individuals, one of the more impactful things we can do to protect our natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to fully participate in community recycling efforts,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Under this program, these businesses complement our individual efforts and add value to the environment and our economy.”

Northstar Pulp & Paper Company, Inc., Springfield – Up to Ninety Thousand Dollars
Northstar is a paper, plastic and metal recycling company looking to improve their capacity to produce quality post-consumer plastic regrinds. Northstar will purchase and install three separate methods for reducing ferrous contamination within their finished product. The company intends to target plastic pallets, which are generally hard to manage because they are often contaminated with dirt and fiber, and frequently have metal or fiberglass reinforcement bars.

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Northstar: An Evolving Recycling Company

More than 100 Years Recycling Experience:

Northstar:  An Evolving Recycling Company

by Anna Dutko Rowley

Springfield, Massachusetts based Northstar Pulp & Paper, a waste and recycling company, is an example of a company that has evolved over time.  The Fifth generation family-run company has done what it takes to stay relevant in the recycling world.  The business went from humble beginnings of recycling rags and scrap metal to paper and plastics today.  “In 1898, my great-great-grandfather Hyman Goodman started the business out of his basement, collecting rags and metal on the street,” said Aaron Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Northstar Pulp & Paper.

The Company name was later changed to Harry Goodman Inc., where Hyman’s son Harry focused on expanding the scrap metal side of the business.  The recycler later added scrap paper and plastics to its portfolio, as well as a name change, Northstar Pulp & Paper, under David Goodman.  The company today is managed by Aaron’s father, David, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and sister, Lori Goodman.

When asked what made Aaron join the business, he said that it was something he always wanted to do.  “Recycling has always been in my background.  I would listen to my father talking to buyers.  My earliest memory is of my father driving me around in the plant on a forklift.  I started working for the business when I was 16,” said Goodman.

Focus of Northstar’s business today is in paper and plastics recycling.  Paper grades the company handles include Sorted Office Paper (SOP), Old Corrugated Containers (OCC), Mixed Paper, and all High Grades.  Plastics include polyethylene, polypropylene, and PET.  The recycler processes about 150,000 tons of paper and plastics on an annual basis.

The company procures most of its scrap from post-industrial accounts in the western Massachusetts area and processes the scrap at its 300,000 square-foot plant in Springfield.  “We do go as far north as Maine and south into Pennsylvania for material,” said Goodman.  Northstar also accepts material from the general public as well.  The recycler is a supplier to many mills in the Northeast.  End markets for plastics are injection molders, compounders, strapping manufacturers, and plastic lumber extruders.

Northstar made some investments in new equipment over the past couple of years to increase productivity.  In 2012, the company invested in a Williams XL-70 shredder and an American Baler to handle product destruction and difficult materials such as hard and soft cover books, which end up going to tissue mills.  In 2013, the recycler invested in a CMG plastic shredder and two Cumberland granulators to process post-industrial plastics.  “These machines handle our bottle grade PET (soda and water bottles), which is a new market for us,” said Goodman.  Earlier this year, Northstar installed a Bollegraaf HBC 120 Baler for handling scrap fiber.  “The new baler produces a 20 percent denser product, while reducing energy usage and run-time.  The baler has helped us enormously by reducing the space needed for the storage of our materials,” he explained.

In the future, the company said it is dedicated to expanding services in paper and plastic recycling.  “We want to expand recovering more High Grades.  We also want to grow our capability on the plastics side down the line by adding a wash line.”

Copyright NV Business Publishers 2014


For the full story please visit the following link:  Northstar Story