By Judith Kelliher | Special to The Republican
Published on July 07, 2014 at 6:00 AM, updated July 07, 2014 at 6:11 AM
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to expand its business and increase residential recycling, Northstar Pulp & Paper is offering a cash-for-paper program to the general public, says Aaron Goodman, the company’s chief operations officer.
A fifth-generation family-owned business, Northstar has been offering recycling services to larger corporations, including those which specialize in industrial supplies of materials, Goodman said.
Now, the company will pay cash to the general public for corrugated, mixed paper and sorted office paper. A minimum of 100 pounds of paper per drop is required, he said.
“We are always anxious to grow our business and grow our tonnage. One area we have neglected is the consumer,” Goodman said. “So we are trying to reach out to both smaller recyclers who would gather cardboard for a living and also to those who handle household or office clean-outs.”
A pricing index called the PPI Pulp & Paper Week is one resource which Northstar uses to determine the rates it pays for the waste paper and is negotiated by waste-paper dealers and paper-mill owners, Goodman said.
Recently, Northstar was paying 3 cents per pound for corrugated and sorted office paper and 1 cent per pound for mixed paper. Due to supply and demand, pricing can change on a monthly basis, he said.
The three basic grades of paper which Northstar accepts include the mixed paper (newspaper, hard- and soft-cover books) and assorted office paper (manila file folders, white paper without printing and shredded paper). In order for Northstar to accept it, the paper must be relatively clean and mostly dry, Goodman said.
To determine the poundage, consumers selling the waste paper would drive their vehicles with the paper in it onto a state-certified truck scale to be weighed at Northstar’s site. Next, they would go to a designated area on site and drop the materials off, and return to the scale to weigh the vehicle without the paper and receive cash for the paper.
Northstar takes the paper it collects from the public and puts it in a machine which creates large bales that are subsequently sold to domestic paper mills to be used for pulping again and made into a new product, Goodman said.
The sorted office paper could be made into tissue paper or toilet paper, while the corrugated or mixed paper would be reused to make the cardboard inside of a large roll of paper, some weighing 2,000 pounds, he said.
Consumers could drop off the waste paper weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Northstar’s 89 Guion St. location.