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CENTRAL OHIO IS FIRST IN STATE TO RECYCLE DRINK BOXES AND MILK CARTONS

 CENTRAL OHIO IS FIRST IN STATE TO RECYCLE
 DRINK BOXES AND MILK CARTONS
 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Long, executive director of the Franklin County Regional Solid Waste Authority, on Dec. 11, helpled kick off the state's first recycling program for drink boxes and milk cartons.
 According to Long, "This program will allow for the recycling of a whole new group of products. It's now easy to recycle about 15 percent of the solid waste stream. Programs like this will help us reach our goal of recycling up to 25 percent of Ohio's solid waste."
 Approximately 2,000 households in the city of Columbus will be able to put the materials in their curbside recycling bins beginning in January. Local schools also are participating in recycling by collecting milk cartons and drink boxes at the end of each lunch period.
 The recycling effort is part of the Aseptic Packaging Council's (APC) national program to expand recycling of drink boxes and other poly-coated paperboard packages such as milk cartons. Combibloc, Inc., a member of the APC, is helping to coordinate the Central Ohio program. Combibloc is the nation's second largest manufacturer of drink boxes, and its North American headquarters are located in Columbus.
 Susan Levine, vice president of marketing for Combibloc, praised the initiative of the Solid Waste Authority, local government officials, residents, teachers and students.
 "We're very encouraged by the enthusiasm in Central Ohio for recycling drink boxes and milk cartons," she said. "The Solid Waste Authority has been very supportive of our efforts by helping to educate the public about the importance of being able to recycle new materials.
 "As more people learn about the availability of recycling drink boxes and milk cartons, we hope it will become even more accessible to Central Ohio residents," she added.
 Currently 29 schools in Central Ohio are participating in the recycling program. "Teachers and parents are so interested in recycling these materials that they are volunteering to take the materials to the recycler," Levine explained.
 In the meantime, districts and waste haulers are exploring ways to expand programs to more schools. The Worthington School District recently began a pilot collection program at two schools. According to Superintendent Damon Asbury, they will study the results for possible district-wide expansion later this year. Ohio Disposal Systems, the waste hauler for part of the Columbus Public School District, is currently collecting material from Berwick Alternative School and is exploring ways it can collect material from Berwick Alternative School and is exploring ways it can collect from other schools in the district. Waste Management also is looking into how the material can be added to its school recycling programs.
 "Drink box recycling in schools offers advantages for both students and schools," Levine explained. "Students learn good recycling habits by recycling packages they use every day. And schools can significantly reduce their trash volume by recycling milk cartons and drink boxes."
 Recycled drink boxes and milk cartons are taken to CycleMET, 1465 East 17th Ave., for processing. Residents recycling in curbside or drop-off programs should rinse and flatten the cartons before putting them in recycling bins. Because students can't rinse containers in schools, CycleMET has equipment that shreds and rinses the packages before they are baled for a paper manufacturer.
 The baled material is collected by Ponderosa Fibres of America and taken to one of their hydrapulping locations in Wisconsin, Tennessee or Georgia. A hydrapulper works like a large food blender, using rotors and water to separate the paper fibers from the plastic and foil.
 The paper fiber can be used to make recycled paper products such as tissues, napkins and paper towels. The residual plastic and aluminum foil can be recycled with mixed plastics into a durable wood substitute.
 The process also has the potential to be expanded to recycle other polycoated packages such as frozen food boxes and paper cups.
 Central Ohio joins a growing number of communities in the nation that are recycling drink boxes and milk cartons. Pilot drink box recycling programs have been established in more than 200 schools and communities in 12 states. Next year, the APC will further expand drink box recycling through the "National Recycling in Schools Program," a joint program with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to recycle the materials in selected cities.
 "Successful recycling programs such as this are possible only when everyone involved works together," Levine said. "We're very excited about the potential in Central Ohio."
 -0- 12/12/91
 /CONTACT: Mary Jo Green of Combibloc, 614-876-3754/ CO: Combibloc ST: Ohio IN: PAP SU:


LC -- CL012 -- 2117 12/12/91 16:36 EST
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Date:Dec 12, 1991
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