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MOST COMPREHENSIVE MILK CARTON, DRINK BOX RECYCLING PROGRAM ARRIVES IN VERMONT; 250,000 RESIDENTS TO BE SERVED BY PROGRAM

 RUTLAND, Vt., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Vermont's list of recyclable materials grew today as milk cartons and drink boxes began to be recycled here. Casella Waste Management, Inc., Vermont's largest recycler and solid waste management company; Seward Dairy, one of the state's leading dairies; and Tetra Pak Inc., maker of milk cartons and drink boxes, have teamed up to bring the most comprehensive milk carton and drink box recycling program to the state of Vermont. The program, which involves both homes and schools, has the potential to recycle nearly 400,000 paperboard milk cartons and drink boxes in its first year.
 Executives from Casella, Seward Dairy and Tetra Pak were on hand at the annual Dairy Day festivities held today on the State House Lawn in Montpelier to introduce the milk carton and drink box recycling program to the thousands of youngsters attending the event. Children heard the details of the new recycling program and also received a first-hand look at the actual recycling process. In addition, youngsters were invited to pledge their commitment to recycling by signing a giant card inscribed with the words, "I Pledge to Recycle to Keep Vermont Green."
 Leading the way in the initiative are the 2,700 students in the Rutland City School system, who recently began a pilot program to recycle milk cartons and drink boxes. The program will also be implemented in the greater Burlington, Rutland and Montpelier areas, serving more than 250,000 Vermont residents who can drop off these materials for recycling at Casella processing facilities in these cities. Rounding out the program in mid-summer will be Casella residential curbside collection customers in Burlington, Rutland and Middlebury.
 "As Vermont's leading recycler, we are very excited to bring this recycling program to Vermont," John Casella, chairman of Casella Waste Management, Inc., said. "We are always looking for ways to expand the demand for recycling. It seems only natural for us to start collecting and processing these valuable new materials, in concert with our goal of reducing the waste stream."
 While Vermont residents have long recycled newspaper, glass, aluminum and plastics, this initiative, conducted through Casella's Recycle Vermont division, marks the first time residents will also be able to recycle paperboard milk cartons and drink boxes. It is estimated that every household in the state utilizes approximately 10 pounds of milk cartons and drink boxes each year.
 Thanks to this new program, these recycled cartons and boxes will be used to produce tissues, napkins and paper towels by Encore Paper Company. Starting in June, Brattleboro-based Northeast Cooperatives, a cooperative distributor of natural foods, will sell Encore products made from recycled milk cartons and drink boxes to its customers located throughout New England.
 This new initiative represents Vermont's most comprehensive milk carton and drink box recycling program. However, Northeast Cooperatives has collected and recycled drink boxes through its customers around New England since February 1990. By confirming the feasibility of collecting these containers, this effort helped pave the way for today's launch.
 "It's fitting that a state so well known for the preservation of its natural beauty -- and its fine dairy products -- recycle its milk cartons and drink boxes," commented Karen Kolakowski, Tetra Pak's regional environmental director. "We are very pleased Vermonters have joined the more than one million consumers in 16 states across the nation who recycle these cartons."
 After collecting the milk cartons and drink boxes, Casella bales them and transports them for re-sale to Encore Paper Company. The mill then recycles the cartons and boxes in a paper-making process called hydrapulping. In the hydrapulping process, the cartons and boxes are agitated for 30-40 minutes until the plastic and foil separate from the high-quality paper pulp. High-quality fibers recovered from the cartons and boxes are then used to produce 100 percent recycled paper products, such as tissues, napkins and paper towels.
 -0- 6/2/93
 /CONTACT: David Fretz of Casella Waste Management, 802-775-9908, or Bonni Kogen, 914-763-3218, for Casella Waste Management/


CO: Casella Waste Management, Inc. ST: Vermont IN: ENV SU:

SM-PS -- NY010 -- 4968 06/03/93 12:00 EDT
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Date:Jun 3, 1993
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