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Record 63.4% of U.S. Paper Recovered for Recycling in 2009

paperThe highest proportion of paper ever recovered for recycling in the U.S. showed that efforts by corporations to recycle paper paid dividends in 2009, according to a new report from PaperRecycles.org, which is funded by the American Forest & Paper Association.

The 63.4 percent recovery rate for 2009 surpasses the paper industry’s 60 percent recovery goal three years ahead of plan.

The actual volume of paper and paperboard recycled is dropping, along with purchases of paper.

About 50 million tons of paper and paperboard were recovered last year, down slightly from the year before, after plateauing at about 52 million tons in 2007.

A range of corporations are putting efforts in place to reduce their paper purchases, and increase recycling.

For instance, in 2008 HP’s non-hazardous waste reduction program helped the company avoid sending 83,866 tons of waste to landfill, which was primarily paper waste.

This strategy saved the company nearly $7.7 million from reusing items and avoiding landfill costs, and generated $2 million in revenue by selling material to recyclers.

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