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August 4, 2009

Recycling Info for Teachers

Have you been trying to get your school to recycle the mass amounts of paper that your school generates? Maybe try this option:

GreenFiber wants the communities trashed paper products, as is not only willing to pick them up for free, but will also pay your school per ton of paper they collect. This could potentially be a great solution for local schools and businesses to solve the some of the recycling issues around the valley.

The following article was written in the Salt Lake Tribune by Jennifer W. Sanchez:

West Valley City » In a warehouse here, newspapers and cereal boxes, among other paper products, are shredded and made into insulation for buildings.

To get the paper products, GreenFiber pays citizens money to recycle. The company pays $15 a ton to the schools or businesses that house its green recycling bins and $30 a ton if someone drops it off at the warehouse.

"You don't have to do anything, and [you] get a check," said GreenFiber spokesman Bruce Lyman.

And company officials promise there's no catch.

GreenFiber, a North Carolina-based company, is among the nation's biggest manufacturers of natural fiber insulation, fire and sound products. The West Valley City plant, which was acquired by the company three years ago, is one of eight recycling and manufacturing facilities nationwide.

The West Valley City warehouse's former owner Redi Therm opened the warehouse in 1983.

In 1995, the plant started a Community Paper Recycling Program, where the company provides free green bins at various locations, from schools to mall parking lots, and later white recycle trucks return to collect the paper products , Lyman said.

There are no fees for clients at any point, he said.

Today, the GreenFiber plant in West Valley City oversees an estimated 1,600 recycling bins -- which look like industrial green garbage cans -- from northern to central Utah, he said.

The paper products are then delivered to the West Valley City plant, where they are shredded and made into bundles of insulation. The insulation is then taken to be sold at hardware stores, such as Home Depot, Lyman said.

It's a win-win situation -- recycling the paper products helps the environment, people make a few bucks and some waste-disposal bills are decreased, Lyman said.

Some schools or businesses might make a few hundred dollars or up to $1,000 a year, depending on how much they recycle. Profits from some bins go to nonprofit groups, such as the Utah Food Bank, he said.

When a group of students wanted to start the recycling program at Northwest Middle School in Salt Lake City, Principal Rod Goode said he supported their idea, and they really got other kids and teachers involved.

The school eventually won a contest among 35 schools on which campus could most improve their recycling numbers. In spring 2008, Northwest gathered .75 tons of paper products. That increased to almost six tons in spring 2009, making them the recipients of a $100 prize, Lyman said.

Goode said the school will definitely continue to participate in the program, and he plans to let the students decide on how to spend the extra cash.

"It makes recycling easy and convenient," he said.

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