There are acronyms in Recycling that mean something to those involved but often leave others in the dark.
OCC is one of them. It stands for Old Corrugated Cardboard, the cardboard with the rippled layer sandwiched between layers of linerboard. There is a lot of it as almost everything comes to this community in a box.
Last year 199,517 tonnes of cardboard was recycled which is 48% of the total. That is 570 bales weighing 350 kg. This means 14.25 semi loads of compressed cardboard was kept out of local landfills, not counting Walmart’s cardboard which they recycle on their own.
There is still a lot of cardboard going to local landfills. Many communities are banning it from landfills as it is very recyclable.
The cardboard recycled from our community is sent from Winnipeg to a plant in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The recycling process begins by mixing the cardboard with water to make pulp. Contaminants like metal fasteners, string, and dirt are removed. It is rolled between big rollers that make it into sheets that are squeezed to get all the water out. Then it is dried and made into big rolls for shipment to manufacturing plants which make it into something new.
Recycled cardboard is made into corrugated cardboard, boxboard, gypsum wallboard liner, roofing felt, brown paper, tubes, and core board which is the rolls in toilet paper, giftwrap, etc.
Cardboard that is waxed, contaminated with food, oil, paint or other materials cannot be recycled.
Cardboard is baled separately and sold. The average price last year was $35.00 per metric ton. The highest was $50.00 and the lowest was $15.00.
Recycling cardboard saves energy, water, trees, and space at the landfill.