Springsteen on recycling

Springsteen wails out, “I’ll meet you further on up the road,” from his album The Rising while flailing maniacally at his guitar.

While I am sure he isn’t referring to recycling, that is actually the goal of the process. Reuse over and over. Everything should be seen “further on down the road” in a reused state.

Any company can enhance its role in reusing and recycling. I’m thinking when people consider news gathering agencies, particularly newspapers, they don’t realize the extent of the recycling that goes on.

The base element, paper, for most American newspapers isn’t brand new product anymore. Every half-ton roll is made up of 25 percent reclaimed pulp.

It’s part of the paper-making process.

At the Herald, gathering that paper to recycle goes on in various ways:

-- Printing preparation spoils are all placed in containers, not thrown out. Every roll is inspected prior to going on the press. Any dings, nicks or frayed edges are trimmed out to maintain the strength of the paper. These are the “spoils.”-- The protective wrap, a cardboard-like heavy, paper, has its own recovery container. This wrap is used to protect the newsprint within and prevents moisture, dirt, smudging, or anything that might ruin the paper.-- When a roll of newsprint is automatically expired on the press, the remainder (a roll end or butt roll) is segregated to be reclaimed.-- If there are extra ads at the end of the inserting process, these are saved for shipment to a recycle center. These ads are shipped into the newspaper on pallets. They likely contain cardboard slips between layers and the unit is bound in metal strapping to hold it together. The slips are pulled and go with the press protectors, or discarded wrappings from the press rolls, to be shipped to return as remade cardboard. The metal banding is chopped up with another machine exiting into a barrel. That barrel itself maybe a reclaimed ink or solvent drum. The whole unit goes out to be sold as scrap metal, melted down and maybe made back into strap someday. Even the wood pallet is returned. Stacked and shipped back to be reused, what once came in under JCPenney, may return another day underneath Sears.

Certainly this doesn’t imply 100 percent reuse. The ultimate goal is to work the products into the process so that continual replacement isn’t necessary. Still, it would be so easy to just toss any or all of this into the landfill.This short version of reclamation going on at the Herald is ensuring you that lots is being done to see this stuff “further on up the road.”

-- Ron Buckland is the Herald’s post press department maintenance coordinator and has worked at the paper since 1976.