Newsprint costs

The rising cost of newsprint used by the Trib probably has several causes. One is that various environmental groups have made it more expensive for wood-pulp processors in North America to harvest the trees used to manufacture newsprint (Resolute Forest Products v Greenpeace Canada is a good example). Another may be related to the problems discussed in the article titled “Recycling, Once Embraced by Business and Environmentalists, Now Under Siege” in the Wall Street Journal. To summarize its reporting, it seems recycling is no longer profitable in most cases except for cans and cardboard. This has affected the availability of raw materials used to manufacture newsprint, which typically contains some recycled paper.

On the recycling issue, “prices for scrap paper and plastic have collapsed.” According to the article, “As cities aggressively expanded recycling programs to keep more discarded household items out of landfills, the purity of U.S. scrap deteriorated as more trash infiltrated the recyclables. Discarded food, liquid-soaked paper and other contaminants recently accounted for as much as 20 percent of the material shipped to China, according to Waste Management Inc.’s estimates, double from five years ago. The changes have effectively cut off exports from the U.S., the world’s largest generator of scrap paper and plastic.” Added to these problems are “...the growing rift between the U.S. and China over trade policies and tariffs.”

Herbert R. Haynes, China Spring

Batteries & bulbs

From 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the cities of Hewitt, Lacy Lakeview, Waco and Woodway will sponsor a household waste-diversion event at 501 Schroeder Drive. Residents from these four cities only may bring specific, hard-to-dispose waste items. The following are accepted:

  • Batteries (including automotive or other vehicle batteries) and bulbs such as curly bulbs and fluorescent light tubes.
  • Used motor oil.
  • Latex paint.
  • Antifreeze.
  • Also, electronics, including TVs and monitors, as well as scrap tires, up to 10, off the rims, maximum-size 20-inch.

The following are not accepted: oil-based paint, shellac, paint thinner, spray paint, Kilz (dried paint can be put in the trash), household hazardous waste/chemicals, gasoline, business waste, medical waste, dioxins, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, compressed-gas cylinders, pharmaceuticals, smoke detectors or household trash. Call Waco Solid Waste at 299-2612 with questions.

Anna M. Dunbar, Environmental Program Manager, Waco Department of Public Works

Blow, train whistle!

As I sit here listening to the lonesome whistle blow, I realize I am going to miss it if it goes away. Just wanted to “sound off” about it.

Michelle Toon, Waco