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US paper recycling reaches new high

USA – Paper recycling in the USA reached a level of 63.5% in 2010, according to the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA).

The figure represented a futher slight improvement on the record 63.4% achieved the previous year, according to spokesman Chuck Fuqua. In 2008, only 57.4% of the paper consumed in the USA was recycled. AF&PA has targeted a national paper recycling rate of at least 70% by 2020.

On the production side, the association reported that US paper and paperboard capacity declined 3.1% in 2010 to 91.05m short tons (82.6m tonnes). Total capacity had previously declined by 0.8% in 2008 and 2.5% in 2009.

The association said 12 mills and 22 machines were classified as permanently closed and removed from its survey base in 2010, with another two mills and seven machines scheduled to close this year. US paper and paperboard capacity is expected to contract by 1.4% in 2011, with small gains of 0.1% and 0.2% expected in 2012 and 2013.

In 2010, 87% of the US population had access to a kerbside recycling program or a community collection point, Fuqua said, citing a recent study by energy and waste consultant RW Beck.

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