|GRN Recycle Talk FAQ
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 98 09:40 WET DST From: FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV (Fred Friedman) Subject: Use for papermill waste (Allegra Treaster)
October 19, 1998
Dear Allegra Treaster,
There are approximately 550 pulp and paper mills in the US About 500 of those are paper mills.
Characteristic paper mills and pulp mills produce paper sludge and water effluents bearing suspended solids, toxic materials, bleach. SSmall amounts of the wastes, on the order of 5% can be recycled, while another 10-11% can be burned for energy recovery.
In 1995 about 170 million pounds were released by only the largest paper facilities, meaning that the figure will be significantly larger in reality. The statistical representation for 1993 says that the total figure of toxic chemicals in all media was about 218 million pounds per year. or about 4% of all toxics charted by EPA from the reporting manufacturers via the Toxics Release Inventory.
Now as to reuses, first, the stuff has to pass the TCLP toxicity test. After that, some paper sludge can be used to make low grade market pulp for e.g. towel and napkin stock. Some of it can be applied to land for reclamation and agriculture. Several wastewater treatment facilities in NH and VT send their treated sludge to farmsGravel pit reclamation of short fiber paper sludge has been used in NH. I am not going to know all of the experiments that have been performed, because most of them are taking place by members of the Technical Assn. of the Pulp and Paper Industry or TAPPI, and some happen out of my area. However, these were recently written up in an article in Biocycle Magazine (11/97) called Paper Mill Sludge: Feedstock for Tomorrow which is somewhat optimistic as a title.
- Research Library for RCRA