Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Report from the Pratt Industries recycling center tour by city council member Michael Corbin

Michael Corbin, newly elected city councilman from District D, recently chatted with Michael Hughes of Hughes Recycling on the civic affairs program Time for A Better Shreveport. Hosted by Loren Demerath, Carolyn Manning and Robert Trudeau, the program airs Mondays at 5 pm on KSCL, 91.3 fm.

Corbin sent this report on the Tuesday tour of Pratt Industries given the city council:

"Yesterday the Council had the opportunity to tour Pratt's recycling facility and paper mill. We basically watched trucks dump their daily pickup of items from the blue bins and saw the materials pass through the recycling process to the end product of the following: bales of aluminum cans, bales of steel cans, bales of different types of recyclable plastics and bales of cardboard and paper.

The cardboard and paper is fed into the paper mill while the other items are sold as raw material. At this point in time glass is not being recycled due to market conditions and the contamination rate (cleanliness of the product). Pratt is building a prototype machine designed to better clean glass and results of testing should be in soon. Until glass can be cleaned better and/or the market for glass improves it is being dumped in the landfill.

Here are some take-aways for me that I will share with you.

* A pizza box you place in your blue bin this morning may very well be picked up, sorted, fed into the mill and become a new pizza box within 36 hours or less.

* Although there is an amount of non-recyclable items that are placed in the blue bins, the amount is not prohibitive to the process and much less than other areas of the country.

* Total participation in Shreveport's recycling program has increased while actual tonnage (amount of recyclable material) has decreased since inception.

* Gray water output from the Lucas Wastewater Facility that was previously pumped into the Red River is now used in the manufacturing process at the Pratt Mill.

* The paper mill runs 24/7, 365 days a year while the recycling facility runs a shift and a half daily. This means there is ample opportunity to create new recycling opportunities throughout the region. Other cities, businesses, schools, etc."

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