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The Final Word by Chuck Swann
Mills recycling OCC, ONP and OMG commonly receive shipments by truck and sometimes by rail. The Pratt OCC recycling mill in Staten Island may be the only one in this country that gets water-borne shipments. Tug boats shepherd barges laden with recovered paper down the Hudson River from Manhattan, up a local inlet and park them snugly against Pratt's own pier.

Water shipments go on six days a week, with each barge hauling 750 tons of collected paper and board. Other recovered paper comes to the mill in New York Department of Sanitation trucks and from private haulers. Half the paper waste turned out by New York City ends up at the massive Pratt recycling mill at Staten Island.

At the pier, a grappler lifts loose paper--10 tons with each grab--and drops it into a pulper. Within hours, the recovered paper is turned into 25-ton rolls of liner or medium, two rolls per hour. The rolls move next door to another Pratt facility, where they are turned into corrugated boxes.

Anthony Pratt, the company's CEO, told the Wall Street Journal, "The biggest export from New York City is waste." Pratt said putting a box factory in the city where the people are is like putting a car factory in a steel mill.

Pratt Industries opened the Staten Island mill in 1997, as the company's second 100% recycled paper mill. Since then, two additional facilities have been added to the campus, bringing Pratt's investment at the site, according to the company's web site, to "a third of a billion dollars."

Pratt produces more than one million pizza boxes each week, 55 million a year in the Staten Island mill alone. Pratt is now the 5th largest producer of paper packaging company in the US and an established leader in corrugated packaging. The company has three 100 percent recycled paper mills, 12 corrugating facilities, 13 recycling centers and 24 sheet plants.

Chuck Swann is the senior editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at chuck.swann@taii.com.

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