Down to Business

Features - Conferences & Events

Paper recyclers plan to get down to business in Chicago at the 11th annual Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show.


Chicago’s numerous attractions have long made it popular with many travelers. From attending a concert at the city’s lakefront Millennium Park to shopping along the Magnificent Mile to perusing the masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago to enjoying the amusements at Navy Pier, the city’s diversity of attractions makes it an ideal destination. This June, paper recycling professionals will be mixed among the tourists, as Recycling Today’s Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show returns to downtown Chicago, specifically the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile.

From June 13-15, the Paper Recycling Conference will attract attendees from around the world to Chicago. Participants represent recovery/recycling companies, paper mills, the government sector and all other links in the recovered fiber supply chain, including brokers.

“The event has always been the premier networking and business conference in the industry,” says Recycling Today Publisher Jim Keefe.

Attendees should have little trouble putting the lure of Chicago’s attractions on hold during the day, as they get down to the business of paper recycling at the 2010 Paper Recycling Conference, which includes numerous networking opportunities in addition to an exhibit hall featuring a number of suppliers to the recycling industry and a variety of educational sessions that are sure to appeal to recyclers with various interests.

The 2010 event features a program that covers all aspects of recovered paper markets, with an emphasis on how the industry has been affected by the recent economic crisis and how those changes affect the market. The conference also features workshops focused on residential recycling, commercial recycling, transportation and operations.

“We’ve always known that attendees come for the networking and for top-quality programming,” says Brian Taylor, editor-in-chief of Recycling Today. “Knowing that most mixed post-consumer streams consist of at least 50 percent fiber, we’ll be offering specific programming for MRF (material recovery facility) operators, haulers and government recycling officials in 2010.”

In addition to continuing its commitment to quality educational programming, the Paper Recycling Conference welcomes back the industry associations who offer their cooperation for the event, including event co-sponsor the Paper Stock Industries (PSI) national chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI).

PSI hosts a session Monday, June 14, titled, “ISRI Scrap Specifications Circular: Staying Relevant in the 21st Century.” Moderator Sandy Rosen of Great Lakes Recycling, Roseville, Mich., moderates a panel discussion with members of the PSI Standards and Practices Committee on the topic of the paper specifications amendment process.


In addition to several workshops and plenary sessions, the 2010 Paper Recycling Conference offers attendees three programming tracks: Commodities & Trading, Plant Operations and Collections & Municipal Markets.

The Commodities & Trading track focuses on the business of buying and selling secondary fiber as well as the factors affecting generation and demand of this material. Among the sessions included in this track are Monday’s session titled “The Global Outlook,” which includes offers insight into the markets of the most common export destinations. Kevin Duncombe of Western Pacific Pulp & Paper, Downey, Calif., moderates the session, which includes speakers Ranjit Baxi of J & H Sales International Ltd., London; Sam Liu of America Chung Nam, Los Angeles; and Frank Sanchez of Durango McKinley, Dallas. Also scheduled for Monday is “North America's New Demand Scenarios,” which examines the factors affecting finished paper production and the demand for scrap paper. Speakers for this session include Steve Silver, FutureMark Paper Co., Alsip, Ill; Barbara Hudson, Marcal Tissue, Elmwood Park, N.J.; and Myles Cohen, Pratt Industries, Conyers, Ga.

The Plant Operations track offers sessions geared specifically toward general managers, operations managers and other recycling professionals who work to process recovered fiber daily. During the session “Pulling the Trigger on Plant Expansion,” recyclers offer insight into how they decided the time was right to invest in additional processing capacity. Panelists include Andy Ockenfels, president of City Carton Recycling, Iowa City, Iowa; Dave Lank, vice president of operations for FCR Inc., a division of Casella Waste Management, Rutland, Vt.; and Ron Mason of Rohn Industries, St. Paul, Minn. The session titled “Adjusting MRFs to Changing Streams” features plant designers discussing operations in an environment in which less ONP (old newspaper) is being generated and a wider variety of grades is in the fiber mix. Speakers include Chicago-based Smurfit-Stone Recycling’s Dave Farrow and Toronto-based Metro Waste Paper Recovery’s Dan Lantz. In the session “Safe and Sound” ISRI’s Director of Safety John Gilstrap and Tomas Vujovic of Recycling Services, Chicago, offer advice on operating a safe MRF or paper stock plant.

Conference programming also includes a Collection & Municipal Markets track, which offers the session “An Ongoing Education.” This session provides a review of public-private partnership techniques designed to boost residential collection volumes. Moderated by Matthew McKenna of Keep America Beautiful, Stamford, Conn., this session includes speakers Steve Thompson of the Curbside Value Partnership, Atul Nanda of New York City-based RecycleBank; and Rick Meyers of the city of Milwaukee. A second session, titled “Meeting Municipal Expectations,” offers a look at how recyclers and municipalities can best communicate when recycling program differences arise. Moderated by Toral Jah, Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin, this session includes speakers Lantz of Metro Waste and William Kappel of the city of Wauwatosa (Wisconsin).

Three plenary sessions examine the economy in general and the state of the paper recycling industry in particular. “The State of Recovered Fiber Supply” offers a panel drawn from the recycling industry’s key supply sectors. Bill Moore of Moore & Associates, Atlanta, moderates a panel that includes Mike Hagood, Wal-Mart; Kathren Kneer, Pöyry Management Consulting; and Matt Coz, WM Recycle America, who examine the factors affecting the generation of recovered fiber in the current environment. In the plenary session “The State of the Paper Industry,” paper industry executives and analysts look at recent challenges to the industry and provide their outlooks for the future. Finally, in “The State of the Economy in 2010 and Beyond,” Economist and futurist Don Reynolds reviews the turbulent prior two years and looks ahead at where the economy is likely to go.


The Paper Recycling Conference also offers a number of sessions Sunday, June 13, covering additional recyclables that are traditionally encountered in curbside collection programs. In “Demanding Times for PET,” panelists look at how bottle-to-bottle PET recycling applications are competing with traditional woven fiber and overseas markets. Speakers include Gary Wygant of Coca-Cola Recycling, Atlanta. In “Sales Strategies for Targeted Growth,” Nick Wildrick of Total Product Destruction, Spartanburg, S.C., offers prospecting and sales strategies designed to help new companies grow and established companies to reinvigorate. And “Minding the Metal,” offers updates on the supply of aluminum used beverage containers and steel cans and demand and quality factors. Speakers include Andrew Dunbar of Houston-based WM Recycle America and Jon Mulder, Evermore Recycling, Nashville, Tenn.

Attendees also may attend “Fiber's Future Intrigues: Scant Supply and Turbulent Pricing” Sunday afternoon. Hosted by Moore & Associates, this workshop presents forecasts for major fiber grades and offers insight into sourcing the grades likely to be in demand. An additional $75 fee is required for this session.

More Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show information, including registration information and a complete schedule, is available at  

The author is managing editor of Recycling Today and can be contacted at