Addressing Change

Features - Paper

The Paper Recycling Conference returns to Chicago in October with a diverse program.

August 7, 2013
Megan Workman

Recycling industry professionals who attend the Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show ( Oct. 16 to 18 will learn more about where the recycling industry is heading, from programs accepting more materials to developing energy-from-waste markets. The Recycling Today Media Group (publisher of Recycling Today) and event partner, the Paper Stock Institutes (PSI) Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), will host the 14th annual event in Chicago at the Marriott Magnificent Mile.

Andy Ockenfels, chief executive officer of City Carton Recycling, based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, says professionals can see where the industry is going in the next five years by attending the event. “There are very big changes with exports, equipment changes and industry growth, and if you’re not attending a meeting like this recycling conference, then you’re going to be behind the eight ball with the changes in the industry,” says Ockenfels. He adds, “The industry itself is growing in new directions; it’s no longer just collecting and recycling paper.”

Coming Changes
William Caesar, president of WM Recycle America, headquartered in Houston, and Shawn Lavin, president and CEO of Pioneer Industries International, Minneapolis, are two keynote speakers who address the future of the industry from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16. During this session, moderated by James Keefe, publisher of Recycling Today Media Group, the industry executives present their views on changes to and trends within the recycling sector and paper industry.

The 2013 Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, with “Adding Equipment to Add Materials.” Throughout the hour-long session, Greg Leon of PTR Baler & Compactor, Philadelphia, and Kim Williams, owner of Marpan Recycling, Tallahassee, Fla., discuss the appropriate equipment necessary for paper recyclers that now run a wider variety of materials through their plants. Brian Taylor of Recycling Today Media Group moderates the session.

As recycling programs add more materials to the mix, such as obsolete electronics, building materials and tires, panelists discuss “Making MRFs Work” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Moderated by Taylor, the session features Charlotte, N.C.-based ReCommunity President Sean Duffy and Tom Outerbridge of Sims Metal Management, New York, who address how accepting more materials affects MRF (material recovery facility) operators.

From 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, speakers examine “The Energy Market Options.” Energy-from-waste markets are providing potential new homes for MRF residues, mixed plastics and other nonrecyclable or difficult-to-recycle items. Speakers include Ted Hanson of Greenwood Energy, Green Bay, Wis., and Kurt Schmitz, Pratt Industries, Conyers, Ga.

As regular and perspective attendees have likely noticed by now, Recycling Today Events has moved the Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show from earlier in the week (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) to later in the week beginning on Wednesday and ending Friday just before noon.

Philip Rafle of 21st Century Programming, Long Beach, Calif., a designer and distributor of custom software solutions for the recycling and waste industries, says it’s important to stay current in such an ever-changing business. “If you can see where the industry is going, you can predict where to be, and for us it means we can try to solve our customers’ needs before they actually even realize they need it,” says Rafle. “If you’re a paper guy, this [conference] is where you want to be.”

Attendees hear from paper professionals in “Mill Buyers Panel,” from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday. Moderated by Bill Moore of Atlanta-based Moore & Associates, a paper industry consulting group, the session features a panel of paper mill buyers who provide insights on quality requirements, shifts in paper grades and demand-side trends at paper mills.

Not Partial To Paper
The conference hosts workshops that explore handling materials apart from paper, too. Dan Sandoval of Recycling Today Media Group moderates the “Plastics Identification Overview” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The workshop helps recyclers properly identify and classify plastics and polymers.

In addition to the plastics overview session, “A World Hungry for Plastic,” from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, focuses on the domestic and export markets for recovered plastics. Moderated by Sandoval, speakers include Mike Smith, vice president and COO of Mervis Industries, Brownsville, Texas; David Bender, CEO of Perpetual Recycling Solutions, Richmond, Ind.; and Scott Saunders, general manager for KW Plastics, Troy, Ala. The panel of plastic scrap recyclers, consumers and exporters offers insights into these markets.

Recovered plastics and paper scrap are the focal point of “Trade Patterns,” a session moderated by Sandoval with Dan Domonoske, vice president of Potential Industries, Wilmington, Calif., addressing the global supply and demand trends of both industry sectors. The session is from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday.

The Paper Recycling Conference covers properly handling obsolete electronics in the workshop “Recycling Electronics Responsibly,” from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. DeAnne Toto of Recycling Today Media Group moderates the panel, which includes speakers Jade Lee, president of Supply Chain Services, Lombard, Ill., and Greeneye Partners, Apple Valley, Minn.

Industry leaders discuss the changing nature of how old corrugated containers (OCC) are sorted, packed and shipped from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Oct. 17, during the “OCC Summit” session.

The conference closes with “Dollar Signs” from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. Friday. Moderated by Rudy Scarito, president of RS Finance & Consulting LLC, Boston, speakers include Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing director of Blue Equity LLC, Louisville, Ky., and David Griest, managing director of SJF Ventures, Durham, N.C.

PSI Hosts Scholarship Bowling Tournament

The Paper Stock Industries (PSI) chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI), Washington, D.C., will host a bowling tournament from 8 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, to raise money for its scholarship program.

Funds raised from the tournament will help pay college tuition for PSI members’ children.

Anyone—PSI members or not—can play in the tournament at Lucky Strike Chicago, a 36,000-square-foot upscale bowling lounge.

The tournament costs each team with at least one PSI member playing $300, while teams without a PSI member pay $500. For those who don’t want to bowl but do want to attend the event, a $25 donation to the PSI scholarship is required.

The registration fee includes all-you-can drink beer, wine and cocktails, appetizers, shoe rental and bowling.

To register, visit and click on the “PSI Bowling” tab. Completed forms can be mailed to: Sandy Rosen, c/o PSI Secretary/Treasurer, Great Lakes Recycling, 30700 Edison Dr., Roseville, Mich. 48066. For more information, contact tournament co-chairs Haley Glick at 903-280-0607 and Cory Tomczyk at 715-693-7123.

Network, Network, Network
The Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show brings together suppliers, consumers, equipment vendors, state and local recycling officials and other professionals affiliated with the recovered fiber industry from across the nation and around the world. Attendees have numerous networking opportunities throughout the three-day event.

In addition to the opening networking reception Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the exhibit hall hosts refreshment breaks, breakfasts and a lunch. Networking breaks are from 2:30 to 2:45 p.m. and from 3:45 to 4 p.m. Wednesday; 10 to 10:30 a.m., 3 to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 10 to 10:15 a.m. Friday.

Ockenfels says networking—meeting with other recyclers in the industry and some customers—is the top value his company gets from attending the conference. He schedules meetings during the event with equipment vendors to learn about the latest processes and paper mill customers that City Carton Recycling sells to, he says.

Rafle agrees that networking at the show is vital. “Face-to-face is always better than a phone call. It allows you to network directly with people dealing with fiber. It allows you to chat with decision makers and owners in the industry.” He adds, “We get new customers, exposure and we get to talk with our current customers at the conference. It’s a great place to do business and it’s a great place to look for new business.”

Attendees can network at the exhibit hall, which is another highlight of the conference that features more than 50 suppliers to the industry.

Libby McKeon, marketing manager at Van Dyk Recycling Solutions, says the Stamford, Conn.-based company considers the conference “one of our better shows” because of the range of exhibitors. “The exhibitors are great, and the people who attend are of high quality,” McKeon says.

PSI members and group registration fees are as low as $425 per person, while a full conference registration is only $495. For more information about the 2013 Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show, visit http://americas.paperrecycling

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