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Recycling Today Staff March 12, 2013

Making Headlines in 1968...

Feb. 8: Sen. Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated While Giving a Speech in Chicago

April 5: Civil Rights Advocate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated in Memphis

Aug. 20: Soviet Armed Forces Enter Czechoslovakia to Clamp Down on Protests

Oct. 11: NASA’s Apollo 7 Mission Begins


Business Trends
Serving Up a New Sector

Several important steps were taken in the late 1960s and early 1970s that helped lay the groundwork for the collection and recycling of aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs) and other postconsumer packaging.

In 1968, Alcoa Co., Pittsburgh, opened its first consumer recycling center for aluminum beverage cans, eventually leading to the 1975 christening of a furnace in Tennessee designed to melt UBCs.

In 1972, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to put in place a deposit-and-return plan, or bottle bill, to spur the recycling of aluminum cans and glass bottles. Ten other states followed suit.


Industry Leaders
Nucor’s Iverson Fires up the EAF Sector

Under the guidance of F. Kenneth Iverson and a team he would assemble, a former automotive company (Ransom E. Olds, or REO) and then a conglomerate called Nuclear Corp. of America, cast its future with scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Iverson’s Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C., began building its first EAF mill in Darlington, S.C., in 1968. By the time Iverson stepped down as CEO in 1995, Nucor was operating several EAF mills and was on its way to becoming America’s largest steelmaker.


Consuming Markets
Paper to Paper

As environmental activism and advocacy gathered steam in the late 1960s, paper manufacturers tapped into the recycling momentum to provide more ways to close the loops in the paper chain.

In Canada, Atlantic Packaging (www.atlantic.ca) commissioned its first 100-percent-recycled-content containerboard mill in 1967 in Toronto. Five years later, in 1972, it opened a second mill in nearby Mississauga. Today, the company continues to produce 100-percent-recycled-content board and board products and operates recycling plants and offices to help furnish the mills.

Also in Canada, the Lemaire family and its company Papier Cascades Inc. was operating a recycled-content paper mill in Quebec before opening a 100-percent-recycled-content molded pulp facility there in 1971.

The company’s five-decade history reflects a pattern of growth and company diversification with recycling almost always at its core. Cascades Inc. now operates a collection of containerboard, boxboard and tissue mills in North America and Europe. The company’s Cascades Recovery division operates recycling plants throughout Canada and in the northern U.S.

In the U.S. in the early 1970s, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a report making the case for paper mills to use more recovered fiber. The report, resulting from a study requested by Congress, estimated that each ton of 100-percent-recycled-content paper could save producers 4,100 kilowatt hours of energy and 7,000 gallons of water.

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