New Podcast Features PSI President Leonard Zeid
“Pile of Scrap” Podcast
PSI President Leonard Zeid talks paper recycling with John Sacco, former ISRI chair and president of Sierra International Machinery.
PSI Chapter President Leonard Zeid (above right) of Midland Davis Corp. is the featured interviewee in a recent episode of the “Pile of Scrap” podcast series, hosted by John Sacco (above left), former ISRI chair and president of Sierra International Machinery.
The 35-minute interview, titled “Put It on Paper,” begins by addressing questions such as: What do you do with pizza boxes? Are paper coffee cups recyclable? Are consumer products increasing their recycled content? Is Amazon doing its part for the environment? Which retailer is the largest recycler? And is it possible for companies to achieve zero waste?Zeid and Sacco also cover big-picture issues in paper recycling. One key problem, Zeid says, is “we’ve worked on the collection, but we haven’t worked on the demand. There is not enough demand to meet the supply of corrugated and mixed paper that’s collected out there.”
On the bright side, new paper mills are scheduled to come online in the United States, Zeid says, noting that much of the new capacity will produce 100% recycled-content products. With each new mill potentially needing 30,000 to 40,000 tons a month of recovered fiber, “that will help the market,” he says.
The “Pile of Scrap” interview also touches on fiber quality, with Zeid noting that the PSI Chapter has stressed the importance of quality to its members for years. Today, processors are using advanced optical sorters and robotics to produce higher-quality fiber, but such investments are challenging “when commodity prices are low,” he says.
The interview wraps up with discussions about innovative uses for recovered fiber and “aspirational recycling”—when consumers toss items into their recycling bins that they hope will be recycled. Zeid’s advice? “Keep it simple in your curbside recycling. Only put items in the bin that can be recycled. When in doubt, throw it out.”