The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Pacific Steel and Recycling No Longer Accepting Paper Products


July 31, 2019

As a service project, the Paradise Pals 4-H Club has provided for some time now, a recycling trailer at Sweet Memorial Nursing Home in Chinook. Many local residents and businesses, including the Blaine County Journal News—Opinion, have used this service. However, the Club will have to discontinue this service since Pacific Steel and Recycling is no longer accepting paper products.

Havre Day Activity Center will still accept shredded paper, but those who wish to recycle shredded paper will have to haul it to the Havre Day Activity Center themselves.

According to Kristi Warburton, a leader for the Paradise Pals, Chuck Hewitt has been one of the volunteers to transport the trailer to Havre every three weeks, sometimes twice a month during peak spring or fall cleaning times.

“Chuck has been our guardian angel in this project, and we appreciate him immensely, but when Pacific Steel and Recycling quit accepting paper products, we had to take the sign down. We also decided to remove the bin for shredded paper since taking the shredded paper to Havre Day Activity Center meant hand unloading,” Warburton stated.

That was not a model Warburton wanted to adopt for a volunteer. “Volunteering shouldn’t mean extra work,” she said.

Michele Burchard, the CEO of Havre Day Activity Center, reported on July 29 that they accept shredded paper and will also accept it unshredded but will charge thirty two cents a pound to shred it. “We don’t accept newspapers, though. They’re just too difficult to bale,” she said.

A spokesperson at Pacific Steel and Recycling in Havre related that the facility has stopped accepting cardboard and paper products “because there is nowhere to send it since the mills have started charging a fee.”

According to the Pacific Steel and Recycling Billings branch manager, Jason Heath, there is currently an overwhelming supply of cardboard and paper products now that China has stopped buying many recyclables from the United States.

“Since the beginning of this year, cardboard and paper products have increasingly lost value, and facilities on the West Coast have stopped paying for them,” Heath said. “Cardboard and paper products have essentially zero value, and Pacific Steel loses profits by accepting these products with nowhere to send them.”

In light of this news, Keri Hanson, one of the owners of the local newspaper, disclosed, “We relied heavily on those services to get rid of our leftovers and our excess papers. I’m not sure what we are going to do now.”


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