Paper Scrap Specification Changes


The paper grade specification changes proposed late last year have been approved this week by the ISRI committee in Las Vegas. The new changes are outlined below and includes the six grades to be retired as of December 31st, 2016. The new grades will receive their own numbers and be included in the PS standards circular on June 1, 2016.


The ISRI Committee’s decision to adopt the bulk grade changes whilst welcomed for simplicity, does not remove any responsibility for the now common excessive prohibitive and outthrows. The new grades simply recognise that kerbside contains coated and business papers generated from home.

Sorted Residential Papers (SRP) stipulates prohibitives may not exceed 1%. MRF’s rarely get close to this target when 3-16% can be evident, in fact 7% can be considered a good average with glass, alloy,  liquid paperboards, plastics, film and household rubbish as an example. Local government must finally realise that with declining newsprint consumption, single stream recovery and processing will not achieve global recycling standards. No legally binding tender document will provide protection from buyer claims, nor past and new Consumer Laws.

Furthermore, the required outthrows of SRP have an unrealistic goal which may not exceed 3%, I.e. SRP must be 97% free of containerboard and brown grades being OCC, Kraft Bags, Boxboard and Carrier board etc.

In reality MRF’s can only produce and meet the new Mixed Paper (MP) specification, which also has the same level of maximum prohibitive and outthrows as SRP. This however creates a grey area; what is a fibre outthrow in Mixed Paper? Beyond LPB, wet strength carrier board and directories, surely the remainder non fibre material is a prohibitive.



Deletion of News Grades #6, 7, and 8

Deletion of Mix Grades #1, 2, and 3


New Grades

Sorted Clean News (SCN) - Consists of sorted newspapers from source separated collection programs, converters, drop-off centers and paper drives containing the normal percentages of roto gravure, colored and coated sections. May contain inserts that would normally be included in the newspaper in the proper proportions. Grade must be free of excessive ink, brown grades and non-paper material. {Some mills may require pack to be free of flexographic inks.}

-          Prohibitive Materials: ½ of 1%

-          Outthrows plus Prohibitives may not exceed 1%

-          Other papers may not exceed 10%


Sorted Residential Papers (SRP) - Consists of sorted newspapers, junk mail, magazines, printing and writing papers and other acceptable papers generated from residential programs (such as residential household and apartment collections and drop-off centers) sorted and processed at a recycling facility. Material should be free of containerboard & brown grades {OCC, Kraft bags, Boxboard and Kraft carrier board}

-          Prohibitive materials may not exceed 2%

-          Outthrows may not exceed 3%


Mixed Paper (MP) - Consists of all paper and paperboard of various qualities not limited to the type of fiber content, sorted and processed at a recycling facility.

-          Prohibitive materials may not exceed 2%

-          Outthrows may not exceed 3%