Abitibi recycling company leaving campus, Wichita market

9:47:37 AM CDT - Wednesday, February 14, 2007

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

The bright green Paper Retriever bins of Abitibi-Consolidated will leave campus soon.

The Canada-based company notified WSU and its other Wichita customers in a letter Jan. 15 that it was withdrawing its recycling operations in Wichita, because of its “strategic growth plans and the economic evaluation of all markets where we currently operate our signature Abitibi Paper Retriever program.” The company said it would collect its containers within 60 days after customers received the letter.

The company heralded its entrance into the Wichita market with a news conference and recycling event on the WSU campus in September, during which nearly 15,000 pounds of paper was collected. One of the features of its recycling program was that it paid its customers for the paper it hauled away. Also, customers didn’t need to sort paper products before dumping them in the Paper Retriever bins.

WSU is planning to transition back to using Weyerhaeuser’s paper recycling services, which it had been using before Abitibi’s entrance into the Wichita market, according to Woody DePontier, Physical Plant director. Weyerhaeuser has continued to collect cardboard, phonebooks and campus directories, plastics and aluminum at WSU.

When the Abitibi bins leave campus, the WSU community should use the recycling receptacles located in campus buildings to recycle paper products, DePontier said. Those receptacles have separate bins for office paper and for newspaper.

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