Paper mill converts wastewater sludge to glass aggregate, power

Neenah Paper strengthened its environmental mission by recycling its wastewater sludge to beneficial uses. The process helps Neenah to reduce landfill usage and, in part, to preserve 10 acres of green space annually. Using a patented and award winning method, sludge from all of the company's paper brands is converted to steam, electricity and glass aggregate. It recycles 5,000 tons of paper sludge annually, including from its recycled paper brand...

ROSWELL, GA, Nov. 15, 2004 -- Neenah Paper continues to strengthen its environmental mission by choosing to recycle its wastewater sludge to beneficial uses. The process helps significantly reduce landfill usage, and Neenah Paper's recycling efforts help, in part, to preserve 10 acres of green space annually. Using a patented and award winning method, sludge from all of the company's paper brands is converted to steam, electricity and glass aggregate. The company recycles 5,000 tons of paper sludge annually, including from its Environment recycled paper brand.

"The primary purpose of this recycling process is to reduce the load on landfills, which carries out a corporate environmental directive," says Gerry Rector, senior product development manager for the company. "Buying Neenah Paper is a wise choice because not only do we provide premium recycled options for our customers, but we are also accountable for our own environmental performance."

Minergy Corp., based in Neenah, Wis., developed the technology and provides the recycling services. Minergy melts the wastewater solids in a glass furnace, destroying the organic compounds. This leaves behind inorganic mineral components that flow from the furnace as liquid glass, which can ultimately be used to make floor tiles, abrasives, roofing shingles, asphalt and decorative landscaping materials. The heat generated in the melting process is recovered in a steam generator to produce renewable energy. This energy is used to dry the wastewater solids and to co-generate steam and electricity.

Neenah Paper also developed a useful tool to help "green" organizations measure their efforts to reduce their environmental footprints. Called an Environmental Savings Account, the tool helps companies calculate the ecological savings ¿ in trees, water, greenhouse gases and energy ¿ of using recycled paper, such as the Environment brand, which features papers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Reflecting the increasing demand for environmentally responsible products, Neenah Paper has revised the swatchbook for its Environment Papers brand. The swatchbook now features Cosmos Black, a new 100% recycled color option available in Text and Cover Weights, as well as a 100 lb. Ultra Bright White Cover sheet that is also FSC Certified.

Environment Papers are economically priced and perform as one would expect from premium papers. They are available in four categories:
* Environment 100% Post-Consumer Fiber, which is made without the use of chlorine and uses no new tree fiber. Therefore, this alternative offers the most environmental savings.
* Environment FSC Certified, ensuring the paper meets the Forest Stewardship Council's standards for sustainable forest management.
* Environment Alternative Fiber, containing 50% sugar cane bagasse and 50% recycled fiber, including 30% post consumer materials.
* Environment 100% Recycled, including 30% post-consumer fiber.

"Neenah Paper will calculate the environmental savings of buying recycled paper for any interested customer," says Rector. "All one has to do is contact a Neenah customer service representative or visit our web site. The results can be documented in a passbook report of savings or online."

The Neenah Paper Environmental Savings Account uses data from a program developed by the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive and the U.S. Postal Service to calculate the savings associated with choosing papers with higher levels of post consumer fiber content. The data was developed by Environmental Defense and other organizations to promote the purchasing of environmentally responsible papers.

Sample environmental savings are listed in Figure 1.

For further information or to calculate the savings of using environmentally responsible papers, visit www.neenahpaper.com/environment/ and click on the calculator icon.

Neenah Paper is the leading manufacturer of premium uncoated writing, text and cover papers marketed under the UV/Ultra® II, Classic®, Environment®, Neenah® and other fine brand names. Established in 1873, Neenah Paper is a division of Kimberly-Clark Corp.

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