high-grade paper premiums

As appeared in Recycling Today (March 2023), Staying the Course by Marissa McNees.

Staying the Course

Kathy DeLano from Dallas-based Texas Recycling was quoted as an expert on market predictions months after high-grade premiums reached historic highs.

In October 2022, a panel of experts gathered for a session at the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference (PPRC) in Chicago to discuss how the pandemic affected operations and what the market fluctuations have meant for their businesses. The discussion, moderated by Kari Talvola, president and CEO of Fibre Trade Inc., Burlingame, California, included Kathy DeLano, vice president of sales at Texas Recycling in Dallas; Ysabelle Dupuis, supply and logistic director at Kruger Recycling in Quebec; and Ron Gable, senior vice president of performance and operations and Proshred Security and Redishred Capital Corp. in Ontario.

Texas Recycling has been a big consumer of textbooks from schools or libraries or books from used bookstores, Kathy DeLano says, and that material was used as an SOP supplement grade. “Now, there’s a lot more mills that have been able to adapt their machines where they can use mixed paper instead of using a high-grade SOP setup,” DeLano says.

“It’s kind of made high grades a little more competitive with low grades,” she adds, noting mills have adjusted to fewer employees by adapting their machinery to make similar finished tissue products with lower-quality material.

Kathy DeLano at the 2022 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference

Ysabelle Dupuis, left, Kathy DeLano and Ron Gable discuss high grades during a panel at the 2022 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference in Chicago.

At times last year, contacts reported trucks not picking up orders, and DeLano says Texas Recycling was not immune. “It’s one thing to sell it, it’s another if they haven’t picked it up, and unless it’s picked up, you don’t get paid,” she says.

Texas Recycling is a well-known presence in the recovered paper industry. For nearly three decades, the Dallas-based processor has focused on buying and selling scrap paper, primarily high grades such as sorted office paper, deinking grades and bulk grades. The company also buys and sells bulk grades such as old newspapers and old corrugated containers (OCC).

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