Bankrupt Houston Recycler

BANKRUPT HOUSTON RECYCLER AbitibiBowater, the Canadian paper company that runs Houston’s residential recycling operation — and which recently began a pilot single-stream program in a few Houston neighborhoods — declared bankruptcy earlier this month. “The central question is how this bankruptcy could impact the city’s already abysmal recycling rates, which city officials hoped would go up considerably after the implementation of single stream, a wood-waste program and an upcoming contract for recycling in city buildings. Gary Readore, the chief of staff for the Solid Waste Management Department, said he has spoken with Abitibi officials in Houston who said the bankruptcy would not impact their operations.” [Houston Politics]

5 Comment

  • Well, this is a restructuring which means we shouldn’t see much change in their current operations.

  • From looking at this after recycling last came upo in a post it seems that the company just grew and diversified too much. They went from being a paper producer to a major recycling operator in a very short space of time. I would imagine we may see the recycling operation spun off from the paper mills as a result of restructuring.

  • I remember a rep from Donohue (which Abitibi took over) telling me that the school paper recycling program was, several years ago, so profitable for them that what couldn’t be used for newsprint was sold to China – raw – for corregated.
    I sincerely hope Abitibi can maintain it’s paper recycling.

  • movocelot,
    Maybe a year or two ago, but if raw recycled paper demand is down their profit margin could have taken a big hit. China’s manufacturing has slowed so paper based packaging material most likely took a hit.

    Recycle paper is a very profitable business in general because the process to recycle it isn’t to difficult and it is scalable to the volume of input. The raw product can easily be thrown in with new raw materials to make paper or sold off to other manufacturers of paper products. It’s one of the reasons paper consumer goods had not real beef with incorporating recycled paper for packaging. The quality of recycled paper goods is also to the point where it rivals paper products that are not made with recycled material.

  • Sure, fiber for their own newsprint was their biggest paper need (recently tanked) and China’s economic changes on top of that…

    I wonder if some sort of plastic can be added to the paper stream to make eternally-recycled paper continually-strong? since new wood fiber is necessary to keep paper & cardboard structural…