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Mid America Paper Recycling

January 23, 2024

Keys to Recycling at the Highest Value

Founded in 1926, Mid America Paper Recycling is a fourth-generation independent broker, processor, and exporter of recovered paper. The paper and containerboard waste we handle is either baled directly at the supply point, processed at our headquarters in Chicago, or at one of our national vendor-partner sites. Our handling processes are proven effective, and we work with many AICC members to build consistent revenue streams and meet their sustainability goals.

Establishing recycling partnerships is important because when waste materials stay out of landfills and become new, valuable products, everyone in the circular economy thrives.

Recently, we issued a 12-page guide that features various examples of our work to support the growth and recycling success of our customers and partners (contact me below for a copy). The guide reviews experiences in which we developed mutually beneficial projects and relationships between sellers of waste materials and buyers looking to upcycle. In addition, the guide illustrates how we help partners transform waste products that can be recycled and reused at the end of their useful life into new, sustainable options, diverting waste from landfills and furthering the circular economy.

Helping converters repurpose used dieboards

Every day, wooden cutting dieboards at the end of their life cycle are purged, thrown in Dumpsters, and end up in landfills. This is a waste of money, space, and natural resources. Fortunately, we have developed a unique recycling process to repurpose these “unrecyclable” materials and eliminate disposal and waste hauling costs. Our upcycling partners can transform the materials into lawn and garden mulch as daily cover in landfills or as aggregate in road construction.

Mid America Paper Recycling can help you start and manage a dieboard recycling program every step of the way, from the initial dieboard plant audit through the handling and shipping process. We also handle all scheduling and billing with processors and regularly review and report on their operation’s progress.

Our productive partnerships don’t end there. Other strategic examples include our work with Continuus Materials. We provide recovered paperboard cartons and plastic waste to their plant in Des Moines, Iowa, that they use to produce Everboard™ Roof Cover Board, a fully recyclable, high-performance composite roof covering. Developed for new construction, repairs, and renovations, Everboard is strong, durable, impact-resistant, and fire-resistant. It’s built to last for decades.

Mid America Paper Recycling sends raw material supplies to Continuus Materials, which then sorts and shreds them before using pressure to press and form them into panels. The post-
consumer plastic and paper waste they use would otherwise pile up in landfills.

These are just a few of the ways we help our AICC member partners reduce the environmental impact of usable waste. It’s what Mid America Paper Recycling has been doing for decades, and we call it “growing the worth of your waste.” Our productive partnerships result in successes we can all celebrate. We work with hundreds of mills and converters around the country, providing quality customer service, and uncovering unique opportunities, sourcing strategies, and the tools to transform their waste streams into value streams. Take our free Waste Audit Survey on our website to discover how we can help you generate more value from your waste stream.

Don Gaines has been at the helm of family-owned Mid America Paper Recycling, one of the country’s leading independent recycling companies, for over 40 years. He has honed the company’s strategic focus on continuous improvement principles while he and his team have established partnerships with many large and small companies to turn their waste streams into growing value streams. Born and raised in Chicago, Don is just as comfortable in a production plant as he is in a boardroom. He has seen plenty of change and evolution in the recycling industry and has helped Mid America come a long way since its early days.

Don Gaines
Chief Executive Officer, Mid America Paper Recycling
773-890-5454 ext. 13
(or 847-975-7429)