In autumn 2016, Ortviken Paper Mill started a large investment in recycling of its residual waste. Three years later, they can conclude that the profits, both economically and environmentally, were above expectations.

Pascal Doré is project manager at the recycling company Stena and he has worked in close cooperation with Börje Olsson and his colleagues at Ortviken's property maintenance to bring order to Ortviken's residual waste.

“I can honestly say that our waste management had more to be desired when we started the work. We had few fractions and much ended up in the same vessel," Börje Olsson admits.

Unsorted waste is not only bad for the environment; it also costs a lot of money in shipping and handling. However, if the waste is sorted into fractions, there is a lot of money to make and Pascal Doré gives some examples;

"A fraction with unsorted combustible waste costs about SEK 850 per tonne to get rid of. If the waste is instead sorted, it will be an income. For example, for office paper, you get around SEK 600 per tonne. This gives a saving of SEK 1,450 per tonne."

Easy to do the right thing

There were several initiatives that were required to deal with the problems that were identified at the beginning of the project.

"We have driven the work on the basis that" it should be easy to do the right thing ", and to get there it took a lot of structured work and digging in recycling vessels," explains Pascal Doré.

It was about placing the recycling vessels where they were needed and labeling them well as well as getting routines for collecting waste. It has also been about educating everyone at Ortviken about the new routines and informing them about the benefits of doing the right thing.

“We started with an information meeting with all managers and leaders and then we went on as many department meetings as we had the opportunity to," explains Börje Olsson.

Planned and focused work gives good results

The work started in the main office building, sorting furniture for office papers, paper packaging and plastic. This first step eventually became an acknowledgment that the procedures could also work in the rest of the mill.

When the work began, Ortviken had 373 tonnes of unsorted waste per year; in 2018 the figure was 69 tonnes.

“Another fine example is that last year we recovered 20 tonnes of corrugated board, a fraction that was previously fired up with the combustible waste," explains Börje Olsson.

The work must in all respects be considered successful and above expectation, but it also shows that planned and focused work can yield amazing results.

“And we want to take this opportunity to thank all committed employees, without them it would not have been possible," says Börje Olsson.

Now it is important to keep up the fine work and let it become a natural part of everyday life. But they are not satisfied yet, and new tough goals await.

“In 2019 we want to be down to 50 tonnes of unsorted waste," concludes Börje Olsson.

Picture: Börje Olsson and Pascal Doré.