A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin AmericaRecommendations for Proper Disposal and Repurposing at the End of aTextbook’s Useful LifeLaura S. Hickey and Kristy M. JonesNovember 2012National Wildlife Federation 11100 Wildlife Center Drive Reston, VA 20190T: 703-438-6000 W:

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 2The National Wildlife Federation would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the McGrawHill Companies and NewPage Corporation for funding and supporting this research project.This report is the culmination of many months of research, not only by NWF and its Campus Fellows, but alsoour program partners – McGraw-Hill and NewPage Corporation. The National Wildlife Federation is greatlyappreciative of the many hours that key staff from McGraw-Hill and NewPage Corporation devoted to thiseffort. Key collaborators include Mr. David W. Schaefer, Vice President, Paper Operations, McGraw-Hill;Mr. Brian Kozlowski, Director, Sustainable Development, NewPage Corporation; Mr. David Bonistall, VicePresident, Environmental Health and Safety, NewPage Corporation; Ms. Kelly Xydis, Corporate Sales,NewPage Corporation; Ms. Laura Banken, NWF’s Campus Fellow from the College of Saint Scholastica inDuluth, Minnesota, and Ms. Courtney Cochran, Coordinator, NWF’s Campus Ecology Program.Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and educationcompany that powers the Knowledge Economy. Well-known brands include Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-HillEducation, Platts and J.D. Power and Associates. To learn more, visit is the leading producer of printing and specialty papers in North America with 3.5 billion in netsales for the year ended December 31, 2011. NewPage is headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, and owns papermills in Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These mills have a total annualproduction capacity of approximately 3.5 million tons of paper. The company’s product portfolio is thebroadest in North America and includes coated, specialty, supercalendered and uncoated papers. Thesepapers are used in commercial printing to create corporate collateral, magazines, catalogs, books, coupons,inserts and direct mail as well as in specialty paper applications including beverage bottle labels, food andmedical packaging, pressure-sensitive labels and release liners. To learn more, visit its formation in 1936, National Wildlife Federation has worked with affiliates across the country toinspire Americans to protect wildlife for future generations. NWF seeks to engage and educate its 4 millionmembers, partners and supporters with a focus on restoring habitat, confronting global warming andconnecting people with nature. To learn more about NWF’s environmental education programs, visit theEco-Schools USA and Campus Ecology web pages.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 3CONTENTSIntroduction6Preliminary Textbook Recycling Project Objectives6Preliminary Textbook Recycling Project Expected Outcomes6Preliminary Scope of Work6A Change in Project Scope and Outcomes7Executive SummaryIntended Audiences for this Report89Educational Institutions9Publishers9Books in the Landfill – An Avoidable Waste9Lack of Consistent Methods for Collection10Survey Data on Recycling at Educational Institutions10Projected Impact of Textbook Recycling Projects11Educational PublishingU.S. Book Publishing MarketGeneral Categories121212Highlights: 201113K-12 Publishers15Higher Education Publishers16Major Educational Publishers17Educational Publishing Supply Chain18Textbook Construction and Manufacturing18Textbook Printers19Textbook End-Of-Life CycleSTEP 1: Distribution to Schools and/or Disposing of Obsolete InventoryPrinter SurveysSTEP 2: Barriers to and Opportunities for End of Useful Life ProcessingPerceived K-12 Barriers and Challenges to Textbook Recycling2020212222

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 4Perceived Higher Education Barriers and Challenges to Textbook Recycling22Perceived Hauler/Recycler Barriers and Challenges to Textbook Recycling23Perceived Opportunities by Learning Institutions23STEP 3: End of Useful Life Processing24Least Environmentally Preferable Option: Landfills25Most Environmentally Preferable Option: Recycling26Recyclables Processing27STEP 4: Textbook Recovery and Recycling30Choices for Disposed Textbook Processing for Recycling: De-Casing or Grinding/Shredding30Book De-Binding or De-Casing Process and Equipment30Book Grinding or Shredding Process31End Use of Recovered Fiber33Pilot Projects and Case StudiesPilot Projects3434The College of St. Scholastica: Pilot Project34Duluth K-12 Public School District: Pilot Recycling Project35Case Studies37University of Wyoming37Columbia College38Hamilton College39University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)40ConclusionsRecommendation: Increasing Education and Knowledge on Book RecyclingProposed Next Steps for Facilitating Increased EducationRecommendation: Proposed Efficient Processes and Procedures for the Collection and Processing of Textbooksfor RecyclingProposed Next Steps for Basic Guidelines and Tips for Schools on Textbook RecyclingBest PracticesBest Practices Methodology42424345454646Education46Mission, Goals, and Objectives47

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 5Communication48Planning 1Appendices52Please Note: While many companies and associations are referenced throughout this report as a result of our research, it isnot intended to suggest any endorsement, recommendation, or superiority of one company, product or service over anothercompany, product or service.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 6IntroductionIn late 2010, the National Wildlife Federation was awarded a grant from the McGraw-Hill Companies to develop andconduct a pilot textbook recycling project which would benefit McGraw-Hill’s sustainability commitment, NewPageCorporation’s desire to increase recovered fiber in the U.S., and National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) environmentaleducation and sustainability programs, Eco- Schools USA and Campus Ecology.Preliminary Textbook Recycling Project Objectives Perform research functions on textbook lifecycle/supply chain in K-12 and higher education markets;Research pilot regions and national textbook recycling initiatives, if any;Develop and implement two pilot textbook recycling events in two pilot regions (Minnesota and Wisconsin)during the school year;Conduct evaluation of pilot program effectiveness in both increased recovered fiber collection as well asintegrating environmental education into school curriculum and practices; andResearch pilot project expansion potential.Preliminary Textbook Recycling Project Expected Outcomes Increased awareness of textbook recyclability;Increased awareness and education of consumption and waste, and the recycling process;Increased awareness of McGraw-Hill’s and NewPage Corporation’s commitment to sustainability; andIncreased enrollment in NWF’s Eco-Schools USA K-12 green schools program.An integral component to this grant was to perform research functions on the textbook lifecycle and supply chain in K-12and higher education markets and research each pilot region and national textbook recycling initiatives.Preliminary Scope of WorkThe National Wildlife Federation proposed selecting two Campus Ecology Fellows for research and coordination of thispilot program. Campus Ecology Fellowships allow students to pursue their vision of an ecologically sustainable futurethrough tangible projects to confront global warming on campus and in the community. Fellows gain practicalexperience in the conservation field and first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities inherent in successfulconservation efforts. Campus Ecology Fellowships are available to undergraduate and graduate students depending onthe experience level needed for the specific project. For this particular project, NWF felt that an undergraduate studentwith strong research and organizing skills would bring great energy to this project. Two Fellows were brought on toresearch and coordinate textbook recycling efforts in two pilot states, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The preliminaryselection of these two states was made based on the physical proximity to the NewPage Duluth, Minnesota deinkingfacility so as to keep recycling transportation costs in check. The two Fellows selected were Laura Banken from theCollege of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, Minnesota, and Andrea Kent from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse,Wisconsin.Specific tasks for each of the Campus Ecology Fellows included research and event/logistics coordination with theschools, communities, and NewPage Corporation. Research tasks included: Research into lifecycle/supply chain of textbooks in the K-12 market as well as higher education. Researchincluded online as well as interviews with key staff at each school. This research was intended to help identifytrends and priorities for this initiative moving forward and be used in the education component of the effort. Research into how – and if – textbooks are currently recycled in two pilot regions. A majority of this researchwas done by interviewing staff at each school to find out if each location offered textbook recycling, how often,how many textbooks were recycled per location, and where the recycled books are taken for processing.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 7 Research into how – and if – textbooks are currently recycled nationally. A majority of this research was doneonline.Research on organizing and conducting promotional efforts at each school to develop a diverse strategy topromote the textbook recycling events. This research was done through case studies of schools that haveparticipated in recycling events or other school-wide events. This research helped to identify successfulstrategies for promoting events as well as learning about policies and rules at the different locations related tohosting and promoting events.Research into special needs and other “materials processing” organizations in both Wisconsin and Minnesotathat could take on the task of processing textbooks for recycling. Certain facilities, including the NewPageDuluth mill, need to have the hard-cover and bindings removed prior to recycling the text paper.Research to identify K-12 and higher education institutions in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.A Change in Project Scope and OutcomesA few months into the project, it was collectively determined that we needed to prioritize the research aspects of theproject to determine both the technical and economic feasibility, as well as the challenges and opportunities for textbookrecycling before we moved forward with hosting the events on campus. Preliminary research showed that collection didnot seem to be the most challenging obstacle, but that the processing of the collected books could be problematic. Sothat the Campus Fellows had a better sense and increased knowledge of the book publishing, manufacturing, andrecycling processes, a meeting was held with representatives from NWF, its Campus Fellows, NewPage Corporation, andMcGraw-Hill at the NewPage Duluth, Minnesota deinking facility in June 2011.Although research was an integral component in the original project’s scope of work, it became even more importantbased on the discussions before and during the NewPage Duluth deinking facility visit. It was decided that a thoroughresearch project needed to be conducted to determine the national and regional recycling landscape, if and how bookprinters and schools recycle casebound and softbound books, and the method that is used to recycle these books, and bywhom.Additional research tasks were added to the original scope of work and included outreach to: Over twenty book printers in ten states plus Canada that provided us with high-level information on recycling ofprinter overruns or damaged/incorrect book inventories;Over 45 waste haulers and recyclers in Minnesota and 150 haulers/recyclers in Wisconsin;695 companies in the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) recycling subcommittee listserv weresent requests for information;K-12 and higher education institutions in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as nationally through aSurveyMonkey tool;Determine locations of deinking facilities in the U.S.; andPossible manufacturers of book de-binding equipment.The more we learned through the extensive research process, the more the project changed. Our original assumptionthat textbook recycling was generally done through de-binding/de-casing the book proved incorrect. While there aresome companies that go that route, the overwhelming majority of them actually grind or shred the whole book (coversand all), which meant that NewPage could not utilize that fiber in its deinking facility. Other mills can – and do – use thisfiber source, as we found out through our research. And, there are certainly challenges to working with a variety ofeducational institutions on the physical logistics and coordination involved with recycling textbooks. One thing remainsunchanged, though – there is definitely a demonstrated need and a desire for increased book recycling in the U.S.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 8Executive SummaryFor the purposes of this report, we focused on the K-12 educational sector, the higher education sector, and bookpublishers. Our research project was designed to review the lifecycle of textbooks from production through disposal, andidentify decision points that the general public must make, as well as recommendations for recycling of books at theirend of useful life.This report is based primarily on what currently happens to textbooks at the end of their useful life. While many schoolsand higher education students’ dispose of books through selling them or donating them to any number of third parties,the book still is being used, and therefore is not part of our study. There is some reference to book donation programs inthe case studies, however, where this practice occurred. We focused instead on those books that are either damaged,unwanted, or have no other useful purposes that are currently being sent to landfills. This “waste” is what we focusedour research and evaluation on, with an intended outcome consisting of a set of recommendations that students andschools could adopt and implement.Our original assumption was that recycling books would be relatively easy,but our research indicates that it requires discipline, structure,organization, an outlet and method for disposal and processing of books,and a change in behavior when it comes to educating the public about therecyclability of books. Some municipalities will accept books in their wastestream; others will not. Some recyclers will de-case the book (remove thecover and binding); others grind or shred the entire book. The positivenews is that when books are recycled, the recovered fiber is being put togood re-use – generally in tissue, cardboard, linerboard, boxboard, orinsulation, thereby saving virgin resources. The bad news is that notenough books are currently being recycled; however, this is a situation thatcan be changed – given enough incentive, education, and implementationof proven methods of disposal and processing.Books to the ceiling,Books to the sky,My pile of books is a milehigh.How I love them! How I needthem!I'll have a long beard by thetime I read them.The intent of this report is to highlight the lifecycle of textbooks, fromproduction through disposal, and to provide needed information andrecommendations to various interested sectors on how they mightestablish a textbook recycling program at their school, university, or in their community.After all, an unusable or unwanted book is aterrible thing to waste.-Arnold Lobel

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 9Intended Audiences for this ReportEducational InstitutionsWith over 150,000 K-12 public, private, charter, and magnet schools in theU.S., there is a significant market for educational textbooks. Our researchindicates that K-12 schools want to recycle textbooks, but generally do nothave enough information on how to institute a textbook recycling program.There are also over 4,100 higher education institutions in the U.S. today, acombination of 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities. While manyhave paper recycling programs, textbooks are generally not included in theirrecycling ishersIt should be noted that most educational institutions contract with differentand multiple waste vendors which contributes to a lack of consistentmethods for collection.PublishersThere are currently 33 textbook publishers in the U.S., and 310 “GeneralEducation” publishers. Combined, they produce over 4.3 billion booksannually, and are also responsible for disposing of obsolete book inventoriesover which they have control.Books in the Landfill – An Avoidable WasteThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produces a biannual indepth report of materials in the solid waste stream, titled “Municipal SolidWaste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures.” Books fall into the “Paperand Paperboard Non-durable Goods” category, and the 2009 EPA reportindicates that while 33.3 percent of books in the waste stream are recovered,12approximately 640,000 tons are discarded into the landfill. Bookscomprise roughly 0.4 percent of total municipal solid waste generation.1U.S. EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, p.78.It should be noted that during our peer review, several questions arose about the reliability of the EPA MSWCharacterization Report regarding whether or not EPA’s numbers were based on the total number of books sold versussampling landfills to statistically determine the percentage. However, we are not aware of other waste characterizationsthat include books so this could not be verified.2

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 10Lack of Consistent Methods for CollectionWhile some educational institutions may have recycling programs, they tendto focus on materials that are most commonly recycled, such as copy paper,aluminum and steel cans, plastics, and glass. Schools, both K-12 and highereducation, tend to follow the same recycling processes and systems alreadyin place by municipalities. Single-stream recycling is being adopted by anincreasing number of American communities with mandates to increasediversion rates, lower local governmental costs and/or increase recyclingprogram efficiencies. Curbside collection programs commonly requireresidents to do at least some sorting of the recyclable materials put at thecurb. In recent years, however, there has been a trend toward single-streamcurbside collections programs, in which no sorting is required of the residents.The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) estimated that 50 percent3of curbside recyclables collection programs were single-stream in 2007.Single-Stream Recycling:Refers to a system in which all paperfibers, plastics, metals, and othercontainers are mixed in a collectiontruck, instead of being sorted intoseparate commodities. In singlestream, both the collection andprocessing systems are designed tohandle this fully commingledmixture of recyclables, with materialsbeing separated for use at amaterials recovery facility (MRF).These programs require that the materials be taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for processing. Although EPAdoes not provide exact numbers of municipalities that participate in single-stream recycling, the number is expected tobe higher than 50 percent at this time. Correspondingly, the number of MRFs has also grown from 70 in 2001 to over 1604in 2009.Survey Data on Recycling at Educational InstitutionsAs part of our research, we conducted several surveys of both K-12 and higher education institutions on recyclingpractices, with a specific emphasis on textbook recycling. These surveys were sent to schools in Minnesota andWisconsin because of our plan to implement pilot projects in those two states due to their close proximity to theNewPage deinking facility in Duluth, Minnesota. Although we requested survey responses from over 570 K-12 schools inMinnesota and Wisconsin, only 27 responded to the survey. Because the survey response was so low, we did not feel wecould extrapolate the data; therefore, we have treated it as anecdotal rather than statistical certainty. The majority(89 percent) of K-12 survey questions were answered in full by a school administrator. There was a good balance ofelementary, middle, and high school respondents, fairly evenly split between public and private schools. Of these, morethan 60 percent of the schools recycle, and the decision to do so is predominantly decided upon at the individual schoollevel.K-12 SURVEY RESPONSESK-12 survey respondents indicated the following: 3More than 57 percent participate in book donation or “give away” programs for obsolete textbooks.Approximately 37 percent of respondents said that they store obsolete or damaged books at the school becausethey are unsure what to do with them from a disposal standpoint.In terms of the volumes (numbers of books) that a school recycles annually for both hard cover/caseboundtextbooks and soft-cover workbooks, the quantities vary from 100 books (54 percent) to over 500 books (14percent).American Forest & Paper Association, 2007 Community Survey Executive SummaryColumbia University, Earth Engineering Center, Comparison of Green House Gas Impacts of Dual-Stream vs. SingleStream Collection and Processing of Recyclables, A Study for Waste Management.4

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 11 Reasons why schools no longer use a specific textbook also vary – usually it is because a textbook has beenreplaced by a newer edition (93 percent), has become obsolete (90 percent), has been damaged beyond repair(78 percent), or has been replaced by a different textbook through adoption (70 percent).Over 50 percent of respondents felt that textbooks and workbooks are under-recovered for recycling.A majority (80 percent) of K-12 respondents indicated that June would be the optimum time to host a textbookrecycling event.HIGHER EDUCATION SURVEY RESPONSESWe had much greater success with survey responses from higher education institutions. Online survey requests weresent to 2,000 higher education campuses, and we received 374 responses from 149 schools in 37 states as well as PuertoRico and British Columbia. Respondents were a combination of students, faculty, and staff. The majority of responsescame from private schools, followed closely by public schools and also included tribal colleges, Historically Black Collegesand Universities (HBCU’s), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI’s), and Land Grant Universities (LGU’s).Higher education survey respondents indicated that: In terms of whether or not the campus currently recycles textbooks, over 36 percent responded that they didrecycle both hardbound and softbound textbooks.4 percent of respondents said that they only recycled soft-cover books.26 percent said that they did not recycle either type of textbook.33 percent of respondents were unsure whether or not the campus recycled textbooks of either type at all.An overwhelming number of respondents indicated an overall interest in book recycling.When asked what time of year would be the best time to host such an event, 93 percent of higher educationinstitutions said that in late spring after final exams would be the optimum time, and 55 percent said that afterthe winter finals would be the second preferred date.Projected Impact of Textbook Recycling ProjectsAs stated previously, an estimated 640,000 tons of books are sent to the5landfill annually. At an assumed average weight of 4 pounds each thatequates to approximately 320 million books that are discarded each yearand not being recycled. With even a modest 10 percent increase in bookrecycling, we can avoid landfilling 32 million books annually, and put thefiber to good re-use.NJ DEPThere are approximately 150,000 K-12 school. Even if an additional 5percent of these schools recycled textbooks, there would be a significantreduction in the number of textbooks going to landfills annually.However, to get a sense of how practical it is to actually recycle textbooks, there needs to be an adequate understandingof the educational publishing sector, the volumes of books produced, the manufacturing requirements and standards, aswell as the parties that are involved in the production and disposal processes.5Note that textbooks can weigh between 2 to 10 pounds each, but that many paperbacks, children’s books, and othermass market books can weigh significantly less. For illustration purposes, we used the 4 pound average. In any case, toomany books of all weights and formats are being landfilled instead of recycled.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 12Educational PublishingThere are a number of U.S.-based publishing markets and categories, but for the purposes of this report, we are focusingon the educational textbook market and specifically on the K-12 and Higher Education categories. However, to givecontext to the size of these categories, some overall U.S. publishing data will be referenced.U.S. Book Publishing MarketGeneral CategoriesThe U.S. publishing industry has five general markets, or categories: Trade (fiction, non-fiction and religious content foradult and young consumers), K-12 School, Higher Education, Professional (journals, databases and other digital contentfor professionals in science, medicine, business, law and the humanities) and Scholarly.TradeK-12 SchoolHigher EducationProfessionalScholarly

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 13Highlights: 2011PUBLISHER NET SALESREVENUEPUBLISHER NET UNITSSOLD( BILLION)(BILLION) 13.942.26K-12 School 5.510.826Higher Education 4.550.503Professional 3.750.171Scholarly 0.190.564CATEGORYTradeThe data above is from BookStats, a joint venture between theAssociation of American Publishers (AAP) and the Book IndustryStudy Group (BISG). It provides annual publisher net revenue acrossthree dimensions: Formats (physical, non-physical, and bundles)Categories (listed above)Channels (physical retail, online retail, institutional sales, directto-consumer, wholesalers, book fairs, and export sales)BillionsTotal US Publisher NetSales Revenue 29.0 28.0 27.0 26.0 25.0EDUCATIONALPUBLISHING CATEGORIES K-12 SCHOOLSTeaching and learning materials forK-12 education in public and privateschools.Second largest U.S. publishingcategory based on net sales volumeand revenue.This market is affected by changes infederal and state funding and thelegacy state adoption marketsystems. HIGHER EDUCATIONMultiplatform course learningsystems and materials for collegeand university students and faculty.200820092010YearTable 1 BookStats 2008-20112011Impressive growth in this categoryover the past three years.Higher education publishers havebeen actively developing, producingand marketing the next generationof premium multiplatform learningsolutions.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 14In the 2012 BookStats, an Annual Comprehensive Study of the U.S. Publishing Industry, BISG and AAP asked publishersto report textbook data separately. The textbook format includes sales of titles specifically developed for use in aneducational setting either in K-12 education or higher education. What BookStats showed for the textbook format in2011 was that textbook sales (including both print textbooks and digital course materials) declined by 508 millionbetween 2010 and 2011, or 6.2 percent.Although textbook revenues dropped slightly between 2010 and 2011, it is still the single largest format in terms ofrevenue for the past two years. In 2011, textbooks were almost dead-even with hardcover revenues selling just over 100million more than the hardcover total of 7.3 billion.BookStats reports that at the same time that there was a reduction in publisher sales of many kinds of physical books,2011 saw publishers’ investments in digital publishing gaining traction. Since 2008, all digital sales have grown by 153.8%.Sales in 2011 for all digital products came in at 3.3 billion.Revenues for Texbook Sales 8.1Billions 7.9 7.7 7.5 7.3 7.120102011YearDigital Course MaterialsRevenue 260.0Millions 245.0 230.0 215.0 200.020102011YearTables 2 and 3, BookStats 2012

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 15K-12 PublishersPublisherPublisherPublisherAcademic InnovationsGreat River TechnologiesPeter Li Education GroupAchieve 3000, Inc.Hachette Book Group(20 separate companies)Rowland ReadingFoundationHoughton-Mifflin Harcourt(4 separate companies)Scholastic Testing ServiceLA Theatre WorksScholastic, Inc.LAD Custom PublishingShell EducationColumbia University PressLearning AllySourcebooks, Inc.Current Publishing CorpMcGraw-Hill CompaniesEntrepreneur PressStar Bright BooksData Recognition CorpMondo PublishingTeaching StrategiesEducational Testing ServiceNational Science TeachersAssociationVista Higher LearningCAST, Inc.Cengage Learning- Hampton Brown- National GeographicSchool PublishingCGP EducationGibbs Smith EducationGoodheart-Wilcox CompanyParmenides PublishingPearson EducationAddison WesleySource: Association of American PublishersWisconsin HistoricalSociety PressZaner-Bloser, Inc.

A Research Study on Textbook Recyclingin America 16Higher Education PublishersPublisherCengage Learning- Hampton Brown- National GeographicSchool PublishingPublisherMcGraw-Hill Companies- Entrepreneur PressPublisherSage Publications- CQ PressJohn Wiley & Sons Inc- Jossey-Bass- Wiley BlackwellPublishingMorton

In late 2010, the National Wildlife Federation was awarded a grant from the McGraw-Hill Companies to develop and conduct a pilot textbook recycling project which would benefit McGraw-Hill's sustainability commitment, NewPage Corporation's desire to increase recovered fiber in the U.S., and National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) environmental