E.L. Harvey Faces Paper Problems

By: Lindsay Davis

Mountains of paper are building up at the E.L. Harvey single-stream recycling plant in Hopkinton, MA, after China recently banned the imports of certain types of plastic and scrap paper in an effort to improve its own environmental conditions. Currently St. Mark’s uses E.L. Harvey for their paper recycler, but how long can it last? “We are pretty much maxed out with our storage capacity; we don’t want to store material that doesn’t have a market,” says Ben Harvey, the president of the company. With the overflowing warehouse, E.L. Harvey might have to end its contracts with many businesses and schools that keep them running. China is rejecting paper because Chinese companies that turn paper material into recycled products do not want that material contaminated with food or medical waste.

Other companies like E.L. Harvey are struggling with the same problem. They now have to ship their paper to Vietnam, Korea, India and Indonesia, which have smaller fiber mills compared to China, but will accept compact portions from most American companies.

What can you do to help? Before you throw out paper and recycling, remove the food particles and grease that you drop into the blue bin. This small act will make it easier for the employees at E.L Harvey who have to sort some material by hand. We can help E.L. Harvey and improve St. Mark’ environment by cleaning up our recycling act.


Phelps, Jonathan. “Mountains of Paper Stacks up at E.L. Harvey after China Says No More.” MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA, MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, MA, 8 Jan. 2018, www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20180104/mountains-of-paper-stacks-up-at-el-harvey-after-china-says-no-more.


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