Each year, Ontario municipalities collect just under 500,000 tonnes of printed paper for recycling. Newsprint, magazines, catalogues, phone books and household paper comprise more than half the total weight of all blue box recyclables collected. The volumes are significant, and are worth over $40 millionin the marketplace. For years the recycled fibres were used by Ontario or Quebec paper mills to substitute for virgin material. The concept of reading the daily paper, recycling it, and getting some of the same (recovered) paper back in the next newspaper made great sense. However, today, the vast majority of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) discarded newspaper, magazines and other printed papers are transported by rail more than 3,000 kilometres to Vancouver, and shipped in containers a further 10,000 kms to China or India. Some material is even shipped much longer distances to Asia via the Panama Canal after being trucked to New Jersey ports.
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