Value-Added Use for Wax Cardboard Containers
Earth Friendly Fire
Fire has figured prominently in the human story from prehistoric time, when it was regarded as a mysterious source of heat and light. Today fire is less mysterious but just as important in our lives. We cook over it, heat with it, and relax in front of it.
Most uses of fire involve burning wood, wood byproducts, or some type of petroleum-based product. However, we are becoming increasingly aware that burning these fuels depletes our natural resources and contributes to the pollution of our environment.
Now there is a firelog that provides “earth friendly fire” – Enviro-Log. It burns hotter and cleaner than wood and other firelog brands and is produced from waxed containers used to transport meats, poultry, fish, and produce. After use, these containers pose a serious and expensive disposal problem in landfills.
TRANSFORMING TRASH TO CASH
Value-Added Use for Wax Cardboard Containers
Renewable Use for WOCC
Everyday more than 1.5 million wax corrugated cardboard containers are produced in the US. These containers are used to protect and preserve perishable food items during shipping. Wax is used either as a coating on the inside or outside surface of the container or it is impregnated into the ruffled, fluted layer of the container. Because of the nature of this application, the wax must be food-grade according to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards.
Every year more than 600,000 tons of wax old corrugated cardboard (WOCC) containers are sent to landfills. Because wax is not water soluble, WOCC can take 50 years or more to break down. Current technologies are able to separate a percentage of the wax when used as a coating but not enough to relieve the landfill problem. Other options are being considered, but most require additional materials, equipment, or processing costs.
Currently, the only available, cost effective, and earth-friendly solution for WOCC is a patented process for producing firelogs and firestarter products. The patented process has been in commercial operation for almost four years following a six-year research and development program. The firelog product is listed by the California EPA, supported by the USDA and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
In 2004, Enviro-Log, Inc. of Fitzgerald, GA, began producing and supplying these unique firelogs and firestarter products under the brand name Enviro-Log.
Today, Enviro-Log plans to ship approximately 5 million firelogs & build new facilities in several key locations to meet demand for the firelogs.
What Is An Enviro-Log Firelog?
Enviro-Log is a long-lasting, clean-burning, economically priced firelog made of 100 percent recycled WOCC. They generate more energy per pound than wood or other firelog brands, burn 60-70 percent cleaner than wood, and can be used for cooking, heating, and recreational purposes. Other outstanding performance features include:
- Made from 100 percent recycled, non-toxic materials (food-grade wax and cardboard)
- Better than Firewood
- 50% more energy per pound
- 30% less emissions
- 80% less carbon monoxide
- 86% less creosote
- No binder required or used
- No melting, dripping, or sparking
- Easy to light
- Burns up to three hours
- Large, relaxing flames
- More than one log can be used at the same time
- Compatible with all wood-burning appliances
- Can be used in combination with firewood
- Can be stacked, stored, and burned outside or inside
How Are Enviro-Log Firelogs Made?
The Enviro-Log plant receives broken down and baled WOCC from grocers, fruit and produce brokers, and container producers. The WOCC is cut into small scale-like chips and sent through a tumble dryer to remove excess moisture. From the dryer, the chips are conveyed to a storage hopper. The chips are fed by gravity flow into a patented extruder, where they are compacted and extruded as a 3 ½-inch diameter log-shaped bar, which is automatically cut into 11-inch (5-pound) firelogs. Finished firelogs are individually wrapped, packed in boxes of six or nine firelogs, and placed on pallets for shipping and storage.
In the future, production line byproducts will be recovered from the plant’s bag house, packaged, and sold as Enviro-Log firestarter. The firestarter, which exhibits the same characteristics as the firelogs, can be used to light any combustible material. (UPDATE: now available!)
Everyone Wins With Enviro-Log
“We are all about transforming an ecologically challenging waste material into an economically appealing consumer product,” according to Enviro-Log, Inc. president Ross A. McRoy. “Because of the difficulty and costs associated with trying to separate WOCC from other cardboard waste, much of it has found its way into landfills over the last 20 years. As a result, landfill operators are forced to charge higher fees, which ultimately get passed on to consumers in what they pay for fruits, vegetables, and other perishable foods.”
McRoy believes that Enviro-Log, Inc. will create a win-win-win situation for everyone in the WOCC equation. “Producers and users of waxed corrugated containers will have a cheaper, environmentally pleasing disposal method, land fill operators will be confronted with less pesky WOCC, and consumers will have a source of “earth friendly fire” for cooking, heating, and recreational uses.”
Phone Toll Free: 1-866-34Enviro
fax (229) 423-7232
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