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Week of 28 October 2019: A whole different look at Quality, part 4

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In my travels this past spring and summer, I saw the matters I described in these four columns. In fact, I saw a lot more than I have had space to share. The urban settings were difficult enough, but what really struck me was one rural scene I saw and with which I have a history.

I first visited this facility 42 years ago. At that time, it was nearly new, brightly painted, with well-manicured lawns. That part has not changed--the same company owns it and they still run a first-class operation. However, in the ensuing 42 years, a number of gas stations, convenience stores and trucking depots have come and gone in the vicinity--about two miles up and down this rural road.

In most cases, these abandoned facilities are just that--abandoned, falling in, weed choked and unpleasant to view.

On one hand, one can make the argument that these facilities are private property and are the responsibility of their individual owners. This is obviously true.

On the other hand, one can make the argument that if it had not been for the large, still operating first class facility, all this rural blight would not exist. For these abandoned and derelict properties would never have been conceived, built and failed if it had not been the dreams of some to be near the large facility.

If the large facility had not been built, the bucolic countryside would be as it was 42 years ago--a pleasant place in a rural setting.

*** has hundreds of registrants! [12.12.19]


So, this got me to thinking--if the pulp and paper industry, through focused local cleanups, by offering awards for most improved for the neighbors (and perhaps other such low-cost incentives), took on the task and responsibilities for helping their neighborhoods improve, what would happen? If the facility just furnished forty-yard waste containers and paid for dumping them, what would happen? If management was encouraged to live close to the facilities they manage (low interest loans backed by the company, etc., like we talked about last week), what would happen?

Here is what can happen if we all get behind this idea. I think between pulp and paper companies and their suppliers there are about 6,000 sites in the country that are affiliated with the pulp and paper industry. If each of these sites worked on cleaning up their own facilities and an area 4 miles in diameter around their sites (may not be practical in urban areas--too large), we as an industry would put 75,000 square miles of the United States in good shape. Let's discount that due to urban areas and some folks simply not participating--bringing it down to 55,000 square miles. What is 55,000 square miles? An area the size of Wisconsin!!! We could go from the whipping boy of the environmental movement to the head of the class.

Imagine what such an effort would do for our industry's beleaguered public image. We would be the leader in making a real impact in the neighborhood welfare of the United States. This is doable and not that expensive--all that has to happen is that a few companies take the initiative and lead the way. I am sure the rest will follow. When you do this, we will be happy to publicize your efforts here at Paperitalo Publications--just let us know about them.

How about it?

Be safe and we will talk next week.

___________________ has taken off like a rocket! Over fifty jobs are posted, in many interesting categories. These jobs are in at least 15 different US states. [12.12.19]


Employers are on board with There are nearly forty employers located in fifteen different US states and six other countries. [12.12.19]


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