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FEBRUARY 24, 1913.-Read, referred to the Committee on Appropriations, and ordered to be printed.

To the Senate:

In response to the resolution of the Senate dated February 21, 1913, requesting that I send to the Senate any additional information submitted by the Commission on Economy and Efficiency relating to the matter of saving in recovery of Government waste paper, I transmit herewith reports of the commission on the subject dated September 21, 1912, and February 11, 1913.

THE WHITE HOUSE, February 24, 1913.



Submitted by the President's Commission on Economy and Efficiency.


FEBRUARY 11, 1913.

The Commission on Economy and Efficiency has the honor to submit the following report in reference to the collection, handling, and disposition of waste paper in the Government service. Based upon the result of its investigation, the commission has developed three plans, any one of which, if followed, would bring an increased revenue over that derived under the present practice. These three plans are briefly as follows:

1. That all the waste paper in the Government service be accumulated at one central station (preferably under the control of the Government Printing Office) and

there assorted into various grades, and that bids be asked for by grades rather than by departments. Under this plan the estimated increase of net proceeds over present plan would be $27,844.38 per annum.

2. That a pulping plant and wet press be installed at this central station and pulp made up in wet sheets of various grades and that bids be asked for on the wet s eets by grades. Under this plan the estimated increase of net proceeds over the present plan would be $31,273.27 per annum.

3. That a Government plant be installed for the purpose of making paper from this waste. Under this plan the estimated increase of net proceeds over the present plan would be $105,712.76 per annum.

The commission recommends that the first plan be adopted for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1913, and that during that year the second and third plans be given further consideration.


The methods of collecting waste paper in the various departments are almost as numerous as there are departments. In some bureaus the messenger force picks up waste paper; in other bureaus the waste paper is picked up by the char force; in some bureaus laborers do the collecting. This is also true of the handling. In some bureaus the paper is baled, while in others it is put in storerooms in burlap bags and those filled bags carted away by contractors. In some bureaus the waste paper is assorted, while in others no assorting is done. The method of disposing of waste paper also differs in various bureaus and departments. Some bureaus sell their waste paper in an assorted state, others in an unassorted state; some bureaus and departments destroy their waste paper (the reason for so doing being the confidential nature of the matter printed or written thereon); other bureaus, being in rented buildings, permit the owners of rented buildings through their employees to collect, handle, and dispose of all waste paper, the revenue (if any) being kept by owners of the buildings.

Proposals for bids for the sale of waste paper are asked for by the departments separately, and in many cases the prices for the same kinds of paper vary in amount although purchased by the same contractor. The prices paid for waste paper for the fiscal year 1912, in most cases, were less than those of previous years.

A table is attached hereto giving the estimated annual quantities, estimated costs of collecting and handling, estimated square feet of storage space occupied, contractor's price for year 1912, the method of disposition, and the estimated revenue for fiscal year 1912. This table is marked "Exhibit A."

The three plans mentioned on the first page of this report are described as follows:


There is now collected throughout the Government service about 5,712.55 net tons of waste paper annually, 77.65 tons of which are at present disposed of by either burning, dumping, or giving away. The balance, or 5,634.90 tons, is sold. Of this amount, 2,635.57 tons are sold in an unassorted state (by "unassorted state" is meant sold as "waste paper" after assorting a few special grades, or sold as "waste paper" without assorting of any kind) and the balance, or 2,999.33 tons, is sold in an assorted state.

It is estimated that if the waste paper now sold as unassorted were to be assorted the following grades and percentages would result:

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For the 77.65 tons now disposed of by burning, dumping, or giving away, if sold as recommended the same percentages would apply, or:

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The average prices per ton quoted on this stock by the New York Paper Trade Journal for the six months ended July 1, 1912, were as follows:

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It is recommended that all the waste paper of the Government service be collected by automobile truck service, under the supervision of the Public Printer, and brought to the building occupied by the Government Printing Office, and there assorted and sold under separate contracts for grades of paper, rather than by separate contracts for separate departments. The reason for recommending that the Government Printing Office be the central collection station is that the Government Printing Office now has close to 50 per cent. of the Government waste paper and therefore only about 50 per cent would have to be rehandled rather than the whole.

It is estimated that the cost of assorting would amount to about $1.25 per ton. The cost of collecting (using two auto trucks and two men, although it is thought that one truck and one man are sufficient) would amount to about $3,000. This $3,000 is estimated. to include the cost of repairs, depreciation, etc., of trucks.

As the New York Paper Trade Journal quotes prices for New York City, and as the mills using waste paper are not situated in the city of New York, the difference in freight rates between Washington and mill points and New York City and mill points should be taken into consideration. The difference in freight rates on waste

paper averages about $1 per ton. As there are about 5,712.55 tons the difference in freight rates amounts to $5,712.55.

There are 2,713.22 tons of waste paper per year now unassorted or destroyed. As this would have to be assorted prior to selling, the cost of such assorting would amount to $3,391.53.

As a large part of the waste paper now sold in an unassorted state is baled by small hand balers and some by the old-fashioned power balers it is estimated that the cost of baling the entire quantity of waste paper would not be as great as the present cost if up-to-date hydraulic presses were used.

The total present revenue from the disposition of the unassorted waste paper amounts to $10,291.30. Under the proposed plan, the revenue from this paper would amount to $38,717.90, as shown by the following table, No. 1:

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The waste paper now assorted, if bringing the prices shown by the average for the six months ending July 1, 1912, of the New York Paper Trade Journal, would produce a revenue of $63,758.51 as compared with $52,236.65, the amount received under the present method. The details are shown in Table No. 2.

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The total increased revenue, as shown by Tables Nos. 1 and 2, would amount to $39,948.46 From this should be deducted:

Cost of collection by motor trucks (not now performed by departments).... $3,000.00 Difference in freight rates....

Cost of assorting 2,713.22 tons, at $1.25 per ton...........

Net increased proceeds...

5, 712.55 3, 391.53

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The foregoing figures showing comparison of revenues and proceeds do not take into consideration the costs of collecting and handling waste paper. These costs under the present plan, as shown in Exhibit A, amount to $32,742.43. The costs of collection and handling under plan proposed in the foregoing will not be affected, therefore it is thought unnecessary to bring them into the calculations wherein comparisons under the two plans are made.


An application has recently been filed in the Patent Office for a patent on a deinking and defibering machine, and process, and allowance thereof has been made. This machine and process is for the purpose of reducing paper to a pulp, separating the ink that appeared on paper from the fibers, also separating the fibers. Paper mills now manufacturing paper from old stock (or waste paper) do exactly the same thing, but their methods are cumbersome and expensive as compared with the simple arrangement of the method of this newly invented machine and process.

A working model of this machine was tested by a committee on waste paper representing this commission, consisting of an expert from the Bureau of Standards and two representatives from the commission. The machine did all that was claimed for it, and is thought to be a great improvement over all other known processes of producing pulp from waste paper.

The following is a report made by the expert from the Bureau of Standards who was detailed as a member of the committee on waste paper covering matters connected with the recovery of old papers:


At the present time there are three general methods in use for the recovery of old paper stock. One of these methods is comparatively new, while the two other methods are more or less a modification of methods in use for a considerable number of years. These three methods are known as follows: Cooking in closed tanks or boilers, cooking in open tanks or kettles, and cooking in inclosed-engine cookers. The lastnamed method is the more modern, while the first two are very much older methods. The general practice for the preliminary handling of old papers is substantially the same for all of the various cooking methods and consists in sorting the old papers by hand into the grades desired and at the same time removing all undesired grades, together with any pieces of rubber, wood, or metal, etc., as may be contained therein. After sorting, the paper is run through dusting machines that thrash the papers around, in order to remove all dirt and dust, which is sucked away by suction fans. The papers are somewhat torn and shredded in this dusting process, and in some mills they are still further torn apart by passing through a shredding machine which reduces them to sizes varying from 3 to 10 inches square.

1 The paper now destroyed because of the confidential nature of memoranda thereon should be put through a shredder, destroying confidential notations, and sold with the paper not so shredded. The cost of shredding is a very small consideration.

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