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Manhattan Paper Challenge Contest Announcement

06/18/19 Pratt Industries



Pratt Industries and The Manhattan Borough President’s Office Launch a Year-Long “Manhattan Paper Challenge” Contest to Increase Paper Recycling

Manhattan Community Boards Compete For Monetary Awards Each Quarter, As Well As A Year-End Award.  

Pratt Industries, America’s largest 100% recycled packaging company, is providing $75,000 in cash prizes to Manhattan’s Community Boards to spur the growth of residential recycled paper collection in the Borough.

The contest, financially funded by Pratt Industries, has been collaboratively designed by The Manhattan Borough President’s Office, The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSWAB), and The Department of Sanitation New York (DSNY).

For the past two-plus decades, Pratt has operated New York City’s only paper mill, which exclusively uses 100% recycled paper, the majority of which is generated through New York City’s curbside recycling program. After the new 100% recycled paper is produced, it is used at Pratt’s corrugated box plants in NYC and throughout many of its other factories in the U.S. to manufacture tens of millions of pizza boxes as well as corrugated boxes for companies such as Amazon, Home Depot, Procter & Gamble and a who’s who of other consumer packaged goods companies.  Those boxes, once used and ready to be recycled once more, as well as most of the other paper collected by DSNY, is then recycled yet again at the NYC paper mill.  Hence, this 22 year partnership with New York City has created a true circular economy model. 

Since opening in the late 1990’s Pratt’s paper mill has produced over 7 million tons of 100% recycled paper, saving over 120 million trees which would require a forest almost 21 times the size of Manhattan.  “We continually invest in educational programs in NYC such as The Manhattan Paper Challenge to ensure NYC residents are aware that the paper recycled right in this city is a valuable resource and is used to create high-paying green-collar jobs right here in the five boroughs,” stated Shawn State, president of Pratt Recycling.  “Our relationship with DSNY, The Borough President’s Office, MSWAB, and the Manhattan Community Boards are critical to the success of this program,” continued Mr. State.

The Manhattan Borough President’s office has worked to facilitate discussions and presentations between Pratt Industries and the Community Boards that will compete for the $75,000 in prize money that Pratt is providing.  “New Yorkers have a real opportunity to create less waste,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m delighted to be partnering with MSWAB, DSNY and Pratt Industries to launch the Manhattan Paper Recycling Challenge to get people excited about recycling again and to raise awareness of the recycling assets that New York already has. I visited Pratt Industries paper mill and box factory and was impressed by the rare, 100% sustainable closed-loop that turned Manhattan’s recycling into pizza boxes that get used all over New York City. May the best Community Boards win!”  Some community boards are already weighing in with comments. “CB7 is excited to participate in the Manhattan Paper Challenge to increase paper recycling in our Community District,” said Manhattan Community Board 7 Chair Roberta Semer. “We plan to partner with community based environmental organizations and are in it to win for all Manhattanites.” “CB8 supports recycling and this paper challenge,” said Manhattan Community Board 8 Chair Alida Camp. “The closed loop paper recycling program that Pratt Industries provides is an important part of environmental protection. The Manhattan Paper Challenge is a creative way to a further understanding of the relationship between recycling and the environment.”

DSNY continually launches public relations and educational programs to improve recycling participation in all five NYC Boroughs.  “While most people know that paper belongs in your recycling bin, almost 250,000 tons of paper doesn’t get recycled,” said Sanitation Acting Commissioner Steven Costas. “Here in New York City, all kinds of paper can be recycled, including newspaper and magazines, wrapping paper, soft-cover books, and cardboard. Even mail and envelopes, and pizza boxes should go in your paper recycling bin. We want it all!”

The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSAB) is a volunteer citizens’ advisory board dedicated to helping NYC achieve its zero waste goals.  MSWAB has been very involved in promoting the Manhattan Paper Challenge.  Chair Jacquelyn Ottman stated: “Many of our board members have visited the Pratt Industries’ paper mill right here in NYC, and their contribution to using only 100% recycled paper as a feedstock, with the majority of it coming from NYC residents, is an environmental success story that could be a model for cities around the country to emulate.” Pratt is delighted that MSWAB developed multifamily building recycling guides that can be made available as a resource for interested building owners, property managers, staff and residents who want to use this Challenge as an opportunity to ignite recycling participation within their individual buildings.  Download MSWAB’s free Recycling and Organics Guides for Multifamily Buildings HERE:

Details of the Manhattan Paper Challenge can be found at:  

About Pratt Recycling

Founded in 1989, Pratt Industries has become one of the largest privately owned recyclers and closed- material-loop paper and packaging manufacturers in the world. Pratt offers fully-integrated recycling programs, consisting of diverting recyclable materials and utilizing them as a resource for the manufacturing of a myriad of 100% recycled content packaging solutions.

About the New York City Department of Sanitation

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) keeps New York City healthy, safe and clean by collecting, recycling and disposing of waste, cleaning streets and vacant lots, and clearing snow and ice. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of more than 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 695 salt/sand spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,500 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.

About The Borough President of Manhattan and the Borough’s Community Boards

Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan, and she took office in 2014.  In 2018, Brewer served as Chair of the Large Cities Council of the National League of Cities, and previously served on the City Council for 12 years.  Manhattan’s 12 community boards are local organizations each composed of 50 volunteer members serving staggered two-year terms.  Community boards are tasked with being the independent and representative voices of their communities—the most grass-roots form of local government. The boards are pivotal in shaping their communities and work to enhance and preserve the character of the city’s many unique neighborhoods.

About Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board

The Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board (MSWAB) is a volunteer citizens’ advisory board dedicated to helping NYC achieve its zero waste goals. They advise the Manhattan Borough President, City Council, City Administration and others on policies and programs regarding the development, promotion and operation of the City’s waste prevention, reuse and recycling programs. The Board is comprised of solid waste management industry, waste reduction and diversion consultants, sustainability professionals, and concerned citizens, appointed by the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. 

Media Inquiries

Pratt Industries:

DSNY Press Office: or 646-885-5020

Manhattan Borough President’s Office: Courtney McGee at or 917-960-1187

Details of the Manhattan Paper Challenge can be found at: