March 29, 2007 -- More than half of all the 53.5 million tons of paper consumed in homes, schools, offices, and other workplaces across the United States last year was recycled, the American Forest and Paper Association reported this week.

At 53.4 percent, it was the second consecutive year the amount of recycled paper increased, representing an 83.7 percent increase in recover rates since 1990, the Washington-based trade group said. Nearly 360 pounds of paper was recovered per person in 2006, up from 233 pounds in 1990, the report said.

"We're encouraged by both the quantity and quality of paper being recovered, but we still have an opportunity to bump this number even higher by increasing recovery of high quality paper found in offices and schools," Juanita Duggan, the group's president and CEO said in a statement.

The group's goal is a 55 percent recovery rate.

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