Plugged in and turned on. All paper. All the time.
We hear a lot about the evils of paper, one of the evils being that paper use is wasteful. The fact is that paper is one of the most recycled products in the world. The United States recovered 65.1% (nearly 51 million tons) of its paper for recycling in 2012. It’s incredible that each percentage point represents enough paper to fill 7,500 railroad cars! Paper is a strong first in U.S. recycling followed by glass (25.5%), and metals and plastics (both at 7.1%). The recycled paper goes on to a new life as tissue, packaging, office paper and other grades. Recycling your paper saves landfill space, helps avoid methane gas emissions and extends the supply of wood fiber.
The City of Northglenn, Colorado has a time-lapse video showing their sanitation department workers sorting through nearly a ton of trash to illustrate how much of what we put in the garbage could actually be recycled.
The Waste Commission of Scott County, Iowa has a time-lapse video of their baling process. Baling is the last step of their recycling operation. They compare the operation to a super-sized hay baler, except instead of 70-80lb bales of hay, they are maneuvering 1,700lb bales of paper! The bales are shipped to plants that process the material into new paper products.
Frogmore Paper Mill in Hemel Hempstead, England partnered with schools in the South of England to help students learn about recycling and papermaking. This is a time-lapse video of the project from start to finish.
Featured image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net