(Chelsea Update would like to thank Frank Hammer for the information in this column.)
Long-time recyclers remember when recycling paper required several sortings—colored from white, no envelopes with windows, and never mix newsprint with better quality paper. Those days are over—now, with the new single stream system, you do not have to separate any of it. Everything goes into the bin. WWRA has a paper separator, the first step in sorting the recycling components.
So newspapers, magazines, catalogues, office paper and even the paper cup you get from some coffee vendors can go together in the recycling bin. When you receive a new phone book, recycle the old one. You can also add in junk mail, postcards, special occasion cards and even paperback books. Recycle paper plates, too, as long as they are rinsed and not saturated with oil.
The only paper you should not include is waxed paper.
So what are you doing by recycling papers? Saving trees by the thousands, and here are a few statistics:
- Every year, 27,000 trees are destroyed just to make paper towels. Try switching to paper towels made from recycled paper.
- Every day, 44 million newspapers are thrown in the trash that account for 500,000 trees each week. Reggie fact – all major newspaper publishers use recycled newsprint. And recycled newsprint can also be recycled again.
- Every week, 1.6 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered to our homes and unfortunately only about 20 percent of it is recycled. That accounts for another 100,000 trees per week. Reggie reminder: You can reduce your junk mail by opting out with The Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service. Most major companies will follow your preference for a period of 5 years.
The next time you need to get something printed at a print shop, ask for recycled paper to be used instead of new material. If you look at the paper cup you just received with coffee in it, the chances are good that it was made with a portion of recycled paper.
Brown paper bags like those from your grocery store are recycled and can be added to your recycling, too. Those brown paper bags have long paper fibers in them that make them especially valuable for making good recycled cardboard.
Another thing you can do to recycle brown paper shopping bags is bundle them if they are in good shape and take them to places like Faith in Action that will use them again. Just as good as recycling them through WWRA
And, of course, all cardboard can be recycled, too. All kinds. Speaking of cardboard, you can also recycle food cardboard, but please clear-rinse them first, remove waxed-paper sleeves in things like cereal cartons, and it helps your bin space if you crush them first.
Reggie’s Environmental Note: April 22 is the 45th anniversary of Earth Day when the nation as a whole started to recognize the need to protect the environment. Recycling is part of that protection. In commemoration, Reggie suggests you save even more trees by not using paper or plastic bags at the grocery and take your own cloth bags to bring home the food. Reggie does it every week.
Reggie Raccoon’s Royal Recycling Review:
* Recycling puts materials back into use; trash is for things that cannot be used again.
* Flexible plastic of all kinds go in the trash, not in the recycling bins.
* Styrofoam and Polystyrene are good for packaging, but have to go to the trash.
* Plastics 1 and 2 can live anew, but 3 to 8 just don’t rate.
* Most other plastics are recyclable—but never foam rubber, garden hoses, or flexibles.
* Be a recycling consumer. Let businesses know you want recyclable containers and thank those establishments that provide them.
* Please save a tree by recycling all your paper, including junk mail and cardboard.
* All plastic bags can now go back to their source at participating grocery stores.