Thursday, September 24, 2009

Paper Recycling Rules!

Did you know...

The EPA estimates that 40% of solid waste in the U.S. is paper products.

Paper can actually be recycled up to seven times, and it is easier and cheaper to make pulp from recycled fibers than from wood.

Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees and those 17 saved trees can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year!

Now that you are recycling the tops of your pizza boxes, I thought you might like to know some other paper recycling rules:

1. Keep it dry. Recyclers purchase paper by weight, so the entire lot may get rejected if they see wet paper. Check the weather before taking out your bin! (Solid Waste Director, Andy Ashford, confirmed that they will pick up wet paper, but only so as not to discourage people from recyling.)

2. No food! Dirty paper plates, napkins, paper towels, etc. can be composted but not recycled. Keep them out of your bin so they don't contaminate other recyclables.

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. Little things like small paper clips, plastic envelope windows, staples, labels, metal envelope latches and even notebook spirals are easily separated in processing.

4. Watch out for adhesives! Heavily glued (sticky) items can ruin batches of recycled paper. Don’t toss in those “complimentary” address labels and other stickers. Post-It Notes are fine but if an envelope has a heavy self-stick flap, tear it off first.

5. Allow tape in moderation. Some tape here and there won’t hurt, but if a box is wrapped in yards of shipping tape, remove it as best you can. Paper tape is A-OK!

6. Don’t shred paper unless you must – most recyclers don’t like accepting shredded paper because it’s a challenge to sort. If you are a “shredder”, contain it in a paper bag first(or compost it).

7. Skip the heavy-dye, saturated papers with deep, dark or fluorescent color. It’s difficult to bleach them back to a usable form.

8. No plastic or wax coated papers (like paper cups), but glossy papers (like magazines) are acceptable.

Thanks to Mom Goes Green for the great info.

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