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recycling:



the quantity of household and commercial waste disposed of annually by local authorities and private firms is huge. the cost of disposing this waste is a drain on the resources of local authorities in terms of landfill sites, transport and manpower, and there is the loss to the economy of the valuable materials which are dumped.

one survey in Great Britain showed that 94% of households would be prepared to sort their rubbish for recycling if they were supported by their council.


paper



bright white chlorine bleached paper is harmful to the environment in the following ways:

-high energy consumption
-high fresh water consumption
-toxins caused by the chlorine bleach(locally and globally)
-increased landfill requirements
-managed forests are often monocultures, leading to lack of species diversity



paper facts



...it takes 17 trees to make one ton of paper.

...of the 1.1 million tons of domestic and commercial waste disposed of each year by local authorities, nearly 25% or 270,000 tons is paper. the recycling of paper would save on collection and disposal costs and reduce the requirements for expensive landfill sites.

...making new paper from old uses only 10% of the water and 50% of the energy used in making paper from trees, and it reduces related air pollution by over 75%.

...many different forms of paper can be recycled(see below).

...the European Communities Directives on waste management stress the need for policies to promote recycling.


reuse of paper



reusing paper is the first and best means of reducing consumption. offices can make a major contribution through economical use of paper, by, for example, using paper on both sides and reverse sides of old reports for rough work. envelopes, if opened carefully, can be reused using fresh labels. old newspapers can be pulped at home and, using purpose-built simple presses, converted into fuel for the fire. old newspapers are also useful in the garden for controlling weeds and for the compost heap. waste but good quality paper can be used as scribbling pads, wrapping paper and animal bedding.


classes of paper



the following classes of paper are suitable for recycling:

-newspapers are classed as low grade paper, but are easiest to recycle

-magazines are low grade material. they should be kept separate from newspapers. *computer printout is a high grade material. *cardboard is much in demand although it is classed as a low grade material.

-office waste can be a medium quality as long as it is free of contaminates such as plastic, metals, etc. *offices could, without too much difficulty, make significant contributions to recycling paper with the cooperation of staff.

-other wastes are telephone books, cardboard packets, greeting cards, calendars, diaries, paper bags, comics, bills, cigarette packages, etc.

generally speaking, paper of a similar type should be tied in bundles, and contaminates, such as plastic and tin foil removed. newspapers should be separated from magazines. books should also be kept separate. cardboard should be flattened and tied in bundles.


use more recycled paper products



market forces dictate the price that is paid for recycled paper. you can support the market in this area by using more recycled products (like office stationary and cardboard packaging).

with modern technology, a good standard of stationary using recycled paper is possible. manufacturers and others could further promote the use of recycled products by stating their products are made of recycled materials. for example, cardboard packaging could state the percentage of recycled board used in its manufacture. offices could print at the foot of their letters the fact that recycled paper is being used .

envelopes made from recycled paper are also available and could indicate the percentage of recycled paper used in their manufacture.


guidelines for setting up paper recycling schemes



...first, identify a waste paper merchant who will accept paper collected, establish the price to be paid, transort arrangements and the conditions which must be met as to type of peper, quantities, level of contamination acceptable, etc.

...identify a site, or sites which are secure, protected from the weather, highly visible and easily accessible. location next to existing recycling projects such as bottle banks would contribute to the success of a scheme and the development of 'recycling banks'.

...contact your local authority to see what assistance they may be able to provide.