Little Bit of Paper: The Importance of Recycling Paper

March 4, 2009 at 10:08 am 6 comments

When I am giving presentations or MRF Tours, people have a lot of questions about recycling paper.  The first tends to be “Why should I recycle paper?”  Recycling paper is important for several reasons.  Like all recycling, it creates jobs and supports a very important industry in Wisconsin.  Additionally, recycling paper saves natural resources.  For every ton of paper recycled:

  •  17 trees are not cut down
  • 7,000 gallons of water are not used
  • 380 gallons of oil will not be used
  • 3 cubic yards of landfill space will not be filled
  • enough energy will be saved to heat your home for 6 months

So while saving trees as a natural resource is great, it is by no means the only natural resource being saved.  Additionally, when you use recycled paper you are not only saving trees but, in some cases, you are saving diverse forests.  There have been accounts that some forests cut down for paper are not ‘tree farms’, but rather old-growth forests.  A recent article in the New York Times explains that for certain types of paper, old growth trees must be used.  This article focuses on the need to use old-growth forests to make certain types of toilet paper.

Another very common question is “What kinds of paper can I recycle?”  In Waukesha County, Wisconsin the following types of paper can be placed in a paper bag or bundled with twine to be collected for recycling:

  • newspapers can be recycled
  • magazines can be recycled
  • advertisements in newspapers can be recycled
  • junk mail can be recycled
  • envelopes with plastic windows can be recycled
  • old homework can be recycled
  • printer paper can be recycled (and also reused!)
  • construction paper can be recycled
  • cardboard can be recycled (and also reduced or reused!)
  • phone books can be recycled
  • chipboard can be recycled (i.e. cereal boxes, the box that comes around your soda, etc.)
  • toilet paper tubes can be recycled
  • paper towel tubes can be recycled

Types of paper that cannot be recycled include any paper that has come into contact with wet or greasy food (i.e. pizza boxes or ice cream boxes) and wrapping paper.  Also, when you get those credit card offers, make sure to throw the ‘sticky booger’ that attaches the credit card to the paper makes it in the trash as well.  All of these items can ruin the paper recycling process down the line.

Entry filed under: Deforestation, Facts & Figures, In the News, Little Action, Natural Resources, Paper, Recycling. Tags: , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • […] Newspapers, magazines, courrugated cardboard, office paper and other recyclable paper […]

  • […] paper […]

  • 3. • ECOLOGIA  |  August 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Papel Reciclado: DIGA SIM!…

    Reciclar papel não é apenas uma iniciativa de pessoas, as empresas também aderiram diante das vantagens de mercado

  • 4. ruby  |  November 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    not bad not gud . nobody`s gonna listen

  • 5. Amna  |  November 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    this is an awesome site! it helped me alot with my homework! Save the Earth!

  • 6.  |  February 8, 2013 at 4:07 am

    This is certainly the second blog, of your website I really read.
    Although I really love this specific 1, “Little Bit of Paper:
    The Importance of Recycling Paper Recycle Raccoon’s Easy Going Green” the very best. All the best ,Brigida

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