Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Recycling and reusing newsprint and more

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Greg Peck
Thursday, June 6, 2013

I’ve heard the complaint from readers from time to time throughout my newspaper career now spanning parts or all of five decades: “We hate seeing trees cut down to make newsprint.”

Well, the latest annual report for not just newsprint but all paper products shows the recovery rate has nearly doubled since 1990 and that 65 percent of paper consumed in the United States is now recovered, according to 2012 statistics cited by the American Forest & Paper Association.

“Paper recovery is a success in our country because of the commitment millions of Americans make each day to recycling, whether it’s at home, work, or school,” association President and CEO Donna Harman said.

The paper recovery rate remains above the trend line for the industry to achieve its goal of recovering more than 70 percent per year by 2020.

Do you want to know where all that recovered paper goes? Check out paperrecycles.org to learn more.

On top of this report, the Wisconsin Newspaper Association issued a reminder that spring cleaning is a great time to reuse and recycle and make a positive impact on our environment. (Yes, it’s still spring; summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21.)

The newspaper association is passing along tips from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for recycling old materials and keeping waste out of our landfills:

--Organize a swap with friends, family or coworkers to trade books, clothing, games and other household items.

--Start a compost pile of yard materials.

--Donate items in usable condition, such as clothing, appliances, books and home construction and renovation materials.

--Create a designated “to recycle” pile where you can collect all recyclables, including retired electronics, old magazines, junk mail, cardboard boxes and other items.

--Contact your local recycling program to see what large or bulky items you may be able to bring to a drop-off for recycling, such as Styrofoam packaging, appliances, large cardboard boxes and yard debris. (In Janesville, visit the city’s recycling website or call City Services at 608-755-3110.)

--Check if your community or county is hosting a Clean Sweep collection where you can take unwanted household chemicals or leftover prescription drugs. In Rock County, Clean Sweeps will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at The DeLong Co., 601 DeLco Drive, Clinton; and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Rock County Highway garage, Janesville. Click here for more details. In Walworth County, various Clean Sweeps are Oct. 3-5. For more details, click here.

--Go through your child's school supplies from this year and sort out what can be reused around the house or in the next school year, including notebooks, tape, crayons and colored pencils.

--Organize a swap with other families to trade books, clothing for growing children, age-appropriate games and school supplies; college students can donate unwanted furniture, appliances, household goods and clothing to local resale stores, and can also return old textbooks to a university bookstore or sell them to an independent reseller to avoid sending them to a landfill.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 8:24 am Monday, July 29, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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