September, 2002 


Source: NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation 

Many people consider recycling as a product of the environmental Movement of the 1970's, when the public became aware of the limitations on our natural resources. 

In fact, recycling has been a art of America's lifestyle from Colonial Days to World War II. Cutting down clothes to fit younger family members was a natural thing to do. Every home had its ball of twine, saved from one package to use on the next. Worn oilcloth tablecovers became book covers or shelf lining. Old sheets were cut into handkerchiefs and pillow slips. 

During World War II, saving tin cans & grease drippings was routine for most households. Boy & Girl Scouts went door-to-door to collect paper & other recyclables as part of the national effort. It was not until the birth of the disposable society in the 50's that it became more acceptable to throw away than to reuse. 

Today, as natural resources become depleted & landfill sites become scarce, we are looking again to reuse & recycling as meaningful & practical solutions to disposal problems. 

New York's interest in recycling is demonstrated by an increasing number of curbside recycling programs & material collection centers. Separation of recyclables by the householder has been shown to be both acceptable & cost effective. Municipalities across the state are looking toward recycling as part of an integrated approach to solid waste management.

Beyond being an effective waste management tool, recycling is an important element of New York's economy. Thousands of workers in steel, aluminum, glass & paper industries depend upon recyclable materials as the raw materials for new products. Recycling offers a perfect relationship between protecting our environment & enhancing our economy.


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This web page was updated on 09/05/2002