GRN Recycle Talk FAQ
Answer

From: Fred Friedman (FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV)
Date: Mon Sep 08 1997 - 10:26:00 EDT


Date: Mon, 8 Sep 97 15:26 WET DST
From: FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV (Fred Friedman)
Subject: Re: Recycling (Kasper)

September 8, 1997

Dear Kasper,

Recycling probably began when John Neanderthal
found a stone that Mary Neanderthal had previously
used as a plate and used it for a wheel instead
after making certain highly technical design
modifications.

Recycling of paper began with its Chinese invention
and continued with its scarcity until the advent
of mass production. Repulping of what would today
be called pre-consumer scrap would have gone on as
a regular event in paper making both in its eastern
and its western applications. European reuse of
rags and cotton scraps to make paper, or animal skins
to make vellum happens along with Guttenberg's invention
of the printing press.

Recycling and reuse of scarce commodities happens
whenever replacement costs from nature exceed recycling
costs. After each European or Western Hemisphere war
for example, the first resource called on to restock
civilian raw materials is war materials; thereafter,
destroyed or partially destroyed materials are applied.
This is why the US scrap business flourished after
the Civil War (to the South) and to Europe after
both World Wars.

If your question has to do with the current wave
of recycling, the answer would probably be, the
early 1970s suggested it as an environmental Q A and
by the late 70s it was being done on some socially
significant scale. It takes off as an industry
in approximately 1988.

-- Research Library for RCRA



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