Recycling and sustainability has been an increasingly important conversation – especially in the last decade. In school now, kids are taught “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle” as the foundation of their sustainability efforts. It is known that every effort matters but the larger recycling impacts are done through business with a mindful view.
Why is recycling so important?
1. It prevents further pollution. When creating new materials there is pollution formed during the process that negatively affects the water, air, and soil not to mention additional pollution from the transport of raw materials to create the new product
2. Recycling reduces the amount of resources harvested to create the new product. There are a limited amount of natural resources available and recycling helps with sustainability issues such as deforestation.
3. Unless you are using a material that is biodegradable or bio assimilates, non-recycled materials often end up in places like a landfill or the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Recycling is reusing the resources in the same or a different way so they are not discarded to pollute our environment.
An Interview with Roosevelt’s Recycling Coordinator
How long have you worked at Roosevelt paper?
Edwin: I’ve been here 6 great years!
And the recycling?
Edwin: I took on the responsibility of recycling 3 years ago. It was something that I wanted to do.
Why is that?
Edwin: I feel strongly about our environment and it gave me a chance to make an impact while doing my job, what could be better?
Is sustainability important to you?
Edwin: Most definitely. People sometimes do not realize that paper is a sustainable, recyclable and a renewable resource. Plastic and Styrofoam are not good for the environment and often end up in a landfill somewhere, or worse yet, in the ocean.
What is the general process?
Edwin: Roosevelt invested time and money into make the recycling process efficient. In our converting process, we separate the waste by individual substrate and grade; it goes through our filtering system, gets baled and then shipped off to a recycler. In New Jersey alone, we have 5 balers. Much of our recycled material returns to the folks that originally made the paper.
Truly a recyclable and renewable product. How many pounds do you recycle on the average?
Edwin: We average about 2 million pounds per month. We are committed from the top down. All of our equipment in New Jersey is powered mostly by solar panels! Roosevelt, as an organization is always exercising the reduce, reuse, recycle mindset. I like where I’m at, doing my part.