MOUNT VERNON — In anticipation of Earth Day, April 22, the Mount Vernon News will hold its first newspaper recycling day of the year on Saturday. Area residents can bring old newspapers and magazines to the News loading dock between 8 a.m. and noon. Due to construction on South Gay Street, drivers are asked to enter the alley off of East Vine Street.
Residents who present a coupon with their recycling items will receive one month toward a subscription to the News. Coupons can be found in previous editions of the paper.
“It’s important that we acknowledge Earth Day, because we need to show a lot of respect for the preservation of our universe and our world,” said Liz Lutwick, assistant publisher for the News. “This is just a small thing that we can do. Hopefully, it will encourage everyone to recycle rather than just throw things away.”
According to News press room manager Dean Hammons, printing done by the News in one year uses over 1.5 million pounds of newsprint, when newspaper and commercial printing jobs are included. That translates to around 1,765 huge rolls of paper, which, if unrolled all at once, would run between New York City and Los Angeles almost five times.
Linda Montgomery, Knox County Commissioners’ recycling coordinator, said that despite the massive amount of newsprint used in the United States, only 30 percent of it gets recycled. In October 2008, the News recycling event brought in 10 1/2 tons of newsprint. This amount alone saves 179 trees, 31.5 cubic yards of landfill space, 21 barrels of oil, 73,500 gallons of water and over 43 kilowatt hours of electricity. That’s enough energy to power an average American home for over four years.
Montgomery said that although the amount of recycling in the county has improved from an average of 38.5 pounds per person in 2004 to over 58 pounds per person in 2008, much more recycling could yet be done. The News holds two newsprint recycling days every year, and plans a second one for October.