MOUNT VERNON — The chance to rid those piles of old newspapers from one’s house will be offered to Knox County residents this Saturday when the Mount Vernon News will conduct its biannual newspaper recycling day from 8 a.m. to noon. The recycling of newspaper print has become a steadily increasing practice over the past 30 years, keeping those piles of newsprint out of landfills and reducing the cost to produce more newsprint.
It is very easily processed back to its original paper stock. The process begins with the collection of old newspapers which are transported to a recycling plant. Newsprint is dumped into a solution of chemical detergents that removes the ink from the paper. Staples, dirt, bits of tape or other debris are then removed by filtering the wet paper. It is then bleached, dried and sent through steam rollers that remove any additional moisture and flatten the pulp back into paper. The process is finished off by trimming and rolling. It can then be sent to new owners to become used for newspaper print once again.
About 80 percent of newsprint comes from recycled material. The remaining 20 percent comes from virgin material, according to Dean Hammons, press room manager at the News. Hammons stated that about 1,300 to 1,400 pounds of newsprint is used each day in the production of the News. This does not include the numerous other special sections and commercial print jobs produced each week.
Not only is a lot of paper saved in recycling efforts, but a lot of energy is saved as well. It takes about 23 percent less energy to recycle newspapers into newsprint than in does to create new paper. One ton of recycled newspaper creates 700,000 fresh newsprint pages.
Today, more than 73 percent of all old newspapers in the U.S. are recycled, representing more than 9 million tons of old newspapers. About 30 percent of the recycled material is used for fresh newsprint. An additional 28 percent is exported, primarily to Canada. As much as 13 percent is used for paperboard, 7 percent for tissue, 3 percent for printing and writing paper and 18 percent for other products.
About 73 percent of today’s newspapers are placed into recycling bins across the country, and 30 percent of that goes to making newsprint.
Here are some other statistics on the newspaper recycling efforts in the U.S.:
•In 1989, the newspaper recycling rate was 35 percent. Today, over 73 percent of all old newspapers in the United States are recovered and recycled.
•Not only have old newspapers been used to produce recycled newsprint, newspapers are recycled into other products such as cereal boxes, egg cartons, pencil barrels, grocery bags, tissue paper, cellulose insulation materials and many more diverse products.
•Since the late 1980s, the North American newsprint industry made significant investments to add de-inking equipment to paper machines to produce recycled newsprint. While the increase of recycled fiber in newsprint used by U.S. newspapers since 1989 has been remarkable, the industry may have reached the maximum levels given current market conditions.
So this Saturday you can help rid your home of newspaper clutter, help keep newsprint out of landfills and help to create fresh newsprint at a very reasonable cost. Old newspapers, as well as magazines, will be collected at the loading dock of the News on Gay Street. Clip the coupon on page 6A in Tuesday’s News and you can receive a free monthly subscription or a monthly renewal to your current subscription.
“It’s good public relations. This is a way for us to assist customers so that all these papers don’t end up in the waste basket,” said News publisher Kay Culbertson. Together, we can clean up Ohio one piece at a time.”