A Brief History of Recycling

History of Recycling

Material waste is a common bi-product of industry, invention, and human existence in general. Wherever humans can be found (no matter how primitive their civilization) you will find trash, scrap, and waste along with them. This is simply due to the fact that, unlike most living creatures, humans imagine, build, and create. This is a fact understood by most. Less known, however, is that even early civilizations have been concerned about the waste they created and sought for methods to reduce, reuse, and of course recycle. Yes, even long before the advent of climate change and the introduction of the “Three R’s”, humans have been long aware of the dangers and economic disadvantages of unnecessary waste. In fact, archaeological evidence suggests that as far back as 400 BC, certain civilizations have been implementing recycling methods and ways to cut back on waste.

For example, the well-known bottle deposit idea started in England in the early1800’s by none other than the Schweppes beverage company. This ingenious idea increased bottle recycling from nearly 0% to almost 99% in locations where it was implemented. This process, started by our cousins in Britain, has saved the world from millions of tons of waste as a single glass bottle can be reused upwards of 20 times.

The first recorded instance of paper recycling dates back to 1031, where we have record of Japanese shops distributing “re-pulped” paper. Imagine that! Even 1,000 years ago our forebears understood the scarcity of trees and paper. They paved the way for us to discover and implement even greater ways to save and recycle precious resources.

A common misconception about shredding is that it is less environmentally friendly than throwing the paper into a recycling bin. Some people mistakenly believe that shredded paper is trashed and thrown away. Au Contraire! One of the features our customers love most about our shredding service is that everything we shred is recycled and repurposed. Now, instead of having to pick through paper to decide which is to be shredded and which is to be recycled, you can securely shred it all and know that we’ve got the recycling covered, too.

We know a green mindset is important to those throughout Oregon and Washington, and it’s important to us, too! So keep on doing what you do and we’ll keep finding ways to put the “green” back into information security.

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