American workers throw out the equivalent of more than...

EARTHWORKS

October 20, 1990|By John Javna

American workers throw out the equivalent of more than 1,500 trees -- recyclable letterhead stationery, memos, copier paper, typing paper and computer paper -- every week.

We throw out about 85 percent of the office paper we use -- enough to build a 12-foot-high wall of paper from New York to California.

Every time we recycle a ton of it, we save the equivalent of 380 gallons of oil and 7,000 gallons of water.

What does your office use that can be recycled?

*WHITE PAPER

* It includes: white computer paper, stationery (letterhead and bond) and copier paper. Note: Not all mills accept paper that's been printed with a laser printer. Check with your local recycler.

* Staples are no problem, but remove metal clips and fasteners.

* Non-paper items like plastic, cigarette butts, polystyrene coffee cups, etc., absolutely must be kept out of the white paper bin.

*COLORED OFFICE PAPER

* Check with your collector or recycling center to see if you can add it to the white paper. Sometimes you can't.

*COMPUTER PAPER

**(GREEN BAR)

If you only have a little, put it in with the white paper. But if you have a lot, keep it separate.

*DON'T RECYCLE:

* Anything with adhesives. This includes Post-It notes and mailing address labels (the "pressure-sensitive" ones -- if you lick it, it's OK). Tear the labels off.

* Fax paper, NCR paper (carbonless copies) or blueprints.

*SOURCES

* "Office Paper Recycling: An Implementation Manual." A detailed booklet on starting an office recycling program, available from the EPA Office of Solid Waste Management, 401 M Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460.

*The EarthWorks Group

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