We recycle for a variety of reasons. We understand that recycling helps conserve limited resources. Recycling also saves energy, creates jobs, and helps build a strong economy. And it reduces problems associated with litter and trash.

In the concluding, second installment of our two part blog about the history of recycling, we focus on the period from the turn of the 20th century up to the present day.

1907 – An article in Cosmopolitan magazine, “The Chemical House That Jack Built,” extols the manner in which “every possible substance we use and throw away comes back as new and different material – a wonderful cycle of transformation created by scientists’ skill.”

1916 – 1918 – In the USA due to shortages of raw materials during World War I, the federal government creates the Waste Reclamation Service with the motto “Don’t Waste Waste – Save It.” The agency advertises extensively to encourage the public to save old rags and wastepaper. The service also advocates scientific management of the nation’s water, timber, land, and minerals – early steps in the evolution of progressive programs to protect resources for future generations.

1920’s – Landfilling, reclaiming wetlands with layers of garbage, ash, and dirt, is introduced and becomes a popular disposal method.

1935 – The first aluminum can for beverages is manufactured by a brewer in Newark, New Jersey, USA. The can weighs three ounces. Sixty years later, a process called “light weighting” will reduce aluminum beverage cans weight to just one-half ounce.

1939 – 1945 – Thousands of tons of material are recycled to support Allied and U.S. troops during World War II. The war Production Board’s Salvage Division is responsible for promoting nationwide recycling. More than 20,000 salvage committees, 400,000 volunteers, and millions of citizens pledge to “Get in the Scrap” to help the war effort. The salvage of tin, rubber, aluminum, and other materials is taken very seriously. Citizens contribute everything from doorknobs to girdles to help build the military machine. The rhetoric is strong: “If you have even a few pounds of scrap metal in your home you are aiding the Axis,” asserts one wartime magazine ad. It is said that salvaging metal straps from corsets alone saved enough metal to build two warships.

1948 – Market acceptance of frozen orange concentrate leads to the expansion of the frozen foods industry, with associated increases in packaging.

1964 – The all-aluminum can is introduced. Recognising the value of used aluminum cans as a raw material for making new cans, the aluminum industry will soon begin creating a massive system for recycling and redeeming used beverage containers.

1970 – Worldwide attention to environmental issues culminated in the first Earth Day. In response, the then Chicago based Container Corporation of America, a large producer of recycled paperboard, sponsored a contest for art and design students at high schools and colleges across the USA to raise awareness of environmental issues. It was won by Gary Anderson, a 23-year-old college student at the University of Southern California, whose entry was the image now known as the universal recycling symbol.

1973 – The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle is patented. The bottles will soon begin replacing glass bottles for some uses. Recycling will begin in 1977, though it will be years before a significant number of recycling facilities accept PET bottles. Recycling efforts will get a boost in 1991, when Coca-Cola introduces the first recycled-PET soda bottle. PET recycling will grow from 8 million pounds in 1979 to 622 million in 1995.

1973 – The city of Berkeley, California organized the first curbside collection of newspapers for recycling. The curbside-collection process has since been adopted by many other cities.

1970s – Rising energy costs prompt an increase in recycling programs, due to the lower costs necessary for recycling when compared to manufacturing. Legislation such as the Clean Water Act of 1977 created demand for recycling products, as the act increased the cost of bleaching paper, making the recycling of already bleached paper products much more cost effective.

1989 – Berkeley, California was the source of another major effort in recycling development. The city banned the use of polystyrene plastic packaging for fast-food hamburgers. The ensuing resistance of plastics manufacturers to the ban led to efforts to prove the possibility of plastic recycling. According to RecyclingCenters.org, over 1,600 companies in the United States were involved in plastics recycling 10 years after the ban.

1999 – The Landfill Directive demands a reduction in the amount of waste being sent to landfill from 11.2 million tonnes in 2010 to 7.46 million tonnes in 2013

2010 – Defra claims that the UK would meet its first landfill diversion target, which was 75% on 1995 levels, and that it is ‘on track’ to meet the next targets in 2013 (50% on 1995 levels) and 2020 (35% on 1995 levels).

RecycleIT4U offer a fast, efficient and friendly service to help recycle your unwanted electrical goods with a simple automated collection system.
To book a collection you can either use our online form or you can speak to us direct during our normal office hours. Our collection booking telephone number is 01952 580814.

We will collect redundant PCs, laptops, monitors, servers, network products, printers, EPOS, Scanners, UPS, cabling, AV equipment, projectors, telephones, mobiles and fax machines using our own vehicles at an agreed date and time.

An official WEEE disposal certificate will be issued, quoting serial number, asset tag and 
description of all the items collected.

Hazardous waste notes will be issued for redundant equipment such as monitors and batteries that contain hazardous materials.

We can also ensure secure data destruction. The security of unwanted data held on file by way of magnetic media, computer hard drives, 
backup tapes, CD’s or floppy drives is controlled by the Data Protection Act 1998. All data bearing devices are dealt with by Recycle IT 4U in one of two ways:-

▪              Physical shredding

▪              Electronic wiping of DATA (only applicable if approved by you the customer)

Data held on hard drives is removed or eradicated using approved software and hardware in accordance with internationally recognised standards.

We also pride ourselves in refurbishing, reusing and recycling for spares and repairs as much as possible, so equipment can have a second lease of life.

Any equipment not suitable for our refurbishment programme or spares, is separated and then sent in bulk to our Strategic Partner, the world’s largest waste management company for further recycling and separation into glass, metal and plastics and reintroduced into the manufacturing chain as raw materials.