Special Collections Event May 3&4, Erickson All Sports Facility, 8am to 2pm

For Local Paper Recycling,
Please visit the Parkersburg Recycling Center
100 24th Street, Parkersburg WV 26101

Paper Recycling

Paper makes up 29 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW), more than any other material Americans throw away. Because of this, recycling paper can greatly reduce the overall amount of MSW produced.  

Basic Information 

Paper being recycledWhy recycle paper? Because paper and paperboard products represent the largest portion of our municipal solid waste stream (i.e., trash). In 2010, paper and paperboard products accounted for about 71 million tons (or 29 percent) of all materials in the municipal waste stream. In that same year, we recycled nearly 63 percent (or nearly 45 million tons) of all the paper that Americans used.

Americans recycled nearly 63 percent of the paper they used in 2010, but more can be done. Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions, conserves natural resources, and saves landfill space. According to the American Forest and Paper Association, nearly 80 percent of America’s paper mills are designed to use paper collected in recycling programs, and they depend on paper recycling to supply the raw materials they need to make new paper.

Benefits of Paper Recycling

The environmental benefits of paper recycling are many. Paper recycling:

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change by avoiding methane emissions and reducing energy required for a number of paper products.

Extends the fiber supply and contributes to carbon sequestration.

Saves considerable landfill space.

Reduces energy and water consumption.

Decreases the need for disposal (i.e., landfill or incineration which decreases the amount of CO2 produced).

On the other hand, when trees are harvested for papermaking, carbon is released, generally in the form of carbon dioxide. When the rate of carbon absorption exceeds the rate of release, carbon is said to be “sequestered.” This carbon sequestration reduces greenhouse gas concentrations by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Recycling one ton of paper would:

Save enough energy to power the average American home for six months.

Save 7,000 gallons of water.

Save 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE).


Source: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/paper/basics/index.htm#benefits