Checking the Mail

Steve Davies

By Steve Davies,
Healthy Planet Staff Writer

As usual, I’ve waited till the last minute to decide what to write about but, at least this time, I feel like I have an excuse. It was just last month that I left my two part-time jobs for a full-time job. Of course, I could have used my vacation last month as an excuse as well but, like then, recycling has always been important to me.

So, this month we’re going to talk about paper and in particular, the paper we receive courtesy of the U.S. mail service. Back in my day, as I’ve often talked about before, paper often meant the kind that would you would use to write letters to friends, to create the envelopes that were used to carry those letters and occasionally for mailers that included coupons put out by various local stores.

The only sheets of paper used these days are the ones used as flyers from local companies, be it a restaurant or a place looking for your business. They can also be simply taken and put directly into your bin, no questions asked.

The only envelopes we see are the ones in which someone is asking you to change your insurance, to make a donation or to pay your bills. What they have in common however and what makes them more difficult to recycle are the little windows in front. Though a few use a material that’s biodegradable, most come with plastic that isn’t and so in order to recycle them, you must first tear or cut out the window.

As far as coupons go these days, the only ones we see now are printed on newsprint like what used to be used to print our newspapers and sometimes was even included with them. With the holiday season just around the corner however, we will also begin to see additional paper in our mail but, this will be in the form of catalogs. Catalogs today come not only from local businesses but also from those far and wide across the country.

While at one time it was important to separate all of those types of paper, these days be it in your local recycling bin or at your recycling center, all of the aforementioned types of paper can now be thrown into the same place. Some easier than others of course.

Meanwhile if you have questions feel free to email me at thprecycler@yahoo.com