Scrap Recycling – recognized as one of the world’s first green industries…
And Gachman is celebrating it’s 100th year in the business in 2013
Evidence of recycling can be dated back as far as 400 B.C.
Jump ahead to more recent history…
“The first metal recycling in the United States occurred in 1776 when patriots in NYC toppled a statue of King George III, which was melted down and made into 42,088 bullets”
“As America declares its independence form England, rebels turn to recycling to provide material to fight the War of Independence. Silversmith Paul Revere advertises for scrap metal of all kinds. General George Washington urges the reuse of old worn chain from frigates. And publisher Benjamin Franklin uses reconstituted scrap paper in his early printing. Patriots contribute metal, paper, cloth, and other used items to the American Revolution. Among other things, iron kettles and pots are melted down for armaments. Meanwhile, paper use grows dramatically in the new states. The Massachusetts House of Representatives passes a decree requiring that all towns appoint an individual to receive rags for the mills.“
“Railroads both purchased and sold scrap metal in the 19th century, and the growing steel and automobile industries purchased scrap in the early 20th century.
Beverage bottles were recycled with a refundable deposit at some drink manufacturers in Great Britain and Ireland around 1800, notably Schweppes. An official recycling system with refundable deposits was established in Sweden for bottles in 1884 and aluminum beverage cans in 1982, by law, leading to a recycling rate for beverage containers of 84-99% depending on type, and average use of a glass bottle is over 20 refills.”
“Resource shortages caused by the world wars, and other such world changing occurrences greatly encouraged recycling. Massive government promotion campaigns were carried out in World War II in every country involved in the war, urging citizens to donate metals and conserve fibre, as a matter of significant patriotic importance.”
“Thousands of tons of material are recycled to support U.S. and Allied 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. The Boston General Salvage Committee helps the war effort with scrap drives – advertising the campaign on streetcars and billboards, and with
In a productive public-private partnership to help the government’s war effort, the International Harvester Company coordinates an effort using its 10,000 dealerships nationwide to collect much of the estimated three million tons of ferrous scrap metal lying idle on American farms. In Chicago, the Herald & American newspaper enlists the aid of its 3,000 carrier boys known as the “Junior Salvage Commandos” to make personal house-to-house calls in search of scrap iron.“
“The next big investment in recycling occurred in the 1970s, due to rising energy costs. Recycling aluminum uses only 5% of the energy required by virgin production, glass, paper and metals have less dramatic but very significant energy savings when recycled feedstock is used.” – ISRI
“California enacts the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, placing a deposit on aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles. The program pushes the state’s overall beverage container recycling rate to 80% by the mid 1990s, with more than 10 billion cans and bottles recycled annually. Meanwhile, Rhode Island becomes the first state to pass a mandatory recycling law for aluminum and steel (“tin”) cans, glass, plastic (PET and HDPE) bottles, and newspapers. Residents and businesses must now separate these recyclables from their trash.”