I believe in recycling and repurposing. I buy old kegs for my brewpub production and reuse whatever tools and supplies I have. It cuts down on costs and makes you a bona fide member of the green generation. It all started years ago before I got into the personal at-home beer business. I used to buy dozens of six packs per week for myself and my friends. What is a night of football without cold brew. I would stack up the cardboard cartons for months before I started to slip over that fine line of hoarding. I bought one of these paper shredders and got to work obliterating all the evidence of my favorite beverage. It was practical, easy, and even a bit of fun.
I got rid of so much in just one hour; and then two minutes later it was all in the trash. This was my first experience of recycling. There are cans in the alley for bottles, landscape refuse, and paper. Then I started on shredding paper of all types – newspaper, the mail, packing materials, and the like. You will feel good about yourself as an eco-friendly member of the human race. At first, I was hopeful that my recycling was useful to society and that shreds of paper could indeed be made into new pulp. But I found out that it isn’t so; shredding only saves space. This was totally new information. Maybe I am not such a do-gooder after all. But I am not going to stop.
Meanwhile, I am busy printing some interesting articles on home brewing and my paper pile is starting to build up. I like to sit and read them with a cold one in my hand. There is something old-fashioned and nice about touching real paper. In this digital age, we have lost the feel for the tangible stuff. Apparently, no one really misses reading the newspaper or their junk mail when they can have it all online or in emails. But there are times when I like to scan my research findings and refer back to the material later on. I guess I am making a reason to use the shredder. I like the sound of its roar and the efficiency of its inner workings.
How paper is recycled is a mystery to me. It is best composted and not put through the normal channels, especially if it is in plastic bags. If so, it ends up in landfills, compounding the age-old problem. Maybe you just made it easier on yourself to haul out the trash. If you have certain recycle bins in your vicinity, you can put the shredding there. Not every trash hauling service will take it. This was news to me, and now hopefully it is to you.