By the end of World War II, iron and steel were pretty hard to come by for domestic use, so there was a strong emphasis on recyling even the most mundane sources of metals. That's why one of my earliest grade school memories was of the competition between the classes to see who could collect the most coat hangers!
There was also a big todo made over paper drives, too. They would mark off sections of the sidewalk by the school for each grade. Parents would collect bundled and tied newspapers from neighbors and family and deposit the stacks in the appropriate grade's area. This drive became quite an important social event for us, earning the winners all the bragging rights we would later learn to ascribe to such hallowed competitions as the Alabama-Auburn football game.
Our neighboring little town here in rural Alabama has been having good success for several months now with a recycling drop off facility at their Town Hall / Police Station parking lot, so we've been saving cardboard, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans, as well as newspapers for them. They're using the profits to fund their new Public Library. We're hoping they'll be successful, and we're doing our part.
The last time our little town tried something similar, it worked for awhile, and then some of the rednecks around here started putting their trash in the bins, and even stealing the aluminum cans! The town finally gave up, and did away with the whole project.
Does your town recycle? Do YOU recycle? Does your child's school still have paper drives or aluminum can drives?
nostalgia, childhood memories, recycling, post WWII shortages