Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recycling Update from Jose

Recycling efforts are up at Arapahoe Library District since we began the program last spring. Currently, we are recycling approximately 20% more materials than last April.
Key People, our janitorial service, is working with us to collect our office materials and place them in the recycling bins at each of our locations. We would like to increase our recycling another 10% to 15% and we are asking for your help. Please refer to the Dos and Don’ts of Recycling on the Buildings and Grounds website. If you need any additional bins, let us know. We would also like to hear any ideas or comments you might have about how to increase recycling.

Interesting recycling facts:
· Currently, far more paper is recovered from recycling than is in land-fills.
· Paper accounts for two-thirds of all the packaging material recovered from recycling in the United States – more than glass, metal and plastic combined.
· The average office worker generates an estimated half pound of recyclable paper per day. Based on 20 working days per month, an office of 80 people would recycle more than 4 tons of paper per year.
· By recycling and reusing 4 tons of paper, an office of 80 people would yearly save:
1. 68 trees
2. 28,000 gallons of water
3. 1,520 gallons of fuel
4. 16,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity
5. 12 cubic yards of landfill space
· Paper fiber can usually be recycled up to eight times.
· In 2006, the U.S. paper recovery rate achieved an all-time high of 55%. This was made possible by the efforts of millions of Americans who recycle at home, school and at work.

The Green Library

There is a new blog out there called The Green Library. What is it? This is what they say:

The Green Library blog is devoted to documenting significant activities, events, literature, and projects that focus on " ... increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal" of and by libraries.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

US Book Industry summary report

Last March the The Green Press Initiative (GPI) and The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) produced a 86 page report called ‘Environmental Trends and Climate Impacts: Findings from the U.S. Book Industry. (order it here) Their summary by can be found as a .pdf here.
Eco Libris also produced a great summary of the report with a few key findings:

  • What’s responsible for the biggest part of the book industry’s carbon footprint? First - forest and forest harvest impacts: 62.7%; Second - paper production at the mills: 22.4% share. Conclusion - the paper consumed for the production of books is main responsible for the industry’s carbon footprint (12.4 million metric tons or 8.85 lbs. of carbon dioxide per a book, 2006 stats)
  • The sources of paper and Endangered Forests: the sources of paper come from all over the world; several places are endangered forests with too little being done to protect these natural resources from the exploitation of industries and result in tree farms with little biodiversity, fundamental changes and losses in natural systems, severe impact on species, etc.
  • Some increase in the use of post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper: About 5% of recycled paper is used in books, with some companies reporting they use much higher percentage now, some up to 13% recycled paper. (data from 2006)
  • More policies, but not enough quantitative targets: 60% report they have developed environmental policies but these policies lack much in the way of quantitative targets.
  • Certified paper use: There is an increase in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper for books but not true data yet available.

Eco Libris also notes some important missing information that could have been useful in the report:

  • there is no mention of e-book industry
  • what about a comparison to European book industry
  • what are the main reasons that stop publishers and other companies to go green


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