The Big Recycling Dilemma

On our campus we have a pre-primary school, primary school, high school and college. (We also have a graveyard, so you could literally spend your entire life here AND be buried here! :) )

For many years the high school and primary school have both been drop-off points for paper recycling, managed and collected by Sappi on a monthly basis. The primary school has a nice little initiative going - the pupil in each class who brings the most paper to school for the term gets a chocolate, and the class who does so gets a cake! Needless to say, there's quite a bit of competition between grades, and a lot of paper has been brought in each year, generating a little extra income for the school.

All that is about to change. Sappi is pulling out, as they have too much low-grade paper coming in and not enough demand for recycled paper.

I was hoping to get a Sappi bin for the college, and generate enough cash to fund a scholarship here from next year - but that's fallen through. I've done a lot of phoning around to other paper companies, but everyone's cutting back on their paper recycling and don't want our business.

And here's where my dilemma comes in. I can't bear to just chuck my office paper in the nearest rubbish bin. In the past month my office, the photocopier outside it and one other office generated an entire car full! All that useful paper is now just going to go to waste and fill up some dump site.

But no-one wants it for recycling! What to do, what to do...

Maybe I should start making my own paper - you know, those lovely little hand-made sheets that sell for horrible amounts at the local shops. Trouble is, with all that I generate, I'll be spending nights reworking it each week! And with a catering semi-business already getting off the ground and requiring after-hours work, I simply won't have enough hours in the day.

I'm still collecting paper in my office. I'm still rescuing paper from the photocopier area. I still can't resist a good cardboard box (the pack-rat in me takes it home, "just in case"). But I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with all of it!