National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Fellows tour NewPage Recycle Mill

NWF’s Eco-Schools and Campus Ecology programs, in partnership with NewPage Corporation, and with support from McGraw-Hill, are working together on a textbook recycling initiative. The goal? To learn more about the textbook recycling industry in the U.S and engage more campuses & k-12 schools in textbook recycling events. Laura Banken, Campus Ecology Fellow from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota and Andrea Kent, Campus Ecology Fellow from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse are part of the textbook recycling team helping to conduct research in their regions (and nationally) and to work with local k-12 schools and on their own campuses to host recycling events.

On June 7 and 8, Laura Hickey, NWF’s Senior Director of Global Warming Education, Kristy Jones, NWF’s Senior Manager for Campus Ecology (attended virtually) and fellows Laura and Andrea, participated in the first planning meeting for the project; representatives from McGraw-Hill and NewPage also attended the meeting at NewPage’s Paper and Recycle Mill in Duluth. In addition to strategizing about next steps for the project, learning more about textbook construction and the processing of recycled content, the group had the opportunity to tour NewPage’s recycle mill. This summer, Andrea and Laura will embark on research for this project answering questions on the regional and national landscape for textbook recycling such as – are their city, county, and state initiatives? What are the top resources nationally for textbook recycling? Fellows will also look into the lifecycle of a textbook, how often are textbooks retired (ready for recycling) at different institutions (college vs. k-12), what is the process from pick-up to drop-off at the mill (stripping the bindings, de-inking, etc), and more. Outreach and planning for the textbook recycling events will begin in the fall. The textbook recycling initiative is a pilot project, focusing in the Minnesota and Wisconsin regions.

Learn more about the Textbook Recycling Initiative

Read blog post “New Life for Old (Recycled) Textbooks, Courtesy of McGraw-Hill Grant

Image credit: Microsoft Clipart, Image is not from the NewPage Mill