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Using recycled materials

February 28, 2012
By Sharon Root , Marshall Independent

Lyon County recycling

education coordinator

Crochet or knit? Have I got a project for you. First gather up old newspapers. Then make some yarn out of it so you make yourself something to wear, a tapestry, or some other piece of fashion/art. Aww come onI haven't been imbibingreally! Now, even though we talked last time about a talented designer that turned old leather belts into cool usable/functional items and about a very talented artist that carved faces out of old phone books, I have to share one more example of holy-cow-there-is-no-way-I'd-think-of-making-that-with-that. When looking over an Earth911 e-mail I came across the title SEE: Yarn Made From Recycled Newspaper. Naturally I had to check it out. It was about an Italian designer that tears newsprint into strips, twists it into balls of yarn (without adding glue, coloring or silicone) and then crochets stylish and fashionable pieces out of the yarn using custom-made needles and hookssome as long as 8 feet! This designer has been "dabbling in the use of recycled materials for more than three decades" and "calls his creations 'zero-impact global art,' as it requires nothing but trash (and loads of man-hours)." Out of his newspaper yarn he's made all kinds of items including: dresses - one of which he spent two years saving enough yellow pages to make a canary-hued one; hats; vests; tapestries; socks (The pictures of the socks are cool but I can't imagine wearing socks made from newspaper yarn); chair bottoms/seats; and more. Visit to see some of his work. Be aware though, if you don't speak Italian you won't be able to read anything. But the pictures are cool! Visit the Earth911 site and search for SEE: Yarn Made From Recycled Newspaper. Then you'll be able to read the info. FYI The HGTV and Earth911 sites are good resources for crafters out there wanting to make "new" things out of "old" things.

Before we close, here are explanations as to why pop and beer cartons and plastic caps, cover and lids are NOT acceptable in the county recycling program at this time. Although these items are technically recyclable, to make it practicable to collect them in any given area, an end market for them should be available within a reasonable distance from the collection area. At this point, recyclables from Lyon County are going to an MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) in Sioux Falls to be sorted for shipment to end markets. At this point, the MRF does not have markets for the aforementioned items. Regarding the cartons, the fibers are treated with an additive that gives them "wet strength." This results in them having to be processed somewhat differently than paper, cardboard or other types of paperboard packaging and not every recycling mill is set up to handle them. As for plastic caps, covers and lids, they like various other plastic items melt down at different temperatures, thereby requiring different processing methods. So, same as with the carton "quandary," not all plastic recycling end markets are set up to process caps, covers and lids. Until end markets for these two types of materials are available to the facility where materials from here are sent, we shouldn't be including them in our recycling. I know how confusing the whole acceptable/unacceptable thing can be so please feel free to call if you have questions.

The Hazardous Waste Facility accepts computers/monitors, TVs, printers, fax machines, VCRs and DVD players. Fees charged are the same as those charged at the landfill. Call for details.

Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled! For more info or if your club is interested in a presentation (free) regarding recycling/waste reduction and household hazardous waste disposal, call the Lyon County Environmental Office at 532-8210.



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