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Recycling has a long history in the U.S.

October 2, 2020

Did you know that paper recycling was done way back in the days of Benjamin Franklin? Franklin used recycled paper from the Rittenhouse Paper Mill for his newspapers, pamphlets and books. Rittenhouse made paper from recycled linen rags, which were woven from flax.

Paper Age Magazine had an article way back in 1984 that mentioned an anonymously authored poem from the 18th century:

So that the flax which first springs from the land

First flax, then yarn

To weave the same which they took pains to spin

Then of the Rags the paper is made,

Which in process of time doth waste and fade;

So what comes from the earth, appears plain,

The same in Time, returns again.

Paper is the most recycled material in the country, accounting for more than two thirds of everything that gets recycled according to the Smithsonian Institute. When you put your recyclables in your blue bin you are helping our city to put less materials in landfills. Remember the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. I bet most of you have been doing this all of your lives.

Just think–this newspaper might have had a former life as the paper wrapped around the last package you received in the mail. Recycled “brown-paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things!”

Sometimes, it’s discouraging when people walk down your alley and put non-recyclable items in your blue bin. A West Lawn neighbor and friend of mine told me that someone put a heavy-duty plastic item in her blue bin. This material isn’t recyclable.

The city recycling service didn’t take it. It is too heavy for her to lift. I told her to call Alderman Silvana Tabares (773-582-4444) because the alderman has been involved with the problem of illegal dumping of used tires in alleys. My neighbor did call. She is now waiting to see what action will be taken. I’ll let you know in a future column as soon as I hear anything.

In the meantime, if you see anyone dumping old tires or dumping unrecylable items, call your alderman’s office. For quick action you can also get in touch with the West Lawn Neighborhood Watch by calling them at (773) 234-1015. Just leave a message.

You can also visit them online at their Facebook page at Chicago-West Lawn Neighborhood Watch. You can also email them at [email protected] This dedicated group has been reporting illegal dumping, as well as patrolling our neighborhood every night to help keep us safe. Get in touch with them if you would like to volunteer to patrol or make a donation.

The next CAPS Beat 823 meeting will take place on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District police station, 3420 W. 63rd St. Call them at (312) 747-8724 if you have any questions.

St. Nicholas of Tolentine School is having a virtual Family Walk a Thon fundraiser event on Oct. 9. Call Carolyn at (773) 735-0772 for all the details.

It’s never too early to start thinking about shopping for Christmas gifts. I received a Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog recently. Are you looking for something completely different? I suggest their Flying Hovercraft. It has a 130-hp twin cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that is turbo charged and fuel injected. It glides over land and water and soars in the air up to 70 mph with the aid of integrated wings. It’s only $170,000.

If you would like a gift equally as wonderful but priced more down to earth – I suggest shopping with West Lawn resident and business owner, Maria Alvarez. She owns Moda Color Y Cultura. Maria sells hand sewn and hand embroidered, one-of-a-kind clothing.

She has skirts, blouses and dresses for women and little girls. She also has shirts for boys. The embroidered Mexican designs are exquisite. Some of the embroidery reminded me of Swedish embroidery patterns. She also sells beautiful leather huarache shoes for men, women and children.

Visit the Moda Color Y Cultura Facebook page to see some of her beautiful creations and to get contact information. You can make an appointment to shop and meet our creative neighbor. Maria is helpful and friendly and someone you should know.

Girl Scout Troops 25222 and 24515 have built a “food library” at 4120 W. 63rd street in front of the Cervera Farmers Insurance Agency. This “take what you need or drop off” donation structure is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for those in need and those who want to help. You can donate canned and packaged foods that don’t need refrigeration.

Thank you to all the Girl Scouts for helping people in our neighborhood and a special thanks to Girl Scout leaders Lisa Caraballo and Monica Iocco.

Last week, I congratulated long time West Lawn neighbors George and Pearl Hresil on their 62nd wedding anniversary. I asked Pearl what advice she has for a long marriage. She said, “No marriage is made in heaven. You have to work at it. You have to be very giving, forgiving and patient.”

Wise words for sure.

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