Monday, November 09, 2009
Recycling; not the final solution.
This past summer while on a photographic journey to the Smoky Mountains I decided to take a detour through a town that I had never visited before, Sylva North Carolina. As I approached the mountain town I was greeted by the unmistakable smell of a paper mill. I was both saddened and disappointed as a thick pillar of smoke filled the otherwise pristine mountain sky. At first I was angered thinking I was approaching another paper mill exploiting the Western North Carolina Forest like the paper mill located in Canton ( farm3.static.flickr.com/2386/2275651095_bbba08e3cb.jpg ). However the mill I was about to photograph was the Jackson Paper Company ( www.jacksonpaper-nc.com/ ) a paper recycling facility. Located along a tributary of the Tuckaseegee River I found that the Jackson Paper is a recycle paper mill, turning used paper and cardboard into new paper products. While I'm sure operations like this reduce the amount of trees used in the production of their products they are certainly not without their environmental impact. This encounter with the realities of recycling has imprinted on me the need to follow the "Three R's" (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) more effectively placing priority on them with emphasis on Reduce and Reuse.