Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

War Economy

Reclamation of Waste

Reclamation of Waste

With supplies of materials generally short, it became important to salvage and use waste materials wherever possible. A National Council for the Reclamation of Waste Material was set up by the Minister of Supply in June 1940. The Council organised 110 volunteer committees and, by various means, was responsible for collecting over 27,000 tons of waste paper for use by the paper and board page 145 mills, 5000 tons of waste rubber, including half a million used car and truck tyres, over 300,000 lb. of cleaning rags for the armed services, over 5,000,000 bottles and glass containers, and 2000 tons of non-ferrous metals and cast iron. Much of this waste material was sold to private industries, and the proceeds given to Patriotic Funds. Arrangements ran smoothly, though there were occasional difficulties about transport; waste material, having a comparatively low value for bulk, did not receive a high priority at a time when transport was scarce.

The return of waste rubber back into supply channels was the greatest contribution by the Council, the amount collected equalling in weight all the rubber usually imported in the form of raw rubber and tyres over a period of eighteen months. So great was the need for tyres that the Government asked for all tyres collected to be inspected when received at depots. If fit for repairing or retreading they were to be sorted out, reconditioned and sold to permit holders only, or to firms or persons engaged in essential war work. In cooperation with garages and retreaders, thousands of second-hand tyres were repaired, classified as to possible mileage, priced and sold to essential users. Farmers' needs for tyres for trailer vehicles were also supplied in large numbers by these means.

Over £50,000 was paid to the National Patriotic Fund Board from the proceeds of sales of reclaimed materials.