Recycling and the Civil War

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Recycling isn’t only about preserving the environment; it has been around since the early days of our nation’s history. An excellent example of that is how materials were recycled and reused during the Civil War to provide much-needed supplies both on and off the battlefield.

The City of Manassas Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Solid Waste volunteered over a year of their time researching what and how people recycled during the Civil War. This intrepid group of volunteers visited the Library of Congress and American Museum of the Civil War and spoke with local and regional historians uncovering a wealth of information on how materials such as paper, metal, and textiles were recycled and reused on the battlefield and at home.

An exhibition of the information that they have gathered is currently on display at the American Recycling Center.

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