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Salvage Depot, Garth Road: Sorting waste paper

Salvage Depot, Garth Road: Sorting waste paper

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Date Photo Taken 1st January 0001
Area Lower Morden
Picture Reference MerMor_​World_​War_​4-1
Original Format Photo
Notes / History In December 1939 a National Salvage Campaign was launched by the Minister of Supply, Leslie Burgin, in order to meet the increasing demand for manufacturing materials needed to support the war effort. The campaign was organised primarily by local authorities with the assistance of a number of voluntary organisations.

The materials salvaged for re-cycling were wide-ranging. They included waste-paper, cardboard, metals, bones, rags, rubber, kitchen waste etc. Of all the materials salvaged, metal was probably most associated with the production of military equipment. Iron, steel and a number of other metals were used for tanks, guns, shells, ships and aeroplanes. When an appeal was launched for aluminium saucepans to be melted down to make fighters the WVS in Wimbledon collected more than 6 tons (Safe as Houses: Wimbledon 1939-1945 by Norman Plastow)

Another important commodity was paper which was needed to produce packing for Bren gun parts, shells, cartridge cases and many other wartime essentials. Householders were encouraged to collect up waste paper and then send a postcard to the Council who would arrange collection. As well as producing the packaging it also meant that the local factories that processed waste paper were kept busy.

Recycling was one of the industries where women were employed during the wartime.

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