Bill Hillman's Monthly Military Tribute
AS YOU WERE . . .
WAR YEARS ECLECTICA
2017.10 Edition

Life on the WWII Homefront
Save That Scrap! Salvage! Re-Cycle!
In the Second World War, recycling was called salvage, the collection of discarded materials which could be transformed and re-used for war purposes, A Salvage Division, formed within the Department of National War Services in January 1941, organized a national campaign to set up local committees in all the towns and cities and all the industries in the country. They publicized collection drives and coordinated local efforts with those of the scrap industry and other recovery industries. A multitude of posters were created and distributed to encourage the salvage of re-usable materials.

To build tanks, ships, planes, and weapons required massive amounts of metal. A single tank needed 18 tons of metal, and one of the navy’s biggest ships took 900 tons. Anything using metal — from chicken wire to farm equipment — was rationed. Canadianswere urged to turn in scrap metal for recycling, and schools and community groups across the country held scrap metal drives: tin cans, old toys, old pots and pans, aluminum foil, and even bottle caps.

As well as drives for scrap metal, the call went out for rags, fat and bones, rubber tires, old records (which were made of hard rubber) and paper. Paper was scarce because the defense industry needed wood for building weapons and supplies for war, and because so many lumbermen went into the armed forces. The scarcity of wood meant less wood pulp, which is the main ingredient of paper. As a result, everyone saved paper for recycling. Kids would go door to door, collecting scrap paper. They felt it was their patriotic duty. 

Salvage allowed every Canadian to feel a part of the war effort, and made it possible to find substitutes for materials in short supply or cut off by enemy blockades.

POSTER GALLERY




POSTERS IN COLLAGES
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