Along with the U.S. government’s rationing of materials, the National Scrap Harvest Program (NSP) was launched by the Commission on Wartime Production. In October 1942, the National Scrap Harvest Program required every citizen to save their leftover and unworn clothing for recycling.
Of course, the first items to be recycled in the recycling movement were still rubber products, mainly tires, and metal scrap. According to conservative estimates, there were at least 1.5 million tons of metal scrap and 20 million tons of paper scrap in the U.S., which, if used properly, could have a significant impact on production. In order to use more metal for the war effort, the U.S. government even changed its currency issuance system, replacing coins with small-denomination bills to reduce the amount of coins issued. The obvious importance of metals in the war effort led to a period of disproportionate focus on metal collection at the expense of other scrap recycling. Nelsen, chairman of the wartime production committee, noticed this “top-heavy” situation and asked for a renewed focus on other scrap collection. After that, recycling efforts were gradually put on track and recycling performance began to blossom.
In addition to the active participation of the general public, the U.S. Civil Defense Administration, the VFW, Boy Scout organizations and some social groups later set up a special scrap collection team; in addition, many school students were encouraged to actively participate in recycling during the holidays. Although the amount of recycling may not seem huge, it is undeniable that more than 10 percent of all munitions used by the U.S. military in World War II came from these collections, and nearly 30 percent of the 64 million fleece shirts, 165 million coats, and 229 million pairs of pants issued to the U.S. military throughout World War II came from recycling.
Some historians believe that Waste Recycling Campaign, which lasted nearly four years, The patriotic fervor it inspires is definitely no less than the high emotion and strong confidence shown by the people when supplying the army.