Recycle & Reuse: Show your love with a newspaper rose

To celebrate Valentine’s Day (which is tomorrow!), let’s make an upcycled single stem rose from today’s newspaper. Once you know how to make a basic flower shape you may want to go beyond a single stemmed rose and make a whole bouquet, make bigger flowers, or go stemless and use only roses to decorate a gift box or photo frame. Read on for three simple flower-making techniques that are ideal for newspaper but can also be used for other types of paper.

You’ll need newspaper from your recycling bin, a pen or pencil, a pair of scissors, a ruler and an adhesive such as glue, glue dots, hot glue gun, glue stick or tape. For the stem you’ll need a twig from the backyard, a pencil or a tightly rolled sheet of newspaper. Optional is a stapler and a set of markers or paints to color the rose once you’re finished making it. Even adding a little bit of color to the edges will make the flower pop. Also optional is a flower vase, depending on how you want to present the rose to your loved one.

Newspaper rose technique No. 1, The Spiral:

Using your ruler and a pen or pencil, measure a 7 by 7 inch square on your sheet of newspaper. Fold the newspaper or add more sheets to cut out multiple squares at once. You can use any size square you want, however, the smaller the square, the smaller your rose will be.

On one of the squares draw a spiral shape with a pen or pencil. Start at the center of the square and continue until you reach the edges. The spiral doesn’t have to be perfect, but do try to leave an even amount of space between each line. Cut out the spiral shape by starting at the outer edge and cutting along the line that you drew until you reach the center. Cut off the excess paper, like the corner edges of the square-shaped paper. If you have stacked several sheets and cut them together, be extra cautious. The spirals will get tangled up.

Place the end of your stem at the outer edge of one of the spirals and tightly roll up the strip of paper, following the spiral shape until you get to the center. Lift up the stem and flower and let the paper unwind slightly. Pinch the bottom of the flower and adjust the width of the petals. When it’s the size you like, add glue to the bottom and any loose edges that may cause the flower to fall apart. To give it a more natural feel, gently push back the edges of the petals. Once you’re comfortable making a rose from one spiral shape, try making one with three or four stacked spiral cutouts for a thicker flower.

Bonus tip, leaves: Make leaves for your flowers by cutting out a diamond shape from leftover pieces of newspaper. Curl back the edges of the diamond cutouts and squeeze one end together to give it a more natural shape. Glue to the stem or just underneath your new newspaper rose.

Newspaper rose technique No. 2, The Circles:

Start with about eight newspaper squares that are 4 by 4 inches stacked on top of each other. Trim the edges to make a circle shape, or fold in half and cut out a u-shape. Once the circles are ready, stack them neatly and staple the center. You can also glue these together at the center but the flower may fall apart as you’re shaping it.

Squeeze and crinkle the newspaper to add texture, folding it in half several times. Open up the flower petals and curl back the edges. If you want to add color, this is a good time to do so. Glue or tape the flower to your stem, covering the staple, and adding newspaper leaves as desired.

Newspaper rose technique No. 3, The Strip:

Open and spread out a newspaper section that’s about two to four pages thick. Starting on the far left, vertically fold the newspaper towards the right for a four-inch fold. Continue folding over every four inches until you end up with a thick strip of newspaper.

Now you need to tightly roll the strip of paper from the bottom of the newspaper to the top. You’ll end up with a four-inch wide roll. Insert the stem into the center of the roll and adjust the shape and look of the rose. Once you find a shape you like, add glue to the bottom and in between several of the layers of paper. This flower is usually thick and will require more glue to stay on the stem. Add leaves and color to finish up.

These three techniques are simple and don’t require a lot of time to master. It may take you one or two tries before you make a rose that you’re pleased with. But no matter what technique you use to make your roses, I’m sure your loved ones will appreciate a hand-made gift that will last longer than a real rose.

Liz Swafford is the recycling and education program coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority. Contact her at (706) 278-5001 or at

This article was published in The Daily Citizen on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 and is also available here:

Fort Hill Schools Awarded Recycling Wagon

Submitted by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, Published in The Daily Citizen

DALTON, GA — Recycling Ben, mascot of the Target Recycling program, presented Pam Massingale, coordinator for North Star, and Lloyd Brochu, director of Crossroads Academy, with a recycling award on Wednesday. 

The Fort Hill Schools have done an outstanding job for the first quarter of the 2009-2010 school year, reaching an average of 14.7 pounds of recyclables collected per student.

They chose the award of a blue wagon to help collect recycling bins from each classroom and office.

Target Recycling is a recycling program managed by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority that includes educational opportunities and recognition of participation for Dalton city schools and Whitfield County schools. Since the fall of 2008 local schools have hosted Target Recycling containers where they collect mixed paper products like cardboard, paper, office paper, books, cereal boxes, magazines and newspapers. Each quarter the school with the highest recycling rate receives a custom award that will help improve the recycling program or beautify the school’s campus. Awards include items like recycling bins for classrooms or benches made from recycled materials.  

To improve the recycling rate at your school, contact Liz Swafford, recycling and education program coordinator, at (706) 278-5001 or e-mail her at

Goal nearing, city recycling officials say

 Submitted by the Dalton-Whitfield Regional Solid Waste Management Authority

The Daily Citizen

City of Dalton officials recently announced that the city is very close to reaching the goal of 1,000 tons of curbside recycling collected from residents in 2009.

The program — offered as a service to residents — collects paper, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and other recyclable materials using blue recycling bins.

The bins are placed at the curb alongside residential garbage cans for weekly pickup by the city’s public works department.

At the end of November, residents had contributed to the collection of 904 tons of recyclables for the year.

“The city of Dalton is very close to reaching the 1,000 ton goal,” said Michael Foxx, assistant operations manager for the materials recovery facility at the Dalton-Whitfield Regional Solid Waste Management Authority. “The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone but also a time when we produce more trash than average. I want to encourage residents to continue with their curbside recycling. December is the perfect month to reach 1,000 tons.”

“As of Friday, Dec. 11, we had collected 52 tons of the remaining 96 tons needed to meet our goal,” added Benny Dunn, public works director for the city.

To learn about the curbside collection options for your neighborhood, call the public works at (706) 278-7077 or visit the city of Dalton Web site at To learn more about recycling in Dalton-Whitfield County, call the materials recovery facility at (706) 278-5001 or visit

America Recycles Day 2009

Submitted by the Dalton-Whitfield Regional Solid Waste Management Authority

The Daily Citizen Dalton, Georgia

America Recycles Day is a national nonprofit effort committed to supporting local and national activities and events to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and to encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment.

It encourages you to pledge to make a personal commitment to step up your recycling efforts over the next year in some way. Visit the America Recycles Day Web site at and join millions of other Americans pledging to recycle more this year.

As our America Recycles Day activity, Dalton and Whitfield County are presenting a three-part series of articles on the many environmental and economic benefits of recycling and to publicize the numerous opportunities to recycle here in our community. Hopefully you will learn some new aspects of recycling that will help motivate you to either keep up your current recycling efforts or start recycling today. Even if you can’t personally solve the world’s environmental problems, recycling is one activity you can do on a personal level that truly does make a difference in our environment.

Research clearly indicates that manufacturing new products from recycled materials not only reduces air, land and water pollution, but also saves energy.

A great example is the energy saved in the aluminum industry. Making aluminum cans from raw materials requires the mining of bauxite, shipping it to the U.S., and delivering it to the manufacturing site. Compare that process to simply delivering cans collected in recycling programs to the mills, melting them and producing new cans. The aluminum industry estimates that by making new cans out of old ones they reduce their energy consumption by 95 percent. This same basic principle applies to all of the other recycling commodities – less energy is required to collect, transport and manufacture products from recycling programs than to use raw materials.

The National Recycling Coalition, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, developed an “Environmental Benefits Calculator” that estimates some of the environmental benefits based on the number of tons of the most commonly recycled items. We have plugged in the 2008 totals (17,859,260 pounds) collected in Dalton and Whitfield County and processed by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority to see the environmental impacts.


Trees Saved 8,368 trees

Reduction in Green House Gas Emissions 3,821 tons

Equivalent number of cars kept off road for one year 2,517 cars

Energy saved equivalent to power a home for one year 2,410 homes

Reduction in airborne and water pollutants 2,039 tons

Water saved by just the carpet tons recycled 639,796 gallons

Additionally, some specialized items were recycled in Dalton and Whitfield County last year. They are important materials that have the potential to pollute our environment if not disposed of properly. We will discuss our Household Hazardous Waste Facility in the next article.


Electronics 10.23 tons Arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium

Batteries 4.9 tons Lead, mercury

Waste Oil 49.25 tons 1 qt can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water

Tires 180.25 tons Mosquito and other vermin habitat

Recycling, by its very nature, saves natural resources. Instead of withdrawing natural resources from the Earth to produce products, we simply take the old ones already created and make them into new products. Except for paper, all the other items can be remanufactured over and over again without losing their essential properties.

We also have some really important economic benefits from strong recycling programs. There are 15 paper mills in Georgia and all of them use some recycled fiber. Nine of them use recycled newspaper exclusively to make their products. These mills represent 25,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $1 million. Almost one-third of all the plastic bottles recycled in the United States gets recycled right here in northwest Georgia and made into carpet. Another benefit - one barrel of oil (42 gallons) is saved by recycling just 3,700 two-liter bottles.

We lose revenues when we send perfectly good recyclables to the landfill and bury them instead of getting them into the recycling stream to be used as feed stock in the manufacturing process. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs did an exhaustive waste characterization study of our landfills in 2004 and discovered that approximately 2.6 million tons of recyclables were going into our landfills in the state of Georgia. In addition to the valuable landfill space used to bury things that had other places to go, the lost revenues on those recyclables were calculated at $250 million based on market prices at the time. Talk about wasted resources!

We sincerely hope that this information will better help you understand that recycling affects us all in positive ways and has the true potential of offering us, as individuals, something to do that definitely generates positive impacts on our community, our nation and our world. So the next time you get ready to dispose of something, remember that you could probably recycle it instead. For complete lists visit (click on Departments, then Public Works, then Recycling Instructions) and (click on recycling). The city and county programs will be discussed in depth in the next two articles.

Remember that "recycling is smart, so please do your part, and don't waste your chance to recycle.

Editor's note: Watch The Daily Citizen Web site for the next two articles.


Household hazardous waste facility marks 10 years

The Daily Citizen

June 20 marked the 10th anniversary of the household hazardous waste facility operated by the Dalton-Whitfield Regional Solid Waste Management Authority.

The authority developed the first permanent household hazardous waste collection facility in the state. More than 250,000 pounds of household hazardous waste has been managed through the facility.

Prior to 1999, the authority held an annual collection event for household hazardous waste. The Solid Waste Citizens Advisory Task Force identified a need for a permanent facility and more frequent collections. With a $50,000 grant from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, the local authority opened the first publicly owned and operated permanent household hazardous waste facility in the state.

The facility is open to residents of Whitfield County the third Saturday of each month and accepts leftover household products such as pesticides, old gasoline, batteries, paints and pool chemicals, to name a few. The facility has been used as the model for many communities around the state, but still remains the only facility like it in the state.

For more information regarding the proper management of household hazardous waste, call (706) 277-2545 or (706) 278-5001. 

The authority has announced its Independence Day holiday operating schedule for landfills and convenience centers:

• Friday — All locations open normal hours (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

• Saturday — All locations closed

• Monday — All locations open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Tuesday — All locations open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Westside location normally closed)

• Wednesday — All locations open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (McGaughey Chapel location normally closed)

• Thursday — Normal operating days and hours resume