While we have a tendency to think of recycling as a relatively new idea, it has been taking place for many, many years. During WWII tires, tin cans, and other items were recycled for the war effort. And let’s not forget the natural recycling of the earth. Now extinct life forms have been responsible for oil supplies.
Recycling has always been a matter of environmental and economical concern. Also, the more industrialized the country became the more important recycling became. Recycling projects have been historically been driven by supply and demand.
It has always been less expensive to reuse something than to purchase something new. My introduction to the concept of recycling was seeing both sets of my grandparents, who came of age during the Great Depression, reuse aluminum foil on food until it literally was coming apart. (They just called it being thrifty.)
The Great Depression and other times of economic scarcity forced households to reuse and recycle items. In recent decades, recycling has become important for environmental preservation.
People are used to recycle since the ancient times.
Archaeological studies have shown that, in times when resources of raw materials were decreasing, the garbage dumps of ancient towns, were containing fewer waste with potential for recycling (tools, pottery, etc.).
An English businessman, Benjamin Law, was first who transformed recycling of clothes that could not be worn in new textile materials. Thus, he invented 2 new materials: shoddy and Mungo, based on wool recovered from old clothes, combined with new wool. In 1860,in city Batley, England, they were producing over 7,000 tons of this material.
Times recycling "friendly" were those of war. Nazi Germany is a country where rationalization and recycling have been taken both, during and in the pre-war periods. In particular, iron was recycled as well as other rare metals, textile fibers or bones for soap producing.