How come money never gets recycled?

Like you’ll always tend to see a penny on the ground or something… What if there was a service that went around and collected coins / paper money on the ground and recycled them? That material could be used to make the newer money that’s yet to come. I realize there are homeless people who do this on a daily basis, but I’m talking about a “give a penny, take a penny” sorta thing.



  1. 0 Votes

    In a way, the US Mint already does recycle coins. When coins that are unfit for further circulation (too dull, old, etc.) are sent back to the Mint by banks or regular people, the Mint melts them down to create new coins. It would be difficult to do this for paper money, because of the special materials involved (paper money is “rag paper”, made out of cotton and linen), the level of soiling on some paper money, and the levels of security around the creation of paper money.

    Now, why don’t we have a service that collects coins? One, it would probably be ridiculously expensive. Two, and this is my own conjecture, it would, essentially, be the government interfering in the free circulation of currency. It’s slightly possible that it could alter the value of US currency, since you’re taking a unit of monetary value entirely out of the economy (arguably, money left on the ground is already taken out of the economy, but it is still possible for people to use it). Because of the way currency and inflation work, recycling wouldn’t necessarily be “replacing” the money at a later date, especially when there’s no trace of the money in the market.

  2. 0 Votes

         Paper money actually is recycled sometimes. You can buy things like pencils and rulers made partly out of recycled currency.

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