by Michael dEstries
Categories: Lifestyle
Tags: .


Even if the 18th playing of your John Denver Christmas CD has barely left your stream of consciousness, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s holiday season. Or, your kid’s birthday. Which is why finding out that Bill Nye the Science Guy has a Paper Recycling Factory is exciting news for any eco-conscious parent. Well, kind of. Current reviews over on Amazon range from “educational” to “torture”. I guess it depends on your patience level for the day — or amount of mixed drinks consumed before mashing.

According to Discover This, Nye’s kit teaches children the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Young science exploreres will make greeting cards, notepads, and much more, all from waste paper. Thing is, the process is very time consuming — with some parents saying that their kids were disappointed. “If you are making paper with more than one child be prepared for some major disappointment,” writes one mom on Amazon. “The kit provides only enough cleaning (drying) cloths to make ONE tiny piece of paper (24 hour drying time). Hopefully, your second child will not be too disappointed to find out that they would have to wait 24 hours to make THEIR sheet of paper…mine was.”

Just another reason to never be born second.

“This is a good idea gone wrong,” writes another parent. “This “toy” comes with the vaguest of instructions and flat out doesn’t work. What it does do is create a helluva mess and a frustrated child. This should be taken off the market.”

Damn — well, hopefully parents will be more receptive to Nye’s next educational toy: The Broken Glass Recycling Factory.

Discover This! via Treehugger

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • The Science Commenter


    You know the stepchild will be the one who gets his paper recycled 2nd, thus has to wait forever and feels left out!

  • Johnydear

    Hey I thought this was fun and so did my kids! Yeah they were disappointed when they found out that they had to rip up paper and then wait 2 hours for it to soak in water but hey that’s life. Kids are so spoiled now days they think that everything should happen right now and if it doesn’t it sucks. Man that’s sad. After we made the paper, which came with four cloths, so you could actually make 2 at a time, we waited till the next day and we had recycled paper. It wasn’t some magical pad of awesomeness paper put the point of it is to make a “home” type of recycled paper. Anyway, that’s my opinion, do with it what you want.

  • Lance Peterson

    Bill Nye sucks balls. He knows nothing about recycling and he needs a life. Why does he spend all his time trying to teach uninterested kids about crap like this?! No one cares about anything that he says! Oh, and Bill, if you didn’t get the point already, you need a life!

  • Karen Pine

    This product is good in theory, but it is very hard to use, and broke the very first time. The directions are very vague, and not a whole lot of help. The “blender” is not very well put together and when you use it the top keeps popping off. Also, the “bolts” on the paper squeezer thing broke off when I tried to tighten it down.
    I would not recommend this product. It would be easier to do with things from around the house.

  • MR.”J”

    Use the pan for keeping the mess to a minimum- not as a strainer. Cut pieces of newspaper small- add in some punched dots. Add some water to the grinder with the paper. Add a dash of Elmer’s glue if you wish-just a bit. Let the kids have fun grinding it counter-clockwise. Pour into tennis ball container lids, butter tub lids or something like that. Drain out some water. Sit out in the warm sun. They should dry up nicely. You can paint or make into cool stuff. They will come out smooth on one side.

  • Kerry O’Neill

    I purchased 6 sets for my middle school classroom. They were on clearance at WalMart for $5 each. I wanted the trays and the deckles from each set and figured that if the blenders work it would be a bonus. I’ve been playing with the entire set by myself this weekend.

    I agree that Steps 10 and 11 are very confusing. However, with experimentation I discovered two different, but successful ways to complete these steps.

    Living in the desert southwest, I try to conserve water. Using this product to produce recycled paper does use more water than I’d like. I have some ideas to reduce water use.

    The cleaning cloths can be used again immediately by patting them dry on a cloth towel. Drying them on a paper towel defeats the purpose of making recycled paper.

    My mid school students are very active and love to use their muscles to create art. Cranking the blender will be one more way they can test their endurance and speed. I’ll keep an electric blender on hand in case any of the blenders break.

    I’m eager to try this with my test group of ten 8th graders. If all goes reasonably well, my large classes of 6th, 7th and 8th graders will do it, too.

  • teresa

    i actually enjoyed it and if you put the paper to dry on a wax paper lined tray in the sun from a window, etc, you can do multiple pieces. the leaving of the cloth for one for 24 hours is unnecessary. it just creates a drying surface. evaporation from the heat of the sun or whatever solves the problem. after all, the drying cloths aren’t meant to completely dry the paper! give this a try and i’m sure you will be pleased as well!

  • kelli

    Well, kinda disappointed. I found this at WalMart for $4 and thought it was a great deal. Being a Cub Scout leader looking for a great project for my scouts, I bought 2. Came home and tried it out and was completely unsuccessful! Bad directions gave absolutely no help, so I hit the ‘Net. I was surprised to find so many bad reviews and was getting kinda scared that I was gonna have to find a different project. I read several reviews, suggestions and such, and even looked up “how to make recycled paper” and read through a few how to’s.

    When I think of paper, I think of a very thin product. This isn’t the case here. I found that really the only thing I was doing wrong was trying to make it “paper thin” :) I packed as much as I could into the little molds, removed the mold, put a cloth over it, turned it over, and was FINALLY able to get the screen away from the “paper”. I put another cloth over it and pressed it in the press, which I don’t really think did anything but make sure it was flat. Then I took it out, removed the top cloth, flipped it onto a piece of plastic, removed the other cloth, and made my second piece of “paper”. Let it dry over night and now I have a product I can introduce to my scouts! Guess it probably would be better if I used stuff I had laying around the house instead, but oh well. I think they’ll enjoy it.

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