Prior to the advent of the internet and modern media outlets, daily newspapers were a fixture in American households across the country. Today, the readerships and influence of daily newspapers are hard to grasp for those who weren’t living at the time; newspapers were the central method of disseminating information among the public.
For Don Schott (writing under the name “Charles Scott”), newspapers were an important part of childhood. In Mr. Schott’s book “Problems…Solved: The Bizarre Adventures of an Environmental Sherlock Holmes” he describes one of his first attempts at moneymaking: recycling newspapers. Mr. Schott, now an occupational safety and health consultant serving Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and the surrounding areas, grew up in the 1950s, when most cities and towns had two local newspapers – one delivered in the morning and another in the evening.
In those days, newspapers were profitable recyclable material because of the high percentage of cotton used in the paper. Mr. Schott relates his experiences of collecting old newspapers and selling the stacks to the local recycling company. He recounts how, during the summer, he would also collect bottles along the highway and return them to the local grocery store to receive a small fee.
Unfortunately for Mr. Schott, publishers soon reduced the “rag content” of newspapers, rendering his enterprise no longer profitable. Soon he acquired a local newspaper delivery route, however, and developed skills which would be useful in the future for operating a small business. His first job as an adult came from a biology professor in college, for whom he worked for eleven years before venturing out on his own.
After several failed attempts at establishing his own business, Mr. Schott was fortunate enough to be introduced to several business managers who became clients of his occupational safety and health business. Some of his early clients relied on his service for upwards of twenty-five years.
These stories and more are found in “Problems…Solved.” Throughout the book Mr. Schott recounts some of the more unusual experiences he has encountered throughout his long career in the occupational safety and health consulting business.
Mr. Schott still operates his consulting firm and serves clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. As an experienced safety expert, he is available for safety lectures, surveys, OSHA compliance consulting, and other related services.