Paper Money

Concrete could hide something that used to be money

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing sells bags of shredded Federal Reserve notes, but the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank had to come up with a bigger solution.

Original image courtesy of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Shredded currency has been an interesting and inexpensive novelty for some time. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s website even says that it is available through the BEP as pre-packaged novelty souvenirs in its Washington, D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas, visitor centers, and that 5-pound bags are also available.

In 2018, the Federal Reserve had to get rid of 8.4 million pounds of the stuff, and selling it as souvenirs does not move it fast enough.


Proof 1963 Roosevelt dimeInside Coin World: Readers report doubled die, repunched Mint mark finds: We preview content exclusive to the Jan. 21 print and digital editions of Coin World, including reader discoveries (like a Proof 1963 Roosevelt dime with a doubled die reverse) in the monthly column “Varieties Notebook.”


The San Francisco Fed’s Dec. 10 blog says its Salt Lake City branch has a more concrete solution for recycling shredded cash — concrete. The bank’s office there says it “provides its shredded currency to a local company that incinerates the residue and uses it as energy to fuel their operations. Then the ash is used in a cement mixture process, so every bit of the shred is used.”

The bank adds that in 2017, 85 percent of its shredded cash was recycled, but what makes the Salt Lake City solution unique is that everything was recycled, and nothing had to go to a landfill. 

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