Minnesota's newest feather in its cap is actually a paper wad in its fair.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Monday it is now an official Guinness World Records title holder, for creating the largest paper ball on record – standing 9 feet, 7 inches tall, measuring 32.2 feet in circumference, and weighing in at 426 pounds.
The wad of paper was on display at the Minnesota State Fair this year, and pollution agency officials sent the measurements to Guinness back in August.
The MPCA came up with the idea to create the world’s largest wad of paper to encourage more Minnesotans to recycle, noting a recent Waste Characterization report shows 1 billion pounds of paper ends up in Minnesota’s landfills every year instead of being recycled or composted.
Much of that paper could be used by other Minnesota companies if recycled properly, the agency said, such as making boxes for General Mills cereals.
The pollution control agency said the ball was a visual representation of how much potentially recyclable paper Minnesotans throw in the garbage every 30 seconds.
"We really wanted to bring attention to the economic and environmental value of recycling,” said Wayne Gjerde, recycling market development coordinator at the agency.
Guinness World Records guidelines were followed, so no adhesive, glue or tape was used to create the ball. The ball will not be on display – it was all recycled.