Watch How the New Orleans Federal Reserve Recycles Old Bills


When old, ripped, and tattered dollar bills leave circulation, where do they go? For years, the Federal Reserve shredded retired money and tossed it into landfills. Since then, they’ve gone a little bit greener. When bills leave circulation, they’re given a new life—as compost.

In the short video “Where Dollars Die (and Are Reborn),” Great Big Story shows how the New Orleans Federal Reserve Bank takes old cash and helps turn it into crops. According to New Orleans Federal Reserve Lead Business Analyst Dean Woitha, around $6 million worth of old money is shredded and sent to a composting facility each day. Once the bills are processed and turned into compost, they’re sent to urban farmers who use them to grow fruits and veggies for the people of New Orleans. As Great Big Story notes, “Money may not grow on trees, but trees can grow from money.” Check it out above.

Banner Image Credit: Great Big Story, YouTube