During the 1970s, researchers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center explored a software technique called garbage collection; used for recycling computer memory. The technique allowed the automatic reuse of blocks of memory that were storing unused programs and data.
Today an anthropologist at the center, Brinda Dalal, has become a self-styled garbologist; to assist in a joint effort with chemists at the Xerox Research Center of Canada to develop an system. The goal is to recycle paper documents produced by the company's copiers potentially an unlimited number of times. Story continued here.