Everything You Need To Know About Paper Recycling

Paper is easily the most widely recycled material around. It is used so commonly in our everyday lives, and so easy to recycle again and again, so it is no surprise that it is the most popular material to hit our recycling machines. Each ton of paper that is recycled, saves nearly 3.5 cubic yards of space in landfill, and almost every paper mill in the country is now using recycled paper in one way or another. Despite being so regularly recycled, most businesses and individuals do not know the paper recycling process or how to make sure it is being recycled properly.

How Paper Is Recycled

Most of us put our waste paper into a recycling bin or baler machine, and never give it a second thought. Knowing what happens to it next can help you to determine if you are recycling paper properly in future. Recycled paper is taken to a centre, and recycling equipment such as metal separators and picking stations are used to remove any contaminants.

Next, the paper is separated into different grades and then stored into bales before being processed at a mill. The bales of paper are placed into used recycling machinery known as a pulper, which works to shred it down into tiny pieces. This is then mixed with water and chemicals, and heated until the paper is broken down to fibres. The mulch mixture then gets pressed through a screen which removes any adhesives and missed contaminants.

Finally, the paper mix is spun which thoroughly cleans it and removes any ink. From here, it is placed onto a conveyor belt, water is removed, and the fibres begin to bond together. Heated rollers work to dry the paper and then it is ready to be made into new products.

Paper Grades

Every type of paper has a grade, and this depends on how many times it has been recycled in the past. For example, newspaper is a low grade because it has been recycled many times already. Printer paper is a high grade because it is generally quite new. Every time paper goes through the recycling process, the fibre length is decreased. The shorter the fibre length of paper, the lower the grade.

Properly Recycling Paper

Paper is one of the materials that is fairly straightforward to recycle, and it is difficult to really get it wrong. Generally, as long as you make sure your paper recycling is not contaminated with things like plastic, adhesives, or food residue, it can be recycled easily. Some businesses ask if shredded paper can be recycled, and the simple answer is yes although it can depend on your recycling equipment. While paper shreds are able to be recycled, some machines struggle to handle them because they clog the mechanisms. Many people believe paper with staples or clips cannot be recycled, but the truth is they can be because the recycling machinery in the process will remove them.

If you are looking for used recycling equipment for your business, get in touch today.