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How To Recycle Paper

Everyone uses paper in one capacity or another. From schools and workplaces to packaging industries, printing, and street food vendors, paper is ubiquitous. However, while many people understand recycling paper, especially when it’s in bulk, the nuances around recycling several types of paper and the best practices are still unclear to many people. Eventually, quite a lot of paper end up in landfills constituting waste. 

This article considers how best to dispose of and recycle paper responsibly.

Why Dimension Thinks Paper Recycling Is Top-Tear!

plastic container for recycling paper in kitchen

According to the EPA, 67.4 million tons of paper and paperboard were generated in 2018 alone, making about 23% of total municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the same year. While more than 64.8% (46 million tons) of this was recycled, 4.2 million tons were combusted, and more than 17 million tons became landfill waste. 

While the effort toward recycling paper is significant, it’s still not enough. 68 Million trees are cut down annually for paper production only, which is a lot of trees. This much deforestation can lead to soil erosions, floods, increased greenhouse gases, fewer crops, desertification, and climate change. By reducing deforestation, recycling preserves trees and natural habitats, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 74%, and reduces water pollution by 35%. 

Moreover, landfill paper can take between 5-15 years to fully decompose and often constitute hazardous waste since the anaerobic decomposition of paper produces methane gas, which is dangerous and combustible. 

So much energy is used to produce new paper, and so much is spent in this production process as it can be labor and resource-intensive. Recycling paper saves energy by up to 70% and the associated cost of production.

  • Energy efficient. Recycled paper production used 26% less energy than production from fresh pulp.
  • Good for the planet. Emit 40% less greenhouse gas with recycled paper production.
  • Saves water. 43% less waste water is used when recycling paper, rather than producing new materials.

Did you know that you can end up paying double to dispose of your Did you know that recycling a ton of paper save:

  • 380 gallons of oil
  • 7,000 gallons of water
  • 6 months’ worth of an average American’s energy usage
roll of craft paper on shelf

How to Prepare Your Paper for Recycling

  • If the paper has embellishments such as glitter, ribbons or foil, remove these from the paper. 
  • Make sure to also remove seal and duct tapes where applicable
  • Separate recyclable paper from unrecyclable paper (check below to know the difference)
  • Put the paper in a pile and in your recycling bin
  • Ensure that the paper that goes intro your recycling bin is clean and dry. If it’s wet or stained with food waste or oil, it’s not recyclable in a recycling facility.

What kinds of paper can you recycle?

Types of paper you can recycle include the following:

  • Magazines, comics, and newspapers
  • Brochures and phonebooks
  • Letters, junk mail and flyers
  • Photocopied paper
  • Envelopes
  • Cards

What kinds of paper can you not recycle in a recycling facility?

  • Greasproof paper
  • Stained paper (with food stains, grease or paint)
  • Cotton wool
  • Tissue paper and napkins
  • Sticky paper, paper tape, post-its
  • Wallpaper
  • Photos
  • Receipts

How to Paper is Treated in Recycling Facilities

shallow focus photography of magazines

Step 1: Collection and Transportation

The waste disposal service collects all the recyclable paper waste from homes, offices or businesses. The collected paper is transported to the recycling facility where they’re recycled. Dimension can help collect your paper waste and transport it to a waste recycling facility. 

Step 2: Sorting

It is then checked and sorted to make sure all the materials are recyclable. Any materials that are not recyclable are separated for further disposal.

It may be further sorted based on thickness and material in order to know which paper to process together for a specific grade and type of paper.

Step 3: Pressing and Shredding

The paper is then pressed, shredded into bits and mixed with water and some chemicals to make it into a pulp.

Step 4: Screening

The pulp is screened to remove unwanted substances or impurities.

Step 5: Deinking

Depending on the type of paper, deinking may be necessary. All the ink, glue and adhesives on the paper is removed in this process. The pulp may also be mixed with new pulp to help solidify it. Contaminants in the pulp are then checked again and removed.

The paper’s cellulose fiber’s contact points are then reinforced, and the paper is passed through a machine that rolls it into sheets of varying thicknesses. 

Step 6: Bleaching

A bleaching process may be necessary if the final product is white paper. This can be done with oxygen, carbondioxide, or more commonly hydrogen peroxide, which reinforces the paper’s brightness, purity, and whiteness. 

How To Recycle Paper Yourself

paper boats on solid surface

To recycle paper yourself, you need the paper, a plastic tub with a wide bottom, a mosquito net or mesh, and two pieces of fabric.

  • Step 1: Gather all the paper to be recycled and cut them into tiny pieces
  • Step 2: Boil for hours in a saucepan and stir while boiling
  • Step 3: Blend till it’s well mixed and pulped
  • Step 4: Create a filtering screen by tightly fitting pieces of wood around the edges of the net or mesh. The size of the screen will be consistent with the size of the paper.
  • Step 5: Put the pulp in the plastic tub and immerse the screen completely in the container. There’ll be a thin layer of paper on the screen. Allow the water to drain.
  • Step 6: Turn out the layer of paper on the fabric and place another fabric on it. Press so the fabric absorbs water.
  • Step 7: let the sheet dry. This can take hours.
  • Step 8: Peel the sheet of the fabric once it’s dry and you have your recycled paper.

What Can You do With Recycled paper?

tasty mousse cakes near flyers and coffee beans in cafeteria
  • You can use your recycled paper for:
  • Posters
  • Ecofriendly business cards
  • Invitation cards

How Else Can You Dispose of Your Used Paper?

bouquet of green flowers on table
  • Use as Mulch or Compost for your garden.
  • Use to clean your windows: old newspapers are great for this, better than microfiber cloths.
  • Wrapping paper: use old comic book papers, sheet music, and packaging paper to wrap presents. You can find creative ways to do this. 
  • Packing materials: use stacked papers to safeguard delicate items when moving.
  • Shelf liner

Hiring a Trash Removal and Disposal Professional

garbage lot

Paper Disposal

A lot of businesses churn through paper without even realizing it. Recycling your paper brings about immense impact: both environmentally and financially. Paper materials can be broken down and used up to seven times, meaning that committing to a good waste management plan is great for business. Divert your paper from the landfill and reduce your costs dramatically, as well as saving the trees and your time!

If you’re not ready to deal with the stress of recycling and repurposing and still want to dispose of your stacks of paper responsibly, you should hire a professional waste disposal service to handle your paper waste. Some waste disposal services may offer this service for a price. Google “Paper Waste Disposal Services Near Me” and find some suggestions. 

Get in touch with the Dimension team now

We’ll talk you through a tailored, sustainable plan that will curb climate change and save you costs. Let’s put poor paper recycling management in the wastebasket!

We are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your paper and make sure it is disposed of and recycled sustainably.

What’s more? We don’t only handle paper disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need, including mattress disposal, couch disposal, furniture removal, cardboard recycling, appliance disposal, etc. And unlike most waste disposal/  junk removal companies, we are very affordable.

Give us a call today!

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