Due to growing environmental awareness, recycling has become a very popular industry in America. The industry includes paper recycling, which is a large portion of it. It refers to the activities involved in recovering and processing scrap paper so that it can then be used for the production of new paper products.
Learn more about the history, processes, and laws governing paper recycling. There are also business opportunities available in this industry.
The History of Paper Recycling in America
The Rittenhouse mill was America’s first papermill, opening in Philadelphia in 1690. Municipal paper recycling was not established until 1874, in Baltimore, Maryland. New York City followed that year, opening its first recycling center.
Both recyclable and non-recyclable paper
Nearly all types of paper can be recycled. Brown and craft envelopes, carbon papers, tissue, tissue, candy wrappers and pizza boxes are all examples of paper items that will not be accepted in paper collection bins. The most common paper items that are recycled include newsprint, magazines, manuals, booklets, and office papers.
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The first phase of the paper recycling process
There are several steps involved in paper recycling. They include collection, transportation, sorting, and sorting.
Collection. The collection of waste papers is done in collection bins. They are then deposited together with other paper from the collection bins.
Transportation. Transport. All the collected or recovered paper waste is then transported by a van or truck to the paper recycling facility.
The main phase of the paper recycling process After the paper has been sorted, it can be processed into usable materials. This stage has multiple functions, including:
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Pulping is the use of water and chemicals to make pulp. Before adding water and chemicals to the pulp, machines must first chop the paper. The mixture is heated to melt the paper into paper fibers. The mixture becomes a mushy mixture, also known as a “slurry” or pulp.
- Pulp screening and cleaning: The pulp is forced through holes of various sizes and shapes to remove any contaminants. The pulp can be spun in large cone-shaped cylinders if it still contains heavy contaminants such as staples. The cylinders push heavy contaminants out of cone using centripetal force. Light contaminants are moved to the center of cone and are removed.
- De-inking: The next step is to remove ink from the pulp’s paper fibers. Sticky materials (or “stickies”) are also removed. Combining mechanical actions such as shredding with the addition of chemicals, de-inking takes place. Water is used to remove small and light ink particles. Air bubbles are used to remove larger and more heavy ink particles. This process is called flotation.
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- Refining, color stripping and bleaching: The pulp is beaten during the refining stage to increase the paper fibers’ swelling. To facilitate the production of new paper from separated fibers, the pulp is also separated by beating it. To remove dyes from paper, color stripping chemicals can be added to the fibers if coloring is needed. To make white recycled paper, the pulp can be bleached with chlorine dioxide, hydrogen peroxide, or oxygen to brighten or whiten it.